Ben Riggs the “Mr Riggs” of this label is the winemaker for Penny’s Hill wines as well and they are all available from the Penny’s Hill Cellar Door in McLaren Vale.
They also sell wine under the Whoop Whoop label plus a few cleanskin sales from the cellar door. When I was there just before Christmas they had a cleanskin Moscato which I have been told was very sweet and very refreshing.
The cellar Door also holds a restaurant that is open for lunch 7 days per week. The “Kitchen Door” creates meals from local produce and changes their menu ever couple of months.
The wines have a history of quality outputs so I was looking forward to tasting these wines. Check out my review of the Penny’s Hill and Black Chook wines.
2010″Watervale” Riesling ($A22)
Sometimes you here about less being more – well this in one of those wines. There is a classy simplicity here. Limes, limes and more limes here. Clare Riesling is all about the citrus fruits and the acid finish and this wine has both in spades. Definitely a food wine and I am thinking a big bowl of chilli mussels.
2010 “Ein Riese” Riesling ($A22 375mL bottle)
The aromas were closed to me – I even warmed up the glass in my hands with little effect. The flavors were dominated by sweet grapefruit. The acid here was interesting as it offset the sugar so the palate felt cleansed after every mouthfull. This wine is an obvious crowd pleaser for those that drink the sweeter wines but also an interest here for any wine buff. I would like to see how this wine would match a plate of dried muscatel’s and a soft Brie.
2008 Viognier ($A22)
Viognier is a white variety that seems to do well in McLaren Vale – however the resultant wine is not always interesting. In this case the interest has been heightened by the use of oak fermentation for about a third of the wine. This has lead to a developed toasty series of aromas that continues into the flavors as a honey toastyness with pears and a tangy acid finish. The toastyness was overdone for me. I would have liked to see this wine when it was a bit younger.
2009 “Cold Chalk” Chardonnay ($A22)
Yes I got some oak characters here but that was it for the interest. The aromas had an oily component and the flavors had an almost sour finish. Sorry – it is a leave for me.
2008 “Yacca Paddock” Tempranillo ($A25)
I was looking forward to this wine made from Adelaide Hills fruit and I was not disappointed. Such a savory aroma that lead into s mouthful of the fruit sweetness of a red berry compote that finished with dry dusty tannins. So dry that they made my teeth feel like they were dry after each mouthful. I can see a number of grilled lamb loin chops in this wines culinary future.
2008 “Piebald” Shiraz Viognier ($A25)
Another Shiraz/Viognier blend from this stable (when you include Penny’s Hill & Black Chook wines). Mr Riggs and co must really like this blend – unfortunately this difficult vintage has not been kind to them. Stewed plum aromas with just a hint of the apricot from the 5% Viognier addition. I suspect the Viognier came from the lightly pressed skins from the Viognier winemaking. Then the wine just falls down – if I wanted a drink that was dominated by apricots then I would drink apricot juice. Just too much here for me.
2009 “The Gaffer” Shiraz ($A22)
Now here is an example of good marketing – a proportion of the money received for each bottle of this wine sold is donated to pink ribbon charities (Breast Cancer Research). Another marketing play was this wine appeared on the Australian TV version of Master Chef – it would be difficult to buy such exposure! Anyway, does the wine match that sort of hype? Well I am glad you asked – the wine is a typical McLaren Vale Shiraz at that price point. All plums, strong mid palate with plenty of fruit sweetness. The wine showed some stewed fruit and just a hint of alcohol hotness – probably a product of the hot conditions from the 2008 vintage. Take this to your next BBQ – a good wine and a talking point over the Breast Cancer awareness from the pink capsule.
2009 “Sticky End” Viognier ($A22 375 mL)
Now this is interesting. A late harvest style from the Penny’s Hill vineyard where the grapes have also been dried for 3 weeks on racks to enable a concentration of flavors. This wine can be described easily in 3 words – liquid sweet Nashi. I found this such an agreeable wine, and why wouldn’t I as I love the flavors of Nashi’s. The wine is luscious but not over the top and for the sweet wine drinkers this is a beauty. The people in the cellar door say the hardest thing they have to do to sell this wine is to get people to taste it – that does not sound too hard at all. At this time of year the wine would go well with the lighter styles of Xmas Pudding.