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Saturday, 29 September 2012

Yering Station Village Chadonnay 2010, Yarra Valley, Australia

Yering Station Village Chadonnay 2010 from the Yarra Valley in Victoria, Australia is a pale lemon coloured wine with green tints, it has peach, melon and spice on the nose which is carried through to the palate which is rounded and etheral. The acidity saves this ripe, spicey fruit mix from being flabby and fat, the oak is obvious but cleverly integrated, it is sweet and structural, edgy winemaking at its best! Barrel fermantation is part of this wines make-up and this is where the nuts and creamy texture come from, 9 months maturation in barrel furthers the complexity of this wine and underwrites its longevity. The length is long and persistant, rounded sweet spices and white stone fruits with a little pear in the mix - a well crafted and exciting wine.Wild ferment yeast also helps to increase the layered interest.
Score : 83 and can be bought through Nywines at a cost of just over £14 per bottle.

About the Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley was Victoria's first wine growing district with a history stretching back 170 years. It is known as the birthplace of Victoria's wine industry. Vines were first planted in 1838 and viticulture spread rapidly through the 1860s and 1870s And is now recognised as one of Australia's foremost cool climate regions, capable of making classic styles from a wide range of varieties. It is located less than one hour's drive east of Melbourne and is currently home to more than 80 wineries and although grows many grapes successfully it is well known for its high quality for production of premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

The Yarra Valley is one of Australia's coolest regions, with elevation varying from 50 metres to 400 metres. Rainfall is winter/spring dominant, with the summer relatively cool, dry and humid and there is limited maritime influence a small diurnal temperature range reflects the proximity of the sea. Frost is rarely a problem, but can affect the lower vineyards on the valley floor from time to time. A rainfall of 750-950 millimetres and restricted water holding capacity in some soils, irrigation is considered essential − although the extent of its use does vary significantly between producers. Another  point worth noting is that the Yarra Valley is Phyloxera free.
Victoria's first vineyard, Yering Station, is located in the 'heart' of the Yarra Valley only one hours drive from Melbourne. As a family-owned winery and led by Winemaker Willy Lunn since 2008. It is set in a stunning location with breathtaking views, beautifully kept gardens and dramatic architecture.

Victoria’s first vineyard was planted at Yering Station in 1838. The Scottish-born Ryrie brothers ventured into the Yarra Valley as they moved their cattle south from Sydney. Taking up a grazing license of 43 000 acres, they named the property ‘Yering’, its Aboriginal name. The Ryrie’s planted two varieties, the Black Cluster of Hamburg and a white grape variety called Sweetwater. During the early 1850’s they returned to Sydney and Paul de Castella took ownership of Yering Station, developing the property from what remained primarily a cattle station into a landmark of winemaking in Victoria.

Paul de Castella arrived in the Yarra Valley after traveling from his home town- the Neuchatel district in Switzerland. Many Swiss settled in the Yarra Valley around this time due to the sympathetic presence of the Victorian Governor’s wife, Sophie La Trobe, who also came from the region. Without them, the story of wine in the Yarra Valley would have been very different.
By the early 20th century, the Yarra Valley wine industry was in decline. The phylloxera epidemic had destroyed many Victorian vineyards and although it never reached the Yarra Valley, economic and social factors (such as palate preference) impacted upon cool climate viticulture in Victoria. The Yarra Valley area returned to dairy farming. It was not until the early 1970’s that, in response to the changing cultural demands of the new generation, coupled with the growing success of other Australian regions, the Yarra Valley vineyards began to thrive once more.
After changing hands several times throughout the early-to-mid 1900’s, Yering Station was purchased by the Rathbone family in 1996. A further 100 acres of vines were planted and that same year a joint venture was signed with Champagne Devaux, a leading Champagne house in France, to make the now famed Yarrabank sparkling. The Rathbone family made plans for the development of a state-of-the-art winery to accommodate and complement the anticipated increase in winemaking standards. John Evans moved across from nearby Yarra Ridge to manage the expanding vineyards.

Melbourne architect Robert Conti was appointed and designs were laid to recreate Yering Station as a landmark tourist destination and key contributor to the international wine community.

mac forbes Chardonnay 2011 Yarra Valley Australia

mac forbes Chardonnay 2011 from the Yarra Valley in Victoria,  Australia is a cool vintage wine from a cool region, the restrained aromas of apples and zesty fruits with a hint of cheese is redeemed by the zesty acidity and citric appley flavours on the palate, the alcohol (11.8%) merely supports the structure which is streamlined and elegant, it has a minerality that could be described as wet stones.....  and has clarity - a style that has been aimed at and acheived! The finish is long and sharp fruits are present, slightly acidic - but for food - great.
'Chablis'esk' in style.
Score : 84 and is available from Slurp at a cost of £20.55.

