Two refined, single vineyard Aussie reds
I know that last month featured two Aussie wines, but I make no apology for selecting two more Aussie wines, both reds, for my July Wines of the Month, they’re so darned good.
La Violetta La Ciornia 2008 (Denmark, Great Southern) – signals loud and clear that Western Australia can make really exciting Rhonish reds. Not much of this around, especially after Matthew Jukes included it in his Top 100 Wines and I raved about it at the Western Australia Founders Day tasting earlier this month. Still, you’ll know for next time! The 2008 is a little animal, with smoky bacon on the nose and palate, which is balanced by a lovely, sublime even, lift of violets and subtle spice, also the freshness and purity of its well-defined blackberry fruit. Intense not dense, this is a delightfully nuanced, characterful, mid-weight Shiraz with a dash (2%) of Viognier – positively summery. £30 at Aus Wine Online. You can find out more about it here.
Hewitson Old Garden Mourvèdre 2007 (Barossa Valley) – I met up with Dean Hewitson a couple of weeks ago and it was great to talk about his approach to wine and his love of Mourvedre, especially this wine, which is sourced from a Mourvedre vineyard planted in 1854, reputedly the world’s oldest (see my detailed report here). Such is the intensity of its spice character that it put me in mind of an aged vintage Madeira wine’s heady concentration of spice box aromas and flavours. And it’s quite funky and savoury too with lavender/saddle soap mocha (new oak) coming through as it opens up. But there’s no doubting the gout de terroir here, especially on the long, tight, intense finish with minerals, liquorice spice and a lick of black treacle amply supported by textured, ripe tannins. BBQ spare ribs anyone? £26, Planet of the Grapes, Byrne & Co.