Friday, 23 September 2011

Witches Falls

A trip to Mount Tamborine this week saw me pop into the Witches Falls winery, which is in the Gold Coast hinterland in Queensland. The winery borders the Witches Falls National Park - hence the name. There is a small vineyard outside the cellar door with some Durif vines, but all fruit is sourced from vineyards in the Granite Belt region in Queensland.

The area is superb for a lazy day's drive. Many houses have an avocado stand out the front selling them at bargain prices, and you'd be in the minority if you didn't have a stand. Our journey even saw some of these stands selling fresh rhubarb which were quickly snapped up and will be made into an Apple and Rhubarb pie this weekend.

At the cellar door, we were hosted by the very passionate and knowledgeable Sheryl. Wild Fermentation is commonly used here with some great results. Also, no blends are made so each variety can express itself.

The wines looked at were:

Fiano 2010: light perfume on the nose, tight on the palate but opens up a little. Clean with a finish that lurks enough for you to stand up and take notice. And then I'm told this little number tipped out some southern contenders for the Gourmet Traveller best Fiano. Nice story. Nice wine. $20 (then I'm told it's sold out!)

Wild Ferment Fiano 2010: This is the first time the wine maker has produced a wild ferment with Fiano. The wine was wild fermented in French oak for four to five months. The oak adds excellent complexity to the fruit. Slight apricots on the nose. Great softness and length. $28

Unwooded Chardonnay 2011: Co-inoculated with complementary yeast strains to enrich and enhance the resulting wine. Citrus and tropical notes with honey dew melon. Clean and crisp finish. $20

Chardonnay 2008: Toasty oak. Did I say oak? There's probably a slab of it in here somewhere. Palate is dry with some peach. Lingers long but I reckon this fella needs food to kick him along. $20

Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2010: This Chardy seems to click much better. All elements are inviting. Toasty oak, fleshy white peach, long dry finish. Could easily drink this on a warm day. $28

Wild Ferment Viognier 2010: Four to five months in French oak has added a lovely light straw colour. Some lemon and a snip of pear. Fruit component stands up but not dominated by oak and nor should it be. Handy type and well made. $28

Wild Ferment Grenache 2009: Light to medium body. Dark cherries with loads of spice. Buckets of it! Not me. $28

Cabernet Sauvignon 2008: I really liked the colour of the fruit. Green pea and black fruits on the nose which opens up to a moreish finish. Yum. $24

Prophecy Syrah 2008: I just wanted more of the stuff. The colour wowed me straight away. Lovely and dark. Nose was enticing with massive dark cherries and some cheeky oak on the palate. Super long finish called out for the next sip. If the Fiano made me stand up and take notice, well hello boys! A cracker, and a price tag to reflect the work gone into it. $48

Prophecy Cabernet Sauvignon 2008: The two Prophecy reds (Syrah and Cab) are only made in an excellent vintage. This is a testament to that and gaps the other Cabernet in the range by a mile. Super deep colour. Inky with blackcurrant and chocolate characters. The French oak is prominent with a cedery touch. This lingered on the palate for what seemed a millennium. Incredibly delish. Woah. $48

A very enjoyable experience and the wine cellar at home is better for my visit. The wines are well made and impressive. I'll be sure to pop in again in the future.