Showing posts with label '07. Show all posts
Showing posts with label '07. Show all posts

Tuesday 8 August 2017

Golden Grove Estate Shiraz 2007

Winemaker Ray Costanzo sent me this back vintage sample 'to see how Granite Belt Shiraz holds up with some age'. It drinks like a charm.

Wednesday 28 June 2017

Mitchell Wines McNicol Shiraz 2007

Named after Andrew Mitchell's father Peter McNicol Mitchell, this label is a tribute to a man who arrived in the Clare Valley in 1949 to grow grapes - the same year as Andrew's birth mind you. Deliberately held back for release, this wine is superb drinking and very reasonably priced considering the age under its belt.

Thursday 16 October 2014

de iuliis Aged Release Semillon 2007

It's hard to believe that this is seven years old! Whilst quite fresh, it's also dirt cheap for a seven year old of very good quality.

Squeezed lemon jumps out along with a little waxy character. Lightish in the mouth, some honey traits synonymous with aged Semillon are starting to show their hand as is the expected toasty goodness. Lively acid helps it skip around too.

Ready to go now but will easily ride out another five to ten years should you choose to throw it in the cellar.

I'll be heading to the Hunter Valley in December and a couple of these will find their way home with me.

Region: Hunter Valley
RRP: $30
Source: Sample

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Wednesday 23 July 2014

Robert Channon Reserve Merlot 2007

An interesting wine this more so for what is happening around it.

This is the current release Merlot for Robert Channon which is a little puzzling. For a small operation he either had heaps of it and it's moving slowly or he prefers to release these wines with decent age behind them. I'm unable to answer both questions at this stage.

The wines at Robert Channon are contract made. This wine was made by Mark Ravenscroft at the time, a talented winemaker who is now having great success with his own label. Mark still contracts for some wineries in the region but no longer Robert Channon.

Grown on the 19 acre vineyard on the west side of Stanthorpe, you'll find saddle leather, deep plums and an underlying earthy tone. Medium to full bodied, this is a good drop particularly when the asking price is only $22.50.

Drink within the next couple of years.

Region: Granite Belt
RRP: $22.50

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Sunday 25 August 2013

Meerea Park Terracotta Semillon 2005 & 2007

This was a great opportunity to put two different vintages alongside one another. And given the chance to do the same regardless of the wine or variety, I recommend you do the same. It gives you a much better sense of place and understanding how the wine has evolved. Where it has been and where it could go to.
The 2005 was bottled in July of that year and has developed beautifully. Easily my preferred wine of the two. Though saying that, it still has plenty of gas left in the tank and will continue to comfortably age for at least another decade.
A light and bright appearance with a touch of golden sunshine. Flavours are soft and generous delivering lemons and even pear. The aged Semillon characteristic of kerosene is sprayed through just enough to have an impact but certainly not enough to overpower. Acid has settled beautifully but still delivers some vibrancy. A bloody nice drop and handy value at $27.
The 2007 was bottled in July of the same year and whilst it has moved into the next phase of development, it still has a long time to go to get near the 2005. Aromas are fresh and the flavours linger. Lemony acid is still tight and seems unwilling to chill out at this stage. The longer the wine was open the better it drank but this wine was clearly made to age and age it will. Should you choose to drink now, an oily dish such as fish and chips will be the match you are after.
Who: Meerea Park
What: Semillon (11.5% alc)
Where: Hunter Valley
When: 2005 & 2007
How: $27

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Somerled Shiraz 2007

The vintage of 2007 produced some challenges, but this Shiraz came through well. And to be honest, I could have been fed this through a drip.

Somerled is an Adelaide Hills producer but the fruit for this wine is sourced from McLaren Vale.

An alluring whiff of chocolate and plummy goodness with cedery oak chiming in.

Dense is the best way to describe the palate which coats the mouth wonderfully and it's laid on thick! Soft spice and a touch of smoke, the chocolate and plum flavours are generous and linger beautifully. A well balanced wine, the fine tannins which are not far off being powdery wrap up a very neat package.

