The others the ones we refer to as kissing cousins, those that are not chardonnay, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon or other mainstream grapes in Australia. Which doesn’t mean to say some are not more mainstream in other countries.
Ten wines (one wine based) in total, one vermouth, viognier, chenin blanc, sangiovese, mencia, petit verdot, zinfandel and three tempranillo. Three regions, seven producers and two vintages.
That’s the intro this week, it’s enough, now to the reviews.
Causes & Cures Semi Dry White Vermouth: Any description of this vermouth written or voiced on Monday will be different on Tuesday or any other time it’s tasted. It gives and gives and I defy any taster to pin down the aromas and flavours from one day to the next. It doesn’t matter as its damn good and I welcome such an adult and exciting addition to my drinks cupboard I’m not sure how to point it as it’s in a sector of its own, excellent and outstanding I think will cover it and $23 is well worth it.
Churchview ‘St Johns’ Margaret River Viognier 2016: I’m a viognier lover and can’t understand why it’s not got a greater following. Never mind we must be grateful for what we have and what we have in the main is good, this wine is no exception the right nose just a little flat on the palate but comes together at the end 93 points but pricy at $35
Churchview ‘St Johns’ Margaret River Chenin Blanc 2016: Ah chenin blanc, why hasn’t Australia done more with this wonderful variety? Churchview is, and doing very good things if this sample is a template for other vintages. So much character to this wine from exquisite nose through to a palate that lights up at all the right points as the wine transverses it 95 points and worth the $35 asked
Allegiance ‘The Fighter’ McLaren Vale Tempranillo 2016: Very attractive nose, hay and wild flowers plus some red fruits, all pleasing the senses. Gentle slow start across the plate but it gathers pace on the journey the red fruit character backed with a hint of savoury and supported with good acid and tannin structure 94 points and value at $25
Gemtree ‘Luna Roja’ McLaren Vale Tempranillo 2015: Plum towards prune on the nose then intense on the palate. Once swallowed the flavour lingers for some time, a wine to think about it gives plenty, 93 points top price at $30 but just within bounds
Paxton McLaren Vale Tempranillo 2016: Ripe black fruit nose and rich for a tempranillo on the palate. Plump, happy easy going wine 92 points OK price at $25 but worth more to those who like certified organic produce
La Bise Adelaide Hills Sangiovese 2015: Clean on the nose but little in the way of a dominant smell. In the mouth it’s a long slow climb from passive to exciting, dry bite on the edge makes it good at the table, a little short on the finish 92 points OK value $25
d’Arenberg ‘The Anthropocene Epoch’ McLaren Vale Mencia 2016: Consumers have a lot of trust in the brand d’Arenberg, thankfully they do as the word anthropocene is hardly common usage. Apparently it’s a 21 century word meaning, “relating to or denoting the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.” Nor is the grape Mencia widely known in Australia, it’s of Spanish origin. Bramble and English ditch on the nose. It reaches to all parts of the mouth on first sip but doesn’t linger long as it skips and bounces around an individual wine and a welcome addition to the Australian wine portfolio 93 points and well worth $25
Churchview ‘St Johns’ Margaret River Petit Verdot 2014: Dark as midnight in colour clean blackcurrant nose a lot of fruit for PV with strong tannin underpinning, as a wine its fine 93 points but from a personal view I’m still not convinced PV on its own makes a wine of any great character and $40 it’s a lot to spend when there is so much enjoyable wine on the market
Churchview ‘St Johns’ Margaret River Zinfandel 2015: Interesting nose, tree bark and wild blackberries on the vine. Beautiful array of flavours nudging each other for prominence on the journey shorter on the finish then expected but very good 94 points and worth $40 for its scarcity.