Bendigo Jewel – Turners Crossing

Turners Crossing is a 42ha vineyard 50km northwest of Bendigo, Victoria, located near the evocatively named town of Serpentine. Vines were planted on the site between 1999 and 2006, comprising shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, viognier, and the Italian white grape picolit. 

The winery was established by Phil Bennett when he purchased the site in 2002, with the name being a nod to the landholder Thomas Turner, who had an eponymous crossing nearby over the Loddon River, used by gold prospectors during the 1850s Gold Rush. 

Phil’s daughter, Jean McKinnon, is now in the process of taking over from her dad, and the wines I tasted were made by Adam Marks (Bress) and Sergio Carlei (Carlei Estate). 

Turners Crossing Viognier 2018 – $24
This has all you’d expect and want on the nose: very pronounced aromas of apricot, blossom, wax and lemon, as well as some tertiary notes of marzipan. On the palate, the lovely flavours of apricot, blossom and lemon are accompanied by a silky and oily mouthfeel, and the finish and acid are moderate, all adding up to a lovely wine. It could go a few more years in the bottle but is drinking very nicely now.

Turners Crossing Rosé 2019 – $22
With a beautiful copper colour in the glass, this rosé announces its presence well. The nose is a mixture of fruity (cherry, rose, raspberry) and savoury (saline, earthy) characteristics, while on the palate there is fruit sweetness and a chalky texture, with a fair amount of acidity giving the wine some freshness. This would go well with fish, chicken or pasta salad.

Turners Crossing Shiraz 2016 – $24
It’s probably no surprise that it’s the reds where things start getting really interesting, and this $24 bottle is worth every cent. Expect lashings of blackcurrant, raspberry, spice, leather, meat and prune on the nose and palate, with medium-body, acid and tannin but a high level of alcohol, which is quite balanced. A really nice wine.

Turners Crossing Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 – $24.99
At eight years of age, this cabernet has reached its peak, and it’s going out with a bang. Primary fruit flavours have developed into notes of dried red fruit, truffle, tobacco leaf, leather and soy, and there’s also still a hint of oak in the background. It’s a bit reductive on opening but give it a good airing and it will reward your patience with some attractive flavours.

Turners Crossing ‘The Crossing’ Shiraz 2018 – $60
Oh boy. I was hoping for great things from this wine (mostly due to the price) and I was not at all disappointed. A deep ruby colour with a pretty, intense and complex nose the first indications of what lies ahead. The list of aromas and flavours is long: blackcurrant, raspberry, blueberry, pepper, spice, violets, cedar and meat. The fruit is very bright and ripe, with quite a bit of acidity and a real ‘crunchiness’ in the mouth. With 14.9% of alcohol (which is hidden well), this wine should age gracefully for at least another 5-8 years, but it’s drinking so incredibly well now.

Get the wines here.



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