Ideal for the cooler months, snuggle up in front of a fire with this. Every drop is worth the $34 requested although the winery throws a discount to club members who only dish out $29.

Who: Somerled Wines
What: Shiraz (14.5% alc)
Where: McLaren Vale
When: 2007
How: $34

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Wednesday 23 January 2013

Tobin Wines Isabella Semillon 2007

When I was handed this sample by Adrian Tobin, in his usual enthusiastic manner, he assured me that the wine was rated better than the McWilliams Lovedale of the same vintage from some high profile industry folk. No names were mentioned however. Having had the Lovedale only a few weeks prior, I was very curious.

Wild asparagus, leaf greens, cut herb aromas spilling out of the glass. However, the palate seemed a little restrained. Some toast characters were building, but the wine's optimum drinking window is certainly a few years away in my opinion. It is worth keeping in mind also that this wine was released at five years. The acid profile still needs some time to chill out.

To me, the asking price doesn't represent value sadly, but saying that, the wine has already sold out.

Of all the wines I have had from Tobin, this one is the only one which didn't put a smile on my face. If anything it raised more questions than gave answers.

Who: Tobin Wines
What: Semillon (11.3% alc)
Where: Granite Belt
When: 2007
How: $50

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Friday 4 January 2013

Drayton's Limited Release William Shiraz 2007

There are three wines in the Limited Release range at Drayton's. The Susanne Semillon, the William Shiraz and the Joseph Shiraz.

Whilst at the cellar door on my recent Hunter Valley trip I did taste the Joseph, and for $70, I must admit I was quite underwhelmed. Not only was it served oxidised, even after a new bottle was opened, in my opinion, it has seen its best days. The colour of the wine indicated this particularly.

For twenty-five dollars less, this William Shiraz shone like a beacon.

A lovely colour presented itself, dark cherry like and consistent to the hue. French oak adds very well to the smooth, supple fruit flavours on show. Gentle pepper and spice are awash through the mouth leaving a finish which lingers well with good tannin grip. There is an attractive mouth warmth which calls out for a cold night by a log fire and some dark chocolate.

I bought a bottle to stash in the cellar as its optimum drinking window is still a few years away. Having said that, there is still at least a decade of cellaring potential.


Who: Drayton's Family Wines
What: Shiraz (13.5% alc)
Where: Hunter Valley
When: 2007
How: $45

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Sunday 23 December 2012

Emma's Cottage Vineyard

On my recent trip to the Hunter Valley, I had the pleasure of staying at Emma's Cottage Vineyard. A wonderful and relaxing place with spacious grounds, a restaurant on site, and a pool to cool down in on those hot days. The hosts are excellent and I certainly recommend the accommodation which caters for couples and families.

There are vineyards on the property which are used for their own label. Varieties planted include Chardonnay, Semillon, Verdelho, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, and Pinot Noir. Approximately 900 dozen are produced each year, and the wines have been made for many years by David Hook.

A quick run through some of the wines:

Sparkling Chardonnay/Pinot Noir NV A refreshing style bubbles that doesn't hold the complexities of lees. Loaded with stone fruit and peach. Flavours are fresh on the front palate, good length and not too dry. The sparkling base is made by David Hook and the wine finished off by Peterson House. The $35 asked for is too high in my opinion.

Rosé 2011 Made from Pinot Noir. An easy drinking style. Dry cherry characters, rose petal aromas. A grainy tannin finish. $25

Pinot Noir 2007 Ripe and fully loaded, a soft elegant Pinot this is not. Many would safely assume this to be a Shiraz. Cherry compote, stewed plums and prunes deliver a lingering mouth warmth too. A touch of oak. Not my style. $30 (14.4% alc)

Shiraz 2007 A deep colour possessing brooding black fruit and meaty aromas. Spice and soft pepper coat the palate. Twelve months in American oak has added a subtle sweetness and the flavours roll through the palate well leaving a drying finish. Enjoyable but be sure to decant. $35 (13.5% alc)

Monday 1 October 2012

McWilliams Mt Pleasant Single Vineyard Lovedale Semillon 2007

Aged Semillon is something to behold. This wine from McWilliams Mount Pleasant in the Hunter Valley is superb. Jaw dropping, gob smacking awesomeness! If you have the privilege of getting your hands on some, sit down and strap yourself in.

