This cellar door has had a change in the last few months and years. The facility that is currently known as Oxenberry Farm was one of the first farms in the Mclaren Vale area (the original homestead from 1840 is located just behind the cellar door and winery. In my first visits to Mclaren Vale about 25 years ago the cellar door was Maxwells and more recently for Beresford Wines. The property is owned by the Scarpontoni family and when the lease with Beresford had expired the Scarpontoni decided that a new outlet was required for their growing empire.
For the visitor this cellar door facility has many items to draw you in. The property is adjacent to the Pedler Creek Vineyard and has the Shiraz Trail (Walking and Bike Track) running past. The property has a Bed & Breakfast (Pedler Creek Cottage) which is a well appointed 2 bedroom self contained and my wife and I stayed there for a few days on our honeymoon. Between the cellar door and the cottage is a lawn area that the kids can play around on. Inside the cellar door is just as inviting – at this cold time of the year a large open fireplace with a roaring fire greets the visitor combined with the aroma of fine coffee. The cellar door is also home to Bracegirdles House of Fine Chocolates which has a selection of handmade delights and reportedly the Vales best hot chocolate and freshly brewed coffee.
So one senerio is Dad tasting the wines while Mum is having coffee and cake overlooking the kids playing on the lawn – a little something for the family visitor.
And now the wines:-
2008 The Sermon Tree Adelaide Hills Pinot Grigio ($A22)
Did not taste. The others next to me indicated nashi pear aroma with minerally overtones.
2008 Jack of all Trades Tempranillo Chardonnay ($A22)
A lighter style wine best served chilled. This is not a rose style as the wine has more body and tannins than a rose but is is refreshing all the same. The 14% Chardonnay provides an interesting lift and overall lightness to the wine. I got a real cherry aroma with a hint of Turkish Delight. Best drunk young and cold and could be served with an antipasto plate to share with friends. I bought some of this and have drunk it already – one was consumed by myself while watching Aussie Rules footy on the TV.
2007 The Bullocks Mclaren Vale Shriaz Cabernet Sauvignon ($A20)
This is the classic Aussie blend that was prominent in the Australian wine history and has made a number of great wines. Unfortunately this was not one of them. The wine was pleasant but was lacking in flavour and a short finish.
2007 Blackfellows Well Mclaren Vale Shiraz Grenache ($A30)
This is the classic Mclaren Vale blend and this one is also well rounded with a good blend showing blackberry and spice. I suspect the grapes for this wine come from young vineyards and I did not get a sense of value from this wine.
2007 Star of Greece Mclaren Vale Shiraz ($A35)
Most of the grapes for this wine are sourced from the coast close to where the wreckage of the transport ship Star of Greece is located. The palate shows some good spice characters and I suspect there is some older vine fruit been added to the blend. As with the Shiraz Grenache, this is a pleasant wine but I did not consider it good value.
Other General Items:-
- I have continued to have problems with getting video to the correct quality and thus I will not post it until the quality is acceptable.
- Last weekend was the Mclaren Vale Sea & Vines festival. Larger numbers of people descended on the Vale for the Sunday and Monday of the long weekend. I hear there was many drunk people and even a public brawl at one winery. The concept of the festival is good but from the results of the last 2 years I believe the festival must be in jeopardy – similar to what happened in the Clare Valley. Does the brand that is Mclaren Vale Wines really want a drunken weekend each year? Any comments?