Matt Connell has launched his own label with a couple of very stylish wines made from pinot noir grapes grown at Bendigo.
It’s always a pleasure to receive a package of new release pinot noir from Otago’s subregional specialist, Valli Wines.
Water Wheel Shiraz 2014, Bendigo, AUD $19
Water Wheel Memsie Homestead Shiraz, Bendigo 2013 $12 It’s hard to believe this generous mouthful of red wine is just $12. With its deep, youthful red-purple colour, pepper/spice and red berry aromas, it’s full-bodied, rich and supple with stacks of flavour and soft tannins. Alcohol,
Passing Clouds Cabernet Sauvignon, Bendigo 2012 $50 This is a big and very tannic, densely coloured cabernet with a slightly aggressive rawness that screams “Leave me alone for at least five years!” Tar and black-olive aromas with oak riding above nascent black-fruit flavours. Powerful, driving
Competitions always add an extra frisson to a wine tasting. Kiwis love to compete against Australians – provided we win, of course. Yes, this is a tasting of wine made from the same grape variety on either side of the Tasman but I’m afraid it’s hardly a competition. To compare Kiwi Syrah with Aussie Shiraz is like comparing, well… sheep and kangaroos. They’re both hard to catch and taste good but that’s about where the similarities end.
At a time when winemakers are vigorously diversifying into ‘alternative’ grape varieties, it can be disconcerting to find that a given winery’s shiraz, cabernet, tempranillo and sangiovese all have much the same flavour. Minced gumleaves! Eucalyptol is one of the most volatile and concentrated aromas found in wine. How it gets there has been a subject of argument. Is it gum trees near the vineyard? Does it carry on the wind? Is it in the soil? If the vines are on cleared land, did the gum trees leave a residue that gets into the wine?