The Lovedale vineyard dates back to 1946 when it was planted by Maurice O'Shea.

Brightish straw appearance, the wine possesses an enticing bouquet with biscuity characters, nuttiness, lemon rind, a hint of mandarin peel, and a waft of honey on toast.

The palate delivered smooth silkiness. Super length and citrus flavours aplenty. Honey characters were a feature too not to be missed, and a subtle minerality to add to the mix too. The acid has settled well and a few years bottle age has delivered a delightful Semillon.

Sure the price is up there and many baulk at outlaying more than $50 on a wine, let alone just over $60 for a Semillon. Whilst I acknowledge the wine tasted was a sample and I did not outlay the money myself, I totally appreciate the question being asked, "Is it worth it?". The proof is in the pudding I must admit, no stone was left unturned producing this.

When people talk about the wonders and beauty of Hunter Semillon, point the doubters in this direction.

Who: McWilliams

What: Semillon (11.5% alc)
Where: Hunter Valley
When: 2007
How: $60.50

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Monday 2 July 2012

Vertical Verdelho Tasting

Australia is one of a few countries who use Verdelho as a table wine. The table wines in Portugal haven't taken off as the grapes are picked before they are ripe and persuading growers against this has proven difficult, well, so I am told.

Much of the Verdelho we see here in Australia is made for immediate consumption - intense flavours of tropical fruit leap to the fore making it a refreshing drop for a hot day, and accompanied by seafood to make the match perfect. One Verdelho I tasted recently was picked, fermented and in the bottle within six weeks!

Some wineries are using age to bring out some different characteristics in this variety. Examples that come to mind are Bent Road Winery from the Granite Belt and Heathcote producer Flynns Wines. Although these two wines are made with subtle differences, an example being some barrel age (only 3-4 months) contributing to the Flynns Verdelho which adds a creamy edge with textured notes. Winemaker Greg Flynn's intention is to show how diverse Verdelho can be.

With all this in mind I was lucky enough to indulge in a vertical tasting of some Barambah Wines Verdelho with winemaker and Australian Master of Wine Peter Scudamore-Smith.
Something which struck my eye immediately was the label stating the wine had a cellaring potential of 2-3 years. Although this was put on the label for the consumer, the tasting demonstrated that there was plenty of kick left in these wines cellared in good conditions with some wonderful development taking place.

Barambah Verdelho 2007
Whole bunch pressed, age characteristics are clearly apparent. Dry grass, a touch of smoke, lemon sherbert and citrus oil all creating an engaging nose. The wine has moved from the fresh stage to a bottle age phase.
An appearance of pale gold with a touch of green. The palate is coated with some grassy type flavours along with reduced melon and pawpaw (13% alc). Super length of longer than a minute with a soft finish, and although the acid is still up there ever so slightly, I couldn't help to suggest that this has easily another five years of life left in it. My favourite of the three.

Barambah Verdelho 2008
Whole bunch pressed once again, this wine was the palest of the three in appearance. A herby and grassy nose with a simple palate. Simple by the way of the fact the wine is in a neutral phase of development - not fresh nor bottle age. The palate did grow after a few seconds but didn't have a the width nor breadth of the previous (12.5% alc).
There was some sweetness on the finish, and although another five years would see change, I get a sense that this vintage will fade.

Barambah 2010
A light golden appearance and heaps of fruit. Tropical fruit typical of Verdelho on the nose coupled with a smidge of honey and a banana peel aromas.
Some ever so gentle spice on the palate along with clean and refereshing tropical fruit flavours. Good acid and impressive length (13.5% alc).
Still in the fresh stage and considering the amount of fruit in this wine, I am confident this will kick on wonderfully for easily ten years. Better still, I sense it may even be in a better place than the '07 at the ten year mark.

