Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Vale: A Final Word

South Australia is truly blessed with great wine regions and McLaren Vale is a fantastic example of just that. It speaks to a sense of place, the geology, the terroir, the community. It embodies a list of winemakers and grape growers that strive to express themselves through their art.

The route to Cabernet and Cabernet Blends Tasting was cross-country viticulture tour From Penny's Hill & Mr Riggs to Maxwell Wines via Chalks Hill. The picks of this lot were:
  • 2006 Geoff Merrill G&W Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2007 Geoff Merrill Wickham Park Merlot
  • 2008 Geoff Merrill Fleurieu Cabernet Shiraz
  • 2008 Kay Brothers The Cuthbert Cabernet Sauvignon - STANDOUT
  • 2008 Kay Brothers Basket Pressed Merlot
  • 2008 Kay Brothers Basket Pressed Cabernet/Merlot
  • 2008 Maxwell Wines Lime Cave Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2008 Maxwell Wines Little Demon Cabernet/Merlot
  • 2007 Mitolo Serpico Cabernet Sauvignon - STANDOUT
  • 2009 Wirra Wirra Sparrows Lodge Cabernet Sauvignon
The final master class was at the Woodstock Coterie featuring Grenache in two brackets of four wines which proved to be (with the notes of curiosity):
  • 2010 Wirra Wirra Original Blend Grenache Shiraz - great qwoffer [honourable mention]
  • 2009 Penny's Hill Grenache - Fleshy, sea salt and summer fruits
  • 2009 Chapel Hill Old Bush Vine Grenache - dried apricots, light confectionary
  • 2009 Kay Brothers Grenache - fairy floss, confectionary, lovely tannins and clean finish [GREAT DROP]
  • 2009 Shingleback Red Knot Grenache - Limestone & Orange
  • 2009 Maximus Cadenzia GSM - This is featuring on the PM's table [TOP PICK]
  • 2008 d'Arenberg Ironstone Pressing GSM - Love to see in 5-10 [honourable mention]
  • 2007 Yangarra High Sands Grenache - I can't believe there is no oak! [GREAT DROP]
McLaren Vale is the Italian to Barossa's German, expressing varieties that are best shared with food or at very least don't dominate them. I associate McLaren Vale with the fruity mid palate and the perfume. Grenache and Shiraz are the stand outs for mine, and obviously for the community of McLaren Vale with Scarce Earth and Cadenzia.

This is a region of olde favourites, namely:
  • d'Arenberg
  • Samuel's Gorge
  • Chapel Hill, and
  • Woodstock
but I will take it on that more attention needs to be given to some new finds:
  • DogRidge
  • Kay Brothers
  • Maxwell
  • Wirra Wirra
  • Yangarra
  • Penny's Hill
  • Mitolo
  • Paxton, and
  • Scarpantino
And that is all I have to say about the Vale...

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