Angullong….New and Old Fossils

No introduction needed from me about the consistent good work that Angullong do in the vineyard and the winery with fruit from Orange and the Central Ranges. They’re making their mark with “alternative varietals” but strength still lies in proven performers of the district, such as Shiraz. The Vermentino is the latest addition to the Angullong Fossil Hill stable.

Angullong Fossil Hill Vermentino, 2014

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Listed as Central Ranges and Orange. Central Ranges is the legal labelling for the area when grapes are grown under the required altitude to be branded as Orange GI.

The Crossing family grafted the Vermentino in 2012 onto existing rootstock. Vermentino, is usually associated with more Italian and Mediterranean climes (think Sardinia and Cinque Terre), so planting it at 600m above sea level 250km from the nearest ocean is somewhat of a viticultural experiment. At least the position chosen was a “ridge that is exposed to hot dry westerly winds during summer,”  so hopefully the grapes don’t get homesick the warm summer Mediterranean conditions! Winemaking included leaving the fermented juice on lees for 4 weeks to build “further aromatics and complexity.”

Lush nose of orange oil essence, kaffir lime, salted butter, rosewater and a little reductive cabbage/estery stink. Decent palate weight and phenolics. Rosewater, sour/sweet citrus of grapefruit, green gooseberry, white peach stone fruit and prickly acidity.

A good start for the new label in the stable. Knowing Angullong’s attention to detail, I look forward to seeing future releases when the vines mature.

RRP: $22

Alc: 12.5%

Angullong Fossil Hill Shiraz Viognier, 2013

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The 10th vintage of this co-fermented wine, with 3 to 5% Viognier. Some winemakers will tell you it’s the 1%ers that matter…but in this instance, not so much.

Mulberry juice – shirt staining purple. Heady, nutty, potent and perfumed. There’s blackberry, apricot jam, nettles and just unwrapped-from-the-deli-paper-shiny prosciutto. Not as sweet as the nose implies. Pepper and blackberry dominate with plummy richness framed with cool climate savoury balance and acid. The front palate silky and glossy, which leads into lovely fine tannins. Both juicy and dry, a lovely contrapuntal enjoyment.

RRP: $24

Alc: 13.5%

Wine samples courtesy of Define Wine and Angullong Vineyard

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