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McLaren Vale Wine – Angoves

Angove Wines McLaren Vale Cellar Door

I have been watching this new cellar door being built over the last few months and so I was quite excited about visiting the newest cellar door in McLaren Vale.  I was also excited by seeing how this new facility was going to be set up.  I grew up near Tea Tree Gully (TTG) where a considerable part of the Angoves story has unfolded.  Until recently, a small cellar door was situated in TTG and while I have been working all around the wonderful country I would always visit this facility when I visited home.  This old cellar door really was bargain central where bin ends overseas stock and wrongly bottled wines would be available for sale.  This new cellar door could not be further away from the old TTG facility.  Here there are 2 whole ranges that are McLaren Vale based.  Firstly, the Warboys Vineyard range that is made from the single vineyard around the new cellar door, which has the family crest in silver on the label.  Secondly, a McLaren Vale range that is sourced from various growers in McLaren Vale and has a coloured family crest on the label.  These 2 ranges are only available at the McLaren Vale cellar door.  To compliment these 2 ranges there are some other options at both ends of the spectrum.  There are quite a few wines available for tasting so I will review the wines over 2 blog entries.

Angoves Cellar Door

Added attractions at the cellar door are the regional platters (cheese, olives and bread) or a coffee and cake or biscuits.  It was very hot the day of my visit but there is a outside courtyard area with tables and chairs – a great spot to look over the vineyard.  The “Boardroom” is available for small corporate functions and has a table made from hardwood recycled from large wooded vats previously used in the winery (the tasting bar shown above is made from the same wood).  There is also Pizza Oven hidden down one side of the cellar door that I am sure will be able to tell many stories in a couple of years time.

Cellar Door Courtyard

Anyway, enough of this lets talk about the wine………….

2011 Vineyard Select Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc ($A18)

From a Woodside vineyard in the Adelaide Hills from the Wicks stable.  The wine was surprisingly good as most areas of the Adelaide Hills were devastated by disease in 2011.  And surprised I was – the wine showed lots of passionfruit with a little grass on the nose, the palate showed tropical fruits and grass again with a length brought on by the good acid structure.  Still not for me but a good example of what the Adelaide Hills can provide that is not a NZ clone.

2011 Nine Vines Pinot Grigio ($A15)

As expected the Nine Popes range is from the vast Angove Riverland vineyards.  I was expecting pear characters but instead got citrus acid being dominate with a really interesting (and refreshing) grapefruit flavor profile.  A good clean and crisp drink that should be consumed on a Sunday afternoon with friends and Tapas.

2010 Organic Chardonnay ($A20)

One third from the Battle of Bosworth vineyard in McLaren Vale and 2 thirds from the family Renmark vineyard that has been converted to organic practices.  Some of the wine has seen 2 or 3 year old oak barrels for about 8 months.  Great to see the light use of oak as opposed to no oak at all.  A chardonnay with no oak does not seem right in my book.  This wine shows the complexity of a light oak touch with peach, nectarines with a creamy nature right before the wonderful tangy acid finish.  I am thinking a creamy chicken dish to have with this wine.

2010 McLaren Vale Chardonnay ($A20)

Only just released for the opening of the new cellar door and made from grapes from a vineyard just outside the township of McLaren Vale.  The grapes were pressed directly into 1 or 2 year old french oak barrels and the fermentation occurred with the indigenous yeasts and stirred weekly.  The result is a refined aroma of minerality and stone fruits (peach and nectarine) wrapped up in an acidity that wraps around your tongue as well.  I found this the most interesting white wine from this tasting.  The wine could be matched with many food types so maybe a Chinese banquet may go down well here.

2011 Nine Vines Moscato ($A15)

The interesting thing about Moscato is is that what you smell is what it is – grapes.  Wines made from other grapes can smell of so many other things but Moscato is very uncomplicated as it smells and tastes like the grapes it is made from.  At only 8% alcohol and not too much sugar left one can see the uncomplicated freshness is the reasoning behind the large increase in sales of this wine style.

2011 Nine Vines Grenache Shiraz Rose ($A15)

The Nine Vines Rose has been in my glass a number of times over the last 6 or 7 years,  Over this time there has been a consistent theme of quality here.  There is always the red berries and cream with clean acid.  What is a little different now is the wine seems to have a touch less sugar and for me, the resultant wine is better for it.  Sunday lunch with cheese, preserved meats, home made chutneys and fresh crusty bread – nothing more, nothing less.

