Really surprised by this pair – typically the Barossa is quite resilient to vintage variation. Yet the strains of two (arguably) ordinary Barossan vintages are on display here – the inconsistent 06’s, the simple and ripe 07’s. Still, these are two very well made wines that show supreme winemaking skill, yet the respective vintages haven’t been kind.
Grant Burge Summers Chardonnay 2007 (Eden Valley & Adelaide Hills, SA)
Quite full, golden yellow in colour, the bouquet shows a whole array of winemaking activity – stirred lees & barrel ferment notes – vanilla, butterscotch & cookie dough. This is backed by a palate full of very ripe fruit, with golden, yellow peach fruit woven throughout.
In other words, it smells like full house Chardonnay, if still elegantly framed. The palate supports this, presenting as quite dry and obviously well made, with the winemaking artifice quite well integrated into the complex, figgy palate. The alcohol stings a bit on the finish, but otherwise it finishes clean & crisp.
In the end this is a very well made, warm year Chardonnay that will appeal to lovers of the Hunteresque, big n’ bold Chardy style. Personally, its not my style of wine – simply too big and ripe – but I can fully appreciate the skill involved. Can’t help but feel this will fall over within a couple of years regardless. 16.8
Grant Burge Cameron Vale Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (Barossa, SA)
The bigger surprise of the pair. The nose smells nothing like traditional Barossa Cabernet – its minty, gumleaf edged & slightly volatile, showing both ripe & unripe characters. With time in the glass, this reverts to a more leafy mint & fig jam style that smells like problems with even ripeness.
The palate is very tight & again very minty, with the limited characters that escape lacking freshness & continuing to emphasise the mixed messages of the nose.
So at this stage, I’m not a fan, though things could get better with some more time in the bottle. Really surprised at how you can produce an unripe Cabernet in the Barossa. 15.5