A cosy bunch of budding wine connoisseurs assembled over the weekend at BayPlay on Portsea for the inaugural University of Melbourne Student Wine Society wine camp. I was excited to be able to put together two short tasting sessions to kick-off the camp, and as a prelude to a Saturday of touring the Mornington Peninsula. Since there were quite a number of international exchange students, I went with an after-dinner 4-some to showcase the typical wine styles of some distinct wine producing regions. Here are my tasting notes, and I did pose the challenge for winecampers to sign up to this blog and post their most imaginative impressions of these wines. The best descriptive, most hilarious comment which channels Cards Against Humanity will get a $40-50 bottle of wine from my cellar.
Picaroon Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012, WA
$15 from Prince Wine Store. Produced by Domaines & Vineyards (est 2009) with fruit from Margaret River, Pemberton and Great Southern. Clear, pale straw colour. On the nose, the gooseberry aroma is striking, indicating a dominance of Sauvignon Blanc in this blend. Tacked on are herbaceous notes, blackcurrants and lemon. Good clean acidity that doesn’t tire out the mouth, clean flavours of lemon citrus and blackcurrants. The mouthfeel is quite broad contributed from the Semillon. There is also a Shiraz and a Cabernet Sauvignon in this range. Drink now. 87/100.
Rieslingfreak No.4 Eden Valley 2013, SA
$22 from Prince Wine Store. Made by John Hughes with fruit from a unique vineyard located between Flaxman and Eden Valleys. The vineyard has vines facing both east-west and north-south aspects, with the E-W providing the fruit flavour and the N-S providing the acid balance. Pale, clear lemon yellow colour. Youthful aromas, but there appears to be a strong nose of kerosene suggesting an almost over-ripeness. There is dense lemon essence and orange melon aromas but I’m quite distracted by the kero notes. High fruity acidity, the fresh palate contains flavours of lemon, lime, pink grapefruit and ripe melon. Drink now, or stash for 8+ years – could be interesting… 90/100.
Wistmosa McLaren Vale Grenache 2012, SA
$30 from Prince Wine Store. This is a relatively new label to hit the market, with the 2010s being the first small batch to be put out for retail. There are 700 bottles of the 2012 Grenache. Wild yeast fermentation, twice daily plunging of the cap, transferred and aged in seasoned oak barrels for 12 months. Clear, medium ruby-crimson colour. Youthful aromas of fig, plum, dark berries and anise. A medium-bodied dry wine, acidity balanced nicely with the ripe flavours of sweet red plums and raspberry. Hint of plum skin bitterness combined with soft tannins. A subtle lingering finish. Drink now – 2017. 89-90/100.
Landhaus Estate The Saint Shiraz 2012, Barossa Valley, SA
$20 from Prince Wine Store. One of the best-valued Shiraz on the market today. Fruit off low yielding, 65-75 year old vines were sourced from Ebenezer, Greenock, Stockwell, Koonunga Hill, Kalimna and Bethany. Matured for 14 months in 2-4 year old French oak barrels. Intense ruby-purple colour. Youthful lifted aromas of black cherry, black plums, chocolate, sweet spice. In the mouth, it is a med+ to full-bodied wine, dry, with high acidity and moderate dark chocolate-like tannins. Rich flavours of cherry, plum and spice, the solid aftertaste lingers for a reasonable time. Drink now – 2019. 90/100. Remember, after you’ve had the Saint, you’ve simply got to have the Sinner.