Being at the far end of McLaren Flat you get a sense of history as you drive past and through vines that are 60+ years old on the way to this cellar door. The cellar door building is also the offices for the winery but this does not take anything away from the tasting experience as the tasting is conducted so you are looking away from any offices and out across the adjacent vineyard. I was pleasantly surprised when we were not only greeted with a smiling face but the door was also opened for us. The decor was simple and tasteful and I enjoyed my time there.
And now the wines, the wines are split into 3 main areas:-
“The Pup” range (younger wines @ $A18)
2009 The Pup Sauvignon Blanc
Surprising to see a 2009 wine released so soon. It seems the 2008 was sold out so they decided to release the 2009 quickly. This wine is mainly McLaren Vale fruit with some addition of Adelaide Hills fruit. The wine is understated and not the over bearing herbaceous wines that one frequently sees from this variety. This wine shows varietal charachters and would be good drinking very cold on a hot summers day.
2007 The Pup Cabernet Merlot
This was the usual easy drinking, drink now, wine expected from this blend and it would be a good Sunday afternoon red watching the rain outside while sitting in front of an open fire.
2007 The Pup Shiraz
As with the other of this range this is an easy drinking style with soft tannins and ripe fruit characters. Again, the open fire place beckons.
2006 Cadenzia Grenache ($A25)
Firstly I would like to recognise the marketing effort by a number of McLaren Vale wine producers to provide a jointly agreed naming of one of the regions icon wines (but not fashionable over the lazy 10 years) Grenache based wines as Cadenzia.
This wine shows good plum characters and has been given good (but not overwhelming) oak treatment and is typical of the grape variety from the Vale.
2007 Shirtfront Shiraz ($A25)
Oh what good fruit structure combined with smart use of oak can do with Shiraz in McLaren Vale – and yet again another example. I have added some of this wine to my ever expanding collection of McLaren Vale Shiraz.
2006 Square Cut Cabernet Sauvignon ($A25)
I am continually surprised by the quality of Cabernet from the Vale. This wine is again good drinking.
Not for tasting – 2005 Most Valuable Player Petit Verdot & 2004 + 2005 Most Valuable Player Shiraz, both available for $A65
I am not sure if these back vintage wines are available as the varites are difficult to sell at this time or that there was a conscience decision to release mature wines. In either case these wines are worth trying.
2005 Wylpena Chardonnay ($A22)
The vines to produce this chardonnay are about 100 years old and have been grafted to chardonnay (from Grenache a number of years ago). The lightly oaked wine is showing some aged characters and should be drunk soon.
Duck Chase Petit Verdot ($A22)
There is a hint of violets in this wine and is one of the few varietal wines of this variety in the Vale. This is a well made wine from an unfashionable variety. Try this wine if you get the chance and make up your own mind.
2005 Cadenzia Grenache ($A22)
Another vintage of the Dogridge wine reviewed above. Shows vintage variation to the 2006. Difficult to say which was the better wine – again try them both and make up your own mind.
James Hook produces a blog on viticulture. Anybody that wants to learn more about this technical and diverse subject chech out his blog. I have added this blog address to the blogroll.