McLaren Vale Winery – Inkwell

Over the next few weeks I will be reviewing a number of small wineries from McLaren Vale that do not have cellar doors.  I was able to taste the wines due to attending the first Vale Crew tasting held on Sunday 20th September.

Attached below is a video of Philip White (a wine critic) who spoke at the Vale Cru tasting event about the geology of the McLaren Vale region and a soon to be released Geological Map of the region.  Thanks to Inkwell for taking the video and posting it on Youtube. 

There were a few wineries that there is just something I love about them.  One of these is Inkwell.  A Californian couple wanted to grow grapes and produce some wine – and where else did that lead them but McLaren Vale on California Road!   In fact I drive past this vineyard frequently on my way to work.  Talking to Dudley it is obvious the emphasis is on producing the best wine possible using all by hand techniques – hand pruned, hand weeded, hand picked.  The wine is made in small open fermenters, hand plunged, basket pressed and interestingly French Oak is used.  After all this if the wine does not meet the Brown’s standard they will sell off the wine as cleanskins.

The bottle lable is of an ink blot and invokes interest to most that see it – but what is inside is worth the effort.

The web site is and apart from vineyard and wine information it also has a number of interesting videos and photo slideshows.

Anyway, what about the wine:-

2007 Inkwell Shiraz ($A25)

2007 Inkwell Shiraz

2007 Inkwell Shiraz

The use of french oak (40% new) is not dominant on the nose (which is a good thing) but what is dominant is the black fruits with a musky overtone.  On the palate is an intense layers of blackberries, violets, spice with an excellent envelop of dusky french oak characters, which just go on and on and on – definitely a lip smacking experience.  The only hard thing about this wine is how long to leave it before getting the best out of the investment (both the producers investment as well as your financial investment).  Well done Dudley and Karen with some help from James Hook (from the Lazy Ballerina) with viticultural assistance.

Now, what to eat with it?  Maybe a pepper steak (rump steak) with some parmesan mash sweet potato and crispy beans.

Just to confirm Dudley’s passion and enthusiasm I find that he is the Chairman of the McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Commission.

Inkwell also produce a Viognier and Zinfandel with the 2009 vintages of each not yet released.  If the Shiraz is an example of the quality of the rest of the wines I will be lining up to try them when ready for release.

It is not just me that likes this wine, as a number of wine critics/writers (including Philip White) has given this wine a 93 point rating.

About Lonely Grape

Passionate about wine - particularly McLaren Vale wines. Check out my blog on different winery reviews and my wine sales web site
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