The Mr. Mick rosé is made by Tim Adams in the Clare Valley and from the unlikely combination of sangiovese, tempranillo and mourvèdre. In the glass, it has a pink/purple hue, fresh acidity and is very fruity and finishes dry. Overall, this is a pleasant rosé that is low in alcohol and keenly priced. Rating: Good. Abv: 10.5%. Price: <$15. Website: mrmick.com.au.
Neither vintage nor region are clearly declared on this bottle, although my guesses are 2016 and Mudgee. Savoury, oak and smoke aromas. Smoke and spice on the palate, supplemented by sweet fruited cherries. The tannins are powdery and there is evident spritz in the glass. A bit clumsy in all (in my opinion), with an acidic finish. Rating: Acceptable. Abv: 13.5%. Price: N/A. Source: Sample.
Deep colour with restrained and savoury impression. Muted in aroma – blackcurrants mostly. Full body, spice and plums on the palate. Some evidence of oak, but not overly so. Length good, but acid impression affects the balance on the finish. Rating: Acceptable to Good. Abv: 15%. Price: $20. Source: Sample.
Deeply coloured, this wine has restrained aromatics of plum, anise and varnish. The palate is full bodied and the tannins drying. Astringent acidity on the finish detracted from this wine. Rating: Acceptable. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $16. Source: Sample.
This was the second best wine of the group. Pronounced aromas of mint and eucalyptus. Could only be Australian. Balanced palate with sweet, minty fruit and mid range length. A sound expression of Coonawarra shiraz, and a region/grape variety combination that is underrated. Rating: Good. Abv: 15%. Price: $20. Source: Sample.
Deeply coloured with a sweet expression of blackcurrant, vanilla and cedar. Pronounced in expression and plummy. The tannins are drying but in all a sound wine. Rating: Acceptable to Good. Abv: 14.4%. Price: $29. Source: Sample.
This wine was the best of the set. Lighter in colour, with an orange rim. It opens to restrained aromatics of cherry, earth and tobacco. The palate is towards full bodied, with fine tannins and a touch of bitterness on the finish. Rating: Good. Abv: 14.8%. Price: $25. Source: Sample.
I spotted this on a restaurant by-the-glass list, and thought I’d give it a go. “Loco” I vaguely recalled as meaning crazy in Spanish, so my hopes were not high but then nor was the price. Yecla as a wine region more or less drew a blank so that added to its appeal. It turns out this region is in south eastern Spain, north of Murcia, in the event that should prove a useful counter reference. Yecla (perhaps if I keep typing it, I will remember it) is dominated by monastrell (85% of plantings), otherwise known as mourvèdre in France or mataro in South Australia and is dominated by a single cooperative (La Purisima), and this of course is a monastrell. Monastrell buds and ripens very late and has heady tendencies, and I rather suspect this is a typical example of a southern Spanish hot climate expression of it.
Its aromatics remind of confectionary, leather and game and is sweet smelling. The palate has mid weight tannins that are slightly grippy and a warm earthy character with lavender spice overtones and a pinched expression. The wine does not scale any heights, but is not intended to either. It would appeal as a Côtes du Rhone substitute that is perfectly pleasant value drinking at around $12 a bottle.
Read more at: no obvious website; please let me know if you spot one.
The release notes refer to a “rare find in the Pyrenees”. That’s what I was thinking too, as I haven’t seen a lot of mataro (aka mourvèdre) in these parts. A cooler climate, more elegant, expression of this grape variety is being chased. And this goal seems perfectly plausible in the temperate Pyrenees. It’s a late ripening variety planted extensively in Spain and southern France (and one that does not typically succeed north of the southern Rhône valley). The risk is of the grape variety not ripening fully and its tannins going forth untamed in cooler climates. The 2013 vintage tasted here was picked early at 13 baumé, 10% whole bunches were added and the wine aged in 5 year old French oak. In the glass, the wine has aromatics of raw prosciutto, gravel, plums, spice and iodine. The palate is savoury and balanced, with characters reminding of spice and bitters.
Vendors and website: http://mitchellharris.com.au
I felt this to be rather gamey and meaty for a shiraz, which of course, it isn’t. Off to a flying start then. It’s in fact rather good, as most Teusner wines tend to be. And instead of shiraz, this is a mourvedre (aka mataro in some parts including the label) which typically expresses itself in a meaty fashion, which rather made sense of my initial thoughts. The only objectors here are likely to be dogs, on the grounds that the wine is not actually meat, nor is the name of the wine particularly canine friendly were a discussion possible on such a point. What then of the wine? It has aromatics of deli meats, currants and raisins. Good length on the palate rounds things out. A good release.
Rating: Good to Very Good
Vendors and website: http://www.teusner.com.au