Mac's 2011 Yarra Chardonnay is a blend of the declassified barrels, mainly from the Hoddles Creek and Woori Yallock sites in the cooler upper Yarra Valley. These sites are renowned for producing grapes with citrus flavours and high natural acidity at moderate sugar levels. The grapes for this wine were de-stemmed and crushed before pressing. The juice was cold settled overnight before being racked to barrel for fermentation. Post fermentation the lees were stirred every two weeks until spring. The final new oak component of the wine is roughly 14%. Mac has a Europhile approach to wine making: early harvesting, natural acidity, his search for cool sites, and a relative absence of new oak.

The Yarra Valley was Victoria's first wine growing district with a history stretching back 170 years. It is known as the birthplace of Victoria's wine industry. Vines were first planted in 1838 and viticulture spread rapidly through the 1860s and 1870s And is now recognised as one of Australia's foremost cool climate regions, capable of making classic styles from a wide range of varieties. It is located less than one hour's drive east of Melbourne and is currently home to more than 80 wineries and although grows many grapes successfully it is well known for its high quality for production of premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

The Yarra Valley is one of Australia's coolest regions, with elevation varying from 50 metres to 400 metres. Rainfall is winter/spring dominant, with the summer relatively cool, dry and humid and there is limited maritime influence a small diurnal temperature range reflects the proximity of the sea. Frost is rarely a problem, but can affect the lower vineyards on the valley floor from time to time. A rainfall of 750-950 millimetres and restricted water holding capacity in some soils, irrigation is considered essential − although the extent of its use does vary significantly between producers. Another  point worth noting is that the Yarra Valley is Phyloxera free.
mac forbes - what people say!
“Mac Forbes is one of the young guns of the Yarra Valley; he was winemaker at Mount Mary for several years before heading to Europe, returning in time for the ’05 vintage.” James Halliday, The Australian
“[Mac Forbes] is a young leader of the movement toward bright, fresh Yarra wines from cool sites.” ‘2010 Wineries to Watch’, Wine & Spirits Magazine

“Mac Forbes, good dude and modern day Bourke and Wills for the ‘elusive sites’, has done much for sexing up the Yarra Valley region’s ability to do great things with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. He fiddles, he fossicks, he sources, he has nice hair. Who doesn’t like nice hair? Meanwhile, the wine itself is notable for finding that tenuous balance between herbal/cool climate influence and the pure, ripe, expressive fruit component.” Mike Bennie, The Wine Front, March 2011

Paringa Estate Chardonnay 2008 Mornington Peninsula Australia


Paringa Estate Chardonnay 2008 from the cool region of Red Hill in Mornington Peninsula  in Victoria, Australia is a wine with character. It has punchy aromas of tropical fruits and spice, it comes from the warmer 2008 vintage and the tropical elements may be attributed to this.
There is a silky texture on the palate which has apple, melon with a hint of pithy grapefruit especially on the finish, the vanilla and spice intermingle comfortably and there is a developed character which adds butterscotch and honey to the fray - though the wine is dry. The acidity is freshening and the alcohol feels bang on. This beautifully textured wine has a long length with spicey peaches at the end, warm and rich.
The wine making included - 100% destemmed and cold soaked for 1-2 days. Each fermenter was hand plunged 3 times per day. Several days of post-ferment maceration then pressed to tank (1 day) and barrel for malolactic. 50% was aged in new French oak barriques and 50% in 1st and 2nd use barrels for 10 months.
Score : 84 and it is available from Swig at £36.

The Mornington Peninsula wine region lies to the South East of Melbourne and is bounded by Port Phillip and Westernport Bays and so has a true maritime climate which modifies the temperature range and provides relatively high summer humidity hence vine stress is low, sunshine hours are abundant, and rainfall is plentiful during winter and spring, a great growing enviroment.

It also leads to late ripening, a prolonged gentle autumn leads to fully ripe grapes with outstanding fruit flavours, high natural acidity and fine tannins. This is perfect for Chardonnay, but over the last century many have tried to grow grapes here without little success as matching the variety to climate is never more important than here. Here the average vine age is 15 - 20 years. The soil on all 3 vineyards is deep red volcanic clay that allows dry land growing (no irrigation).


About the Paringa Estate
The Paringa Estate was founded in 1984 by Lindsay McCall when he purchased a derelict orchard in 1984 on Paringa Road, Red Hill South. Lindsay continued his day job of teaching while he set about planting the first vines in 1985 - the first vintage was in 1988 and was just a mere 3 tonnes  In 1996, Lindsay gave up teaching to focus entirely on Paringa Estate and making great wines. Twenty-five years on the production is now 200 tonnes and Paringa Estate is one of the most highly awarded wineries in Australia regularly winning gold trophies for their Shiraz, Pinot Noirs and Chardonnay.

Lindsay believes that great wine is made in the vineyard. After struggling with vine vigour in the early years and discovering that the vines needed room to find their natural balance, he implemented the rarely seen Lyre trellis system.  Each vine is split horizontally resulting in two parallel canopies allowing maximum light exposure to both fruit and leaves. The quality of fruit that this produces is second to none.

