Marius Wines is the third winery I am reviewing from the Vale Cru event held in McLaren Vale on 20th September.
What another small producer joy from the vines of Roger Pike nestled is the foothills between McLaren Vale and Willunga on Binney Road. Right off the bat I could tell 2 things. Firstly, quality single vineyard fruit (Shiraz and Mourvedre) and secondly a very passionate producer in Roger. Roger is very passionate about what he does and the McLaren Vale region as a whole.
For a vineyard experience Roger is providing a point of difference with a grape picking experience where he provides his “friends” where about 3 different days during vintage he looks to get helpers to pick grapes and then provides good food and wine for those that have helped. I do not know if I have done the right thing – I have signed up to assist the grape picking for next vintage, even though I have done grape picking for a friend in Western Australia and it was really hard work on my back – and that was 15 years ago. Maybe I had better start getting into shape (which would be a real difference) so the day will be an all round positive McLaren Vale wine experience!
Check out the web site at http://www.mariuswines.com.au
And now the wines:-
All dozen wine get a $15 discount (over the dozen) plus free delivery.
2006 Marius Simpatico Single Vineyard McLaren Vale Shiraz ($A27.50)
Medium bodied Shiraz flushed with good red fruits on the nose and palate – cherries and red currents. Hints of American oak combines with fine tannins and the reliable McLaren Vale soft mid palate and great acidity create a wine worth drinking and enjoying. Roger tells me that out of his range almost everybody likes this wine and I can see why. You could drink it now but I suspect this will only get better in the coming 5+ years – if you can leave it that long.
Try taking this wine to a BBQ and you would have many friends that suddenly understand that the wine they brought was not up to standards that should be set for red wine enjoyment.
2006 Symposium McLaren Vale Shiraz Mourvedre ($A33)
50% of the Shiraz and Mourvedre and what an enjoyable combination. Mulberries and violets on the nose with intense (but not over the top) fruit mixed with fine tannins and chocolate flavourings. The denseness and perfume aromas of the Mourvedre (of which some of the Australian readers will be more familiar with the term Mataro) sets this wine up for a long and happy life and will provide some serious joy when consumed. I bought some and this will be a while before the contents see the light of day.
This wine is a little harder to match with food, it has power and finesse with layers of complexity all in one glass. Maybe go for comfort food like a slow cooked beef casserole or a roast leg of lamb that has been “spiked” with rosemary and garlic slivers.
2006 Symphony Single Vineyard McLaren Vale Shiraz ($A37)
The best Shiraz fruit goes into the Symphony with the remainder going into the Simpatico. This is simply a fruit and power bomb. All the expected components of McLaren Vale Shiraz are here plums, spice, pepper with a hint of chocolate on the lingering and very pleasant finish. There is plenty going on in this wine and I suspect there will be a larger symphony of flavours as the wine ages. A classy wine that will need many years to get to its best.
In its current form, this wine yells out steak – a thick juicy T-bone covered with lashings of creamy masala mushroom sauce.
I tasted a barrel sample of the 2007 Symphony which looked spectacular – still time to go before being released but the pedigree looks like another winner for marius Wines.
Marius runs a wine club where you can get a great discount on the wines (15+%). The club membership is free and there is no committment to purchase wines. All Australian wine club members go into a draw (twice yearly) for a 2 pack of wine. New members will get an oportunity to purchase a tasting pack (1 of each wine) at a special price. There will be some museum releases and special bottlings that will be for Wine Club members only. It should also be noted that Wine Club members will get preference on wine purchases. As the quality of Marius wines gets out there could be some difficulties in getting these wines in the future.