Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The Moon - Part Three (Barossa Winery Précis)

"Wine is the most civilized thing in the world." Ernest Hemingway.

With The Husband's love of all things alcoholic a significant portion of the ‘Moon was spent sourcing new additions for our ever-growing wine collection. I’m no sommelier, but I know what I like. In general, the wineries we visited fell into three categories:
  1. Wineries that offered spectacular wines with long term value;
  2. Wineries that offered very enjoyable cellar door experiences with good wines on offer; and 
  3. Wineries that were thoroughly underwhelming. 
I’m not going to name and shame the latter, but here are the wineries in the former two categories, and favourite wines at each.
1.       Spend, spend, spend!
Torbreck Wines - online here or hear them tweet.
Torbreck is one of my favourite wineries to visit, their wine is sensational throughout the well-crafted range. You can spend $22 on the Woodcutter's Shiraz right through to $700 on The Laird.  Read various reviews on their range here

David Powell, the Managing Director and Chief Wine Maker is internationally acclaimed and has collaborated with the likes of Ferran Adrià at El Bulli in Catalonia Spain, Tetsuya Wakada and Luke Mangan. Torbreck at El Bulli? Surely a match made in epicurean heaven. Wines are distributed far and wide, and can be purchased online by those in Australia, UK and the US.

Torbreck Wines lined up for consumption by the Husband & I

Kabminye Wines - online here

Kabminye offers some great wines for a price far lower than some of the more well-known winemakers in the region. Rick Glastonbury is producing small quantities, which are generally only available at the cellar door or a few restaurants and bottle shops around Australia. All Kabminye wines are 100% Barossa fruit, many made with rare traditional grape varieties. One example being the 'Kerner' a hybrid grape variety, cross-bred from Riesling and late ripening black grape. Rick's also produced a smashing sparkling chenin blanc named 'the Tulia' after his second daughter.

Delivery can be arranged throughout Australia at a very reasonable price - so order up now. Your cellar will thank you!

Rockford Wines - online here
Ah – hello my old friend Alicante Bouchet Rose, the chosen poison for all Adelaide private school university graduates. We’ve had some good times in the past, but it’s not you, it’s me. You remain consistently drinkable, but now I’m on the other side of 25, your sexy older cousin, the Rockford Black Shiraz is far more appealing.
The Black Shiraz is literally the acclaimed Basket Press Shiraz made into a sparkling shiraz with almost a champagne like texture. The result is a wine which has become almost impossible to procure, is apparently stocked by few retailers and is also subject to a three bottle per person limit at the cellar door. So a visit in person is a must.

Shiraz grapes on their way to the Basket Press...
2.       Visit & Enjoy
Two Hands Wines - online here

Two Hands offers a slick, professional cellar door, catering well for Gen-Y trendy parents group. There are sleek front tasting rooms as well as deck and lawn area complete with cricket and pentaque sets. Yummy mummies can watch the little ones from the deck whilst sipping their Beautiful Disguise White Frontignac, whilst the fathers debate the merits of the different shiraz's from Barossa, Clare or McLaren Vale regions. If you feel like splurging, purchase the Barney's Block shiraz or Bella's Garden Shiraz.

Charles Melton Wines (pet friendly) - online here
Charles Melton has a lovely rustic-style cellar door, with beautiful views from the verandah dining area and a welcoming long tasting table in front of a huge fire. Two gorgeous Dalmatians preside over Charles Melton celler door, and you're welcome to bring your own furry friend along. The restaurant offers gourmet pies along with Saskia Beer products. Great place for lunching with friends, furry or not!
Tscharke - online here
If you're after something a little different, head to Tscharke's, where winemaker Damien Tscharke is developing alternative grape varietals in the Valley, including planting Tempranillo, Graciano, Montepulciano, Zifandel and Albarino grapes. These varieties are said to be better suited to the climate, and therefore more sustainable. This is a young cellar door truly enthused about their products, and excited about doing things a little differently.
Given the Husband's fondness for Barossa shiraz, his nose was slightly upturned at the small range including the 'Tscharke Syrah', 'Potter Granacha' and the 'Girl Talk Savagnin', but I enjoyed trying something different. The cellar door also resembles Hansel and Gretal house's and is well worth a viewing.


Anonymous said...

A lovely piece on the wineries visited. I'll remain anonymous, however if I say the first two wineries are always on my must-visit list whenever I'm in the Barossa then I'm sure you can guess who this is!

While I agree wholeheartedly with Torbreck & Kabminye, I must say Rockford has never rocked my world - but that's just my palate. I still feel the Basket Press is overrated (largely to due excessive price driven by low supply, but also a wine that got a name for itself with brilliant earlier vintages that the recent years haven't matched - in my opinion). Give me the testicular viscosity and blackberry warmth of Torbreck's Struie or Gask anyday over the BP. Having said that I wouldn't pass up a glass (or bottle) of Basket Press if it was put in front of me and perhaps it's time I gave it another chance (particular if it's your Epicurean Husband's buy!).

Anonymous said...

Tscharke makes 3 different Barossa Shiraz/Syrah wines. Bloody good ones at that.

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