Wine review: Winemaker finds his spiritual home

A MANDALA is a spiritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism that represents the universe. The design is a square containing a decorative circle and, as good wine should, has a central focus while exhibiting balance.

Mandala Wines has its home in the northern end of Victoria's Yarra Valley at Dixon's Creek.

Charles Smedley, the owner and winemaker of Mandala Wines, arrived in the Yarra Valley in 1999, first planting a pinot noir vineyard at Yarra Junction before expanding to a site about 30km away in Dixon's Creek in 2006.

The winery now boasts a quality restaurant and function centre. New plantings of 3ha of pinot noir are also under way.

The 2016 release wines mark its 10th anniversary.

Chardonnay, 2016:

Nutty, woody oak makes for an inviting start before pithy grapefruit, peachy stonefruit, light fig and even a little hessian. The palate is full with rockmelon, lime Splice, peach slices and that kiss of sweet oak. A buxom expression of chardonnay.

RATING: 8/10

RRP: $30

ALC: 12.3%

Pinot noir, 2016:

A silky nose with plenty of cherry, sarsaparilla, stalky herbs, grilled citrus pips. Plenty of generous flavour with a distinct blood orange element alongside cherry red fruits, smoky oak and layers of fine tannin. Served with lightly seared duck breast and a cherry glaze.

RATING: 8/10

RRP: $30

ALC: 13.4%

Shiraz, 2015:

From the excellent 2015 vintage comes this white pepper spiced number. Savoury meaty elements combine well with bitter coffee grounds, boysenberry, plum juice, tobacco and wafts of chocolate oak. On the palate, there's a ferrous blood note before dark fruits and gravelly tannins.

RATING: 8.5/10

RRP: $32

ALC: 13.7%

Read more wine reviews at vinonotebook.com


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