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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were they focusing on varieties that are so common in Australia and the world, but they were also producing them in an outdated and inelegant way.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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Amadio – 12/04/2013

Arneis 2009
A touch oxidative, but nice and bright citrus fruit. Very clean and light, focuses back in at the back but relatively fresh with fruit and acidity.

Bianco Classico 2009
Clean slightly salty quince citrus fruit. Fresh broad and friendly, very inoffensive and quaffable.

Pinot Grigio 2012
A touch sweaty and reductive, some white peach and pear. Crisp and light, good freshness of fruit and plenty of acidity to cleanse the palate.

Rosso Superiore 2011
Nice bright dark fruit and floral elements, a bit of sweet spice. Juicy and soft but with some spice and savoury notes.

Rosso Quattro 2011
Fairly classic red wine notes, dark red fruits, classic Australian. Suitably fresh and vibrant, lots of clean pleasant fruit,  great drinking wine, why should it be hard?

Sangiovese 2009
Great sang colour, quite light. Minty red fruits, a little floral and eucalyptus. Soft sweet fruit, some volume and lifted tannins, full of flavour but not heavy.

Aglianico 2010
A little closed, tight fruit and fine oak. Bright intense fresh but a nice tightness to the tannins, clean acidic finish. Extremely palatable.

Amadio red wines under pressure

Amadio red wines under pressure

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