This Week’s Wine Tasting
Pewsey Vale– “Louisa Rose, originally from the Yarra Valley and a cool climate enthusiast, has been making the Pewsey Vale wines since 1996. Working closely with Vineyard Manager Darrell Kruger, who has been associated with Pewsey Vale for more than 20 years, Louisa is a firm adherent to the philosophy that ‘wine is made in the vineyard’ – particularly Riesling which, she says, has a unique relationship with the site.
Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Rieslings are approachable wines renowned for their delicacy, finesse and intense lemon and lime characters. Grapes are left on the vines to achieve their full ripening potential, made possible by the cooler harvest conditions at the high altitude. Characteristics of Pewsey Vale Rieslings are the high levels of well-balanced acids which greatly contribute to the extraordinary ageing potential of these wines.”
Pewsey Vale Dry Riesling 2013– Eden Valley, Australia. “The 2013 Pewsey Vale Riesling is a classic example of dry Eden Valley Riesling, and shows the flavours we see so consistently each year from this wonderful single vineyard. A pale straw with green hues, the wine shows intense fruit aromas of talcum and lemon lime fruit, with a hint of overlaying dried herb. The palate shows great length and depth with limes, a hint of pineapple, white flowers and fresh rosemary. The wine finishes with a fresh natural acidity which balances the flavour intensity and a minerality that will reward medium to long-term cellaring.” $13.99
“Yalumba wines have a style all of their own and each have been influenced by a diverse range of elements. Elements Yalumba likes to call ‘the controllables’, such as the Yalumba Vine Nursery and on-site cooperage – as well as other factors that cannot be emulated by any other winery. Yalumba’s history and tradition combined with a reputation for innovation.
Louisa Rose – Chief Winemaker- “Whatever the Next Big Thing turns out to be, Louisa Rose will probably be the one who makes it.” Max Allen, The Weekend Australian magazine, 6-7 June 2009. Louisa Rose is one of Australia’s most experienced and talented winemakers. A particular focus for Louisa is the developmental work at Yalumba with Viognier, and the creation of ‘The Virgilius’ Viognier – Yalumba’s pre-eminent white wine. Louisa receives widespread recognition for her work with the variety, which is regularly considered to lead the industry.”
Yalumba Viognier The Y Series 2014– South Australia. “Pale straw with green hues. Honeysuckle and jasmine with poached quinces and mandarin peel. Grapefruit pith, lemongrass and stonefruit flavours while the texture adds layers of fruit persistence. The wild yeast fermentation and ageing on lees are responsible for delivering a rich silky mid palate whilst the wine maintains a refreshing quality that make it a pleasure to drink.” $12.99
Schild Estate– “Ben and Alma Schild first moved to the Barossa Valley from Lameroo in the Murray Mallee in 1952. The first vineyard that the family purchased is located up the top of Steingarten Road, near Rowland Flat, where the original homestead is still situated. In 1956 Ben Schild died suddenly and Ed, being the youngest of eight children and the only son to be living at home, stayed to run the family property at the age of 16.
Ed Schild’s enthusiasm for the region, its offerings and vineyards saw him steadily grow the landholdings of the Schild Family, which today encompasses over 450 acres under vine. Within this large amount of land is one small patch of 160 year old shiraz vines which produces the iconic Moorooroo Shiraz. Ed and Lorraine have four children and eight grandchildren which ensures a strong family focus within the winery today. In 1998 the Schild Estate label was established producing a total of 7 tonnes making 450 dozen and recently in the 2011 Vintage 600 Tonnes – 50,000 cases. So with that much work to do and so many family members, it sure makes for fun times in Lyndoch.”
Schild Estate GMS 2012– Barossa Valley, Australia. “This [unoaked] blend of Grenache (45%), Mourvedre (28%) and Shiraz (27%) is an homage to the great wines of the Southern Rhone but with a very Barossan accent. Colour: Dark cherry red, ruby. Bouquet: Vibrant red fruited aromas fresh cherries, red currant a and raspberries combine with some blue fruit notes upfront before a hint of stony minerality and subtle notes of pepper spice, lavender and garigue herb. Palate: Prominent, pillowy dark berry pastille fruit and some delicate soft tannins ensure an overriding sumptuous velvety feel to the wine. This envelopes a firm Mataro core driving down the middle and out the end of the palate to give some length, an additional layer of interest and provide some containment to the lovely dark fruit.” $13.99
Boxhead– “Research suggests a collaboration between square shaped skulls and the production of the finest produce. The squarer the head the better the wine. But why so many boxhead wine makers in the wine growing regions of South Australia? We may never know, but what we do is this; these wines are delicious and represent great value! The fact is that a number of German immigrants settled in South Australia and the natives as well as the English realized that the ‘square skull’ shaped Germans were much better at the farming thing than they were. Thus the cause/effect relationship of better grapes to ‘boxhead’ was apparent!
