Last Week's Tasting Notes
Tablelands Sauvignon Blanc ($12.50)
Martinborough, New Zealand
From the producer:
"The East Coast appellation Sauvignon Blanc is a blend of grapes grown in Martinborough and Hawkes Bay. The combination of the rich yet zingy Martinborough fruit and more refined Hawkes Bay fruit leads to a wine that has amazing drinkability with the richness of stone fruit, highlights of peach and lime and underlying minerality."
I prefer Sauvignon Blanc that has less grapefruit on the palate, so this is one of my New Zealand go-to wines. It's almost a little savory, and the underlying citrus is just enough to give it some tang. The acid is nicely balanced, and the minerality keeps the body light and refreshing. Marlborough is the better-known production area, but I think Martinborough makes a more elegant wine.
Robert Oatley Signature Series Shiraz ($14.99)
McLaren Vale, Australia
From the producer:
"REGION NOTES: McLAREN VALE SOUTH AUSTRALIA
We’ve been a fan of McLaren Vale Shiraz for many years now, yet have been keen to progress the traditional style, to wines with brighter fruit, less obvious alcohol and minimal reliance on oak. We’ve made a very accessible, well-loved style that’s a proven hit with fans of the variety.
We selected premium parcels of Shiraz from around the Blewitt Springs –
Willunga area of southern McLaren Vale, where the hills run down to the ocean. Fermented on skins in a combination of open and closed fermenters and matured in French oak for 12-14 months. Enjoy now to 2023
Soft, fleshy-textured Shiraz displaying blueberries and spice, supple tannins and stylish French oak influence."
McLaren Vale, in South Australia, has a climate like the Mediterranean, which makes it perfect for growing grapes. Shiraz from the area tends to be ripe, bold, with spice, chocolate and dark berry notes. This wine is an excellent example of the style.
Vandenberg "The Melee" ($15.99)
Limestone Coast, Australia
From the producer:
"If there’s anything the Vandenberg family knows to be true, it’s that just as a smooth sea never made a sailor, a gentle terrain has never made a winemaker.
In 1857, an intrepid young Dutchman took to the high seas as a merchant sailor in search of fortune, adventure and a better life. 10,000 miles and 88 days later, a terrible nor’westerly gale parted the 800-tonne Dutch vessel, from her anchor and dashed her against the rocks of South Australia’s Limestone Coast.
Of the 23 strong crew, only nine made it ashore with their lives. Among them was Ari Vandenberg, a man of uncommon courage and tenacity. Soaked and chilled to the bone by the frigid Southern Ocean, Ari looked out at the wreck that had almost claimed his life and vowed he would tame this wild land and make his mark upon it.
Four generations of grape growers and over 150 years later, Richie Vandenberg continues Ari’s legacy on the Limestone Coast, nurturing grapes from the soil to the bottle. Renowned as one of the toughest players in the Australian Football League, Richie’s grit and determination helped him captain the Hawthorn Football Club from 2005 until 2007.
Parcels of Shiraz and Cabernet are harvested separately and expertly blended.
Aromas of mint, blackcurrants and dark plums jump out of the glass.
Soft tannins, brooding black fruits, savoury spice and hints of the red earth this fruit was nurtured in, meld for a lingering finish and voluptuous mouth feel."
This blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Shiraz is big, bold, robust, and smooth. It features the best of both grapes, harmonizing well and creating a deeply fruity, nicely spiced, velvety wine.
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