2010 Organic Shiraz Cabernet ($A16)

As for the chardonnay the grapes for this wine is about 1 third from McLaren Vale’s Battle of Bosworth and 2 thirds from the Riverland.  There is a real berry and licorice theme with this wine.  The berries of black current and blackberry drive the up front flavors and the finish is driven by the licorice.

2010 Vineyard Select McLaren Vale Shiraz ($A18)

A blend from regional vineyards from the McLaren Vale region that shows all the usual elements one sees in McLaren Vale Shiraz – dark plums, generous mid palate, the spices of pepper and cardamon combined with a generous dusting of oak.  The tannins dominate the finish and one would recommend a bit longer in the bottle to let this soften a tad.

Next week I review the rest of the Angoves McLaren Vale cellar door wine list.

McLaren Vale Wine – Maximus Wines

Maximus Cellar Door

Visit Maximus Cellar Door and you are likely to be greeted by the ever smiling Rowland.  Here you can try quite vast line up from such a small producer.  Over the last year or so they have gone from opening once per month to opening every weekend – just to keep up with demand.  Interestingly, they have targeted high class restaurants – initially in Adelaide and now in Sydney.  There are a few retailers that also stock their wine.

The name Maximus comes from Rowland’s liking of the Gladiator film from a few years ago.  The grapes for the wines come from the vines near the cellar door on Foggo Road (half way between McLaren Vale and McLaren Flat) as well as a number of growers.  The wine have to date been made by an off site wine making contractor and now a small winery has been installed under the cellar door which I am sure will be a delight for the newly appointed winemaker.

Roland has commissioned a chocolatier to produce chocolates to consume with some of their red wines – some of the wine is inside the chocolate.  You can taste these delights at the cellar door.  They also have cheese tasting plates that can be consumed at your leisure in the cellar door on their balcony.  The views from the balcony are stunning, as you can see below.  A gas BBQ is also available for use on the balcony and they even supply chicken skewers to cook.  A little birdy tells me there will be some special sausages that has some of their wine in them that will also be available at the cellar door.  I will check this out when they are released.

Maximus Cellar Door View

Well that is enough from me, so here are some of the wines…….

2010 Grenache/Tempranillo Rose (A$20)

A 80% Grenache blend with 20% Tempranillo is all about aromas of cherries and rose petals with the rose character providing a real point of difference. This is not a real sweet style with strawberries and cherries cleansed with a clear acid finish. Refreshing with a hint of rose difference.

2010 GSM Cadensia (A$25)

Unashamedly a fan here – McLaren Vale does these 3 varieties so well. All the red mulberry fruits erupt from the wine glass. In the mouth you get spicy red fruits with a sense of earthiness. The finish here is all about the drying tannins – not overpowering but adds an interesting dimension. This also shows the wine will last a few years but I suspect the wine will not last.  This wine has been chose to be served at our Prime Minister’s functions – not a bad recommendation!

2010 Old Vine Grenache (A$25)

Oh how I do enjoy good McLaren Vale Grenache and I did enjoy this one.  Red fruits, particularly mulberry and cherry with a lovely spice envelope of subtle Moroccan spices.  Grenache does not always respond well to “big” oak and there is none of that here.  The tannins are short and tasty.  One commented that this wine could be mistaken for Pinot Noir – for me though it was all Grenache.  Bring it on!

2010 Premium Shiraz (A$25)

Straight away I got a big wiff of pepper spice as I lifted my glass towards my face.  Over time this did fade.  All the plums you would expect from McLaren Vale Shiraz with a lovely covering of chocolate that shows cleaver use of oak.  I can see this being quite popular at a BBQ or a good serving of Pepper Steak.

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (A$25)

I have been finding lately that a number of McLaren Vale Cabernets are good wines but do not always show the typical character expected from this variety.  This being the cassis or blackcurrent aromas and flavors.  Well in this case the classics are back!  I also got a smattering of blue fruits and a drying tannic finish.

Other wines not tasted
2010 Sauvingon Blanc (Adelaide Hills)
2009 Chardonnay (Adelaide Hills)
2010 Pinot Gris (Adelaide Hills)
2009 Premium Viognier
2010 Premium Tempranillo

I also hear there will be a Petit Verdot available soon.


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