It does not seem like 6 months have passed since the previous release of the Taste McLaren Vale membership wine pack – called Backyard Shed Cru, but is has been. The concept of calling tha pack the “Backyard Shed Cru” comes from the fact that most of these wines come from producers that are so small they make their wine in a small shed – either in their back yard or somebody elses backyard. If you like what you see then check out the Taste McLaren Vale Backyard Shed Cru Membership here. Every 6 months we send out a wine six pack. The wines come from little know wineries and are really a tasting pack you you to try new wines from the small artisan McLaren Vale wine producers.
2010 Rusty Mutt Shiraz
Straight away the wonderful Shiraz fruit comes shining through. The aromas of plums and cherries with hints of red licorice and an almost perfume character. the drinking is where the fruit treatment hits you. This wine is elegant and silky smooth – one could almost call it a feminine wine. There is nose of the in your face gutsy McLaren Vale Shiraz. Instead there is a complex fruit compote with black and blue fruits with hints of red and black licorice and even a little chocolate action. Little oak influence – particularly when the wine has been given time to breathe. The complexity lends itself to food but more subtle styles like a roast duck curry – in itself different as I do not believe I have previously recommended a McLaren vale Shiraz to be consumed with duck.
2009 Ruffilli Estates Ambition Cabernet Merlot
More complex than I was expecting – herbs of mint, lavender, Rosemary and thyme combined with blackcurrent fruit wrapped with an envelope of unobtrusive oak tannin. There is a slight hint of greenness and a small donut effect. The donut effect of Cabernet is where the mid palate flavours diminish in the middle of the wine. It is here but only just. When left to breathe the secondary flavours and aromas of chocolate and licorice come through. The chocolate here defines the mid palate and thus no donut! Definitely a food wine maybe a rabbit and root vegetable casserole. One to watch out for and to keep – if you can.
2011 Wistmosa Shiraz
This wine was part of the 2011 release of the McLaren Vale Scarce Earth Project. I like a lot about the Scarce Earth Project – particularly the concept of having wines that are single vineyard, minimal winemaker or oak influences. Aromas of chocolate, deep fruits and almost a sense of mushrooms right at the end. In the mouth this wine is all about what good McLaren Vale Shiraz should be – chocolate, licorice, plums, pepper and some dried herbs. A wine that was just a joy to savor and never to guzzle!
2010 GMH “Founders Choice” Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre
Just a good old fashioned drinkable version of the McLaren Vale blend staple. There are the usual red and black fruits here and hints of violets that seems to be associated with Mourvedre. Oak influences are minimal - this wine just screams drink me now! Who am I to argue.
2009 Handcrafted by Geoff Hardy Shiraz
Smart drinking McLaren Vale Shiraz – this just about sums this wine up. Plums, chocolate, licorice and hints of french cedar oak (not too much though). If you were not convinced that McLaren Vale was so suited to producing quality Shiraz then you should try this. Sure this wine will last a while but why wait. It is BBQ weather now so why not put this wine to the test.
2011 Oneotria Vintners “Land of the Vines” Cabernet Sauvignon
The winemaker (Kurt) has been coming down to McLaren Vale to be involved with vintage. He has been making with with Adam Hooper from La Curio fame. Kurt is so dedicated to the cause he even sleeps in the winery so he can look after his “wine flock” at any time of the day or night. I must say I was impressed with this wine as it shows wonderful Cabernet (black current) character that does not always show with McLaren Vale Cabernet. As well as the black current I get a hints of chocolate, licorice and dried herbs. The oak is only noticeable on the back palate. I have tried this wine now over the last 6 months and it is consistently better each time. I suggest leave the wine for about another year and it will be even better.