Calabria Family Wines, established in 1945 predominantly in the Riverina area, around Griffith in NSW. Formerly known as Westend Estate, the family are embracing their name for the labels and are one of the brighter lights of the glowing Riverina region.
Their range spans several New South Wales vineyard regions and even states (there’s a Barossa shiraz, but more of that for a later post), but all with the ethos of being affordable quality (prices ranging from $11 to $25)
This post rounds up the entry level ‘Richland’ series and 2 of their reds: Westend Tempranillo and their flagship Durif.
Richland, Sauvignon Blanc, Riverina, 2014
Soft green melon, sweet passionfruit and just a hint of grassy green. Palate brings soft light tropical fruit and tangy green gooseberry, neither pungent nor sour. Refreshing, light bodied with crisp acidity, there’s a lot worse Sauv Blancs out there at twice the price. Hot summer’s day wine.
Richland, Pinot Grigio, Riverina, 2014
Light gold in the glass. Refreshing nose of apples, pear blossoms and skins with a hint of sweetness. The palate with a touch of soapy extract, concentrated pear and then rosewater and honey…maybe a few rows of Gewurztraminer blended through or a couple of grams of residual sugar. Not purporting to be the most complex of wines, but does exactly what it says on the label.
Richland, Shiraz, Riverina, 2014
Dark purple heart, dark purple edged, smells dark purple. Soft and comforting. Black to blood plums, dark red raspberries with a good lick of spices: cloves and anise.
Full front palate with black plums, spice and well done oak treatment. Not overdone with heat and stays balanced Just enough tannins to make it the perfect dance partner to a decent BBQ’ed beastie or a splash out on gourmet pizza.
Gold medal winning and oft found well under the RRP, grab this one by the dozen and just enjoy
Westend Cool Climate Series Tempranillo, Hilltops, 2013
Cherries, pips, rich plum, slight meaty savoury stink and a prickliness on the nose hairs.
Full, rich and a touch sour. There’s fine grained tannins that sit low in the mouth whilst sour cherry sits high. Savoury bitter coffee, counterpointed by plums, with lingering brown toasted spice. Tastes a touch hot for me, not quite my style.
Westend 3 Bridges Durif, Riverina, 2012
This interloper came and conquered with gold at the Rutherglen Wine Show (amongst other shows), which is truly the heartland of Durif in Australia. No easy feat. This simply smells classy, probably got a gold off the nose alone.
Opaque. Absolutely dense colour. Deep, intense smells of of pencils, wooden sideboards, plums, just unwrapped plaistow chocolate, stewing black fruits, fresh cool earth and topped off with pine sap.
First thing that is noticed are the full gravelly tannins, then black plums, more of that dark cooking chocolate, blackberry and a smidge of tobacco. No wild swings of flavour here, it simply walks into the middle of the ring throwing powerful bruising jab/cross combinations into your senses, yet holds form with plenty of class. One for the big red lovers to put away..or a wine for those ready to enjoy a full roasted meal now. Top value.
All wines samples courtesy of Calabria Family Wines