I first tried wine from Fonthill a few years ago when the owners were also running a restaurant in McLaren Vale (where the Vineyard Kitchen is currently operating from). It was obvious then that the wines were tailored for the restaurant – and why not when you run the restaurant as well. When the restaurant closed down the wines seemed to fall from the wine radar until now. The wines are being shown over the next month at the McLaren Vale Visitors Center. Why not check it out.
2008 Clare Valley Riesling ($A15)
From the Sevenhill sub region of the Clare Valley, this Riesling shows up front citrus peel characters (probably due to the wine showing some age) with the expected lime aromas one expects from this variety. the flavors continue in. The flavors bring on a lime hit and there is a softness which I believe is from some residual sugar. The wine is very soft and I expect a lot of people will like this – the slight sugar and soft characters. For me, I expect significantly more acid from this variety so it left me wanting more.
2006 Verdelho ($A12)
Here comes the The Mclaren Vale contingent of this lable – Verdelho from California Road has shown promise and I was looking forward to this. The aromas were non existent, which was probably due to how cold the wine was served. The flavors were also very light with melons and an unusual water melon rind character (which was probably due to the age of the wine). I can see this wine was made for the restaurant that the owners of Fonthill used to operate. I suggest the wine is past it’s best.
2002 Dust of Ages Grenache ($A25)
Again from California Road and my favorite variety, I was looking forward to a wine with some age. What I found was a wine that was past it’s best days. The Wien needed time to blow off some bottle stink to show some strawberries and general red fruits. The flavors showed some diminishing fruit with some classy oak treatment. I wish I tasted this wine a couple of years ago! If you have this wine, I suggest you drink it now. I also understand there is a new Grenache soon to be released and I suggest that it would be worth checking it out.
2004 Silk Shiraz ($A25)
Now we are looking at some thing interesting. A California Road Shiraz – there is some very good Shiraz made from along this road. Cherries and plum aromas with the same on the palate mixed with some good oak. Not your most complex wine but quite a nice drink.
2009 Shiraz Malbec ($A15)
The youngest wine of the group and one of the most interesting. Malbec has been blended with Shiraz for a long time by a small number of producers and I was also interested that this was a blend from Padthway and Clare Valley. For the price I found this wine to be good value. There was red fruits fruit cake as the aromas. The flavors could not be more different – black fruits, chocolate with an interesting minty finish. Not too many tannins here, but enough to provide a drying finish on the palate and teeth.
I consider this a buy of some interest and to be consumed quickly with most foods.
2005 Vale Mistelle Verdelho ($A15)
A product of wanting to provide a sweet wine for the restaurant trade, the wine is made by adding a small amount of spirit to stop the fermentation before all the sugar has been converted. I get aromas of lemon peel and pears – most interesting. Flavors of tropical fruits and orange blossom that has been dipped in caster sugar. The sugar is not over done here. I recon that many people would like this wine and at this price why not.