When it comes to winemaking Lindsay’s philosophy is fairly basic – the aim is to preserve the unique fruit qualities of each variety and allow the wines to express the individual ‘terroir’ of Paringa Estate. The wine processed in small batches - plunging and management of the ferments is all done by hand and most recently, Lindsay has been experimenting with natural yeasts.

Philip Shaw The Architect Chardonnay 2011 Orange Australia


Orange, New South Wales - Originally known as the Central Highlands, the region centres on the slopes of Mount Canobolas an experimental viticultural station was established at nearby Molong in the 1940s, but vines were first planted commercially in 1980. The region's elevation strongly influences the climate and the soils are variable. Overall, mild to warm midsummer mean temperatures, seldom rising above 32°C, but offset by cool / cold nights during the growing season hence keeping fresh acidity in the grapes. Rainfall is predominately in winter and springand  the three driest months are February, March and April hence irrigation is highly desirable. The strong winds reduce the risk of frost but they also hinder fruit set. Another problem that this area ( like quite a few in the cooler Australian growing regions) has are flocks of feeding birds – netting is used by some growers as a necessity. Chardonnay is the most established variety in the Orange region and is noted for its bright elegant styles. It is well suited to the varying altitudes and conditions.
Philip Shaw The Architect Chardonnay 2011  is medium lemon with a limey green tinge, on the nose are subtle aromas of green apple and peaches, on the palate the same fruits exhibit themselves with a sneaky cheesey nuance, this wine has had oak contact - but it is subtle older oak and has a fattness that enrobes the wines flavours. Fresh acidity keeps this wine clean and would work well with food, the alcohol embellishes rather than dominates - a nicely made wine. The maker comments on the production methods 'Fermentation occurred utilising yeast from the vineyard at a moderate temperature taking about 14 days to complete. The wine remained on yeast lees for 6 months in old French oak barrels and small stainless tanks. This allowed a build up of complexity without a noticeable amount of oak character.' The finish is peach and apple with a slightly acidc end. 
This is a wine that will keep - so look forward to drinking it over the next few years.
Score : 82
This is available from Amazon at a cost of £13.30.

 

John Duval Plexus SGM 2008 Barossa Valley, Australia

One of the world's great winemakers, John Duval of Grange left Penfolds to start out on his own with the 2003 vintage, sourcing fruit from some long-time friends in the Barossa. His red wines - a Shiraz and a Shiraz/Grenache/Mourvedre blend - are sourced from old Barossa vines aged between 50 and 100 years old and showcase the best of the Barossa region. Sourced from old vineyards in the Krondorf, Marananga, Tanunda, Light Pass and Eden Valley regions of the Barossa.



These grapes were sourced from vineyards in the Stockwell, Light Pass, Krondorf and Marananga regions. Grenache from old bush vines 50-60 years old from Stockwell, Light Pass and the Krondorf regions. Mourvèdre (Mataro) from old bush vines, the oldest over 100 years old, from the Light Pass and Krondorf regions. 53% Shiraz, 26% Grenache, 21% Mourvedre
The vintage started with favourable flowering conditions, a nice surprise after the 2007 drought year. After a few hot days in December, January and February were relatively mild with excellent conditions for ripening. The vintage started with Shiraz from the Krondorf region on 5th February, four days earlier than 2007. By the end of February all of the best Shiraz blocks were harvested, meaning they avoided the heat wave experienced in Southern Australia in early March. With careful vineyard monitoring, Grenache and Mourvèdre were harvested before they became over ripe.
Fermentation with submerged cap in both traditional old open and small stainless steel fermenters. 100% barrel matured for 16 months. Some Shiraz finished fermentation in new oak. 10% new, fine grain, French oak hogsheads (300 litres), with the balance matured in three year and older, mostly French, oak.
John Duval Plexus SGM 2008 from the Barossa Valley in South Australia is a deep, deep ruby colour, the rim is narrow and again deep ruby. Intense aromas of ripe black cherry, plum, chocolate, coffee all encased in savoury leather and earthy spice, this leads to juicy fruits on the palate, again cherry and black berries, the tannins are finely etched and have a little grip but are deeply savoury, they add structure to this already complex array, the acidity is perky and the alcohol and body complete the balance. The length is long and stylish with drive and persistence finishing in spice encased fruits. The oak used adds a polish and additional layers of complexity, this wine has pedigree and integrity, the mature smoothness is a joy!
Score : 91



The Barossa Valley has a great winemaking and grape growing heritage dating back to 1842 with a German influence who first settled here from Silesia and is home to some of the oldest vines in the world. In some families, there have been six generations of grape growers and winemakers. German culinary traditions and Lutheranism are still important aspects of the local culture; Barossa Valley even has its own German dialect, "Barossa Deutsch." Johann Gramp is said to have planted one of the first vineyards in the area, near Jacob's Creek. The Aldenhoven brothers and Joseph Gilbert are also thought to be some of the first growers in the Barossa Valley. Around the same time, Dr. Christopher Penfold moved to the valley, bringing with him some vine cuttings from France. He planted them near his new house and became a grower as well as a physician. Several other vineyards were established in those early years, including Joseph Seppelt's Seppeltsfield and Auguste Fiedler's vineyard, now part of the Château Tanunda estate.


