Shadowfax Minnow Roussanne 2019

FIVE STARS
A boutique winery in the heart of Werribee Park, dedicated to producing quality, handcrafted wines that express the characteristics of the vineyards in which they were grown. Shadowfax’s wines have a strong focus on regionality with the majority of its fruit produced from its vineyards in the Macedon Ranges and Werribee, and other small growers in Geelong and the Pyrenees. Each and every vineyard has its own distinct characteristics and produces grapes of only the highest quality. JAMES HALLIDAY’S WINE COMPANION

I love stuff like this. I was driving back from the Bellarine Peninsula recently and on the way home I made a, spare of the moment, decision to swing in to Shadowfax and taste some wines I hadn’t seen yet. I hadn’t been in to the cellar door for years, but I drive past it all the time and I love their wines. Always just seems to be when I am in a rush to get home or in a rush to get somewhere.
So, with an esky full of fresh Port Arlington mussels and cuttlefish in the boot, I pulled up and nipped in for what I hoped would be a very quick tasting (out of concern for my seafood). On the tasting list there was only four wines I hadn’t seen so I rushed through them quickly, intending on heading home and eating that cuttlefish with a bottle of Chardonnay.

It wasn’t to be, first thing poured was a Roussanne. I will openly admit this is NOT a variety I actively seek out. I would go so far as to say there aren’t many I love. A great winemaker in the Rhone once explained that to make good Roussanne your timing has to be impeccable and hours can make the difference between perfectly ripe and fat and flabby, as so many are.

Not looking at the prices or, initially, paying much attention at all as I chatted away to my missus, I picked up the glass that was poured for me and gave it a quick taste. What a ripping wine! Snapped me to attention and I had to put my work hat on for a sec. This was really good.

It walks that precarious line, which great Roussanne accomplishes, between fleshy, punchy, ripe fruit and zesty acidity where it could fall in to the overblown camp so easily but instead is lithe and refreshing. Orchard fruits, some hints of the exotic, dried flowers and oily herbs. A luscious and glycerol packed palate that is cleaned up an energetic line leaving the final impression of focus. Looks like really good Roussanne to me, from Australia….

I tasted the rest of the wines quickly and then asked to buy bottle of the Roussanne. I was legitimately expecting to cough up $40 or more, thinking it was some kind of, tiny batch, cellar door only thing Alister Timms had concocted. Nope, it turns out it is readily available and dirt cheap.

Great wine surprises are always exciting. When they turn out to be this good and this cheap they are worth celebrating. I devoured my bottle with that cuttlefish on pasta with lemon, garlic and chilli. It was absolutely the perfect combination.

Not sure what else to say. I checked the reviews, looks like James liked it as well. It is a touch over $20 a bottle in a straight dozen. You should buy it. You may thank me for this one. It is certainly going to cop a pounding at chateau Roscoe over the summer months.