One Mans Story, From Grape to Glass Winetasting
YWCA, 1 Macdonnell Rd Central, 17th May
I was not really sure what I was committing to when I signed up for this. I head about it through the Adelaide Cellar Door's mailing list and came along in the hope of trying a few new wines. The event was hosted by David Harris (whose family runs the Adelaide Cellar Door) and run through the YWCA (see here).
The first part of the evening was a personal account of David's background alongside a discussion on the global wine market, the necessities of grape growing and the process of wine production. Though basic, I think most enjoyed it and it was enlightening to glimpse things from David's farming perspective. His move from sheep to the wine industry was interesting, as where his views on the influence of infrastructure on the Australian wine industry and his lively opinions on the French.
The second part of the evening was all about drinking. On tasting were ones from the Adelaide Cellar Door (see here), a company run by David's wife and daughter. Adelaide Cellar Door imports small boutique wines from South Australia and aims to go from the producer straight to the consumer's door, cutting the costs of the middle man. Though having the drawback of only selling wine by the case, Adelaide Cellar Door does offer unique wines at competitive prices. David toured us through a selection of shirazes off their list and here are my opinions:
Horbreck Barossa Shiraz, 2005, $85: A young and upfront wine. The nose was packed with very ripe fruit and some smoky oak flavours. The palate was good, with lots of almost jammy fruit, though the alcohol was a touch obvious and the tannins not really defined. All up pretty good drop for the price.
D'Estree Bay Wrattonbully Shiraz, 2003, $130: I liked this wine a lot. The nose was oozing fruit, with berries aplenty and a hint of sweetness. The palate was soft and full, with strong, well balanced tannins. D'Estree Bay Shiraz really is a cracker of a cool climate wine at an attractive price.
Cape d'Estaing Kangaroo Island Shiraz, 2003, $210 (website): Another alluring wine. The nose had plenty of fruit accompanied by pepper and spice. The plate had a lovely savoury note along side beautiful silky tannins, though it perhaps lacked length. An elegant and refined wine and while certainly not cheap offers interesting drinking from a different region.
Alsare Barossa Shiraz, 2004, $150: I wasn't a huge fan of this. Alsare Shiraz has a typical big Barossa nose with lots of ripe fruits and perhaps a hint of mint. The high alcohol content showed and tended to dominate the palate. The wine was perhaps a little unbalanced and maybe needs some time to settle down. Not really my thing.
Pencost Estate Robert Hartley Reserve Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2001, $180: A big fruit filled red that was showing it's age well. Again the nose of this wine was bursting with lots of ripe fruit; red berries, plum and a hint of spice. The palate was packed full, with big, but well integrated tannins, though the alcohol was perhaps a little obvious. All up a good wine, packing a big punch.