Contentious Character Vineyard receives high marks from James Halliday

Contentious Character

Member Contentious Character is celebrating receiving exceptional scores in the newly released 2019 Halliday Companion by esteemed wine expert, James Halliday.

  • Riesling | 2017 – 94 Points
  • Come the Raw Prawn Canberra District Riesling
  • Review Comment: There’s nothing contentious about the wine, with its regional imprint of Meyer lemon, lime, crunchy acidity and apple peel.


  • Chardonnay | 2016 – 93 Points
  • Empty Vessels Make the Most Noise Canberra District Chardonnay
  • Review Comment: Infuriating light blue print on the label, mostly microscopic, on a pale blue background. I was able to decipher the words ‘lightly oaked’, and the intensity of the fruit certainly takes the chair. Grapefruit, backed by sterling silver acidity, runs through the palate without so much as a second glance. Some good grapes here, almost Tumbarumba-esque (to be contentious).


  • Shiraz | 2016 – 93 Points
  • Canberra District Shiraz
  • Review Comment:Light but bright crimson-purple hue; the fragrant spicy/peppery overtones to the red cherry fruits of the bouquet are predictably – but happily – followed by a fresh, light to medium-bodied, palate, the red fruits ascendant, fine-spun tannins in respectful support.


  • Pinot Gris | 2016 – 90 Points
  • Born to Make Taste Buds Bloom Canberra District Pinot Gris
  • Review Comment:Has good varietal expression, even if that (as so often) borders on an oxymoron. It’s said to be lightly oaked, although how, when and where is left to the imagination – my guess is part/all fermented in used French oak. The one feature of real note is how it copes so well with 15% alcohol.


  • Pinot Noir | 2016 – 89 Points
  • Canberra District Pinot Noir
  • Review Comment:The wine does indeed have the touch of mint mentioned on the back label, an issue that has raised much discussion and recent research by the AWRI, mint now linked to fragments of eucalypt leaves (one leaf is enough) as the cause. Personally I’m unconvinced: yes, it may be true, but why don’t all Australian wines/pinots have a minty taste (as NZ winemakers assert).
Posted By

Canberra District Wine Association

Posted On

Friday August 10, 2018

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