wa2.gif (4241 bytes)

abut9.gif (3095 bytes)

abut12.gif (3207 bytes)
abut10.gif (3636 bytes)

abut11.gif (4039 bytes)


The wines of Dromana Estate/Gary Crittenden, Victoria

Dromana Estate City Office, Level 9 / 406 Collins Street Melbourne Victoria 3000
Tel: +61 3 9600 3242 Fax: +61 3 9600 3245
E-mail: info@dromanaestate.com.au
Dromana Estate Cellar Door and Mornington Estate Cafe, RMB 555 Old Moorooduc Road, Tuerong Vic 3915
Tel: 03 59 744 400 Fax: 03 5974 1155
E-mail: decd@bigpond.com

It's been more than three years and a lot of tasting since I last reviewed the wines of Gary Crittenden. I first met him at the London Wine Trade Fair in May 2000, when he patiently and enthusiastically talked through his wines with an unknown wannabe wine journalist... Returning to these new vintages, I was similarly impressed by the Dromana Estate wines from the Mornington Peninsula region (Melbourne's playground for the well heeled) - these are wines that don't get written about much, but the quality is right up there. 

Originally established in 1982 by Gary, he's since sold his company which is now publicly listed and consists of five brands: Dromana Estate, David Traeger Wines, Mornington Estate, Yarra Valley Hills and Garry Crittenden ‘i’ Italian range. His son Rollo has been making the wines since 2002. 

The Gary Crittenden range of Italian varietals are interesting and in some instances superb wines. But I came away once again thinking that they really should be more compelling than they actually are. They still taste quite Australian, but with subdued, very savoury fruit. The Arneis is fascinating, and is very unusual - this is probably my favourite, partly because it tastes quite Italian. I'd still recommend these wines for those in an experimental mood, but they're best with food because of their intensely savoury character.

Dromana Chardonnay 2000 Mornington Peninsula
Very attractive nutty style with well judged oak. Quite classy and complex. Very good/excellent

Dromana Chardonnay Reserve 2001 Mornington Peninsula
Appealing complex, nutty nose with a bready, herby lift. Nicely weighted palate is quite classy and rich. Very good/excellent

Dromana Pinot Noir 2000 Mornington Peninsula
Tight, herby, savoury nose. Chewy savoury palate displays herby fruit and good acid. Appealing. Very good/excellent

Dromana Pinot Noir Reserve 2001 Mornington Peninsula
 More structured but similar profile of rich, herby, savoury fruit, with some tannins. There’s rich, spicy berry fruit with a touch of medicinal complexity on the palate. Expressive and rich. Very good/excellent

Dromana Cabernet Merlot 2001 Mornington Peninsula
Rich, ripe nose showing well defined berry and black fruits. Nice spicy edge to the palate. Very good/excellent 

Dromana Shiraz 1999 Mornington Peninsula
Nice tight savoury berry fruit nose with a tarry edge. Firm, spicy, expressive palate with some firm tannins and notes of white pepper. An expressive and fairly elegant take on Shiraz. Very good/excellent

Gary Crittenden Arneis 2002 King Valley
A white grape brought over from Piedmont, Gary has just 400 vines of Arneis. Interesting lifted nose with yeasty savoury fruit. Quite nutty high acid palate. Unusual and interesting, this even tastes a bit Italian. Very good+

Gary Crittenden Rosato 2002 King Valley
Faint orangey pink from the Nebbiolo and Sangiovese that were used to make it. Sweet spicy strawberry nose with a herby edge. Savoury, slightly nutty palate. Nice. Very good+

Gary Crittenden Dolcetto 2001 King Valley
Sweetly spiced nose of lifted berry fruit.  Savoury, high acid palate is quite challenging with a slightly gingery edge. Very good

Gary Crittenden Barbera 2000 King Valley
Richly fruited, slightly tarry nose with a spicy edge. Chewy, chunky palate with nice acidity. Quite tight and challenging despite the concentration. Very good+

Gary Crittenden Sangiovese 2001 King Valley
Savoury, spicy nose. Good density of savoury, herb-tinged spicy fruit on the palate. Quite rich. The acidity is in better balance than some of the other reds. Very good+

Gary Crittenden Nebbiolo 1999 King Valley
Slightly orange brown in colour. Intense, leathery, spicy fruit with good acidity. Quite unusual and noticeably Nebbiolo. Savoury and quite impressive; needs time to evolve some interest on the nose. Very good+

see also: tasting notes of Australian wines

Back to top