The Barossa Valley is about 35 miles northeast of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. The North Para River runs through the middle of the region. The climate is ideal for full bodied red wines, fortified wines and robust white wines and is said to be Mediterranean, but some of the higher areas can bedescribed as Continental. Barossa Valley is about 35 miles northeast of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. The North Para River runs through the middle of the region.
The region produces a great variety of wine, with the main styles being Chardonnay, Riesling, Semillon, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. One important fact is that the Barossa Valley is Phyllowera free due to strict quarantine rules and working with local residents and visitors, South Australia even has an official board dedicated to these tasks, the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia, which works with growers and winemakers to prevent infestations and promote use of phylloxera- and nematode-resistant rootstocks. The first vines planted were of course Phylloxera free.
Barossa ValleyShiraz: Shiraz is recognized universally as the Barossa Valleys signature wine. The wines are lush, velvety and mouth-filling. The flavours range from black cherries to blackberries and the tannins are generally ripe and soft.

Awards :




SILVER - Decanter World Wine Awards 2011

SILVER - Sommelier Wine Awards 2011


Reviews this wine has received.

95 points James Halliday
 Purple-red; Barossa Valley blends of Shiraz/Grenache/Mourvedre seldom have the poise, conviction or richness of this wine; the flavours are multilayered yet not the least jammy, the tannins particularly good, the length all one can ask for. Screwcap.

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
 The 2008 Plexus Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre is a decidedly Shiraz dominant version of this classic blend. Deep garnet-purple colored, it gives an abundance of Indian spice aromas - cumin seed, fenugreek and cloves - over raspberry cordial, preserved blackberry, dusty earth, powdered cinnamon and moss covered tree bark. The full-bodied palate displays the elegance of this blend in its effortless harmony, offering a medium-high level of very fine tannins, crisp acid and ample opulent flesh with a long finish. Drink it now to 2018+. With 35 years in the winemaking business under his belt, nearly 30 of which were spent making Grange and developing the RWT label at Penfolds, John Duval is a bit of an Australian wine legend. (93+)  (12/ 2010) 
                                             
93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
 Inky ruby. Expressive black raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by black and white pepper and incense. A floral note comes up air and carries onto the palate, joining sweet red and dark berry preserve flavors and undertones of anise and candied rose. A hint of candied flowers lingers on a very long, sappy finish. I'd have no problem drinking this now. For a wine from a ripe vintage this is quite elegant.  (8/ 2010) 
                                             
90 points Wine Enthusiast
 For the past several years, Duval's Plexus has been remarkably consistent in quality. The only indication here that 2008 was a difficult vintage (because of the heat) is this wine's creamy immediacy, which suggests early consumption (now-2015). The blackberry fruit is fresh and briary, spiced with hints of cedar and vanilla; lush and long on the finish.  (12/ 2010) 
                                             
Wine & Spirits
 This is a warm Barossa blend of Shiraz (53 percent) with Grenache and Mourvedre. It's filled with spicy red raspberry jam flavors and some deeper blue fruit, a bloody, rich red for the grill.  (10/ 2010)


Friday, 28 September 2012

Mitolo GAM Shiraz 2009 McLaren Vale Australia

Mitolo GAM Shiraz 2009 from the McLaren Vale in Southern Australia  is a wine I tasted recently, with a deep ruby with a narrow ruby rim, the nose of concentrated red and black berry fruit overlaid with cooked tomatoe, some dried fruit elements and a whiff of medical bandage. On the palate once more the same satisfyingly ripe fruits plus black juicy cherries, concentrated and spicey with a savoury twang - game and beef rolled up together. The tannins were silky ripe, fine etched and added sound structure to the velvet textured wines. This grapes are grown at sea level about 4 km from the moderating ocean (cool afternoons and cold nights) and this leads to the concentrated flavours obvious on nose and palate.An elegant wine with seductive packed in fruit, with the red and black fruits vying for attention and the spice adding yet another layer to this complex big wine.
This wine can be purchased from Slurp at a cost of £24.95.
Score : 91


Mitolo is a family owned winery established in 1999 by Frank Mitolo. His vision is to create individual, handcrafted premium wines built on passion and an uncompromising commitment to quality. Winemaker Ben Glaetzer became a partner in the business in 2001. The fusion of Frank's intimate knowledge of the land and business acumen with Ben's winemaking talent has led to the creation of one of Australia's most exciting wineries.



