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Howard you like a nice wine?

WITH their beginnings in the middle of the 1980s, Howard Park has over the last decade established themselves as one of the premium WA producers. Originally releasing only a riesling and a cabernet sauvignon merlot of excellent quality, Howard Park with its other label, Madfish, have now established a range of quality wines that are sort out across the country and sold worldwide.

To a market thirsty for quality, and of course thirsty for WA wines, winemaker Michael Kerrigan has steadied the Howard Park ship over the last few vintages and the results of selective fruit purchasing has really begun to reward the winery with some very handy cargo.

This is my pick of the currently available wines under the various Howard Park and Madfish labels

Howard Park Riesling 2000 (18/20 points rrp $24.99)

Now I do get a little excited when presented with a Great Southern Riesling, and although there was a few difficult patches in the last few weeks of this vintage, Michael Kerrigan has produced a ripper. Although it remains a little restrained at present, it is showing aromas that include classic lime, citrus with touches of a mineral flintiness and aromas that will develop. The palate like the nose is still very restrained and the tight complex flavours tend toward a limey, almost gooseberry pungency, yet there is an attractive mandarin tinge with the finish. Acidity entwines but doesn’t over power. It is a very sound wine from a vintage that was a bit all over the place. I’m rating it.

Howard Park Chardonnay 1999 (17.5/20 points rrp $35.99)

Struth, be careful who you open this next to. The first thing that attracted me to this wine was the aromas of oysters, and stony mineral complexity. This is a lean, mean fighting machine, with hints of apple blossom and grapefruits. It shows great mouth-feel with plenty of fruit that pushes towards grapefruit and stone fruits. The acidity and excellent oak handling leaving you with a long and polished zesty finish. As Kramer would whine, oh yeah.!

Madfish Premium Red 1999 (16/20 points rrp $18.99)

This is the best that I have seen this wine. In the past the wine has tended to wander off in different directions. This year with a slightly different blend it is worthy of a BOG award.(Best on ground). Mediterranean freshness oozes out of this wine, with its slight fleshy, stewed plum and jamey flavours, the wine show some savoury finesse and elegance. While I wouldn’t spend too much time lugging boxes of this down to the cellar, it is worthy of plenty of drinking over the next couple of years.

Leston Park Botriytis Semillon 1999 (16.5/20 points rrp $23.99)

Leston Park is a new range that Howard Park has developed and over the next few months I will introduce you to the wines as they are released. I have been lucky enough to have seen the Shiraz in this range and It was looking pretty spectacular.

It is a wine with a golden honey colour, stunning aromas of citrus, creamed honey, slight herbaceous undertones and a marzipan nuttiness. The palate shows plenty of flavour with a limey marmalade and almond flow across the mouth. A complex wine with much to find. The finish leaves you wanting more.

Madfish Chardonnay 1999 (16.5/20 points rrp $22.99)

This is a classy Chardonnay from winemaker Michael Kerrigan. Using all the resources at hand, Michael has rewarded us, the wine-loving public with a cracker. Delightful aromas that include orange blossom, melons, citrus and elegance of some smart oak handling. The palate is full of crisp citrus fruit flavours with some hints of savoury, less contact. Still a little restrained, this wine is about

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