This week is all about my favourite winery – anybody that visits McLaren Vale I would direct to Coriole. The reasons are many. The wine is consistently of a high standard. They produce wine from some “different” grape varieties. They serve regional food platters on weekends. Some cellar door only wines are available at various times. They also produce verjuice, wine vinegars, olives, olive oils, Vina Cotta and are an outlet for Wrights Cheeses (who produce both cows milk and goats milk cheeses). The cellar door is housed on the top of a rise in an old stone cottage surrounded by cottage gardens that are always in flower. This is one place where you can get a wine and food experience! See the map for the cellar door location.
The web site is www.coriole.com.
Lets start with the wine. The wines are split into 5 ranges and it should be noted that not all the wines are available for tasting at all times.
- Chenin Blanc
Not many Australian wines from this variety are really worthy of much but I believe this wine is the best Chenin Blanc made in South Australia (and maybe Australia). They have been producing a quality product from this variety since the early 1980’s. The wine shows a blend of apple and pear characters and is just a joy to drink – either on its own or with food.
- Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc
This wine was originally a straight Semillon and the Sauvignon Blanc has been added in the last few years. The addition gives the wine a lift and is a great warm Sunday Session wine with friends. I would drink this wine young and cold.
- Redstone Cabernet Sauvignon
A well balanced wine with a blackberry overtones. Not over oaked and would be best drunk young.
- Redstone Shiraz
Starts with a hint of spice and finishes with plum characters. Again, not over oaked and would be best drunk young. I was able to get an older vintage and the younger wine was better.
- Sangiovese Shiraz
Unusual blend and it works well. Plenty of spice and berries and a dry finish.
Coriole has been a pioneer of Italian grape varieties – particularly Sangiovese. It has been an experiment that has put Coriole ahead of the pack.
This white wine is a citrus and floral mouthfull with a high acid balance. I consider this a food wine and would do well with Chicken in a rich tomato sauce. I have not tried this variety before so I cannot comment on if the wine should be cellared or drunk young. What I can say is that I enjoyed this young so why wait!
Full of cherries and tannin with a long dry finish. I have only tried this wine young and I suspect that it would be at it’s best with some more time in the bottle.
- Nebbiolo Rose
Don’t drink this one too cold as you will miss out on alot of the cherry flavour.
This wine is consistently one of the best of this variety I have found. Cherries, violets and spice with a long tannic finish. A joy to experience – particularly with food. Somebody please pass the Spaghetti Bolognaise.
- Cabernet Sauvignon
I am constantly surprised by the quality of Cabernet in McLaren Vale. This one tends to have soft fruit and tannins. You could keep it for up to 10 years but I am not sure why.
This is a typical McLaren Vale Shiraz – some plum fruits and almost chocolate finish. My wife would drink this wine while eating chocolate! One of my favourites and I find it hard not to to buy some each time I visit (so I can put some down in the cellar for a few years). Bring on a T-bone steak and I might share some with my wife.
- Dancing Fig (Shiraz Mouvedre)
The Mouvedre adds some structure to this blend. There is an added almost earthy finish on the above wine. I tend to like this wine young and with food.
- Lloyd Reserve Shiraz
Vines for this wine were planted in 1919 and are next to the cellar door. This wine has great fruit, tannin and oak balance. I have put a few away as I suspect these wines will only improve.
- Mary Kathleen Cabernet Merlot
Well structured wine that should improve over the next few years. This is a wine style I do not normally drink – but I like this one.
- The Optimist
This is a older bottle aged single vineyard Chennin Blanc that has extra complexity treatment in the winery (probably barrel fermentation and lees contact. Definitely a food wine. I admit that I like the younger Classic Range wine.
- Tho Soloist
A single vineyard Shiraz that gets all the support from the winery (good oak etc). My preference is for the Estate Shiraz.
Cellar Door Range
These wines tend to be made in small voloumes and only available for short periods of time – if you find them then do not delay as they go fast.
- Old Barn Chardonnay
This is a quality chardonnay with a peachy creamy mouthfeel. Please do not drink this one too cold.
- Old Barn Shiraz Cabernet
This a a classic Australian blend that has lost favour over the last 10 years. This wine is a reason why this status should be turned around. This has been made from wine that was kept aside for the reserve wines. If you are lucky to find this wine please give it your full attention. A bottle of this with a thick steak served with fried onions/mushrooms/red capsicums/tomatoes combined with a splash of Coriole Vina Cotta and I would not share this with anybody – sorry.
That’s enough for this week – I will talk about the other items from Coriole next week.
The last word on Coriole. This cellar door is a great experience and has great atmosphere. I had a celebration party there. If you can visit – say hello to Rachael and tell her that Shane sent you!