A few years ago, I remember asking someone to whom I wanted to make a gift of some wine whether she had any favourites. Her answer was “Cowra Verdelho,” a singular response that sticks in my mind to this day. Needless to say, I didn’t hold high hopes of tracking any down. Halliday’s Wine Companion site lists just two Cowra-based producers with a Verdelho in their portfolio, of which this Windowrie is one. Further, the label lists this as a wine of the “Central Ranges,” the zone into which Cowra falls, so the fruit may not be entirely sourced from the Cowra region. No matter – this is the closest I’ve come to Cowra Verdelho since the memorable, unfulfilled request.
And hey, it’s a Verdelho alright, presenting straightforward, crisp fruit salad-like aromas. The particular fruit salad here isn’t anything fancy; it’s the salad I remember seeing (and not especially liking, though I was a fussy child) at numerous barbeques in the 80s; a bit heavy on the unpeeled red delicious apple, not much in the way of tropical fruits, and perhaps a squeeze of lemon to keep it all from browning. I quite like it.
The palate is lightly flavoured, with a rounded, hot presence that speaks to this wine’s 14.6% abv. Despite this unexpected scale, it’s curiously satisfying and certainly pleasant to drink. Verdelho is one of those wines one tends to approach without many expectations, save those relating to drinkability and simple pleasure; within that context, this delivers well and is squeaky clean. Entry and middle palate are both quite fruit-driven and mouthfilling in a decidedly hydraulic manner. The after palate shows a line of bitterness that offsets the fruit flavour particularly well. The acid seems a bit low to me, or at least overwhelmed by the mouthfeel.
On the whole, if this is representative of Central Ranges Verdelho, I prefer the Hunter style, which seems more robust and fully flavoured. However; what’s here is tasty and very easy drinking.