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.
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.