Tuesday, 24 January 2012

A Cracking Chilean Carmenere

Last year I took advantage of one of our major supermarkets, buy 6 save 25% offers, and the other week I finally got around to drinking the last bottle that I’d bought, which was a 2008 Yali Three Lagoons Chilean Carmenere from Vina Ventisquero.

Having looked into Vina Ventisquero, I have to say I’m rather impressed by them. Hailing from the Maipo Valley, they have taken great care in how they produce their wine, from using sustainable farming methods in the vineyards to the extensive research they’ve done on the terrior in their vineyards; all this goes a long way towards producing a very enjoyable glass of wine.

In the glass this wine had a dark, opaque cherry colour, with wonderfully pronounced aromas of dark fruit, blackberries and cherries, then in the background you got pepper, vanilla and a touch of smoke coming through. On the palate all of these came at wave after wave, which was just stunning, to go along with this it had just enough silky smooth tannin and acidity to balance perfectly, and a beautifully long lingering finish.

Combine all of these together and you got an extremely well put together glass of wine that was perfectly balanced and extremely enjoyable. Is this a wine that I’d recommend, absolutely, and if this one is anything to go by, I’ll definitely be trying a few more of their wines!

Friday, 20 January 2012

A Stunning Shiraz from South Australia

Having been a fan of new world wines for many years now, I had the pleasure of being introduced to those from Mitolo recently. The winery was founded in South Australia by Frank Mitolo in 1999, then in 2001 he was joined by the legendary winemaker Ben Glaetzer; who managed to scoop Young Wine Maker of the Year on more than one occasion (until he was too old) and numerous other awards along his way.

The fruit for this wine is grown in the Willunga district of the McLaren Vale in South Australia, which is one of their premium growing regions, especially for Shiraz, which accounts for around 50% of total vines planted. The soil structure is that of heavy grey loam over sandstone, which is excellent at retaining water, thus requiring minimal irrigation. The climate is slightly warmer than the average for the region, helping to give the grapes a greater intensity in flavour and juicy ripe tannins, the cool afternoon sea breezes and nights help to extend the ripening period and maintain the acidity levels.

In the glass, it had an opaque crimson/purple colour, with really pronounced aromas of dark fruits, cherries, plums and cassis, with a touch of sweet spice, liquorice, coming through from the background. On the palate you got these wonderfully intense jammy flavours of plums and dark cherries coming through, and then you got the sweet spice which just combined with the intense fruit flavours perfectly. Merge this with just enough acidity to make your mouth water and the juicy, ripe tannins and you got a stunning and well put together glass of wine.

This, I have to say, was not what I was expecting, I expected it to be far more spice than fruit, which is what you tend to expect from an Aussie Shiraz, but this was the exact opposite, and was just absolutely stunning. To go along with all the fruit, it had a great structure as well, making this such an enjoyable wine that I’d highly recommend, especially with the dark nights and colder weather setting in.