First up was the 2008 Viognier. This is a serious wine. It has predominantly apricot flavours, but also a fair bit of tannin and acidity. The taste falls off a bit at the end, but nonetheless I liked the mouthfeel of the wine.
The 2008 Hilltops Shiraz is quite fruity and forward, but has savoury aspects as well, which will better develop in a couple of years. It does not have much of a finish, but is very good value for a $25/bottle wine.
2008 is the second year of the O'Riada Shiraz. The wine includes about 6% Viognier and really is the baby brother of the flagship wine. The wine has predominantly red fruit character and is a bit fleshy, as a result of better ripening conditions than 2007 and larger berry sizes. There is spice and a silky feel to the wine. The mouthfeel is nice, although this is not a big wine. I liked it a lot.
In many ways, the 2008 Shiraz Viognier is similar, but a bit finer, more elegant, excellent structure and length on the palate. The flavour stays for a long time. The wine is very approachable now, but will improve in complexity over time. If I had a criticism, I would have liked a bit more fruit concentration, but it is a minor point.
Overall, the line-up demonstrated excellent wine-making skills and an expression of medium bodied wines which has not many peers in Australia.