Wine Reviews July

12 Jul

SHIRVINGTON Cabernet Sauvignon

McLaren Vale, South Australia

RRP $55-$65

Hmm…that name…Shirvington. Doesn’t it make you think of the Australian track athlete Matt Shirvington and the package that was so infamously publicized on television years ago?

Or was that just me getting a little excited? Anyway, the joke beckons, but I will save that until last.

So Lynne & Paul Shirvington (ohhh, different Shirvingtons, I see now) started their super-premium label back in 1996 basing themselves within the McLaren Vale wine region. The Shirvington vineyards focus predominantly on high quality Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Their success comes from an acute attention to detail and the search for fruit intensity in the vineyard that creates wines of optimal ageing potential. Their Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 is a streamlined and concentrated example, but it is their 2005 that shines in all its spicy and focused glory. The 2008 vintage saw 20% less American oak in the blend than the previous aforementioned years, demonstrating that this family winery is not afraid of altering tradition to accommodate warmer vintages to best represent their desired style.

It may not pay homage directly to Matt Shirvington…

but boy this wine definitely has balls. Boom!

BRESS Silver Chook Shiraz 2010

Heathcote, Victoria

RRP $22

Bress is the wine with the silver chook on the front label born from winemaker Adam Marks’ dedication to farming the famous chickens of France. It offers excellent value and with the use of high quality fruit, respects all the hallmarks of minimal intervention winemaking. Left in the glass a moment this wine conjures up layers of black and blue fruits brightened by some floral violet notes. Being 2010 it is still a baby but it has already opened its gateway to a soft, pleasurable mid-palate, so can tick the box for those seeking a delicious quaffer.

GEMBROOK HILL Mayer Pinot Noir 2008

Upper Yarra Valley, Victoria

RRP $30

The wine is so called Mayer in tribute to the fruit sourced from winemaker Timo Mayer’s vineyard. The 2008 harvest was their earliest to date, however the undulating hills of the Upper Yarra Valley sub-wine region experience a markedly cooler site over the valley floor. In this way, the grapes flourished in the slightly warmer conditions and still retained great natural acidity. The palate is a timely delicacy of luscious cherry fruits brushed with an earthy poise and fine tannins that ultimately complete the picture.

BINDI Composition Pinot Noir 2010

Macedon Ranges, Victoria

RRP $53

The Composition Pinot Noir is based upon declassified grapes normally assigned to their top-end premium Pinots. This one is gently worked and beguiles with a nose of fresh cherries, forest floor and an intriguing slate-like quality. The youthful tannins are grippy and the flavour wonderfully long. Expect it to only get more silky with time. Pleasure box ticked.

UMANI RONCHI ‘Podere’ Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC 2009

Abruzzo, Italy

RRP $15

My al cheapo pick for the month was the Umani Ronchi ‘Podere’ Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2009. ‘Podere’ means ‘farm’ in English, so I suppose we could call it the farm wine. Either way, it really is one of those wines that I could just can keep topping up my glass with.

I reckon I can sum this farm wine up in a limerick. Let’s see how we go…

There once was a lady with a wine

The red liquorice, plum nose seemed fine

The flavour was plush

The tannins so lush

Simple pleasures from Abruzzo’s vines

Not too shabby, hey?!

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