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Buy McLaren Vale Wine – Backyard Shed Cru Tasting Pack #8

Red Pack #8

2010 Ducks in a Row Straight Up Mataro

From a vineyard near Willunga (in the McLaren Vale region) and was matured in 7 year old oak.  The wine making direction to show off the fruit and not just load it up with obvious oak tannins.  I get vanilla plums (maybe a plum stored in a jar with a vanilla bean) but there is also a hint of blue character that is most intriguing.  There are side dishes of Mulberry and maybe even some rhubarb.  The grape tannins work to provide a well structured wine that has length on it’s side.  I am going to keep a few bottles to see how this wine will age.

2008 Thorpe Wines Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Made from estate grown from the vineyard on the corner of Malpas and California roads (on the flat between McLaren vale and Willunga).  When I try this wine I have one word resonating – balanced.  All elements are balanced and not one thing over powers any other.  The aromas show the expected black current with ironstone, slate and black olives.  The flavours are smooth but show strength – black current, slate, black olives, and cedar notes.  The tannins are there but not over powering.  The one unusual element I get is the iodine character.  This characteristic seems to be a trait of this particular vineyard.  All in all a smart effort.

2010 Sabella J. Petrucci and Son Shiraz

I have tried the last 3 vintages of Shiraz that Michael Petrucci has made and I think each year has been better than the last.  This wine made the McLaren Vale Scarce Earth Project for 2010 wines.  I suppose one should make good or better wine from the 2010 vintage, but I get a sense of more.  I get the feeling that Michael is getting to understand his craft and his raw materials (grapes from his father’s vineyard) better. The wine shows the aromas expected from Shiraz and a mild dose of white pepper.  I really enjoyed the strength brought on by the fruit as much as any oak treatments.  There is plenty of acid here also so the wine should last for ages.

2008 Zimmermann Shiraz

Made with love from the foothills of the Willunga escarpment.  The grapes sitting proud on the valley slopes in this small part of the McLaren Vale district that are tendered by a couple that are looking to enjoy a life of grape growing, wine making, selling and a good wholesome environment for a Bed and Breakfast style accommodation.  With wines like this they are doing a number of things right.  The 2008 vintage was hot and challenging and they got their fruit picked and processed before the heatwave did it’s damage.  The wine has the aromas of lifted plum with side servings of pomegranate, cherry and rhubarb plus just a sprinkle of white pepper.  The flavours followed plum and cherry up front with some integrated oak tannins and just a hint of licorice on the finish.  This wine has plenty of time left in it but why wait.  I had a bottle recently with a juicy steak, creamed potatoes and steamed beans – lovely.

2010 Marius Sympatico Shiraz

The grapes for this wine come from a wonderfully complex vineyard – the soils have been transported from the Willunga Escarpment down to the foothills below.  The soil is rocky and sparse and the vines do their bit by struggling through each year.  In 2010 I helped pick some of the grapes that went into making this wine.  Mr Marius Wines himself – Roger, does not allow me to purchase wines often to have them available for sale but I talked him into releasing a small amount.  The wine is all about power and as soon as you open the wine it hits you – brambly and dark plum with some course black pepper.  After leaving the wine in the glass for a while the wine transforms with some finesse appearing with lavender and cardamon.  The flavours are similar to the aromas lots of plum and bramble fruits with lavender and licorice coming through.  The tannins here have strength but not disruptive to the fruit – an interesting balance.  This wine really needs a few more years in the bottle or at least give the wine significant time in contact with air before you drink it.  We tried it the other day with a Beef Burgoyne which was a wonderful match.

2010 Fork in the Road Shiraz

Another wine from the McLaren Vale Scarce Earth Project.  This wine from the Old Oval Estate is from a vineyard on Sand Road and has the same geology as the J. Petrucci & Sons wine also in this pack.  The wine aromas start off with cherry and blackberry fruits mixed with a dustiness of tannin.  The oak character is minimal here so I expect these tannins to be from the fruit (eg pips).  There is some vanilla coming through – an indication of American oak influence there.  This wine was so engaging that after smelling the wine my mouth was salivating.  Interestingly, after the first sip I was still hooked and wanted more – always a good sign.  The flavours were the same fruits on the front of the mouth and the oak and tannin on the back of the palate.  Not what a lot of people would call a classic wine but one I believe many people would just enjoy to drink.

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