This is a lovely sauvignon blanc from Terre à Terre in Wrattonbully. It’s from a closely planted (1.5m x 1.5m spacing) vineyard and fermented in old French oak before ageing in barrel for 8 months. In the glass, there are aromatics of meal, together with gooseberry and lemons. The palate has fresh, racy acidity and presents with a refined balance. Ready to drink now, this is an attractive style. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 12.9%. Price: $40. Website: http://terreaterre.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: October 2019.
Labelled as shiraz, this is in fact a blend of 88% shiraz and 12% cabernet franc. I cannot easily think of where this blend might otherwise appear in the world. It opens to an aroma of game, clove, plums and spice. The palate is full fruited, with cedar undertones (oak is 10% new). Rating: Good. Abv: 14.3%. Price: $40. Website: https://terreaterre.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: September 2019.
This Terre à Terre wine is from the Crayères vineyard in Wrattonbully, north of Coonawarra. It has aromas of cedar, earth and red fruits and that Coonawarra “ferrous” character. The palate has long length and terrific balance. An impressive release, this wine can be approached now but should improve with 5 to 8 years in the cellar. Rating: Very Good to Outstanding. Abv: 14.4%. Price: $55. Website: http://terreaterre.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: September 2019.
This is the most serious and high quality expression of Australian cabernet franc that I have tasted. The wine is from Terre à Terre in Wrattonbully, near Coonawarra and the border between South Australia and Victoria. The soil here is terra rossa limestone and the vineyard is known as the Crayères. This is a region to watch for cabernet franc on this tasting. Saint-Emilion rather than Chinon in style, in the glass, the wine has typical cabernet franc aromas of tobacco, red fruits and spices. The palate has prodigious length, well judged cedar and firm tannins. Built to last this wine can be approached now or over the next decade. A bargain at $40. Rating: Outstanding. Abv: 14.2%. Website: http://terreaterre.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: September 2019.
Here are a couple of local sangiovese wines tasted recently. Sangiovese is a variety that I don’t think has yet produced a great wine in Australia. But these two examples are very good.
Hollick Hollaia Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Wrattonbully
This wine was bottled under screwcap and has matured wonderfully in the cellar. A blend of sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon from Wrattonbully on the border between South Australia and Victoria, the wine in the glass is claret like in impression. The palate is medium bodied with long length, and in its prime drinking window. A slight overlay of mint reminds of its local origins. This is a serious effort that will impress, and may well be the best Australian interpretation of this blend that I have tasted. (Region: Wrattonbully, South Australia, Rating: Very Good, Drink: now to 2020, Tasted: Feb, 2017)
Other vintages reviewed:
Reillys Sangiovese 2013, Clare Valley
A full bodied interpretation of sangiovese, with notes of chocolate, bitumen and sour cherries. Nice length and fresh acidity make for well balanced drinking. A good by the glass choice. (Region: Clare Valley, South Australia, Rating: Good, Drink: now to 2025, Tasted: Mar, 2017)
Other vintages reviewed:
Wrattonbully just doesn’t roll off the tongue does it? It’s very close to Coonawarra, and straddles the South Australian and Victorian border, in that remote part of the world. I’d be interested to know how it’s going as a GI. Does it sell? Does it get recognition? Perhaps the French get this right with their frequent use of hybrid appellation names – something like a “surrounds of Coonawarra” seems somewhat easier for the consumer weighed down with choice.
Anyway, rant aside, what then of Patrick’s 2005 shiraz? It’s a wine in two parts – pre and post oxidation. Pre, the wine had a soft aroma of plums, oaks and spice, and some soft length on the palate, lacking a bit of depth. Generally ok I thought, but a bit expensive for what you got. With about an hour in the glass, the wine transformed itself seemingly adding layers of depth to the palate, and presented really quite well. Definitely a candidate for decanting and not for snap judgement.
In 2015, the wine seems thinnish, with short to medium length, and flavours dominated by coffee, roasted figs and light herbals. It’s certainly pleasant enough, but that without more.
Rating: Acceptable to Good, Abv: 14%, Price: $26, Website: http://www.patrickofcoonawarra.com.au, Tasted: 2010, 2015
Deeply coloured, this wine had a good solid aroma of cassis. The palate was similar, showing around 5 seconds of length, and drinking well now. Perhaps a little simple, but very pleasant. 82 points.