The G.A.M. Shiraz comes from the Lopresti vineyard, specifically the Chinese Block, which is located in the Willunga district at the southern end of McLaren Vale. The soils are heavy grey loam over sandstone intermixed with black Biscay clay, a hungry earth which naturally controls yield. The climate mirrors that of the Mediterranean, with dry warm days and cool nights resulting in a long, even growing season with little disease pressure. Yield was around 5.75 tonnes per hectare from vines with an average age of 20 years old.
Each parcel of fruit for G.A.M. was fermented on the skins for ten days at cool and warm temperatures. The lower temperature helped make the finished wine more approachable and the higher temperature gave more structure. The wine underwent partial barrel fermentation followed by natural malolactic fermentation before racking. It was aged aged in fine grained oak predominantly hogsheads (70% new being a blend of 80% French and 20% French coopered American oak, plus 30% being one and two year old French/American oak) for 18 months.

McLaren Vale is one of South Australia's oldest and most picturesque regions, nestled between the Mount Lofty Ranges and the white, sandy beaches of the Gulf of St Vincent. It has rolling vineyards, a rugged coastline and a charming collective of villages including Willunga, Clarendon, Kangarilla, Sellicks, Port Willunga, McLaren Flat and the township of McLaren Vale.



There is substantial climatic variation throughout McLaren Vale, due to varying exposure to the cooling influence of the nearby ocean. There are also significant changes in altitude as the region merges with the Adelaide Hills to the East and the Fleurieu Peninsula to the South.  Summer rainfall is low, and supplementary irrigation is considered essential. Site selection and the marriage of site to variety are all-important; Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay all do very well in the appropriate location and with the wide variety of soils  - red-brown sandy loams, grey-brown loamy sands with yellow clay subsoils interspersed with lime, distinctly sandy soils and patches of red or black friable loams are all to be found and again the grape to soil mix is all important. 




 



 


 



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 







 

 

 

 

 

 

 



John Duval Entity Shiraz 2009 Barossa Valley Australia


John Duval Entity Shiraz 2009
A deep ruby core has exciting and complex aromas of black and red berry fruits, spice, tobacco and a hint of game. The aromas lead to similar flavours on the palate with spice and mint intermingled with the vibrant elegant fruit, the fine etched tannins have a savoury grip and act as structural support for the body of the wine, underpinned by fresh acidity underwrites this wines longevity. The alcohol at 14.5% seems well tucked in and enriches the wine which is not overawed by its strength. This wine has elegance and freshness, careful making has made this wine what it is - enjoy it for some time to come. You can buy this from Slurp at £24.90 or the 2008 from Divine Wine at £21.95 - do!
Score : 90
Other reviews.
96pts “Crimson-purple; the perfumed bouquet proclaims the class of the wine, it’s array of blackberry, plum and spice fruit duly delivered on the medium-bodied palate; silky tannins and quality oak complete the picture.”
James Halliday, 2012 The Wine Companion

93pts “Bright purple. Black raspberry, cherry and violet on the nose, complicated by bitter chocolate, minerals and cracked pepper. Juicy and precise, with strong spicy lift to its red berry compote flavors. Not an overly rich style of shiraz, but offers a silky texture and serious depth of flavor. Finishes long, with fine-grained tannins and lingering red fruit and pepper notes.”
Josh Raynolds , Steven Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar – New York July 2011

 
One of the world's great winemakers, John Duval of Grange left Penfolds to start out on his own with the 2003 vintage, sourcing fruit from some long-time friends in the Barossa. His red wines - a Shiraz and a Shiraz/Grenache/Mourvedre blend - are sourced from old Barossa vines aged between 50 and  100 years old and showcase the best of the Barossa region. Sourced from old vineyards in the Krondorf, Marananga, Tanunda, Light Pass and Eden Valley regions of the Barossa.


The 2009 vintage was very successful with some excellent wines made. After the extreme temperature of the second half of the 2008 vintage average, rainfall over winter and follow up rains of 100mm in November and December replenished water reserves. This was followed by a period of hot weather in late January, lasting through to early February. Conditions from then on were favourable with no extreme heat and little rain until late April. Vintage started two weeks later than 2007 and 2008 with yields generally down. Shiraz yields were particularly down, the lowest since 2003. 
 
Traditional, low intervention winemaking techniques were employed with Entity. Fermentation was with submerged cap in both traditional old open and small stainless steel fermenters. The wine underwent 100% barrel maturation for 18 months, with 39% in new fine grain French oak and the balance in two, three and four year old French oak hogsheads (300 litres).
 
