Stockman’s Ridge – on the rise

Stockman’s Ridge – Orange Labels from Orange

Stockman’s Ridge…I’ve been following the progress of Jonathan Hambrook’s wines for a little while and the quality of the products is on the rise. Opening of their new Cellar Door in Orange is (another) reason I need to get back to the region fairly soon. Here we have 2 of their wines from the opposite ends of the spectrum. The “Rider” Range is the everyday drinkers, whilst the “Outlaw” label is the top of the line.

Rider Series 2012 Savagnin Chardonnay 

If you don’t know Savagnin, here’s a quick back story: It came into Australia a few years ago in disguise. Thought to have been Albarino (from which the Rias Baixas whites of Spain are made) DNA testing found it to be Savagnin. Potentially a little confusing for a wine public used to Sauvignon Blanc, it was marketed under non-grape varietal names, such as “Girl Talk.” However, some very smart winemakers have turned the difference into an advantage and are starting to produce some very smart wines, predominantly from the warmer climes of South Australia, but it seems in this instance, from the cooler regions of NSW too.

Savagnin fermented in stainless steel, Chardonnay in French Oak. Clear in the glass. Lovely grassy/white flowers initially of the Savagnin, before giving way to the struck match, soft lime/lemon citrus finishing with a sour note of grapefruit. A little spritz on the tongue, before medium acidity balances the almost ripe white nectarine, lemon/grapefruit citrus. Some residual waxy and smoky elements from the oak give a medium amount of complexity.

It finishes a touch short but then, it’s made for drinking now. There’s enough going on in the glass from some good Chardonnay and the somewhat unfamiliar Savagnin. Easy drinking and a great food match.

RRP: $23

Alcohol: 13.5%

Outlaw Series 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

Ripe and plush oaky nose. Blackcurrant, dark plums and a little liqueur cherry.  Good mocha, vanilla offset with varietal leafy and black fruit. There’s something earthy too…like fresh mushroom skins. Medium bodied with fine tannins, there’s more of the liqueur dark cherry, black/blood plum and some savoury black olive. There’s a more than a little acidity hiding in there too, singing it’s cool climate origins. The 14.5% alcohol leaves some warmth on the palate, but it’s not overtly hot or jammy. This is a dark wine, no doubt about it, but without being overtly fruit sweet it would be just the thing for a cool night by the fire in Orange.

RRP: $35

Alcohol: 14.5%

Source: Samples Courtesy of Stockman’s Ridge

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