Joch Bosworth took over the Edgehill Vineyards from his parents in 1995 and started to convert them into organic vineyards and now, after alot of work, he and his family have a certified organic vineyard. The Edgehill vineyard was established in the 1970’s however the Bosworths have been growing grapes in the McLaren Vale district since the late 1840’s.
The company logo shows the flower of the normally classified weed plant called “Sour Sob”. These yellow flowers sit high on stems that when the stems are picked and chewed or sucked on has a sour taste. I remember doing this as a kid. This flowering weed is normally removed by chemical sprays however in Joch’s vineyards they are left to thrive. These plants will multiply profusely, an over powering other weeds, during the winter months and then die back and in this case provide a summer mulch that reduces water requirements for the grape vines.
The Battle of Bosworth and Spring Seed Company are the 2 brands from the Edgehill Vineyards of the McLaren Vale wine region. The Spring Seed Company lable should not be seen as a second lable to the Bosworth range. These wines are themselves distinct – right from the labling. This range was first directed to the American market and the wine bottle lables are inspired from vintage seed packets from Bert’s Seed Company. Joch was so impressed with the artwork organised the rights to allow these brilliantly different lables to be produced. One should also take note that the rear lable on these bottles also continues with the theme so the packaging is similar to a seed packet!
Web sites are:-
Battle of Bosworth Wines http://www.edgehill-vineyards.com.au/index.html
Spring Seed Wine Company http://www.springseedwineco.com.au/
Joch also told me that they are planning to open a cellar door in Mclaren Vale in the not too distant future.
So I should probably talk about the wines…………
Battle of Bosworth Wines
2009 Sauvignon Blanc ($A18)
This wine is picked early so this is no alcohol bomb – a pleasant 11.5% alcohol. The vineyard is designed for minimum sun exposure – east/west rows, high trellising and short spacing between the vine rows. This is all part of the plan to produce a herbaceous and citrusy wine without the sometimes ripe passionfruit flavours that abound in McLaren Vale Sauvignon Blanc. Upon hearing this I was concerned that I was going to be tasting another New Zealand Sauvingon Blanc clone. Well I could not have been more wrong. This wine certainly delivers the lemon characteristics and some cut grass smells but niether are out of place in this wine. A pan fried scallops dish or even a big messy bowl of freshly cooked banana prawns with a typical seafood sauce would go a treat with this wine.
2008 Chardonnay Viognier ($A18)
2009 “War of the Roses” Cabernet Rose ($A18)
The McLaren Vale grapes for this wine were picked earlier that for the fuller red wine. The time for picking is based on the grape flavour. The grapes are gently pressed (to ensure little phenolics carry over into the wine) and minimal skin contact. The product has a bright crimson hue and the aromas make you think of strawberries and cream. This combination follows through on the palate mixed with red berries. This is what Rose style wines should be like ie not a sugar bomb and with clean fruit flavours. I will be enjoying some of this wine on a lazy McLaren Vale summer Sunday watching the kids while sitting back with come Brie and crusty bread!
2008 Shiraz Viognier ($A25)
It is suggested that the proportion of Viognier added to the Shiraz was about 5% however this is a simplification of what happened. The Viognier was pressed to produce a free run juice for the Chardonnay Viognier blend and the “wet” skins are added to the Shiraz for fermentation. Thus the characters from the white skins are mixed with the red skins to produce not your normal Shiraz/Viognier blend. There is none of the apricot characters in this wine – instead the wine has a lift all of it’s own like the Shiraz was seduced by the Viognier. There is a real difference to this wine, starting with the floral aromas through to the palate showing a long, lifted almost viscous mouthfeel of floral and red berries with just a hint of the usual spice.
I could really enjoy this wine on it’s own or with some cheese. However, I am thinking of a mild goat curry going down well with a bottle of this.
2008 Shiraz ($A25)
There were 2 pickings from the one vineyard block to produce this complex wine. This is wine shows why McLaren Vale and Shiraz go so well together. 30% of the wine saw new oak (half French and American oak). The nose was a little closed as the wine was opened at the time of tasting – however there was a hint of the spicy plum characters you would expect. On the palate the wine shows a profusion of red berries, plum the great soft mid palate and the finish of white pepper with hints of liquorice. The wine shows fine tannins and not the vanillian characters I expected from the new American oak – Joch attributes this to the American oak being coopered in France!
Do not rush into opening this new release as it really needs at least another 5 years to start showing what it should. If you must open it then it needs something strong like braised kangaroo tail with root vegetables to go with it.
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon ($A25)
2007 “White Boar” ($A45)
While not tasted I thought this wine deserves a mention. The wine style is inspired by the Amarone style but is again different where instead of the grapes being harvested and then dried on racks, the grape bunch canes are cut and the grapes are allowed to raisin for about 2 weeks. The resultant grapes were then hand picked and lovingly guided through the wine making process. The concentrated wine style is blended into a single vineyard wine. I tried this wine on a previous occasion (unfortunately I did not write up my notes) and considered the wine very highly.
Spring Seed Company Wines
2008 Four O’clock” Chardonnay ($A15)
Now I will put my hand up here and say I was again wrong. When I first approached this wine I thought I could detect slight oak driven characters. When I mentioned this to Joch he smiled – you know the type of smile that just tells you that you have stuffed up. This wine is not oaked at all – complexity and mouth filling texture is driven by such things as extended lees contact and stirring the lees to promote contact with the wine.
By the way this wine is vastly more than just the non-oak characters the wine is full of nectarine and white peach flavours with a slight lemon curd flavour lingering on the palate. This wine could be enjoyed on it’s own (particularly with friends) or with a chicken & fried rice chinese style dish.
2008 “Scarlet Runner” Shiraz ($A20)
A typical McLaren Vale Shiraz with black fruits on the nose with the white pepper spice coming through as the wine breathes. On the palate it shows the mouthful of plums and pepper with the supporting tannins and acid. The oak here is in a supporting capacity only – probably older french oak used for most of the wine. This needs a couple of years to be at it’s best and I would enjoy this wine with a thick slice of pork shoulder roast.