January 28, evening at the Bushlen Mowatt Gallery. It was raining outside, but warm and bright inside the Gallery. This evening’s tasting was a regional round-up of Australian wines. The regions, and subregions, covered in this tasting were:
- South Australia
- Eden Valley
- Clare Valley
- Barossa Valley
- Langhorne Creek
- McLaren Vale
- Adelaide Hills
- New South Wales
- Hunter Valley
- Western Australia
- Margaret River
- Mornington Peninsula
- Goulburn Valley / Nagambie Lakes
- Yarra Valley
There was at least one wine from each sub-region that evening. I tried to sample every wine but there were too many, so if a wine you liked did not make my list, it could be that I did not have a chance to try it that evening.
South Australia produces most of Australia’s wines, and have many of the best known regions such as the Barossa Valley and the Coonawarra region. My picks from SOUTH AUSTRALIA are:
Jim Barry ‘The Cover Drive’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (Clare Valley) $28.99 – This wine was deep purple in the glass. Ripe cassis fruit aroma. Round mouthfeel with medium acidity and raspberry flavour. A full bodied Cabernet that is more well-known in my opinion for riesling.
Yalumba “Patchwork” Barossa Shiraz 2008 (Barossa Valley) $25.99 – Another deep purple wine. Rich cassis aroma. Full body with coffee, black fruit and spice. Medium tannins.
Peter Lehmann “The Futures” Barossa Shiraz 2007 (Barossa Valley) $29.99 – More deep purple shiraz in the glass. Meaty and chocolate on the nose. Spicy, chocolate and very fruity with firm tannins.
Bleasdale “Potts’ Catch” Verdelho 2009 (Langhorne Creek) $15.99 – Verdelho is a white grape that is originally from Portugal and used in making Madeira wine. Wine produced from the Verdelho grape can be lemony, crisp and refreshing. It’s character can vary from herbaceous, when grown in cooler vineyards or picked earlier, to tropical fruit, when coming from warmer vineyards or when picked at full maturity. This wine was watery in colour. Some light lime and lees on the nose. Good acidity with apple, lime and spice. Think about this one for summer.
Penfolds Bin 128 Shiraz 2007 (Coonawarra) $40.99 -Vanilla and ripe plum aromas. Soft and round in the mouth with sweet ripe cherry flavour and nice pepperiness. A highlight wine.
Chapel Hill Parsons Nose Shiraz 2008 (McLaren Vale) $19.99 – McLaren Vale is a bit cooler climate area in South Australia, but it seems to still be putting out quite full-bodied wines that also have good acidity to them too. This wine was deep purple in colour. Lots of cassis fruit on the nose. Good acidity with spiciness and cassis flavour. Medium tannins. The cassis just jumped out of the glass at you. Quite nice and a great price.
Wirra Wirra “Dead Ringer” Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (McLaren Vale) $58.99 – This one might have been my overall favourite for the night. Capsicum upfront then some meatiness on the nose. Tarry, espresso and capsicum and dark fruit on the palate. Very full bodied.
d’Arenberg The Custodian Grenache 2008 (McLaren Vale) $21.99 – It was nice to have a lighter bodied grenache after so many big Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine was light garnet in colour. Smoke and raspberry on the nose. Petrol, cassis, raspberry flavours. Low tannins. Very refreshing.
Petaluma Chardonnay 2007 (Adelaide Hills) $35.97 – Light lemon in colour with a tinge of green. Light spice, citrus and oak on the nose. Light body but full of flavour. Spicy on the palate with long length.
My NEW SOUTH WALES wine picks:
Brokenwood Semillon 2008 (Hunter Valley) $23.99 – Semillon is a classic grape for the cooler climate Hunter Valley. It can age for a long time and develop an oaked profile eventhough no oak has been applied. I’ve become quite a fan of Brokenwood’s Semillon since I first tried it a few years ago. Young, it is bright and refreshing. Lovely to go with some shellfish. The 2008 vintage was watery with a slight green hint in colour. Light citrus nose. Green pepper and jalapeno on the palate. Clean with great acidity. Highly recommended.
Robert Oatley Chardonnay 2007 (Mudgee) $19.99 – Medium lemon in colour. Vanilla and slight vegetal aromas. Round mouth feel with medium acidity. Off dry with apple, oak and spice.
From the VICTORIA region, my wine picks:
De Bortoli Estate Grown Pinot Noir 2006 (Yarra Valley) $33.99 – Light red colour with slight bricking. Burgundian nose with some cherry too. Earthy, meaty, and strawberry flavours. Low tannins and a bit of spice. I’d like to try this with some nice French cheese.
Upon reviewing my notes, it looks like Shiraz was the big winner for me at this tasting, and I hope it will be for you too. Enjoy!