Westend Estate has previously been associated with some of the finest wines to come out of Australia's warm, inland river regions, but these days, their range has expanded to include a selection of wines sourced from cool climate areas. In addition to this Hilltops Shiraz, keep your eyes open for Westend's Canberra Riesling, Hilltops Tempranillo and Tumbarumba Pinot Noir, all sold at the generous RRP of $14.95.
Kinda sweet and earthy, Westend's Cool Climate Shiraz doesn't exactly smell like an archetypal cool climate shiraz, but despite a minor baked/warming note, it still reveals an abundance of uncomplicated, ripe plum and berry aromas with a calming whiff of vanilla/coconut oak. The palate introduces simple, soft and round shiraz characters, blessed by enough brightness of flavour and length to provide fun at its modest price. There's recurring ripe fruit and a slight warm spike in the aftertaste, but there's nothing overly awkward or jarring about it, so the second glass continues to go down smooth. As does the third...
O A bright and ripe, well made in the winery if essentially straight forward quaffing shiraz, whose price is the key. For no more than $15, it's the sort of wine I'll be keeping an eye on in the future. Drink to 2013.