Wine: Odds and ends from the Good Food and Wine Show
With the demise of the quasi annual ‘Wine Australia’ event, the – annual – ‘Good Food and Wine Show’ has taken somewhat of a lead role in the large scale domestic promotion of Australian wine, showcasing a wide range of wineries in a format that (apparently) is quite successful for the wineries involved. More importantly perhaps, the show visits Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, making it one of the only wine exhibition type shows to have a national audience, which only adds to the attraction for several of the more switched on consumer (as opposed to enthusiast) focused wineries.
So this year, like last, I spent a few hours wandering, tasting and avoiding strollers, trying to get around to some of the wineries involved. As usual, proper tasting note taking is a futile exercise in this environment, but I did write down a few vague impressions (and even more vague scores).
Zema Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 – Bugger all of this, but certainly showing few vintage ill-effects. No Family Reserve, Merlot etc in 07 so this is – by and large – the 07 flagship. Rich, chocolatey and smooth, if still hearty Coonawarra Cabernet in the unforced mould. Lots of pleasure and plenty to come. Nice wine. 17.6/92+
Zema Estate Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 – To be released later this year. This is the first year that Greg Clayfield made the wine from start to finish, and I have to say that it is a step up in brightness – it’s a lovely, polished and vibrant wine, if just a tad oak dominant at present. Nice tannins too. Really needs about 5 years to integrate, but I can comfortably say that this is one wine that will win friends (me included) easily. 17.8/92+
Capital Wines Kyeema Merlot 2008 – Easily the best Australian Merlot I’ve tried this year. Firm, mid weight, rich but dry style with proper fruit tannins and good structure. Impressive stuff. 18.3/93
Stella Bella Sauvignon Blanc 2010 – Idiosyncratic, super dry and tangy style in the very defined and herbaceous form. Superb intensity, though definitely not for everyone. Love the purity though. 17.4/91
Suckfizzle White 2006 – Another distinctive wine, this creamy oak meets herbal Sauv style shows excellent texture and richness, with no shortage of complexity. It’s still a peculiar drink, but a good one at that. 17.7/92
Mcwilliams Mt Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon 2006 – Way too young and looking backward and awkward. Green in colour with green fruit on the nose and only the first hint of bottle age toast. Definitely a gentle year for Elizabeth, it’s an awkward drink at present. Needs another 5 years in the bottle. 16.8/89++
Soul Growers ‘Cellar Dweller’ Cabernet and ‘Slow Grown’ Shiraz 2008 – New name to me but loads of promise. I’m lumping these two wines together as they are rather close in style, with the 08 vintage making them both rich, fruit cake and molasses driven wines. Unequivocally full bodied, chunky, super smooth and rich Barossa Valley reds but with such texture and depth that they really deserve more attention. In a blind lineup these would beat many a superstar twice their ($50) asking price. Label to watch.
Wirra Wirra RSW Shiraz 2007 – Good result from a very tough vintage. Bitumen, redcurrants and chocolate. No hiding the hard and dry 2007 vintage tannins but it’s still a good drink. Not for the long term though. 17/90
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2008 – Unconvincing. Recognisably generous Marlborough Pinot Noir but a jumble of a palate. Ungainly acidity too. It’s still a very fair Pinot Noir (which is why the score is not terrible) but this is well off the best for this label. 16/87
Pauletts Cabernet Merlot 2006 – Good stuff from the Clare. Firm, varietal and nicely intense Clare Cabernet in a good regional style. Fine value at $20. 17.3/91
Sevenhill St Ignatius Cabernet 2006 – Cooked. Hot, warm and all too heavy with a spirituous finish. Given how good this was in 2004 I was particularly disappointed with this. 15.0/84
Shingleback D Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 – Followup to the Jimmy Watson winner. Lovely wine. Massively concentrated but dry and firmly structured, this is rather oak driven at present but with excellent tannins and no real excess. Lots of power and surprisingly refined. Really good Mclaren Vale Cabernet for the cellar. 18.3/93
Buller Fine Old Muscat NV – Lacking. It’s a broad, hot and unconvincing Muscat with holes all through the palate. Gets an average score due to how simple and spiky this is compared to competitors. 15.5/84