This cellar door is one of the new classy style – with lots of new wood, stainless steel and glass. The driveway shows off well manicured vineyards with lots of red roses (the roses also act as a early waring for some vine diseases).
The grassed area next to the cellar door is used for the McLaren Vale venue for the “A Day on the Green” concerts. Check out the concert series web site.
The cellar door is open 10 am to 5 pm daily and serves platters (such as ploughman’s lunch) every day as well. The staff are friendly and I would recommend this as a stop for visitors into the McLaren Vale region.
And now the wines……..
NV Syn Cuvee ($A17.50)
Made mainly from McLaren Vale fruit (with some Coonawarra fruit added) – 79% Chardonnay, 19% Pinot Noir and 2% Riesling. The wine has been made with yeast in mind – the bready yeast is dominate on both the aromas and flavor profiles. As you would expect from a Chardonnay dominate wine there is peach characters as well. I was presently surprised by the refreshing acid length that leaves the mouth and the mind wanting more. A girl friend of mine just loves this wine, where she drinks it just sitting around chatting to her friends.
2010 Richard Hamilton Sauvignon Blanc Semillon ($A15.50)
The 27% Semillon in this wines makes a marked difference to the overall balance. The aromas start with the gooseberries (Sauvignon Blanc), goes onto grassyness (from the Semillon) with some lime notes on the finish. This finish on the nose makes me think the flavors will have a high acid influence – I was right. The flavors start with tropical notes and then goes to the lime/acid finish. Overall a much better wine that I would expect if it was Sauvignon Blanc on it’s own. A nice plate of antipasta that just has to have some home made Pickled Onions.
2010 Richard Hamilton Slate Quarry Riesling ($A15.50)
This wine has an interesting following – if for no other reason that it is one of the few quality Rieslings made in the McLaren Vale region. True to variety I get limes and floral aromas. The wine is drier that I expected (which is good) and it is just a jumble of zesty lemon and limes all over the mouth. I can see this wine going so well with asian foods as it will compliment the varied flavor profiles and textures of this type of food.
2010 Leconfield Coonawarra Old Vines Riesling ($A24.95)
It has been a while since I have had a Coonawarra Riesling (I used to drink a fair bit of Wynns in years gone by) and after having the pleasure of tasting some Eden Valley Riesling last week and I can confirm that the Coonawarra offering is not quite in the same class but it is a jump up from the McLaren Vale wine. This wine had more floral than citrus aromas that just moved into this wonderful razor sharp lemon and lime acids. I feel people that open this wine should have Coffin Bay oysters (natural of course) in their future.
2009 Richard Hamilton Almond Grove Chardonnay ($A15.50)
I know I generalise but this is what Chardonnay should be like – some toasty oak integration from partial barrel fermentation and the textural feel from extended lees contact. The flavor of nectarines is wrapped with the creaminess all covered in an integrated oak envelope – yes it should be obvious by now that I really like this wine. At this price the wine should be walking off the shelves to be consumed with chicken dishes like Oven Baked Chicken Breast fillet stuffed with smoked semi dried tomato and brie served with fresh pasta stirred through with home made pesto.
2009 Leconfield Coonawarra Chardonnay ($A24.95)
The aromas were closed but the palate was a mouthful of peaches and slight oakiness. This wine is more refined and is longer lasting, but my money is on the Richard Hamilton version.
2009 Richard Hamilton Jette’s Viognier ($A15.50)
Again a little closed with just a hint of stone fruit coming through. 30% of the wine was left on lees for 6 weeks and this shows on the flavor profile as there is a layered textural feel with peaches and cream. The wine has a real soft finish so it is one for people that do not like the acid razor slashing over the tongue.
2010 Richard Hamilton Gida’s Rose ($A15.50)
This is a fist for me – a Rose made from Merlot. The wine is only slightly sweet and is just dominated by strawberries – lots and lots of them. I can see a hot day and many people seeing the bottom of a bottle or two of the Gida’s Rose, while consuming a ploughman’s lunch (like those served at the cellar door).
2010 Richard Hamilton Late Harvest Riesling ($A15.50)
The grapes for this were ripened for an extra month compared to the Slate Quarry Riesling and the wine was not as sweet as I thought. A big winner at the cellar door where I am sure people just need to taste it and there is a large part of the population that will just love it. All the same floral and citrus notes as the Slate Quarry without the sharp acid that would not be like by a proportion of drinkers – and good luck to them. The asian food theme fits well here – particularly if one wants to tone down a chilli based meal with a glass or six of this.
NV Syn Rouge ($A17.50)
Sparkling Shiraz – oh how I love you! This 2008 wine at this price is why I think everybody should be drinking good sparkling reds. I got Raspberries and cherries with some serious oak tannins on the finish. There is a little residual sweetness here but not too much like some sparkling reds. If you are looking for a special match for the traditional Christmas Turkey then look no further than a good Sparkling Red and this one would fit the bill nicely.
2009 Richard Hamilton Lot 148 Merlot ($A18.50)
Plenty of fruit sweetness that fits the plum and cranberry hits one expects from Merlot. What I did not expect was the cinnamon flavors from the clever use of oak. Still not my style of wine however I can see a lot of people liking this one.
2009 Richard Hamilton Shiraz ($A18.50)
I was looking forward to this as the 2008 version was highly regarded. What I found was what I would classify as a “typical McLaren Vale Shiraz”. This version has seen some American oak action as you get vanilla and coconut action. The plums and drying tannins are just what this variety shows in McLaren Vale.
2009 Leconfield McLaren Vale Shiraz ($A24.95)
Just to confuse you this Leconfield wine is made from grapes sourced in McLaren Vale (not from Coonawarra). There is American oak sweetness here with all the nutmeg and cinnamon you would want for. Plenty of juicy Shiraz fruit here also. Put it all together and there is a good all round package. This wine is more refined that the previous and has a greater life expectancy than the above wine but I am still drawn to it.
2009 Richard Hamilton Hut Block Cabernet Sauvignon ($A18.50)
Minimal aromas here with all the flavors one would expect from a McLaren Vale Cabernet – lots of sweet Blackcurrent fruits with fine drying tannins on the finish. I can see a thick slice of Beef Wellington in this wine’s future.
2009 Leconfield Coonawarra Cabernet Merlot ($A24.95)
Again the aromas were somewhat closed but the flavors were full of sweet fruits and fine tannins. True to expectations this wine has a softness imparted in some way from the Merlot – an elegant and refined structure that please those that like this style.
NV Richard Hamilton Lion Heart Tawny ($A18.50)
A lighter mouthfeel and viscosity than I expected however the aromas and flavors are not light. This has all the warming , sweetness and character of this fortified. Another style that is not popular but once tried the wine tends to sell its self. A plate of vintage cheddar, water crackers and dried muscatel grapes and watch this wine just disappear.
Other Wines (Not tasted)
2006 Burton’s Vineyard Grenache Shiraz ($A39.95)
2009 Centurion Old Vines Shiraz ($A59.95)