Stirling Times

Vino bravissimo

- Barry Weinman

THE Mt Barker land on which 3drops vineyards lie — like so many other wineries in Australia — started life as a farm.

In the late 1990s, the Bradbury family diversifie­d into olives and wine. In 2007, they bought nearby Patterson’s vineyard, giving them access to mature pinot noir, shiraz and chardonnay grapes.

The old Patterson’s pinots were memorable for their approachab­ility and quality, so the vineyard was already capable of producing quality fruit.

But the X-factor here is winemaker Rob Diletti from Castle Rock Estate, who seems to have the golden touch when it comes to producing high-quality wines.

Rob makes wines for a number of Great Southern producers and his rieslings and pinots can be particular­ly exceptiona­l.

The 2019 3drops pinot noir is a rare combinatio­n of quality, enjoyabili­ty and affordabil­ity, and is well worth looking out for.

Rob Gherardi, winemaker at Margaret River’s Mr Barval, has taken an altogether different, but also common, approach to establishi­ng a winery: buy the finest available fruit from the best sub-regions and apply a minimalist­ic approach in the winery.

While the cabernet/ merlot and Riserva cabernet sauvignon are impressive, the entry level Vino Rosso is the standout for me.

The fruit is excellent, but it is the way that this has been handled that is important here. This is just so approachab­le and delicious, and great value.

And then there is the Tudor shiraz from Aldi — you could have knocked the tasting panel over with a feather when the bag came off this beauty.

At $13, it is unbelievab­le value, especially for a private-label drop covertly made by award-winning Victoria-based McPherson Winery.

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