I’ve got plenty of time for Alkoomi, with this well established Western Australian winery quietly producing good-value, varietally true wines from their large (259 acre), mature (first plantings in 1971) estate in Frankland River. If anything, the only challenge with Alkoomi is a lack of superstars. Sure, the Wandoo Semillon can be intriguing and the Blackbutt red solid, but the really high notes are not there (yet).
On the value front, however, this estate really kicks some goals, with the White and Black Label wines predictably well made and well priced.
This trio is the latest instalment in the latter range, showing three wines that Alkoomi have plenty of history with – the very good Shiraz Viognier, in particular, is a reminder that Alkoomi were one of the first to jump on to this blend a decade ago.
The only disappointment here was the somewhat middling Sauvignon Blanc which seemed to lack the trademark varietal intensity that we usually see in the Alkoomi Black Label wines. An odd bottle perhaps?
Alkoomi Black Label Frankland River Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Sourced from all estate-grown fruit, one third of this wine was fermented in old oak, the rest in stainless steel. Green straw coloured, it smells atypically flat, the citrussy nose tighter and less tropical than other vintages. It’s a similar message on the palate, which is chalky and driven by acid and little else. Missing a whole chunk of flavour this year based on this bottle, even though the finish is long. Best drinking: 2016-2017. 16/20, 87/100. 12.5%, $24. Would I buy it? No.
Alkoomi Black Label Frankland River Chardonnay 2015
Estate grown fruit that was picked and pressed to a mix of new, 1 and 2 year old barrels and matured for 9 months on lees. Perhaps the only thing working against this wine is time – it really feels like a barrel sample. Green straw coloured, it shows a kiss of white peach and milky oak (largely older oak methinks) on the nose, the palate delicate, tight and fresh with a real sense of just picked freshness. Initially I thought this was too lean, but the ripeness feels about right and the vitality of this lightly oaked, lightly textural style is really quite good. Will only get better. Best drinking: 2017-2021. 17/20, 90/100+. 12.4%, $24. Would I buy it? I’d be tempted in a year.
Alkoomi Black Label Frankland River Shiraz Viognier 2013
Includes 5% cofermented Viognier and spends 18 months in 20% new French oak. Maroon with just a little purple, this captures the juiciness of good Shirognier, the nose lifted up by oak sweetness before a palate that is surprisingly structured, the juiciness of the purple berry fruit offset by drying skin tannins that are really quite firm. I like this. I like that combo of fruit and structure, all in a quite appetising style. An awful lot of wine for $24. Best drinking: 2017-2024. 17.7/20, 92/100. 14.4%, $24. Would I buy it? I’d share a bottle.
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