The Barossa Valley has a great winemaking and grape growing heritage dating back to 1842 with a German influence who first settled here from Silesia and is home to some of the oldest vines in the world. In some families, there have been six generations of grape growers and winemakers. German culinary traditions and Lutheranism are still important aspects of the local culture; Barossa Valley even has its own German dialect, "Barossa Deutsch." Johann Gramp is said to have planted one of the first vineyards in the area, near Jacob's Creek. The Aldenhoven brothers and Joseph Gilbert are also thought to be some of the first growers in the Barossa Valley. Around the same time, Dr. Christopher Penfold moved to the valley, bringing with him some vine cuttings from France. He planted them near his new house and became a grower as well as a physician. Several other vineyards were established in those early years, including Joseph Seppelt's Seppeltsfield and Auguste Fiedler's vineyard, now part of the Château Tanunda estate.
The Barossa Valley is about 35 miles northeast of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. The North Para River runs through the middle of the region. The climate is ideal for full bodied red wines, fortified wines and robust white wines and is said to be Mediterranean, but some of the higher areas can bedescribed as Continental. Barossa Valley is about 35 miles northeast of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. The North Para River runs through the middle of the region.
The region produces a great variety of wine, with the main styles being Chardonnay, Riesling, Semillon, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. One important fact is that the Barossa Valley is Phyllowera free due to strict quarantine rules and working with local residents and visitors, South Australia even has an official board dedicated to these tasks, the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia, which works with growers and winemakers to prevent infestations and promote use of phylloxera- and nematode-resistant rootstocks. The first vines planted were of course Phylloxera free.
Barossa Valley Shiraz: Shiraz is recognized universally as the Barossa Valleys signature wine. The wines are lush, velvety and mouth-filling. The flavours range from black cherries to blackberries and the tannins are generally ripe and soft. Many of the wines have

 
 


 

 
 

 

 

 

 


 

 




 




 


 




 
 

 

 


Mitchell McNicol Shiraz 2002 Clare Valley Australia


The Clare Valley is less than a two-hour drive from Adelaide and is considered one of the most picturesque wine regions in South Australia. James Halliday ( Wine Companion ) described the Clare Valley as one of Australia’s most beautiful wine-producing regions where Hills fold in on themselves, streamlets meander and lines of gumtrees are forever twisting through pockets of vineyards and around old stone houses.

Situated in the northern Mt Lofty Ranges, South Australia’s Clare Valley was settled in the late 1830s, with the first vineyards planted and wines produced in the early 1840s. The same features that make the Clare Valley inherently beautiful are also the foundation of Clare’s famed vineyards. The climate features a warm to hot summer where cool afternoon breezes are the key and play a major role in slowing down the ripening process, but cooling afternoon breezes play a major role in slowing down the ripening process. altitude and position within the Valley, as well as aspect, lead to considerable variations in individual site climate. The climate is moderately Continental, with cool to cold nights and warm to hot summer days. The rainfall is winter-spring dominant, while relatively low humidity (and summer rainfall) means a low incidence of fungal disease. Hence some of Australia's finest Riesling is grown in the Clare Valley, and the region also produces many other wine styles, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.


Mitchell McNicol Shiraz 2002 has been released to commemorate Andrew's father, Peter McNicol Mitchell. The Shiraz fruit selected from the Mitchell vineyards are from mature, dry grown, low yielding vineyards in the Clare Valley that have great ageing potential and the wine itself once made has been stored at the winery whilst it reaches full maturity, this is unusual in an Australian wine, normally released when made..... 
This  wine has is very deep ruby core with a wide rim, uplifting notes of black cherry, blackcurrant, spice,  chocolate and white pepper are released and on tasting it - the same flavours with some additional vanilla and smokey cedar box nuances. The firm tannic grip is ripe but obvious, the acidity frames the fruit while the alcohol (14.5%) enrobes the body of the wine ( balanced and integrated), the length is long and the vibrant fruit which is juicy and fresh stays to the end with the warmth of the spices. This needs to be kept for 3-6 years to reach its full potential - Enjoy!
You can buy this in the Uk from Portland Wine for £21.95.
Score : 90

Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2011 Australia

Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2011 from Hilltops in New South Wales in Australia, Clonakilla literally means ‘meadow of the church’ and is the name of the founder’s grandfather’s farm in County Clare, Ireland. Dr John Kirk founded Clonakilla vineyard at Murrumbateman, 40 kilometres north of Canberra. In 1997 Tim Kirk, the fourth of John's six sons, took over the responsibility for winemaking.

The grapes for this Shiraz were selected from three vineyards in the Hilltops district around Young in New South Wales, the Canberra District .s closest neighbouring wine region. Soils are deep red loam over light clay, giving distinctive blackberry and blackcurrant notes to the wine.
The grapes were destemmed and fermented warm together with no bunches. The wine was matured for 11 months in French oak, 15% new. The wine was racked once during its maturation in oak and bottled in late February 2012.










This wine is a medium ruby core with wide ruby rim and with slow legs. The 2011 was a cool vintage and produced elegant fine structured wines ( and not as deep as the norm for this wine). The wine has black and red berry aromas on top of floral notes (violets), followed by a black pepper edge and a certain meatiness. On the palate, savoury ripe tannins enrobe the black berry and red currant flavours, there is fresh acidity  and the alcohol feels low and structural (12%). There once more is a fine floral note and a herbal sandalwood edge, this feels elegant, multilayered and complex on the mouth and the length is long with finely etched flavours. There is a perfumed quality to this wine that hints at a Viognier content - Shiraz Viognier a common mix - but this could be from the cool vintage.
This is available to purchase from Slurp at a cost of £16.95.
Score : 86

