Wednesday, 02 January, 2013 23:47
Lavina Wines have recently moved to their Blewitt Springs home in Beltunga Close. This is an excellent part of McLaren Vale where wonderful vines produce some of McLaren Vale’s best wines. The area is mainly covered in sand over peat moss and this combination works well.
The administration are is available for tastings by appointment only (contact email@example.com). Lavina Wines have an interesting approach where they have targeted differing audiences with having a wide range of wines from the high volume Mitcham Estate range (marketed to the supermarket chains) through to the premium range that is targeted to asian markets and with various price levels in between. In this way they have something for everybody.
The new estate has plantings of Cabernet Franc (40 and 20 years old) plus 10 year old Shiraz. These vineyards are being revitalised and will form a part of the mix for future releases including Cabernet Franc as a varietal release.
View from Lavina Wines Cellar Door
The grapes are bought from contracted growers (a number of them in the Seaview area) that they work closely with and pay a premium for the grapes ie they are prepared to pay a premium for their insistence on how to look after some of the vines. Most of the vineyards are either grown with organic or biodymanic principles. The quality of the fruit is king here – it is not unusual for whole berry maceration in 2 tonne fermenters and after about 9 days in ferment the free run juice is separated with the remainder being foot stamped recombined and then basket pressed into french oak – larger puncheons are used.
As a general comment I find the Shiraz wines from Lavina very interesting as they show a very blue character which I am not used to. I suspect it is due to either a specific clone, the outcome of a specific climate and geology or blending of a minor component of another variety or varieties – I am not sure which or all are relevent.
This is the second time I have tasted wines from Lavina Wines and I am continued to be impressed. For red wine drinkers it would be difficult to not find something you liked at the price point you desire. Well worth checking out.
And now the wines……..
Shiraz, Shiraz Cabernet, Cabernet & Chardonnay (all $10)
2010 Shiraz ($20)
The aromas were somewhat difficult to get, all I was able to decipher was a little white pepper. Then the McLaren Vale-ness kicked it on with the flavours – the pepper and plums on the front of the mouth and then chocolate and anise on the back palate. The tannins were more pronounced than for the other wines tasted later and left the teeth feeling dry. This wine has all the elements for a long life and if left for a year or 2 (at least) would pay dividends.
2010 Shiraz Grenache ($20)
At time of tasting this wine had been only bottled for 2 weeks. With this the aromas were short (as was expected) – with oak based spices being dominant. The flavours were another thing. As expected, with Grenache, the wine was medium bodied. What I was not expecting was the blue character of the fruit. The spice from the aromas comes through as pepper and I was impressed with the length. I suspect this wine will improve quickly over the next few months to become a real beauty and value a this price.
2010 Chardonnay ($15)
2010 Shiraz ($20)
The Barossa fruit shows all the classical element for the variety. Cedar, plum and pepper aromas and then vibrant fresh plums and a clean acid fueled finish. At this price it is a bargain and one should lap it up (even though it is not from McLaren Vale).
2010 Shiraz Cabernet ($20)
The fruit for this wine also comes from the Barossa. Aromas of leather, cherry and plum indicate a young wine with a little something added to provide complexity – smart blending here. The flavours show the expected blackcurrent up front and a finish of fresh plums. the fruit is balanced well with the acid and tannins. Another example of the classical Australian blend and it is good to see these good examples coming back into peoples thinking.
Since the tasting a Cabernet Franc and a Grenache were due for release in this range.
2012 Riesling ($25)
Not tasted as it was not released at the time of tasting. I note this is a Tasmanian wine and should be an interesting contrast to the McLaren Vale and a few Barossa wines.
2010 Grenache Shiraz ($35)
Straight away I could see this was a beauty. Yes I enjoy Grenache based wines and I am told that Grenache is getting easier to sell – well this wine stands for why Grenache should be grown in McLaren Vale. The aromas were like a waft of violets wrapped around star anise. The flavours and mid weight palate show Grenache elegance of the red fruits and the soft tannin structure. Even though the structure was soft is was lingering with the elements of violets, mint and a hint of meatiness. “Bring it on”, I say.
While I was at the tasting the news came through that this wine had just won a gold medal at the 2012 Melbourne Wine Show – I would have to agree with the judges this wine is terrific.
2010 Shiraz ($35)
I find Shiraz from this winery very intriguing as there is an element of blue fruits on both the aroma and flavours. I expect this is due to the Shiraz clone that the fruit comes from. There is a spice mix here that mixes well with the licorice, plum and cedar notes. Another element I have come to expect from this stable is the cleaver use of oak that provides a soft finish. Hard to go past my written notes about this wine – “lovely”.
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon ($35)
Firstly I can report there is no element of greenness that I find in many Cabernet wines. So far so good. Clean and clear blackcurrent fruit here with a bouquet of mixed dried herbs. I know this is only a few words but I really like this wine.
2009 The Aurum Release Shiraz ($50)
Aromas of blue fruits (again) and satsuma plums mixed with red licorice (never said that before). The flavours show lovely lifted fruit (satsuma plum) with the usual blueness. Hints of lavender polished the dry and dusty tannin finish.
2010 The Aurum Release Shiraz ($50)
So different to the 2009 Aurum! The aromas were dominated by spices, lavender and violets. Compared to the 2009 this wine is so much fuller with plums and licorice. The wine is very structural with an interesting textural mouthfeel and a supporting tannin finish. Classy.
2009 Grand Royale Shiraz ($120)
I found the aromas very similar to the 2009 The Aurum with herbs, plum and licorice. The flavours show a difference with a distinct darkness (from the depth of plum fruit) and supporting tannins. An elegant or even velvet wine that just screams out to drink a second glass – and well why not.
2010 Grand Royale Shiraz ($120)
Not a big nose here and mainly herbs but the flavours showed more dark chocolate and licorice with soft tannins. In a word seamless. Highly enjoyable and well worht checking out
2010 Grand Royale Cabernet Sauvignon ($95)
Cabernet and I have not always seen eye to eye – well this wine may have just changed this view. There is a whole package here that is just a joy to consume. Consume is not the right word – maybe experience. There is the usual blackcurrent with some mint and dried herbs with an emphasis on lavender. Silky smooth tannins and balanced acid leads to a wine that just screams out to enjoy the experience. Match it with some lamb roast and I will be there!