This blog entry is against what I had set out to do – to review every McLaren Vale winery I could find before reviewing any of them for a second time. Two things went against this. Firstly, I spent the last weekend feeling unwell and was not able to taste wines properly. Secondly, when I tried the below wines, I was so impressed I felt I just had to share them with the Lonely Grape readers.
Check out my first review of Inkwell.
Even before you raise the glass one gets hit by fragrant aromas. Fruit salad and some grass both on the nose and palate. After drinking this why would you be interested in Sauvignon Blanc! The wine is fresh and there are minimal additives (including no acid addition). After drinking this I am even more excited about Summer being just around the corner to drink some of these white wines from the spectacular 2010 Vintage. It would be good on it’s own, however there is some underlying complexity that screams food – maybe some BBQ’d Chicken Thighs simply marinated in Coriole Vina Cotta and Verjuice.
The grapes for this wine were picked after the heat wave of the 2009 Vintage and it is a surprise the alcohol is only 13%. Zinfandel has a reputation for big ripe berries that can just be full of sugar and thus produce very alcoholic wines. This wine continues with the unusual factor. The aromas start with berries and continues to a spicy fruit compote. It too me some time to recognize the smalls of canned peaches – now that is different. The flavors are just layers of complexity with fruit sweetness, luscious tannins and spice of star anise. There is a savoriness here but also like red licorice – how interesting! This would be one wine to pull off a match with sweet and sour pork.
I enjoyed the 2007 Shiraz so I was looking forward to this wine, even though it was from the difficult 2008 Vintage. The grapes were picked before the heat wave and the wine is close to 15% alcohol, so the picking timing was well done. The wine was matured in oak for 24 months so I was interested to see if the oak monster appears here or if the fruit has enough weight to carry this off. Oh boy I was looking forward to this. The aromas show the spicy plum that is a characteristic of McLaren Vale Shiraz. There is a melody of other herbs and a little hint of vanilla. Now bring on the flavor – again this is essence of McLaren Vale Shiraz – plums. pepper, herbs all mixed with dry tannins. The tannins are so dry they try to de-water the sides of your mouth. there is some bitter chocolate and licorice on the finish. Time is needed to see this wine at it’s best – and you will not be disappointed. If one had to drink this now I would love a thick juicy T Bone Steak.