Here I was thinking I had the next few weeks worth on McLaren Vale Wine blogs organised when I was checking a few of different web sites and I stumbled upon a new cellar door opening on 5th September. As I had just released my McLaren Vale Cellar Door Map and was happy to have all 60 cellar doors updated on the map, I thought I needed to visit this cellar door, even if only to update the map. Well seeing that Sunday 6th September was Fathers Day, I thought some self indulgence was appropriate, and I visited Maximus Wines. The wines were very impressive so it was truly a Fathers Day treat.
The Cellar Door and barrel store is found on Foggo Road (just past Foggo Wines) on the right hand side of the road, as can be seen on the Mclaren Vale Cellar Door Map. There was some confusion of the Cellar Door location as there was no Maximus Wines sign at or on the cellar door (the owners are still waiting approval for signage by the local council).
As you would expect on opening weekend, the cellar door is somewhat a work in progress, with a lot of things planned for the location. The tasting area is well set out so there is no reason to check it out. Please be aware that the cellar door is open on the first weekend of the month. Check out their web site at www.maximuswinesaaustralia.com.au.
The view from the balcony is quite special and the word is that the owners are looking at serving food in the future and I for one will be sitting on the balcony when they do. Check out the panoramic views on the video below:-
The owners have been producing wine since 2007 and to date have concentrated on selling wine to the high end of the restaurant trade so the brand has not been seen in wine stores. Thus the cellar door is the only way to get hold of some of these gems. On the first showing at the Mclaren Vale Wine Show last year they won a number of awards and their wines have been given raves from some wine writers.
And now the wines:-
2009 Adelaide Hills Pinot Gris ($A25)
The wine was fermented with the natural yeast and left on the lees for a good time. The nose showed tropical fruit appeal with the palate continuing the tropical theme with considerable (though not unpleasant) acid finish. Definitely a food wine and I could think of nothing better than a plate of BBQ octopus salad while sitting in my backyard with a group of friends.
2009 Premium Viognier ($A25)
A dry wine showing nashi pear and subtle wood characterson the nose with both the nashiand wood (french oak) combining well when you sip it. There is a hint of apricot on the finish to round out another good fruit wine. Sipping this with chicken breasts seared and then poached in a cream and Liqueur Mead sauce combined with some quickly blanched string beans (so they are still crunchy) while sitting in front of the warm fire and sharing with the family – comfort food at its best. Thinking of this makes me feel almost disappointed that winter in McLaren Vale is over.
2009 Rose ($A20)
Over the last 5 years I have started to drink more Rose style wines. A lot of Rose tend to be like lolly water – well this is not one of them. Free run Tempranillo juice has been blended with a touch of Grenache to produce a dry wine that shows strawberries and rose water aromas with a mouthful of distinct strawberry and maraschino cherry flavours. Try this one with a loaf of crusty bread and some Edith’s Goat Cheese from Wrights (found at Coriole Winery) and some home made pickles (we are using a zucchini pickle I made from our vegie garden produce).
2007 Premium GSM ($A25)
A blend of 65% Grenache, 30% Shiraz and 5% Mourvedre is once again a McLaren Vale winner. The cherries of the grenache, mixed with the plum of the shiraz combine with the perfume strength of the mourvedre is a delight as the soft McLarenVale tannins abound with the roundness caused by the American oak treatment. The day I tasted this wine I saw a quote that was something like – a winemakers skill in using oak is like the great Italianchef who can use garlic in their food without you knowing or it leaving a strong taste in your mouth as you leave the restaurant. When I heard this I immediately thought of this wine as there is some good oak treatment but it does not overpower the fruit or the soft McLarenVale tannins. I took some of this home with me but I am not going to share it – sorry!
2007 Premium Old Vines Grenache ($A25)
Made from 65 year old bush vine grenache. Yet again Grenache shows it does not like to be bound by trellising – just let it grow. It maybe more difficult to prune and pick the fruit but the wine quality makes up for it.
The first thing that stuck me about this wine was how light it was, but still a brick red colour. After fermentation, the wine was left on skins (without pumping over or any other mixing) for six months contributing to complexity but softening the wine colour. Do not let the colour fool you this wine packs plenty. The usual dark cherries and plums with a hint of raspberrymixed with the soft McLaren Vale tannins and oak characters from old oak treatments. I can think of no better way to drink this but with a loved one while eating a seared duck breast covered by a reduction sauce and grilled fresh figs (as suggested by Rowland – the company owner and cellar door host).
2007 Premium Shiraz ($A25)
Fruit, fruit and more fruit – what another pleasure. A glass full of dark fruit (plums and cherries) with a hint of cranberry plus the usual soft tannins and complex American oak treatments. I maybe talked into sharing this one while eating some roast rump of beef (say from Wychwood Meats check out their meat and their recipes).
It should be noted that a Cabernet Sauvingon will be available in December (it has been bottled and put down to rest from the shock on bottling) and a Tempranillo will be available early next year.
Special deal – if you purchase any 3 wines, at the cellar door, they will add an engraved Riedel glass for only $A10 (normal retail of $A35).