McLaren Vale Wines – Assorted wines from Maximus, Coriole, Penny’s Hill and Primo Estate


I have not been feeling well this weekend and I was concerned about what I could write about for this weekend’s blog. So I went looking through my recent wine notes and though I would share some interesting wines I have tried over the last few weeks (while I have been checking out the Scarce Earth Project wines). I hope you enjoy these select wines and hopefully my cold will be over soon so I can share more winery reviews soon.

2009 Maximus GSM
This wine was only 0.1 point from the Bushings King award from the 2010 McLaren Vale wine show. At the same show the wine was award the Trophy for the best Grenache based blend. Others have like it as it is now being served at our Prime Minister Hosted dinners. With this build up, I was looking forward to this wine. The wine did not disappoint. I enjoyed the 2008 wine from the same stable but this is just one big step up. The aromas are dominated initially by the red fruits of Grenache (raspberry and cherry). There is an interesting transfer to a savory aroma that I suspect comes from the Mourvedre. The flavors can be summed up by one word – balance. The red fruits of the Grenache come through again in spades and the tannin structure is just so complementary to that fruit. Plenty of acid here as well so it made my mouth water and think of food. This combination produces plenty of flavor that lasts and lasts at $25 per bottle this wine is a steal.

2009 Primo Estate Joseph Double Pruned Cabernet Magnum ($A275)
Joe Grilli, owner and senior winemaker has mad a career of being innovative. 10 years ago he made a wine from Angle Vale Cabernet (very hot climate area) and I am told the wine was an absolute beauty. The secrete was the vines were double pruned. In this case the primary crop was pruned early so a second crop would be produced by the vines. This second crop is much less than the initial crop would have been and the grapes ripen much later. In 2009 Joe decided to have another go at this unusually produced wine and put all of the wine into magnums. Well I am glad I was told this wine was from Angle Vale fruit as I would have made somewhat of a fool of myself with this review as all I could see were cool climate characters. The aromas showed the customary blackcurrent but then I got green herbaceous characters with an interesting hint of mint – which would immediately make me think this was a cool climate wine and even potentially from Coonawarra. There is also evidence of dusty oak. I do not like wines that show to many green characters and I was concerned this wine was going to be very green. Well I was wrong again – the wine was an amalgam of blackcurrent and very fine tannins. Lots and lots of character and lots and lots of time ahead of this wine. An absolute beauty that so many people will never see – what a pitty.

2007 Coriole Vita Reserve Sangiovese ($A50)
Coriole has a long history of growing and making wine from the Italian grape variety of Sangiovese. As a warming area McLaren Vale should be well suited to this variety. They have also been working on a Reserve style to produce a “Super Tuscan” wine. I have tasted earlier Reserve efforts and had felt they were just aged versions of their estate wines. This wine, however, was different straight away. The aromas were a mouth watering mix of juicy black fruits. The flavors continued in the juicy fruits mode with layers of very fine tannins. The oak influence is there but it plays an integrated part. Balanced and long lasting means this wine was wrapped up and brought home with me. My mouth is watering while writing this and I have put the wine away so I do not get tempted to drink it just yet.

2009 Penny’s Hill The Experiment Grenache ($A30)
The last 2 times I have been to the Penny’s Hill cellar door this wine was not available, so when I heard there Grenache was available then I just had to drop in. The aromas showed both the expected red fruits but a lot more cedar from the oak than I would expect for this variety. Even though the oak continued in the same vain in the flavors this wine was what I would call lovely McLaren Vale Grenache – all those red fruits and the oak mixed with a great acid profile that assisted the wonderfully long flavors and mouthfeel of the wine. Yes I love this variety and yes the wine has more wood treatment that I would normally agree with, but the whole thing works. Put the wine away for a couple of years and I would expect an even better wine.

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About Lonely Grape

Passionate about wine - particularly McLaren Vale wines. Check out my blog on different winery reviews and my wine sales web site
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