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The wine-appreciating public will soon be hearing more of the produce from the Manjimup region, according to David Pike.

I STRONGLY advise those of you who enjoy a drop or two of the good oil, and have a few days to spare over the coming summer break, to explore some of the wineries around Manjimup.

While this relatively unexplored (from a wine lover’s point of view) region has only a handful of producers at present, a recent tasting in Perth by a number of Manjimup producers indicated we will be hearing more about this region hidden among fruit trees and tall timber country.

Stone Bridge St Allouarn 1999 Sparkling $29 rating 16.5/20

A very refined sparkling wine, blended with 50 per cent of pinot noir and chardonnay, the wine displays a distinctive brioche aroma with green apple and a lemon citrus character. Once it’s on the palate, you find zesty fruits that are full of fruit tingles with lemon citrus flavours and well defined acidity, and you will find the wine has plenty of zip on the finish.

Try this with oysters.

Available through the winery on 9773 1371.

Sinclair Swallow Hill 2001 Sauvignon Blanc $17 rating 16.75/20

This wine displays ripe tropical fruits with lychees and guava aromas with fresh and clean characters. There is a small percentage of “oaked” material blended through this wine. The palate showed slight mineral or oyster hints with passionfruit and guava flavours, leaving a spicy tropical and flavoursome long finish.

Try with some sauteed marron from the local area.

Available through the winery on 9443 5489.

Chestnut Grove 2001 Verdelho $18.00 rating 16.5/20

Yet another example of the quality coming from this established Manjimup producer. Pungent and lively pineapple, passionfruit and snowpea aromas. As you dive into the palate you are confronted with masses of ripe tropical fruits that have a viscous mouthfeel with some spicy acidity and persistence of palate. There is a whopping 14 per cent alcohol in this wine, which you do notice a tad on the finish. Try with Thai fish cakes.

Widely available or call 9772 4345.

Middlesex 31 2000 Chardonnay $23 rating 18.25/20

This wine picked up a trophy at this year’s Mt Barker Show for the best dry white.

Made under contract by Brenden Smith, this chardonnay is a very serious wine. Sexy use of oak, which is pronounced and married with complex undertones of peaches and nectarines. The fruit displayed on the palate shows good acidity with some integration, the sweetness of the persistent finish will have you gasping for more.

Try with crumbed veal cutlets.

Available through the winery 9771 2499.

Chestnut Grove 2000 Merlot $34 rating 17/20

There is nothing shy about this recently released merlot. There is an intensity of aromas, which are perfumed with a touch of savoury fruit characters.

On the palate you find the rewards of ripe, rich and flavoursome fruit. Plums, mulberries and some spice are displayed through a finish that has entwined tannins and acidity running through it. This is a big wine and is gaining a solid following, a gold medal winner at this year’s Royal Show.

Try with venison fillets.

Available through 9772 4345.

Yanmah Ridge 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot $25 rating 16.75/20

Some slight savoury oak aromas complemented by plum, damson and red berry fruits. Ripe lush berry fruits greet you on the palate with some spice, good acidity and persistence on the finish.

This is a smart wine that shows smart regional characters.

Try with lamb chops.

Available through 9772 1301.

Peos Four Aces 2000 Shiraz $30 rating 18/20

You will find plenty of wow factor in this wine, which was a gold medal winner at the Mt Barker Show. At nearly 15 per cent alcohol, this is another wine that is not shy.

Intensity of aromas leap out at you with prunes, brambles and cinnamon spice leading the charge. The wine on the palate displays intense sweetness of ripe berry fruits with attractive acidity and tannins. Seductive fruit tantalises the finish that is long and persistent. Worth seeking out.

Try with beef Wellington.

Available through 9772 1378.

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