The aim is to produce a range of wines from South Australia that display all of the flavors the region can deliver at a price that won’t break the bank. Justin Lane, owner/winemaker of Alpha Box & Dice leads the Boxhead winemaking. Plainly said these are VARIETALLY CORRECT WINES that drink WELL above their price.”
Boxhead Shiraz 2012– McLaren Vale, South Australia. “1 site in the Barossa Valley, 2 sites in McLaren Vale, 1 site in Langhorne Creek. 100% Shiraz from vines that average 25 years old. Aged 9 months in seasoned French puncheons (80%) and stainless steel (20%). Saturated ruby [in color]. Floral, fragrant and fresh on the nose, displaying dark berry and oak spice aromas. Zesty blackberry and bitter cherry flavors show good clarity and lift thanks to juicy acidity. Deepens on the persistent finish, featuring peppery spice, vanilla and violet pastille notes.” $11.99
Small Gully– “Established in 1999, Small Gully was founded by vignerons, Robert Bader and Darren Zimmermann and winemaker Stephen Black. In 2002 a winery was built at Darren’s Marananga property, situated in a ‘small gully’ on Roennfeldt Road, Greenock in the Barossa Valley.
The people of Small Gully bring passion, experience and history to their winery. Robert started in the wine industry in 1981 whist the Zimmermann family has been growing grapes in the Barossa Valley since early last century. Darren and Robert have established superb low yielding Shiraz vineyards, producing super-premium fruit. Small parcels of Grenache, Mourvedre and Cabernet Sauvignon are also carefully selected from other local vineyards for the Small Gully wine range.”
Small Gully ‘The Formula’ Robert’s Shiraz 2012– South Australia. “100% Shiraz from Robert’s Vineyard, 47 year old vines. Aged for 36 months in seasoned American barrique. The Formula is the entry into Small Gully’s world. This wine is sourced from a single-vineyard that Robert Bader owns (hence the name – Robert’s Shiraz) located on the outer reaches of the Adelaide Plains. This was fermented on skin for 7 days. Stored for 36 months in barrel before bottling and another 10 months in bottle before release. Deep garnet-brick colored, this gives mature notes of leather, tobacco and stewed tea over dried cranberries, fruit cake and coffee. Rich, densely packed and full-bodied in the mouth, the voluptuous fruit is well-balanced by crisp acid and rounded tannins, finishing long and spicy.” $17.99
“Zonte’s Footstep is a proudly independent Australian wine company that takes much pride in their vineyards and wine, but not themselves, seriously. Zonte’s Footstep is named after a 19th century Zante currant vineyard, as new plantings follow the original footstep. The currant business dried up, but Zonte’s Footstep became the blueprint…Langhorne Creek is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions with a proud history of family owned vineyards. Founded on an ancient flood plain, Langhorne’s deep, fertile soils have supported thriving vines since the first plantings in the 1860s. Situated just a stone’s throw from the sea mouth of the River Murray, and in close proximity to Australia’s largest permanent freshwater lake, Lake Alexandria, Langhorne’s climate is heavily maritime influenced. Invariably warm and sunny days are moderated by cooling ocean and lake breezes, seeing this region commonly referred to as a “cool desert.”
Mr. Ben Riggs and Monsignor Zar Brooks teamed together with a group of mates to launch Zonte’s Footstep from vintage 2003 and the wines are now at the vanguard of a revolution of Australian wine styles.”
Zonte’s Footsteps ‘Avalon Tree’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2012– Fleurieu Peninsula, McLaren Vale, South Australia. “100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Avalon Tree Vineyard. Aged for 10 months in French barrique (15%). Cabernet is called the king of grapes and at Zonte’s Footstep it is so revered. Arthurian Legend had it that whoever could pull Excalibur from the stone ruled under the Avalon Tree would be king. The nose expands with notes of blueberries, then rolling smells of blackcurrants over rhubarb, rhubarb and thrice rhubarb smells and a little French oak cedar and clotted cream. The palate is direct, full and fine and precise Cabernet softness. A perfect Cabernet entry. No hollow Cabernet middle but instead rich soft mouth filling fruit, especially cassis and cedar. Juicy round blackberry sweetness, tempered with some taught tannin. Wonderful cigar box and supple fruit flavors continue through the complex and long, very long finish. Precise ‘line and length’ that lingers on and on with blackcurrant. Unctuous interesting complex but still will the fruit fullness of youth.” $17.99