Logan Shiraz 2009, Orange, Australia

Logan Shiraz 2009 from Orange in New South Wales, Australia.  Orange - originally known as the Central Highlands, is centred on the slopes of Mount Canobolas where an experimental viticultural station was established at nearby Molong in the 1940s, with vines first planted commercially in 1980.
The region's elevation lying at about 6-800m strongly influences 'the climate' and the area has variable soils. Overall, mild to warm midsummer mean temperatures, seldom rising above 32°C, but offset by cool / cold nights during the growing season to keep fresh acidity in the grapes. Rainfall is predominately in winter and spring with  the three driest months are February, March and April hence irrigation is highly desirable. The strong winds reduce the risk of frost but they also hinder fruit set. Another problem that this area has ( like quite a few in the cooler Australian growing regions)  are flocks of feeding birds – netting is used by some growers as a necessity.
The vines here are 15 years old and planted in rich, deep volcanic soils on the north-facing slopes of Mount Canobolas. After crushing, the grapes were seeded with FX10 yeast.Fermentation was in a combination of small open fermenters which were plunged twice per day and large rotary fermenters, spun twice per day. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation in tank before being racked to oak barrels. Maturation was for 15 months in French and Hungarian oak hogshead (300L) and puncheon (500L) barrels (a mixture of new, one, two and three year old).
Logan Shiraz 2009 is a wine to try - it is deep, deep ruby with black tints, and the legs are slow fat and coloured! On the nose luscious, vibrant ripe plums, black cherry and a hint of pepper with mint. Tasting it did not disappoint, the black fruits ( cherry, currant, berry ) are supported wonderfully by the fresh acidity and well defined, ripe, silky tannins. There is a spicey, minty edge to this wine that adds extra complexity and the alcohol feels in balance ( 14%) and well integrated. The length is long and has  spice and ripe fruit end! A deep chocolatey wine that has fresh warmth and feels well balanced, I look forward to trying this over the next 5 or so years.


 

Jacobs Creek Steingarten Riesling 2011 Barossa, South Australia


Jacobs Creek Steingarten Riesling 2011 from the Barossa Valley in South Australia and the tanslation of Steingarten is 'garden full of stones'. The 2011 vintage was the 35th birthday of the wine brand Jacob’s Creek which is now part of the Pernod Ricard portfolio. This wine has a pale lemon green core and a water white rim - the aromas are low and of citrus, apricot and red apple - riper than some of the Rieslings from the Clare/Eden Valleys but on the mouth there is great fresh acidity and the alcohol is low ( 10.8%), flavours of lemon, lime and apricot are of moderate concentration with a smattering of minerality, but not as zesty or intense as others tasted of the same vintage and seemed tight and un-giving at this point in its development, the length was good but had an acidic finish - so again disappointing. I had heard good things about the Jacobs Creek Steingarten, maybe this just needs keeping (and it does have the right character for ageing up to 15-20 years) or maybe this was not the best vintage for it - I shall have to keep trying!!
Score : 84 but do visit a vertical tasting of the Steingarten Rieslings.
The Barossa Valley has a great winemaking and grape growing heritage dating back to 1842 when settlers from Silesia came with their  German influence, and is home to some of the oldest vines in the world. In some families, there have been six generations of grape growers and winemakers. German culinary traditions and Lutheranism are still important aspects of the local culture; Barossa Valley even has its own German dialect, "Barossa Deutsch."  
Johann Gramp, 28 year old,  is said to have planted one of the first vineyards in the area, near Jacob's Creek. The Aldenhoven brothers and Joseph Gilbert are also thought to be some of the first growers in the Barossa Valley. Around the same time, Dr. Christopher Penfold moved to the valley, bringing with him some vine cuttings from France. He planted them near his new house and became a grower as well as a physician. Several other vineyards were established in those early years, including Joseph Seppelt's Seppeltsfield and Auguste Fiedler's vineyard, now part of the Château Tanunda estate.
The Barossa Valley is about 35 miles northeast of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. The North Para River runs through the middle of the region. The climate is ideal for full bodied red wines, fortified wines and robust white wines and is said to be Mediterranean, but some of the higher areas can be described as Continental.
The Barossa region produces a great variety of wine, with the main styles being Chardonnay, Riesling, Semillon, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.  One important fact is that the Barossa Valley is Phyllowera free due to strict quarantine rules and working with local residents and visitors, South Australia even has an official board dedicated to these tasks, the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia, which works with growers and winemakers to prevent infestations and promote use of phylloxera- and nematode-resistant rootstocks. The first vines planted were of course Phylloxera free.
This Riesling is available from Halisham Cellars at a cost of £15.95 and the 2007 vintage from Tesco's at a similar cost..



Thursday, 27 September 2012

Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2011 Clare Valley, South Australia

Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2011 made by Jeffrey Grosset in the Clare Valley in South Australia. He established his winery in 1981 in the historic township of Auburn, Clare Valley, 100 kilometres north of Adelaide. He is best known for his iconic Rieslings - Polish Hill and Springvale - and he has almost single-handedly been responsible for the renaissance of Clare Valley Riesling.