Although the back vintages are now unavailable, the 2010 is ready to go and will definitely reward patience. Well priced for $19, a Sample Taste Six Pack special is currently available with three whites ('09 Unwooded Chardonnay, '10 Verdelho, '10 Classic White) and three reds ('09 Shiraz, '08 Shiraz Viognier, '08 Selection Red) for $88 with free delivery.

Who: Barambah
What: First Grid Verdelho
Where: South Burnett, Queensland
When: 2007, 2008, 2010
How: $19

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Monday 25 June 2012

Taylors "St Andrews" Clare Valley Riesling 2007

A great example of an aged Riesling, and although it has only been five years, the characteristics demonstrated here tick all the boxes.

A concentrated nose of lemon curd and kerosene, even some baked apple. The palate is lush. Lemony and intense, even a snip of spice. The acid has softened considerably. Generosity plus on the palate wrapping up with a super length which lingers for what seems an eternity. Still plenty of life left in it and it can rest easy in a dark place for at least another five years.

Lick those lips!

Who: Taylors Wines
What: Riesling (12.9% alc)
Where: Clare Valley
When: 2007
How: $35

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Friday 13 January 2012

Ocean View Estate

Ocean View Estate is a lazy 40 minute drive north from Brisbane at Mt Mee which sits 450 metres above sea level and is part of the Somerset Valley wine region. The majority of the vineyards have clay loam soils.
The winery and cellar door are surrounded by gorgeous sweeping views of the surrounding hills, with the vineyards within a few hundred metres of the winery.

For those Brisbanites wishing to indulge in a winery experience, this place has it covered. There are regular tours through the winery and vineyards to enhance the experience, as well as plenty of education sessions, live music and concerts. You can even have a picnic amongst the vines. The winery also hosts 60+ weddings a year and recently won the Queensland Tourism Award for Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Boutique Breweries. After my experience, it's easy to see how they did it!

There are three labels in the range: Unwound, Estate and Reserve. All bar the Unwound come from estate grown fruit. The Unwound label is fruit sourced from other vineyards whilst the Reserve only comes from parcels of fruit which are of exceptional quality.

The winery also has a Wine Club which offers members privileges and discounts on purchases.

A run through the wines...

Viognier 2011 Viognier has been the most successful variety produced by Ocean View Estate, and there is plenty of evidence here to support that.
The nose is greeted by fresh apricots. Lovely fruit which fills the palate and has great length with a tidy grip to finish. Clean and fresh. $29

Unwound Verdelho 2011 The fruit for this wine is sourced from the South Burnett. A drop screaming out for some seafood or can easily be had on its own on a hot day.
Buckets of tropical fruit on the nose which flow through to the palate. A hint of lime cordial  in there too. Clean and crisp finish. $26

Unwooded Chardonnay 2011 The Chardonnay fruit here is quite deceptive. On first inspection I thought oak had been used in the wine, but not to be (after reading the label!). A light golden colour in the glass with typical buttery traits. Smooth and very satisfying with a neat texture to round it off. $26

Reflections 2010 This is a Rose made from 100% Cabernet fruit. Made to be a crowd pleaser and it is. Not much complexity here, just a fistful of fun. Fresh with strawberries on the nose and palate. Touch of residual sugar. One for the ladies who love a cheeky wine with a touch of sweetness. $25

Reserve Viognier 2011 This soon to be released Viognier is impressive. The Estate label holds its own, but this Reserve is a cut above. Grown on poor quartz soil with very shallow roots, the fruit for this wine produced smaller berries with thicker skins. A big nose of peaches and canned peach juice. Some mineral characteristics quite noticeable on the palate. The flavours here are firmer and more intense than the Estate (13.2% abv). A generous length is a great reward too. All this from a wet vintage, so the 2012 will be another step up going off current predictions.
This wine has deliberately been held back in the winery to gain some extra bottle age, something which has paid off. $35

