By Fergal Gleeson
Beer is made by men
Wine is made by God
So said Martin Luther 600 years ago.
Religious reformers/schism leaders/wine critics were so much more definitive back then weren’t they? Profound. Punchy. Succinct.
Reads like a meme. Martin Luther would have been a big hit on twitter. None of those tedious scientific tasting notes. No comparing a wine’s bouquet to sweaty gym gear and all that rubbish.
I feature some exquisite wines from Burch Family Wines this week. Burch Family Wines (formerly known as Howard Park) is one of Western Australia’s best wineries making wine from both the Margaret River and Great Southern regions.
A fact check confirmed that Janice McDonald is the winemaker rather than the omniscient one. But that’s ok.
Because these wines do show that when wine is made by a talented woman…. all is well in heaven and earth.
Howard Park Mount Barker Flint Rock Chardonnay 2016
This is an excellent cool climate Chardonnay with searing citrus flavours. Grapefruit is predominant. Flint Rock finishes so dry it gets the saliva racing.
Interesting to taste alongside the Howard Park Miamup Chardonnay from Margaret River which is a touch fuller in flavour. That’ll be terroir old chap. Pristine wine and very well priced.
Rating 3.5 stars RRP $28
Howard Park Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Howard Park Sauvignon Blanc is the best Sauvignon I’ve tasted this year. Steely intensity, a lovely acid line. Again I’d point to the value here, expecially when compared to many Chardonnays of similar quality from the Margaret River region.
Lots of detail goes into making something of this quality but in the end the taste is all you need to know.
Rating 4 stars RRP $31
Howard Park Leston Shiraz 2015
From a single vineyard in Margaret River this is Howard Park’s premium Shiraz. In the happy place of offering ripe, dark fruit, coffee, mocha flavours with gentle spice and tannin.
A very classy and complete wine. Would be interesting to revisit in 10 years’ time as it’s certainly age worthy.
Rating 4.5 stars RRP $46
Howard Park Leston Cabernet 2015
A rich and opulent style where blackcurrant fruit and bay leaf tannins are interwoven. Not lead footed like some heavyweight Cabernets. There’s a freshness to it.
Leston Cabernet like it’s Shiraz brother is very easy to enjoy. Reflects Janice’s surefootedness in making wines that are complex but not over done.
Rating 4 stars RRP $46