Tag Archives: Adelaide Hills

The Vincast with Ashley Ratcliff from Ricca Terra Farms

For the past fourteen years, Ashley Ratcliff has worked for arguably Australia’s most important family-owned wine business, Hill-Smith Family Vineyards. Over those years he worked in many different elements of the business, from viticulture to marketing, operations to running one of the wineries. More recently he has established a vineyard in the Riverland – considered one of the warm-hot irrigated regions known for large volume grape production – and has been planting more alternative varieties to show the potential for these grapes in the region, particularly for high quality fruit. He has now thrown himself 100% into Ricca Terra Farms, and even has other plans for the future.

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Ashley Ratcliff from Ricca Terra Farms

Ashley Ratcliff from Ricca Terra Farms

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Let’s Taste – Manon “Love Lies Bleedings” Pinot Noir 2015

While visiting my new favourite local wine retailer Cult of the Vine, I picked up a bottle of Australian wine to try. The Manon wines are part of the exciting movement for very low intervention winemaking, many of which come from the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. Let me know what you thought of my impressions, if you agreed with me or not, in the comments below.

Manon "Love Lies Bleedings" Pinot Noir 2015

Manon “Love Lies Bleedings” Pinot Noir 2015

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August 31, 2016 · 2:03 pm

Let’s Taste – d’Arenberg 2015 Dessert Wines

I’m always thrilled to receive samples, particularly from Tash at d’Arenberg Wines in McLaren Vale. On this edition I taste not one but FOUR different sweet wines made by Chester, fruit coming from either McLaren Vale, the Adelaide Hills or both. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

d'Arenberg 2015 Dessert Wines

d’Arenberg 2015 Dessert Wines

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July 28, 2016 · 2:53 pm

Let’s Taste – Deviation Road Loftia Vintage Brut 2013 & Altair Brut Rosé NV

The guys from Deviation Road sent me two of their Sparkling Wines to taste, no doubt in the lead up to the Festive Season. They are experts in methode traditionelle sparkling wines, and these two perfectly exhibit that. The wines are the Loftia Vintage Brut 2013 (RRP $45.00) and the Altair Brut Rosé NV (RRP $32.00). Here are my impressions!

Deviation Road Loftia Vintage Brut 2013 & Altair Brut Rosé NV

Deviation Road Loftia Vintage Brut 2013 & Altair Brut Rosé NV

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Let’s Taste – Ashton Hills Reserve Pinot Noir 2009

Another bottle from the Intrepid Cellar, this time a bottle I bought from cellar door in the Adelaide Hills in late 2011.

Ashton Hills Reserve Pinot Noir 2009

Ashton Hills Reserve Pinot Noir 2009

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October 10, 2015 · 3:00 am

Let’s Taste LIVE – Unico Zelo 2015 Whites with Brendan & Laura Carter

Winemakers Brendan & Laura Carter joined me LIVE on Let’s Taste with The Intrepid Wino, taking me through a range of their new release Unico Zelo white wines. Make sure to buy the wines at Different Drop while they still last. Listen back to the episode of The Vincast podcast with Brendan to hear the story of Unico Zelo.

Wines tasted;
Jade & Jasper Fiano 2015
River Sand Fiano 2015
Slate Farm Fiano 2015
Chopsticks Spice Blend 2015
Flint & Fire Pinot Grigio 2015

Laura Carter, The Intrepid Wino and Brendan Carter

Laura Carter, The Intrepid Wino and Brendan Carter

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August 5, 2015 · 9:26 pm

Let’s Taste – Australian Grenache with James Dossan

Whose Grenache reigned supreme?? Join myself and sommelier James Dossan on the first episode of Let’s Taste with The Intrepid Wino, recorded live on July 27th 2015.

If you want to taste along with us, the wines were;
S.C. Pannell McLaren Vale Grenache 2012
Yangarra Old Vine McLaren Vale Grenache 2013
Unico Zelo Kersbrook Adelaide Hills Grenache 2014
Yelland & Papps Second Take Barossa Valley Grenache 2014
Head Old Vine Barossa Valley Grenache 2014
Schwartz Meta Barossa Valley Grenache 2014

To make it even easier you can buy the wines at Different Drop, and enter the special code INTREPIDGRENACHE at purchase to receive a 10% discount and free shipping!! Make sure to search for the product Let’s Taste Grenache.

Grenache vine in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France

Grenache vine in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France

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July 9, 2015 · 1:34 pm

Vinteloper – 21/08/2013

David Bowley gave up his day job. When you meet him you’ll understand what that was. Suffice to say he is very very tall. Whilst pursuing this career he worked for a number of years for Wine Australia in a technical role which meant he got the chance to see a lot of vineyards in regions around Adelaide, his home town. Back in 2009 he decided to start making his own wines from key varietals in four regions. The wines are made in multiple locations, including at the Waite campus of Adelaide University, and even an urban winery in Adelaide CBD. They are attempts to be limited-intervention expressions of variety site and vintage. With wines this good it’s exciting to think what they will be like in future vintages.

Watervale Riesling 2012
Bright tight lean and crisp. Really steely and focused, fresh pure, bright citrus acids. Mouth-puckeringly fresh.

Odeon Riesling 2010
A little more expressive but less vibrant. More mature structure and slightly earthy savoury complexity, building towards something.

Pinot Gris 2012
Tight focused crunchy quince. Quite a savoury edge to it, a nice structured palate, good weight without being fat or flabby.

Pinot Noir 2012
Very complex earthy Asian spice whole bunch character, mature fruit. Juicy and plump but light and fresh, a tad disjointed at the moment. Not all primary fruit.

Adelo 2012
Robust bold juicy warm but earthy dirty spice, not hot or heavy, well contained and excellent balance.

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Ngeringa – 13/05/2013

JE Assemblage 2011
Tight bright clean linear and fresh, minerality intensity. Long and delicately savoury.

Chardonnay 2010
Leesy malo. Rich dense bold and concentrated, full in fruit.

Viognier 2011
Bright floral yet spicy. Quite fresh bright and savoury, nice hints of spice.

Pinot noir 2010
Fine and delicate but structured with some reasonably intense tannins. Surprising.

JE Syrah 2010
Generous intense yet not jammy, sits in a perfect spot.

Syrah 2009
Nice lift but quite savoury on the nose. Soft and generous, quite round and a little fruit sweet, structured integrated balanced. Great Adelaide Hills Syrah.

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Shake things up (McLaren Vale, South Australia – 11/04/2013)

No other region in South Australia does wine marketing better than the McLaren Vale. They have been producing quality wine there longer than any other region in the country and this has been well communicated all over the world.  There are great soils, a stable climate and sufficient old-vine material to make a European blush. Brands cover the whole gamut; iconic, commercial, boutique and cult. Their wine tourism is some of the most sophisticated I have seen, not to mention diverse in terms of cellar door offerings. Yet when I first visited in early 2011 as a trade guest I left as underwhelmed as I had already been. In some ways this is because I felt that not only were they focusing on varieties that are so common in Australia and the world, but they were also producing them in an outdated and inelegant way. These are not wines that excite me, nor are they particularly exciting younger consumers who crave difference, particularly from wines their parents drank. The thing that did excite me was the number of producers starting to work with alternative varieties, experimenting and diversifying to find different expressions and compliments to the environment. A shame that so little emphasis was placed on this on our program. For this reason I was interested in returning to visit some producers who are focusing on new vines and wines in a somewhat stale wine region.

McLaren Vale at its best

McLaren Vale at its best

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