St Mary’s is a winery that exhibits – to taste – all the hallmarks of Coonwarra’s classic terra rossa soils, yet for reasons which appear more overthought than sensible, it finds itself sitting in the lesser known Limestone Coast region. Upon learning of the Coonawarra boundary dispute – which St Mary’s fell on the other side of – my initial thought was how hard can it be to draw a geographical indication (GI) boundary? Quite hard it turns out! This well written article outlines in exquisite detail exactly why.
My thoughts? Coonawarra is a unique region in Australian wine, one of the few with a true goût de terroir. Adopting a purposive approach to wine region zoning, if it’s got the same type of terra rossa soil, the wines taste typical of Coonawarra and the vineyards are near Penola, then all things being equal, my view is that it probably should be included in the region. If the soils and wines typically are different, then all things being equal, including such wines in the region are probably in fairness not doing the region any favours. Too simple perhaps.
Anyway, what of the wine here? The 2013 vintage of the Carillon is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, cabernet franc and malbec. It has aromatics that remind of tobacco, cedar, plum and raisin. The palate shows similar characters with medium length and balance. This is an enjoyable and balanced wine.
Rating: Good, Abv: 14%, Price: $40, Source: sample, Vendors and website: http://stmaryswines.com, Tasted: 2015