Tag Archives: McLaren Vale

Let’s Taste – My Granny’s Cellar!!

Last September my amazing Grandmother passed away at the incredible age of 89 (vintage 1927). As my family went through the emotional process of organising and cleaning her house of 40 years, I discovered a number of bottles of wine in the cupboard under the stairs. With permission from my family I opened some of these bottles on this video, and the results were quite surprising.

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February 8, 2016 · 10:28 am

Let’s Taste – d’Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings, The Dead Arm, and The Coppermine Road 2012

The lovely Tash Stoodley from d’Arenberg was lovely enough to send me some more bottles of wine to taste. These are the three icon reds from the McLaren Vale d’Arenberg vineyards; The Ironstone Pressings Grenache Shiraz Mouvedre, The Dead Arm Shiraz, and The Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon. All three have a recommended retail price of $65.00, and were from the 2012 vintage.

d'Arenberg Icon 2012 Wines

d’Arenberg Icon 2012 Wines

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December 14, 2015 · 11:50 am

Let’s Taste – d’Arenberg New Releases November 2015

The lovely Tash Stoodley from d’Arenberg wines got in touch and sent me some samples of their new releases, which I was happy to open! I separated the whites and most of the reds into two tastings, here are the whites;

  • The Olive Grove Viognier Marsanne 2014; and
  • The Hermit Crab Chardonnay 2015

The red wines were;

  • The Sticks & Stones Tempranillo, Grenache, Souzao, Tinta Cao 2011
  • The Derelict Vineyard Grenache 2012
  • The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2011
d'Arenberg new-release red wines

d’Arenberg new-release red wines

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November 16, 2015 · 4:12 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

The Vincast with Brad Hickey AKA Brash Higgins

After working for many years as a sommelier with some of the best lists in New York City, Brad Hickey had a chance to work vintage in Australia, and fell in love not only with the lifestyle but also his eventual partner Nicole Thorpe. He had the opportunity to create his own expression from the Omensetter vineyard that belonged to Nicole’s family, and the name he chose for the brand was a nickname he’d been given by the locals; Brash Higgins. In only a handful of vintages he has gained a reputation for making some of the most interesting wines in the McLaren Vale and beyond, sometimes working with unfamiliar varieties like Nero d’Avola and Zibibbo. He shares his story and how he came to make the wines he does.

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Brad Hickey

Brad Hickey

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Voyager Estate Masterclass 2013

For the fifth year in a row, Margaret River producer Voyager Estate hosted a masterclass in Melbourne and other Australian cities to benchmark new releases of some of their wines. This was my second time at this event; one of my first entries on this blog spoke about the first time back in September of 2011, just before I left for my trip. The exercise is designed to show sommeliers, buyers and media that Voyager is very confident about the quality of their wine against exceptional examples from around the world. Showing even more hubris, they do this against their three key wines; chardonnay, shiraz and a cabernet/merlot blend. That’s serious chutzpah.

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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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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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Alpha Box & Dice – 12/04/2013

Golden Mullet Fury Pedro Ximenez Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Really bright but funky apricot oil nose, a little floral note to it. Textural but a little toasty rich but still crunchy, wild fruits and herbs, hazelnuts.

Rebel Montepulciano 2012
Lively bright juicy aromatics, slight rosy currant character. Lovely and dry, clean fresh vibrant, nice light dense fruit, just a great wine with food.

Blood of Jupiter Sangiovese Cabernet 2008
Dark plum violets and cassis is looking strong. Great wine but Cabernet dominating, sweet toasty vanilla from the oak.

Changing Lanes Cab/Shiraz/Malbec 2010
Nice dusty leathery dark fruits. Full opulent dense and expressive. Similar sweetness of oak coming through.

Alpha Box & Dice range

Alpha Box & Dice range

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Pertaringa – 11/04/2013

Fiano 2012 Adelaide hills
Nice bright floral fresh citrus aromas. Clean and slightly oily. Balanced fresh light but expressive, quite fruity with hints of salty texture.

Dolcetto 2012 Langhorne Creek
Quite intense floral rosemary red fruit basil. Sweet ripe fruit, new world expression, still good acids and freshness with late savoury notes.

Tempranillo 2011 Adelaide
Earthy savoury dusty, a little closed but lots of fruit expression. Soft and mellow, full and rich but kind of bland. Some nice savoury notes though.

Graciano 2010 Langhorne Creek
Deep and dark, a little dusty and earthy, concentrated spice. Very bright and fresh on the palate, clean fruit expression, a little bit safe.

Aglianico 2011 McLaren Vale
Very vibrant aromatics, fruit and florals, sharp and fairly spicy. Reasonably tight and intense, good structure, adequate fruit ripeness. Sharp and tight acids.

Primitivo 2010 Langhorne Creek
Bright exuberant blackberry spice notes. Very juby sweet dark fruits, structure but a little flabby and unfocused.

Lagrein 2010 Limestone Coast
Dark and soft, fairly quiet. Full sweet fruits, broad and missing the freshness that the variety can offer.

Pertaringa cellar door

Pertaringa cellar door

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