Key Review of Wine 25 May 2015 – Fox Creek Reds

Consumer Review of Seven Red Wines from Fox Creek


 

I have admired Fox Creek wines and all the people involved, family and employees for many years. The wines have always done well in my tastings but recently I have thought the wines have moved up a notch or two.

One May Sunday afternoon I gathered a group of friends to taste a range of seven Fox Creek reds. Including myself there were nine of us, four women and five men. Their jobs/professions ranged from retired to midwife, architect, farmer, web designer, teacher, consultant and administrator.

The group was asked to mark the wines out of 100, guess the price and determine if the wines were blends or a single variety.

The notes below are mine:

1] Fox Creek ‘Postmaster’ Grenache – Shiraz – Mourvèdre 2013:

Beautiful nose of soft red fruits, gentle on entry but it builds as it travels across the palate laying down pleasure at each step. 92 points and well worth $23.

What is interesting, in a different tasting at the beginning of March, I wrote, “There are some wines that soar from the glass and set the palate vibrating and bring instant joy. This is such a wine. It’s alive with bold flavours all coming together to show it has intellect along with muscle. 96 points and a bargain at just $23.”

It’s a huge difference between 92 and 96, although the sentiment is the same. The only explanation I can come up with is the group tasting was diverting me from the usual concentration when tasting alone.

2] Fox Creek ‘Jim’s Script’ Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot – Cabernet Franc – Petit Verdot 2013:

Clean on the nose, both red and black fruits mingling along with hints of spice. Started slowly but built and built as it progressed with complexity coming towards the end and a fine return of flavour. A mean 92 but a couple more to come as it ages and value at $23.

3] Fox Creek ‘JSM’ McLaren Vale Shiraz – Cabernet Sauvignon – Cabernet Franc 2012:

A nose I found hard to define but nothing unpleasant. The wine comes alive on the palate with complex and interesting flavours bouncing around the mouth. 94 points and great value at $23.

4] Fox Creek ‘JSM’ McLaren Vale Shiraz – Cabernet Sauvignon – Cabernet Franc 2013:

Wonderful perfume on the nose, it’s already seductive before it enters the mouth. The wine glides across the palate like a skater across ice. The finish is long and profound. 95 points and fantastic value at $23.

5] Fox Creek ‘Short Row’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013:

Light on nose but hints of this and that, changing, merging then reforming, some oak still showing on the palate. It’s slightly disjointed at the moment so 94 now with a couple more to come as it settles. $32 is a fair price.

6] Fox Creek ‘Old Vine’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013:

Beautiful nose, the perfume so intense it delivers heaps of pleasure before the wine is tasted. In the mouth the wine builds, one step at a time, it almost overrides the senses. The finish is long and satisfying. 96 points and worth $50, in fact in global terms it’s cheap. A Rhone shiraz of this quality would be at least $100 more.

7] Fox Creek ‘Reserve’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013:

Rich and ripe nose, also rich and forward on the nose. Halfway across the palate it settles and builds from there. Then the true character comes through and one can glimpse the greatness of this wine. It warrants 96 points but I think there is more to come, only youth holding it back. For those who have $75, it’s value.

As wines were marked out of 100 and in total there were nine tasters, the total for all tasters is out of 900 points.

Fox Creek Tasting - total points

Across all tasters the rankings were:

  • Wines [6] Fox Creek ‘Old Vine’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013 and [7] Fox Creek ‘Reserve’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013 came equal first with total scores of 847/900, an average score of 94.11
  • Wine [3] Fox Creek ‘JSM’ McLaren Vale Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2012 came third with a total of 835/900, an average of 92.77
  • Fourth wine [5] Fox Creek ‘Short Row’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013: The total score was 822/900 with an average 91.33
  • Equal fifth were wines [1] Fox Creek ‘Postmaster’ Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2013 and [2] Fox Creek ‘Jim’s Script’ Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc Petit Verdot 2013 812/900, an average of 90.22
  • Coming in seventh was [4] Fox Creek ‘JSM’ McLaren Vale Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2013 with 810/900, an average of 90

Although wine four overall came last, it was amongst my highest gaining a mark of 95. It certainly split the tasters, six marking it between 91 and 98 but three with marks of, 80, 81 and 85


The males favoured the following wines and as there were five men the total maximum points could be 500:

