'On the Bench' - Tony Keys reviews ROCK Chardonnay, ROCK Rosé and ROCK Shiraz blend
There is a part of me that would love to be organised and have all my tasting notes from the past 30 years on file and be able to cross reference…but it’s not really me – I’m just not that analytical. I taste, comment and move on.
I’ve drunk some beauties but that’s history, and I hope to drink more in the future (and that’s optimistic), but at the moment it’s what’s is in the glass in front of me that’s of interest. Which is what prompted the ‘love to be organised’ comment, because ranges from both wineries on taste have been very good indeed. More importantly, both, going by memory (those lost notes again), have shown consistent improvement over the past two to three years.
First up is a trio from Hanging Rock Vineyard, simply called ‘Rock’. As far as I recall they have always been of an acceptable standard. Launched as an on-premise only product in 1998, their popularity has grown and the brand is now one of the company’s biggest retail wines. This latest trio made me sit up and take notice. Retail price is a very reasonable $10 to $12.
Rock Chardonnay 2006: ‘An Unwooded style made for immediate, easy drinking with delicious fresh stone fruit and nutty flavours.’ That’s what it says on the back label and that is exactly what it is. Damn good is my only added comment on the wine, and an extra tick for a non-bullshit description.
Rock Rosé 2006: Yes, yep, I can go with this. A little slow to start but comes alive in the middle with a thump. Plenty of flavour, part savoury, and finishes clean if a little short on length.
Rock Shiraz Blend 2004: Pinot Noir, Malbec and Grenache fill the 45 percent space after Shiraz. It has the most intriguing nose, so incredibly fresh. Part fruit with blueberry and blackberry, and part floral, like a big bunch of fresh cut flowers. It’s light but far from weak, and extremely pleasant to drink.