By Ian Neubauer
Kingston Estate has released a new Echelon range of wines sourced from the largest single Petit Verdot vineyard in the world.
Petit Verdot is a variety of red wine grape with origins in Bordeaux principally used in blends. A late ripening cycle has made it fall out of favour in the renowned French winegrowing region yet attracted attention in warmer wine producing countries like Australia where the grape ripens more reliably.
Kingston Estate’s Petit Verdot vineyard was planted in South Australia’s Riverland Region 1997 by chief winemaker Bill Moularadellis—a pioneer of Petit Verdot viticulture in Australia.
“When we planted the vineyard in the Riverland it surprised a lot of people, it wasn’t grown in any significant quantities anywhere in Australia,” Moularadellis said. “I knew that the growing conditions in the Riverland meant it could be a premium stand alone variety. I decided to trust that instinct.”
The new range includes a 2006 Chardonnay, a 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Petit Verdot, in addition to classic Australian varieties of Shiraz, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, which uses a combination of grapes from the Barossa and Clare Valleys.
“The wine from the two vineyards was kept separate until final blending, which allowed us to get the balance right,” Moularadellis said. “The Barossa provides the backbone and structure and the Clare Valley fruit adds herbaceous characters and more complexity.”
The new release range of Kingston Estate wines retail between $20 and $23 per bottle.