Angullong expands its Fossil Hill range

Orange’s Angullong Wines has released two wines in its Fossil Hill range: the 2015 Angullong ‘Fossil Hill’ Barbera ($26) and the new 2015 Angullong ‘Fossil Hill’ Sagrantino ($26).

Alternative varieties have long been an integral component of Angullong’s winegrowing. “In 1999 we planted a range of Mediterranean varieties that we believed would thrive in the Orange region,” explained Ben Crossing, part of the family which owns Angullong.

“Over these past 18 years we have learnt a great deal about the vines and gained valuable experience with the wines that they produce.

“In more recent years we have grafted several new alternative varieties including Sagrantino. This is a variety whose home is in Umbria in central Italy, although it almost became extinct in the 1960s. As in Italy, the region of Orange offers good heat during summer with cool nights that give the vines relief and subsequently lengthen their ripening.”

The fruit was handled very gently in the winery, with hand plunging so as not to over extract the tannins. The wine was then matured in a combination of new (25 per cent) and seasoned French oak.

Another Italian variety within Angullong’s Fossil Hill range is the 2015 Barbera.

“We are aiming to produce a vibrant barbera with loads of red fruit and spice with balanced tannins and acidity,” said Ben Crossing.

“The barbera was destemmed, with 20 per cent left as whole berries prior to fermentation. We believe that this gives greater freshness, lift and complexity to the wine and a silkier texture to the tannins.”

From here, 25 per cent of the wine was matured in French oak in order to add further complexity to the fresh, primary flavours.

These two wines join the Angullong Fossil Hill range, which also includes shiraz viognier, vermentino, sangiovese, tempranillo and the newly released rosato and riesling.

More details on Angullong, their wines and upcoming events can be found at

The Angullong range can be purchased directly from the Cellar Door in Millthorpe and via their website (

Based on media release issue by Angullong.

Above: The Angullong Vineyard on the slopes of Mount Canobolas, near Orange. Image: John Rozentals.




Angullong 2015 Fossil Hill Sagrantino ($26): I first came across this Italian red variety over lunch in Angullong’s substantial vineyard on the slops of Mount Canobolas. I like its bold fruit flavours, firm tannins and herby, earthy tones then, and I still like them now. The variety is obviously well suited to the climate near Orange and, like other red Italian varieties such as barbera and sangiovese which have thrived in Angullong’s vineyard, will, I’m sure, gain a permanent place in the winery’s range. Visit

Angullong 2015 Fossil Hill Barbera ($26): Barbera is one of the most planted red grape varieties in Italy, with probably the most important plantings being in the north-western Piedmont region, and it has also made itself an important home in Australia. The wine’s main flavours are in the red-fruit spectrum of cherries and raspberries, with spicy overtones, and a fresh, medium-bodied palate. French oak adds complexity without intruding on the primary fruit flavours. A good match for barbecued meat. Visit

Rymill 2016 The Dark Horse Chardonnay ($23): Rymill winemaker Sandrine Gimon describes the current trend in Australian chardonnay as being towards wines that are “fruity, juicy, always enjoyable and with the advantage of being able to be matched with so many dishes”. She has certainly succeeded in creating that style here and this is very much a modern Australian chardonnay, with delightful stonefruit flavours up front. But don’t think for a minute that this is just a fruit bomb. Partial fermentation in oak has given the wine a deal of complexity, but it’s a complexity that backs up the fruit rather than dominating it. Visit

Rymill 2015 The Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon ($23): I’d describe this as being of the gentler style of cabernet — one without the obvious tannic grip of many young reds made from the variety. The bouquet is obviously cabernet, with plenty of leafy, herbaceous tones, but on the palate it is fruit-first, generous and quiteready for immediate consumption — the perfect foil to Rymill’s more expensive cabernets under its Classic label. Visit

Shaw 2016 Estate Riesling ($30): I’m an unabashed fan of riesling and regard it usually as a much better wine than most of the sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio (gris) that dominate our bottleshop shelves and wine lists. Taste this ripper from Murrumbateman and you’ll quickly discover why. It has delightful limey, perfumed aromas, and on the palate a zesty acidity which perfectly balances the slight botrytis-induced sweetness. Botrytis is normally associated with sweet dessert wines, but this is very much refreshing, off-dry white that will go marvellously with fresh seafood or, indeed, in its own as an aperitif. Visit