Winery in Focus – Houghton
Barry Weinman: 7th May 2016
Following on from my review of Houghton Cabernets, here is a quick review of some of the other highlights in the range.
The Thomas Yule Shiraz was formally known as the Gladstones Shiraz.
Whilst Brookland Valley is a separate brand in the Accolade stable, wine-making is handled at Houghton, with Courtney Treacher leading the program.
Houghton – Pinot Grigio – Small Batch – 2015 (17.5pts – $22). Almost clear in colour. Vibrant, floral and pretty fruit, in the Alsatian (Gris) style and all the better for it. The fruit is soft and supple and the balance excellent. From Frankland River.
Houghton – Chardonnay – Crofters – 2013 (17.5pts – $18). Quite a refined wine, with peach and nectarine fruit over supple French oak. Silky mouth-feel and excellent length. Value for money.
Houghton – Shiraz – Crofters – 2014 (17.5pts – $19). Wow, there is an explosion of ripe fruit on the nose. The palate is forward and approachable, with the cherry/plum fruit the focus. Supple winemaking inputs add interest. Value Shiraz.
Houghton – Shiraz – Thomas Yule – 2012 (18+pts – $80) Dense, dark fruit on the nose. The fruit is almost thick on the palate, with hints of licorice and aniseed. The palate transition is near seamless, with the tannins at the close getting slightly grippy. Excellent length and a textural treat. Stylistically very different to the Cabernet, this represents brilliant mid-term drinking.
Houghton – Shiraz – Thomas Yule – 2011 (18.5pts – $80). Quite a contrast to the 2012, with more structure and less ripe fruit characters. Both the 11 and 12 are excellent examples of Shiraz, though this shows more cooler climate characters. Pepper and savoury cherry fruit a feature, with the cedar-like oak adding to the package. Will reward time in the cellar.
Brookland Valley – Chardonnay – Reserve – 2013 (18 – 18.5pts – $70). Whilst there is obvious power to the fruit on the nose, the balance and perfume are noteworthy. Hints of expensive oak add complexity, reminiscent of Burgundy. The palate has rich fruit and superb mouth-feel, though the finish is quite tight and closed at present. May well score higher in the years to come.
Brookland Valley – Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot – 2013 (18pts – $45). The depth of the fruit on the nose is a highlight. The perfumed berry fruit builds and carries through onto the palate. Textured and spicy, with excellent length, the fine tannins and oak add grip to close. An excellent wine.
Brookland Valley – Cabernet Sauvignon – Reserve – 2012 (18.5pts $70). The approachability defies expectations here. Blackcurrant, eucalypt, mint and just a hint of cassis. The palate is rich and round, with the pristine fruit slowly giving way to fine tannins and very supple oak. The length is a feature.