Three from Howard Park
Howard Park is a name synonymous with quality and the approach to excellence extends right across the business. Their wines always stand out in blind tastings, proving themselves year after year. Although they make stunning chardonnay and a suite of high-quality reds, here are three more reasons to choose their wines.
Quality Vintage Bubbly
The 2012 Howard Park Grand Jeté is made from grapes grown on the south facing slopes of the Mt Barrow vineyard in Mount Barker, at an altitude of 380m. With base wine fermented in older French oak, a portion undergoing malolactic, followed by four years tirage age, this is a seriously well-crafted wine. With a restrained dosage of 6g/L, the flavours are truly able to shine. The wine has a very fine bead, and a beautiful savoury core with excellent depth, breadth and drive. Fresh cream, oatmeal and brioche characters are elevated by a lemony core. (AUD $40)
Complex Sauvignon Blanc
It is good to be reminded of the unique personality of the Howard Park Sauvignon Blanc. Pristine parcels of Margaret River sauvignon blanc are handled differently to introduce complexity. In addition to cool-fermented free run juice, there are portions of hand-picked grapes which are whole-bunch pressed and fermented in oak, plus a small fraction of the blend spending time on skins. I adore that the wine is unmistakably sauvignon in character, but with a depth, texture and presence not often seen. Fruit characters of ripe gooseberries and pithy grapefruit plus distinctive spice. (AUD $31)
One must talk about the Mount Barker and Porongurup rieslings as a pair, contrasting in style, but both built with precision. The 2016 Mount Barker (AUD $33) is the more perfumed of the two, with fresh Tahitian lime aromas. The palate is immediately appealing with vibrancy, especially towards the front of the palate. While it will age beautifully, it is also approachable now. The 2016 Porongurup (AUD $34) is completely different in style and is mostly keeping its charms hidden right now. It has the proportions for ageing, being slatey and tight. The intense lime flavours develop as the palate progresses, with intensity focussed on the mid and back palate. These are two beautifully crafted wines, which will benefit greatly from cellaring.