Results of males tasting Fox Creek red wines

  • Wines [6] Fox Creek ‘Old Vine’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013 and [7] Fox Creek ‘Reserve’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013 coming equal first with total points amounting to 473/500, an average score of 94.6
  • Number [1] Fox Creek ‘Postmaster’ Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2013 coming third with total points amounting to 460/500, an average score of 92
  • Fourth place went to [3] Fox Creek ‘JSM’ McLaren Vale Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2012 with total points amounting to 457/500, an average score of 91.4
  • Fifth was wine [2] Fox Creek ‘Jim’s Script’ Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc Petit Verdot 2013 with total points amounting to 455/500, an average score of 91
  • Sixth place went to [5] Fox Creek ‘Short Row’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013 with total points amounting to 448/500, an average score of 89.6
  • Last for the males was wine number [4] Fox Creek ‘JSM’ McLaren Vale Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2013. With total points amounting to 445/500, an average score of 89

The females favoured the following wines and as there were four women the total maximum points could be 400:

Results of females tasting Fox Creek red wines

  • First place went to [3] Fox Creek ‘JSM’ McLaren Vale Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2012 with total points amounting to 377/400, an average score of 94.25
  • Second place was shared between wines [5] Fox Creek ‘Short Row’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013, [6] Fox Creek ‘Old Vine’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013 and [7] Fox Creek ‘Reserve’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013 with total points amounting to 374/400, an average score of 93.5
  • Fifth place was held by [4] Fox Creek ‘JSM’ McLaren Vale Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2013 with total points amounting to 365/400, an average score of 91.25
  • Sixth place was wine number [2] Fox Creek ‘Jim’s Script’ Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc Petit Verdot 2013 with total points amounting to 363/400, an average score of 90.75
  • Last wine for the females was wine number [1] Fox Creek ‘Postmaster’ Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2013 with total points amounting to 352/400, an average score of 88

The table below is the placing of male, female and group preference:

Fox Creek Wines all McLaren Vale Male (5) Female (4) Group (9)
1 ‘Postmaster’ GSM 2013 3 7 5
2 ‘Jim’s Script’ Cab/Merlot/Franc/Verdot 2013 5 6 5
3 ‘JSM’ Shiraz/Cab/Franc 2012 4 1 3
4 ‘JSM’ Shiraz/Cab/Franc 2013 7 5 7
5 ‘Short Row’ Shiraz 2013 6 2 4
6 ‘Old Vine’ Shiraz 2013 1 2 1
7 Reserve’ Shiraz 2013 1 2 1

The male-female split was four places for wine number five followed with three places between wines one and three. As can be seen the last two wines, six and seven, were the clear winners in both camps.

The high-low pointing from the males was tight, just 4.6 points, where’s the females ranged wider at 6.25. But the females were very tight on their second pick wine with three of the wines scoring 93.5.

The group was told the prices of the wines ranged between $23 and $75. I abstained from guessing the price as did one other. Therefore there were four males and three females. Guessing the price is a difficult thing to do but the results were as follows:

Wine price M M M M FM FM FM
1-$23 23 40 45 25 28 25 32
2-$23 30 25 23 36 45 30 50
3-$23 25 55 24 32 68 40 55
4-$23 27 50 23 23 75 25 23
5-$32 38 30 27 45 55 40 36
6-$50 45 60 38 75 48 50 75
7-$75 75 70 38 38 58 75 46

Analytical review is one aspect but wine is subjective and for reasons that often have no explanation other than, “I like it.” The tasters were asked to pick the wine they liked best, even if it was a wine that didn’t get the taster’s highest score.

M M M M FM FM FM FM
7 3 1 6 6 4 7 7

Leading favourite: Fox Creek ‘Reserve’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013

Second: Fox Creek ‘Old Vine’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013

Remaining favourites: Fox Creek ‘Postmaster’ Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2013, Fox Creek ‘JSM’ McLaren Vale Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2012 and Fox Creek ‘JSM’ McLaren Vale Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2013.

The tasters were told that two of the wines were the same, but different vintages, and they were asked to guess which they were. The correct answer was:

  • Wine [3] Fox Creek ‘JSM’ McLaren Vale Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2012
  • Wine [4] Fox Creek ‘JSM’ McLaren Vale Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2013

Two males abstained, as did I, and only one person correctly picked the duo:

M M FM FM FM FM
1&4 1&7 6&3 3&4 5&6 4&5

The conclusion is, we are all individual but certain patterns emerge from the above information. The tasters were an intelligent, articulate group, all regular wine drinkers across the spectrum of style and price. It was interesting to note the women marked three wines the same but diverged on the remaining four. The males had wider preferences but as a group one can see the overall results show all the wines were well liked and marked highly. This should give the consumer confidence to but any Fox Creek wine that falls within their price bracket. That goes for red wines not in the tasting and their whites also.

Comments on the tasting, either method or wines, are welcome.

Drink well be happy and healthy,

Tony

The next KRoW will be an Aldi special

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