Ruby Cabernet 2007 I was able to have a look at this back vintage to compare with the current 2010. The colour was deep crimson with an intriguing nose highlighted by touches of rose petals, a smidge of potpourri and a dusting of frangipani. A good dose of berries on the palate and a gentle finish. $26

Ruby Cabernet 2010 Having had a look at the '07 vintage, this '10 will be even better in a few years. In many respects it is already where the '07 is standing now. The colour is slightly more intense. A nose of rose petals leads to a palate of stewed fruit and berries. Tannins are fine with a persistent finish (13.5% abv). $26

Unwound Shiraz 2008 Granite Belt fruit (14.2% abv). Nose of some plum and dark cherry. There was a gentle pepper and spice on the palate with some subtle oak. Yum. $25

Mountain Top Reserve Cabernet 2008 Only made in a year when the fruit is of exceptional quality, this is a big Cabernet with only 12.8% abv. Time is spent in a mixture of American and French oak. A good depth of plums and blackberries on the nose is inviting. The palate is well balanced and lush with dark fruits. The oak adds to the complexity nicely and the wine offers a soft, drying finish with juicy tannins. Another two years of patience will repay you and then some. $35

A great day out and worth a look!

Saturday 7 January 2012

Ridgemill Estate Black Dog Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Ridgemill Estate pump out some great wines on the Granite Belt in Queensland. A focus from winemaker Peter McGlashen on alternate varietals has armed him with a stable of some very classy pieces of work. Mainstream wines are still a key component of the winery, as this wine and the Pedigree Chardonnay will testify.

Now, about the Black Dog...
Twelve months in French and American oak and spends a further 3 years bottle age on site prior to release. The Black Dog Cabernet is Ridgemill's premium brand. The top dog if you will!

Dark appearance with a slighter brightish hue. The nose dishes up dark cherries and some minty aromas, with charred roasted peppers. Yum!
Dark fruits litter the palate, and after a couple of days being open, the wine is still humming along beautifully. Big juicy fruit is smashing and the oak is entwined perfectly (14% abv). The double fermented skins add great impact here (see comment below). The finish is delicate and long with juicy tannins ready to cut through a hearty piece of meat.

Winemaker Peter McGlashan's comments: 
"I believe that it is a classic cool climate Cabernet with all the marks of the Granite Belt. The Black Dog was fermented in two parcels. Skins from the first used to inoculate the second (double fermented skins) which gives good structure."

If in the area, definitely pop in or check the website for purchase details.

Sunday 18 September 2011

De Bortoli Estate Grown Pinot Noir 2007

I love the Yarra. The rolling hills, the greenness, the climate and, for sure, the wines. So many excellent varieties florish here but not only that, they are all made well. All within a short drive from the Melbourne CBD, it's hard not to be drawn to the place.

One of my first trips to the Yarra back in 2001 had me wandering around the Dixon Creek area. Perhaps it was some of those excellent experiences which enhance the memories, but at the same time, make me want to go back there, and of course, continue to enjoy the wines too.

I distinctly remember a conversation with one of the locals about the vineyards De Bortoli own which they source the fruit from for this wine. "First class and very well maintained," were the words used in his distinctly gravelly voice. The vineyard was purchased from Graeme Miller in the late 80's, who was at the helm of Chateau Yarrinya at the time. In the late 70's Graeme won the prestigious Jimmy Watson Trophy. He has since re-established himself nearby and still produces some great wines.

But enough of the history lesson, this pinot needs some attention. It demands it in fact.

Cherries and strawberries on the nose with some earthiness and leather. A medium bodied red, it's silky smooth with a deadly balance of fruit and fine tannins (13% abv). Super impressive stuff! The oak adds a wonderful subtlety. 50% sat in new French oak with the balance in one and two year old oak for ten months.