The Clare Valley is less than a two-hour drive from Adelaide and is considered one of the most picturesque wine regions in South Australia. James Halliday ( Wine Companion ) described the Clare Valley as one of Australia’s most beautiful wine-producing regions where Hills fold in on themselves, streamlets meander and lines of gumtrees are forever twisting through pockets of vineyards and around old stone houses.

Situated in the northern Mt Lofty Ranges, South Australia’s Clare Valley was settled in the late 1830s, with the first vineyards planted and wines produced in the early 1840s. The same features that make the Clare Valley inherently beautiful are also the foundation of Clare’s famed vineyards. The climate features a warm to hot summer where cool afternoon breezes are the key and play a major role in slowing down the ripening process. The altitude and position within the Valley, as well as aspect, lead to considerable variations in individual site climate. The climate is moderately Continental, with cool to cold nights and warm to hot summer days. The rainfall is winter-spring dominant, while relatively low humidity (and summer rainfall) means a low incidence of fungal disease. Hence some of Australia's finest Rieslings are grown in the Clare Valley, but the region also produces many other wine styles, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
Located at the base of Mount Horrocks, at an elevation of 460 metres, the Polish Hill vineyard is a hard rock site with shallow shale and a crust of clay marl over slate. These thin soils hamper the roots downward development, so the vines struggle. Relatively close-planted (by Australian standards), a modified ballerina. training system provides ideal exposure. The fruit is typically small, in berry and bunch size. Natural composting and hand-tending have been practiced since 1996. Careful vineyard management has helped keep the fruit quality high in this vintage.

All grapes were hand picked and vines hand pruned, shoot thinned and fruit thinned where necessary. Innoculated with neutral yeast  to help maintain focus on natural fruit characters and expression of terroir. Fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, with neutral yeast at relatively high temperatures (15 - 18°C). There was no skin contact, and only the free-run juice was used. Fermented to dryness <1g/L residual sugar. No fining was necessary.




This wine had a light, quite tight aroma, hovering minerality gave a hint at the quality. On the palate zesty acidity, dry flavours of lime, lemon and pink grapefruit, stunning texture and a fresh long clean finish, this wine was pointed and quite angular and needed time in bottle to knit together completely and produce the great wine it is to become. Available from Majestic Wine at a cost of £25.
Score : 85
 



 
 


 



 


 



 

 

 


Mount Horrocks Watervale Riesling 2011 Clare Valley South Australia

Mount Horrocks Watervale Riesling 2011 from the Clare Valley in South Australia.
Mount Horrocks Wines is run by proprietor/winemaker Stephanie Toole who restricts production to approximately 4,500 cases per annum so as to achieve her aims of quality and single vineyard expression. She describes her wines as .essentially hand made food wines with an emphasis on structure as well as generous fruit flavours.. All grapes are 100% estate grown from three separate vineyard sites totalling nearly 10 hectares in the Clare Valley and the 26-year-old low yielding unirrigated Watervale vineyards are east facing, with a mixture of red loam, loamy/clay and marl soils.
The Clare Valley is less than a two-hour drive from Adelaide and is considered one of the most picturesque wine regions in South Australia.  James Halliday ( Wine Companion ) described the Clare Valley as one of Australia’s most beautiful wine-producing regions where Hills fold in on themselves, streamlets meander and lines of gumtrees are forever twisting through pockets of vineyards and around old stone houses.

Situated in the northern Mt Lofty Ranges, South Australia’s Clare Valley was settled in the late 1830s, with the first vineyards planted and wines produced in the early 1840s. The same features that make the Clare Valley inherently beautiful are also the foundation of Clare’s famed vineyards. The climate features a warm to hot summer where cool afternoon breezes are the key and play a major role in slowing down the ripening process, but cooling afternoon breezes play a major role in slowing down the ripening process. altitude and position within the Valley, as well as aspect, lead to considerable variations in individual site climate. The climate is moderately Continental, with cool to cold nights and warm to hot summer days. The rainfall is winter-spring dominant, while relatively low humidity (and summer rainfall) means a low incidence of fungal disease.  Hence some of Australia's finest Riesling is grown in the Clare Valley, and the region also produces many other wine styles, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.  
This wines grapes were crushed and de-stemmed and the must fermented in stainless steel tanks at 14-16°C over a two to three week period. The juice was inoculated with a mixture of champagne yeasts plus other neutral yeasts and fermented to dryness. No malolactic fermentation occurred.
This wine has a low aroma of apples, peaches and more than a smattering of minerality, there is also a slightly tropical note that develops as it warms to room temperature. On the mouth, the dry wine is fresh with concentrated, elegant acidity, flavours of key limes, green apples and the texture is silky and slightly waxy in the mouth. The length is good with a true lime end - a lovely crafted wine with lots to offer. Available from Slurp at a cost of £15.95.
Score : 86