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: Pialligo Estate

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Pialligo Estate

www.pialligoestate.com.au

18 Kallaroo Rd, Pialligo, 2609

Cellar Door: Now closed indefinitely after last weekend of Sept 2010

Ph: (02) 6247 6060

The 4 ha vineyard on the banks of the Molonglo River, with red sand over clay, and was established in 1999 by Sally Milner and John Nutt.

It is located close to the Canberra Airport in picturesque Pialligo, a centre for colourful plant nurseries and orchards. The wines are made on a contract basis by two of the district's most experienced winemakers: Greg Gallagher (Gallagher) and Andrew McEwin (Kyeema Estate and Winewise magazine). Mount Majura has also been making the wines recently.

The Pialligo style is rich and strongly varietal, without the high alcohol of some wines. If you are visiting the cellar door there is also the options of light and full lunches, art exhibitions, a walk through the olive grove and a game of pentaque. Wines include: Riesling, a barrel fermented but unoaked Chardonnay, an excellent savoury Rose, an equally impressive smooth but savoury Merlot, the district's first finished Sangiovese, and a peppery cold-climate Shiraz.

A good way to kill an hour instead of waiting at the airport with spectacular views down to the Mongolo River.

Pialligo is shutting up shop indefinitely from September 2010 as Sally and John have decided to retire to inner Canberra suburb of Kingston. The new owners plan to redevelop the site into a larger tourist complex but wine remains part of the future

Pialligo Estate
Pialligo Estate cellar door (photo: genxywines)
Pialligo vine pic
Pialligo vines at sunset (photo: genxywines)
Pialligo outdoors
Pialligo outside (photo: genxywines)
Pialligo inside
Leaving the cellor door for the last time in September 2010 before the redevelopment under new owners (photo: genxywines)
Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

Pialligo Estate Riesling 2009

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2011 or 2017 if you like it toasty

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2010, perfumed green apple and lime with rose petal and spice, builds intensity and minerality along the palate, long penetrating lemon acids on the talcy finish, (****)

Pialligo Estate Sangiovese 2008

Purchased: Cellar Door ($25)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2010, bright sour cherry, plum and black olive infused with attractive savoury tannins, a good core of medium bodied fruit with a bit more body weight than previous releases I have tried without compromising its food friendly style, the seasoned oak stays in the background but does add some spice and cigar box to the finish, I picked up a bottle from the cellar door on their second last ever opening weekend to pull out in 2013 and remember the retiring owners (****)

Pialligo Estate Merlot 2008

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2010, spicy and medium bodied redcurrant and plum with black olive and brown spice nuances, earthy with supple tannins, seasoned cigar box/ cedar oak (***1/2)

Pialligo Estate Shiraz 2006

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2010, brightly flavoured mulberry and plum with flashes of raspberry. spice and mint, earthy and medium bodied palate is framed by the sour acids that lift the vibrancy of the fruit expression, creamy and spicy oak with chewy tannins (***1/2)

Pialligo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: July 2008, a surprise for this winery known more for its light-medium bodied reds, deeply flavoured blackberry, cassis and mint but not at all over-extractive or jammy, spicy palate is infused with cedar and chocolate with clean varietal minerality and powdery tannins (****)

Pialligo Estate Rose 2007

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: July 2008, derived from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Cabernet Franc, attractive light and dry style with slightly sweet red cherry and strawberry offsetting savoury dark fruits, spicy with brisk acids and a hint of mint on the finish, sweet and savoury contrasts drives it along (****)

Pialligo Estate Late Harvest Riesling 2007

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: July 2008, sweet dessert wine style showing tropical fruits, lime marmalade and pineapple, balanced lemon citrus acids, good length (***1/2)

Pialligo Estate Chardonnay 2007

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: July 2008, sourced from Mt. Majura Vineyard, white peach, melon and stonefruit with a touch of pineapple sweetness, crisp and rather light bodied palate with 20% barrel ferment, lightly oaked with only a whisper of cedar and vanilla, zesty and persistent grapefruit acids (***1/2)

Pialligo Estate Sangiovese 2006

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: July 2008, red cherry and plum and white pepper, opens a bit thin but the rest is generously flavoured, light-medium bodied and earthy with persistent powdery and savoury tannins, a citric acid twist on the finish (***)

Pialligo Estate Merlot 2005

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: July 2008, Bronze Medal at Canberra Wine Show 2007, dark plum, red charry and raspberry flavours with black olive notes, medium bodied and lightly spiced but a little restrained, discrete coffee and cedar flavour inputs from the French oak, a fair bit of acid grip, a bit too austere for me (***)

Pialligo Estate Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: July 2008, blackberry and plum with anise, citrus and spice notes, the 9% Viognier is way too much for the medium bodied Shiraz with the mid-palate losing too much definition and focus, creamy chocolate-cedar oak but the tannin structure is submerged under the Viognier (***)

Pialligo Estate Rose 2005

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2006

(GXY) Tasting: April 2006, blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, narrowly pipped the Merlot as Pialligo's best wine at the tasting, shows subtle but complex red and dark berry flavours on the nose, a touch of sweetness on the forward plate followed with complex savoury and herbal on the mid-palate and a satisfyingly dry finish, an excellent summer afternoon verandah drink (****)

Pialligo Estate Merlot 2003

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: April 2006, spicy red currant and plum nose, savoury medium bodied palate framed with mocha oak and smooth tannins (***1/2)

(G) Tasting: Aug 2006, ruby red colour, medium bodied with most commenting on its spicy and peppery character, soft red fruits and mild coffee oaking (3.8 star average) (range 3.5 -4 stars)

Pialligo Estate Riesling 2004

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: April 2006, fresh citrus and green apple nose with floral notes, soft, elegant style with a touch of honey on the mid-palate, dry finish, good acid length without steeliness (***1/2)

Pialligo Estate Chardonnay 2004

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: April 2006, unwooded style with light barrel ferment, peach and stonefruit nose, some creaminess and nut complexity on mid-palate with firm but not astringent acidity to provide balance (***1/2)

Pialligo Estate Shiraz 2003

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: April 2006, lifted bouquet of sweet plum with regional pepperiness, some herbal complexity on medium bodied palate, lightly framed with chocolate-mocha oak, smooth tannins (***)

Pialligo Estate Sangiovese 2003

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: April 2006, while not the only grower of Sangiovese in the Canberra District, they are the first to release a finished wine, shows the varietal dark cherry and liquorice nose, savoury palate is a bit thin at the front but is well complemented by the mocha-chocolate oak (***)