Each sip was magic and matched the accompanying pizza perfectly. An excellent example of the grape and what the region can produce. I'm so pleased I have reacquainted myself with this one!!

Thursday 15 September 2011

David Hook Pothana Semillon 2007

Spring is a great time to hop back into some whites, and this Semillon fits the bill perfectly.

A pale straw appearance with a green tinge. Limes, lemon sorbet on the nose. An elegant line of minerality on the palate with citrus influences and honey. Cleansing and refreshing acid seal the deal. Will continue to develop for a couple of years yet.

Another great wine from an excellent Hunter producer!

Wednesday 31 August 2011

Clovely Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

With the thought of Cabernet Day lurking (Thursday 1 September), last weekend I thought I would have a look at one.

Clovely Estate is a Queensland winery situated in the South Burnett which is a 2.5-3 hour drive from Brisbane heading north west. The South Burnett is not to be confused with the Granite Belt which is 2.5-3 hours heading south west from Brisbane,  and the two are very different regions.
Surrounding towns in the area include Murgon and Kingaroy. Immediately many people assume that wine cannot be made in that country, but it's quite the opposite. The area has many similarities to the Hunter Valley in fact - cool nights and warm days. The soil type is limestone over basalt, making it not overly fertile and excellent drainage. Both are perfect attributes for viticulture.

The Reserve range at Clovely is only released in a good year, one that will uphold the standards of the winery. Most years a Reserve Shiraz, Reserve Chardonnay and Reserve Verdelho is produced, but the Reserve Cabernet has not been as consistent due to varying weather and vintage conditions.

Some double pruned fruit is used in this wine. What is double pruning I hear you ask? Double pruning has become increasingly popular in the South Burnett and I have since noticed some southern wineries applying the technique. Essentially, the vines are pruned twice each year rather than once. The second pruning occurs in summer essentially removing the first crop and forcing the vines to produce a second smaller but more concentrated crop. A very labour intensive process, but the final product produces spectacular results and complexities in the wine. This wine is no exception. The Reserve Shiraz has a double pruned component to it but the flagship wine of Clovely is the Double Pruned Shiraz ($60) which is an absolute spanker!! This wine is 100% double pruned fruit.

With all that background, let's get into this wine!

The fruit is a powerful black in the glass. The nose is intense and rich. The French oak is prominent, of which the wine is sat in for 18 months. Vanillin and dark berries along with a gentle spice. Mouth feel is full (13.5% abv) and soft tannins seal the deal beautifully. A wonderful wine (well priced too at $28) which will have you gob smacked it was a Queenslander. Well worth hunting it down.

Wednesday 17 August 2011

Swirl Sniff Spit 16 August - Cabernet Sauvignon night!

Cabernet night at Swirl Sniff Spit - Era Bistro 16 August 2011
Another brilliant night and a superb line up of wines. Some belters and even a rabbit pulled out of a hat!
Some wines which caught the eye...

Yalumba Menzies 2007 - Coonawarra. Smooth as silk. Superb drinking. Comment was made, "Menzies has never failed me." Nickos was right. The best was saved til last :)

Murray Street Vineyards - Barossa. Top fruit, spice and oak. Finish is loooong and sensational! Not on the list, but special guest winemaker Andrew pulled this one out. Did I say sensational?

Dalwhinnie Moonambel Cabernet 2008 - Grampians. Seductive nose. Palate weight spot on. Smidge of mint. Elegance!

Wise Lot 80 2009 - Margaret River. Great example of the region. Super nose of oaky goodness. Black fruits. Wonderful mouth feel. Yum.

Bent Road 2005 - Granite Belt. Poor soils. Dynamite used to clear site before planting for crying out loud! Juicy fruit, savoury. Soft, long finish. Giddy up!

Blue Pyrenees 2009 - Stood up to many of the more expensive types well - under $20. Very approachable, simple bottle of deliciousness!

A brilliant night - great company and great wines. Thanks to the @swirlsniffspit crew and @erabistro!

Next month.....Grenache!

