90 Mile Wines opened a cellar door in June 2010 in Middleton (between Victor Harbor and Goolwa) in the same complex as Blues Restaurant and Beach Huts. I was lucky enough to catch up with these wines at the McLaren Vale Visitors Centre. Steve is the usual cellar door host – if you visit say hello from the Lonely Grape.
The enterprise is the brain child from 3 mates – a vineyard owner, a marketing guy and a business tragic. Their aim is to produce low cost wines that would appeal to every day drinking public, even to those new to wine drinking. They also seem to be honing into the function market – so pricing is very important to this area.
90 Mile wines also have a wine club, called funnily enough the 90 Mile Club. Membership is $20 per year and you get 25% discount on all wines purchased plus invitations to exclusive events (such as pre-release tastings). Based on purchasing the Destination Shiraz all you need to do is purchase more than 2 bottles and your membership pays for it’s self.
Their web site link is here.
My take on the wines is that apart from the Destination Shiraz, the wines are clean and easy to drink. I can see this maybe appealing to the younger set where wine is a new fashionable drink. Maybe a semi sweet wine would be an addition to this range, if in fact that is what they are aiming for. There are 3 ranges. A cleanskin range which is priced to move high volumes. The Beeamma Range from Padthaway and the 90 Mile Range from Fleurieu region (McLaren Vale, Currency Creek and Langhorn Creek).
There was a couple of whites a rose and a couple of reds – I only tried one of the reds.
2009 Cabernet ($A78/dozen)
Good clean blackbery fruit with very soft tannins. Nothing exciting here, but I have been told that at the price the wine has been walking out of the door.
90 Mile Range
NV Brut Cuvee ($A14)
Made from McLaren Vale fruit with the aromas of clean stone fruit – which makes me think this wine is made from Chardonnay. The flavors are clean and crisp stone fruit that will be drunk very cold at (as I have been told) many local weddings. It is obvious that the wine is targeted to celebration events at a very reasonable price.
2010 Riesling ($A17)
I have had very few Rieslings from the region that I consider are good expression of the variety and this continues the trend. Some orange rind and floral aromas that had little to consider for flavor. Definitely a leave for me.
2010 Shiraz ($A20)
Made from Currency Creek fruit showing the lower end of the ripening scale. Here the wine is all about cherries and spice to make it a little nice. Nothing spectacular here but a number of people who are new to red wines may find this interesting.
2006 Destination Shiraz ($A40)
Hold the fort – this is a major step up and what a surprise after the rest of the range. There is a level of complexity and interest not seen in the other wines. 16.5% alcohol and 2 years in American oak leave their mark. Aromas seem to be loosing their fruit characters and are more leather and coconut. The alcohol is not causing the nose to tingle – indicating a strength in the wine that helps balance the alcohol. The flavors have lots going on – stewed satsuma plums, pepper, chocolate with that hint of coconut. Again the alcohol is not prominent as the complexity copes so well with it. Especially at the discounted price this wine is worth checking out.
2008 Chardonnay ($A14)
Straight from the fridge the aromas were masked, but as the wine warmed up I got some peaches and rockmelon. I did not get any oak characters from this soft and easy drinking wine. As expected there is melons and stone fruits here – not intensive fruit but at this cost one would next expect it either.
2008 Shiraz ($A14)
I got a greenness in the aroma profile of this wine that I do not normally find in Shiraz. the greenness was combined with fresh plums, white pepper and cedar oak. The wine has soft tannins though these tannins are quite drying on the teeth. This continues the trend of soft easy drinking wine from the range.
2008 Cabernet ($A14)
Just lots of cherries and ribena (blackcurrent) fruit with the same soft tannins – just an easy drinking style.
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon ($A14)
This wine seems more complex than the 2008 wine. Starting with some eucalypt aromas combining with plums (not what I would expect from a Cabernet). Good black fruits (both blackberry and blackcurrent) with soft oak notes, that again have teeth drying tannins on the finish.