Gemtree McLaren Vale Grenache 2016: It’s not my place to comment on labels, but when they are incomprehensible, I ask, what the #@^*? What’s the point of some arty bloody farty concept dreamt up by a wanky label designer, spoilt child or pissed winemaker? Anyhow, behind this senseless, unreadable label is a grenache from Gemtree that sets you back $50, the question being: is it worth it?
Light, translucent red colour. Nose all squashed raspberries with the odd chocolate button mashed in. The longer one smells the more adult it becomes. My advice is to stay at the beginning and enjoy the kid-in-the-lolly-shop experience; it’s wonderful. It’s an experience that changes quickly once the wine is in the mouth, as adult flavours come into play. It is light in texture but intense in presence, with the persistence of flavour and acid balanced and long. An impressive wine but I’m not sure it will please all tastes, so try a bottle with friends and split the cost. 94 points and I think $50 is high.
Mr Riggs ‘The Magnet’ McLaren Vale Grenache 2015: Heaven, absolute heaven, from the rich bramble, damp earth nose, through the many twists and turns of dark black fruits, some from an alien place, and savoury hints of every sort teasing and stretching the palate. 95 points and well worth $30.
Penny’s Hill ‘The Experiment’ McLaren Vale Grenache 2015: A nose that excites, with mutable smells wafting in and out. Juicy fruit to start but strength comes into play, making for a good textural feel to the wine. Works well at the table. 93 points on the high side at $35.
Churchview ‘St Johns’ Margaret River Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2015: Grenache may enjoy flying solo but I prefer it blended. The colour is garnet centre leading to pink rim. The nose is complex: hint of this, touch of that, something recognisable, something not. Don’t bash your head against the wall; it’s good, so enjoy the array. It makes quite a statement from first entry marching across the palate in a determined way. A chunky number that will have many fans. 94 points and top of an appropriate price range at $40.
Gemtree ‘Cinnabar’ McLaren Vale Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2016: The Tigger of the tasting, full of life, love and bounce. Not overly complex but immensely enjoyable. 94 points and value at $25.
Chapel Hill ‘The Parson’ McLaren vale Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2016: Welcoming on the nose, with easy, undemanding, soft mashed fruit smells. Easy in the mouth, but has an edge that makes it more attractive at the table. Simple, clean red wine. 89 points and a good price at $16.
Pertaringa McLaren Vale Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2015: Bramble on the nose and a full textural character, with powerful flavours all across the palate. Lots of black fruit and ripe plum. 93 points and good value at $22.
Paxton AAA McLaren Vale Shiraz Grenache 2015: Grenache takes second place to the shiraz and classic pepper character takes over on the nose. It’s a sensual beast with spice whipping the palate as it travels. Good wine, 94 points, and worth $22 at Dan’s.
Grampians Estate GST 2015: A blend of grenache, shiraz and tempranillo from the Grampians region in western Victoria. Earthy nose and a gentle start, but it gathers pace as it travels, with gorgeous flavours opening up, both surprising and delighting. It falls away a little on the finish but that’s a minor issue. 94 points and an OK price at $28.
Angove McLaren Vale Tempranillo Mataro Grenache Graciano 2016: There are so many varieties here the grenache gets lost. No matter; it’s in there and the whole works wonderfully. It’s spice, pepper, chilli flavours, but not hot cooked wine. The whole mouth is alive. It’s a burlesque show of sparkling costumes and rapid-fire exchanges, but beneath the parody there is a sombre character. I loved it. 94 points and well worth $28.