Wednesday 6 July 2011

A trip to Heathcote!

My first post on my blog is on my recent trip to Heathcote. Having a spare day in Melbourne and popping into the Yarra on numerous occasions, as well as visiting Nagambie and Geelong previously, it was time to see what some of the other Victorian wine regions had to show. And man was I impressed!!
The area itself was a typical Australian bush type setting and not too dissimilar to the Hunter Valley in some respects. The roads were lined with Eucaplypts and wineries often tucked away up dirt tracks.

On the way in we came across this bridge. It was good enough to stop and take a photo. I wouldn't have the faintest idea about its history but it was built in 1867! Timber boards are still used and it's construction was ahead of it's time - considering what we see being used as functional now!

Our first stop was Heathcote Winery Cellar Door on the main street. A very warmly Cellar Door and an incredibly passionate host who was more than happy to share his knowledge on the area and of course, the wines!
Heathcote Winery wines were a tidy lot overall. Viognier was characterised by typical elements but was not my type. Lacked a little kick for mine. The Mail Coach Shiraz was great! Shiraz component was super. Wonderful depth and colour. Lovely mouthfeel and soft tannins on the finish. A touch of viognier was thrown in and added to the wine well but did not knock you out with the floral perfume which is akin to walking into the fragrant section of Myer as you are felled to the ground and gasping for air!
The Slaughterhouse Shiraz 08 was outstanding! Big dark fruit and warm, full palate. Warm in the sense it was wholesome not warm as in alcohol out of balance. A cracker wine!!

It was here we also learnt some interesting info on the wines and the area. Most of the wines in the area we are told have a splash of viognier. Now although this is not a surprise as wine makers have been doing this for ages, the fact so many Shiraz wines had a splash was a surprise. Also interesting on the viognier front was how many wineries were happy to share the fact viognier was present and others shied away from it. They ranged from 2-10% I found. Once again, not a secret but many would assume the shiraz's coming from Heathcote are 100% shiraz, nothing more, nothing less. Furthermore, we also learnt that some of the Heathcote Winery shiraz vines were grafted onto Traminer and Pinot root stock which of course adds character to the berries and their appearance, ripening and of course enriches what ends up in the glass.

Next stop was Flynns where we also had lunch. Lamb shanks with maple glaze. Wow!! An absolutely magical place to have lunch. The overcast cold day was very quickly warmed up when we stepped inside the cellar door and Heathcotean Bistro. Our table looked out across the vineyard. A wonderful setting indeed!

The cellar door was cozy and wines well made. As soon as we arrived we were made to feel at home. The staff's knowledge of the product and the local area was oustanding! We thoroughly enjoyed the conversation and the passion shared by our host.
It was here at Flynn's we found the "winner" for the day, the MC Shiraz. MC standing for multi clone, as there are four clones of Shiraz present in this wine. A great wine on all levels and I definately recommend you get your mitts on it. 14 months in oak - American (40 % new) and French. Only the best barrels are used for this wine and the finished product demands attention. Fruit was spot on. Excellent palate weight and length. $35. Bargain.
The Lewis Road shiraz was also impressive. The fruit was a little denser than the MC and a slip of viognier was present here too. The Viognier doesn't make its presence felt which is great - it just takes the edge off the wine slightly. Oak and fruit are top notch. $20 = value. Plenty of these two made their way home!

Munari was the next cellar door we ventured to. A small family operation and tiny cellar door. You can see the hands on approach in the wines. Schoolhouse Red 07 was my pick, a blend of Cabernet, Shiraz and Petit Verdot. Colour had mauve tinges with a dark hue. Some mint and capsicum on the nose. Mid weighted palate with good grip and long finish. $25.

Final stop was Heathcote Estate. Labels presented here were Heathcote Estate (of course!), Yabby Lake, Red Claw and Cooralook.  Standouts were Yabby Lake pinot and chardonnay and Heathcote Grenache Noir.

In all, a great trip and I recommend you check out Heathcote if you can!