The Thursday Tipple – Return to Eden
by The Editor
We bet a dog, um… humping your leg wasn’t one of them.
That’s the sight that greeted us when we first went to the Eden Road cellar door in Murrumbateman. Once we’d negotiated the amorous pooch, we entered the tasting room, only sub-$20 bottles were open for tasting, so the dog was showing more love than the cellar-door hand. What’s happened?
Well, a lot it seems. Eden Road has become one of Canberra’s more famous wineries after it won the 2009 Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy for its 2008 Long Road Shiraz; an award the equivalent of winning the Melbourne Cup. They recently bought the Doonkoona cellar door and wine-making facility – giving it an established home in the Canberra region – and are undertaking a vigorous program of vine regeneration. You can see the new plants from the cellar door.
After hearing rumours of this improvement, we recently took the intrepid trip down the dirt track back to Eden Road, to determine if a wine paradise could truly be found.
What a difference! What, no molestation of our lower limbs?? Wines that were opened and even decanted? It was all rather impressive. The kindly gentleman behind the counter was welcoming host who demonstrated a great, though not overbearing understanding of the wines and their origins. Overall, a much better experience. Based on our second sortie we would certainly recommend a visit.
So, to the wines. Well, they’re expertly made, but they wont be for everyone. The last few vintages in Canberra have been cool, resulting in medium-bodied, peppery, even vegetal (unripe) reds, and some sour lemon-acid whites. However, the Eden Road wines are certainly not unripe, but do show the influence of the cool vintages – as they should.
The chardonnays are in a modern, lean style, with lemon and grapefruit flavours, and low oak input. While prefer bigger chardonnays – like those from Margaret River – avid drinkers of Chablis should definitely try these. Besides, the 2011 Eden Road The Long Road Chardonnay was awarded an outstanding 96 points at the James Halliday 2012 Chardonnay Challenge, so who are we to argue?
If you like big, blackberried and chocolatey reds, then Eden Road shiraz is probably not for you. These are a more delicate style, with red fruits, pepper and spice and their relative gentleness almost demands they be enjoyed with food. We’d suggest steamed snapper or oysters for the chardonnay and a premium steak or cheddar with charcuterie for the red. delicious!
We get the feeling that Eden Road really pushes the boundaries – the wines break the mould and have their own stamp – and we think that’s great. It’s a testament to the winemaker, Nic Spencer, and his team that they have produced such quality wines in such difficult vintages.
As for the best of the range, we were unanimous in choosing the 2010 Hilltops Shiraz ($40) which recently won a gold medal at the Canberra Regional Wine Show.
So take a trip to the Eden Road cellar door – whether its forbidden fruits are good or evil, it is really up to you!
Have you had a good experience with Eden Road Wines. Let us know your preferences in the comments below…
Eden Road Wines
3182 Barton Highway
Cellar Door: Wednesday – Sunday 11am – 4pm.
Wine info: firstname.lastname@example.org