Wine Tasting – Reds Galore

22. 07. 2006



Brown Brothers Tempranillo 2004

Milawa, Victoria 14% a/vol

I am impressed with Brown Brothers approach to new varietals. They have a ‘Kindergarten Winery’, a trial patch for newcomers and every now and then one of the many varietals tested makes it onto the market. Tempranillo, the grape of the Rioja region of Spain thrives in Heathcote, adapting well to the Cambrian soil and climate. This is no doubt a food wine and, paired with Spanish tapas it is a sensory delight.

Colour: Lightest colour in the line up, crimson and bright.

Nose: Coconut and vanillin with a hint of spice.

Palate: Quite thin at first with reasonably high acid and slightly astringent then changing to dry roasted meat and warm spice with the creamy mouthfeel of custard apple.

Comment: A most interesting and challenging food wine.


d’Arenberg News

2006 heralds a big change at d’Arenberg; all wines will henceforth be released under stelvin. In-house tests, pressure from distributors, retailers, restaurateurs and consumers, and an unexpectedly high consumer acceptance, has prompted d’Arenberg to release all their wines (including their icon wines: The Ironstone Pressings GSM, The Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon and The Dead Arm Shiraz) under screwcap. We applaud their initiative!


d’Arenberg The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

McLaren Vale, South Australia 14% a/v

Colour: Purple with crimson highlights.

Nose: Closed at first, even slightly dirty, with green capsicum (may show a small amount of Bret).

Palate: Quite green, stalky, lots of unripe tannins, with noticeable acidic, a touch of secondary bottle fermentation.  Finishes with dried raisins and very ripe dark berries.

Comment: Not a good example of this wine.


Leconfield Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Coonawarra, South Australia 14% a/vol

It was Sydney Hamilton who established the Leconfield vineyards in Coonawarra 30 years ago and planted the first Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. His first flagship Cabernet Sauvignon was released in 1977 and the 2004 mirrors his philosophy of depth with elegance and the judicious use of wood. Age it for 10 years and watch a future Coonawarra classic in the making.

Colour: Plum.

Nose: Smooth, integrated oak, green capsicum (strongly varietal, reflecting the terroir).

Palate: A touch of coconut mirrors the wood used. It is soft and earthy with dry powdery tannins. A hint of green asparagus masks faint cedary aromas. Drink now if you must, but be rewarded by extended cellaring.

Comment: very drinkable, smooth and elegant with an added bouquet lift from the small addition of Cabernet Franc.


Lunar Wines Cabernet Sauvignon

Mananga, Barossa Valley, South Australia 14.5% a/vol

Corey Chaplin has worked at Rockford, Rusden and a few others in the Barossa Valley and has finally decided to release his own wines. These are stunning wines, showing off the Barossa Terroir without being over the top alcoholic or tannic and they’re (still) affordable (RRP $30).

Colour: Darkest in the line-up.

Nose: Green (no capsicum), quite stalky, dry and dusty, reluctant to give up its secrets at first. Needs time in the glass.

Palate: Smooth, smooth, smooth! Low perceivable acid with pleasantly cooked fruit (positive and savoury), drying tannins but integrated with a touch of red cordial or raspberries, finishing savoury and alluring.

Comment: Very elegant and balanced wine. Although quite savoury, this wine shines with lots of fruit.

Available from:

Edinburgh Hotel and Cellars.

1 - 7 High Street Mitcham.

South Australia. 5062.

Ph + 61 (0) 8 8373 2753

Fax + 61 (0) 8 8271 8904



The Stump Jump South Australia 2005 (Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvèdre) d’Arenberg

South Australia (Stump Jump is an old-fashioned type of plough used to clear the mallee) 14.5% a/vol

This very affordable wine is a must have in your quaffable collection!

Colour: It’s dense, dark and has legs.

Nose: Cassis and cinnamon vie for attention.

Palate: A touch of volatile alcohol (nail polish) then marshmallow and dark caramel but no sweetness. A complex and dark wine.

Comment: Very unusual in the line-up, showing lots of bright flavours. Will enhance even your mother’s roast…


d’Arenberg d’Arrys Original Shiraz Grenache 2004

McLaren Vale, South Australia, 14.5% a/vol

Colour: Dark deep red with purple hues.

Nose: A whiff of BO then lovely cooked raspberries and violets.

Palate: Drying tannins, red berries and violets combine into a fruit-forward and satisfying red.

Comment: Very pleasant and soft. Suggested food: Drunken pigeon at Flavour of Peking.


Richard Hamilton Gumprs’ Shiraz 2004

McLaren Vale, South Australia 14% a/vol

The wine maker is Paul Gordon and he aims to produce a wine with excellent fruit definition and good length; characteristics with typify good McLaren Vale Shiraz. With this wine he certainly succeeds.

Colour: Purple and dense.

Nose: Master stock with a touch of old wood, some leather, coffee, dark chocolate and a touch of vanilla

Palate: Immediately savoury, a little musty with hints of rotten wood, dried meet, biltong, clean and recognisable acid and a finish of sour berries.

Comment: Terrific savoury wine reflecting the terroir and a food wine.


d’Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2004

McLaren Vale, South Australia, 14.5% a/vol

Colour: Medium dense purple to solid red.

Nose: Leather and vanilla with a touch of dark chocolate, some tobacco leaf to round it off.

Palate: Secondary fermentation (slight) in the bottle gives a Szechuan pepper-like sensation on the tongue. Cherries, red berries and violets assert themselves with strong drying tannins. Finishing with dark berries and cassis.

Comment: Great food wine, quite high in acid, still very young.


Lunar Wines Shiraz 2004

Mananga, Barossa Valley, South Australia 14.5% a/vol

The other Corey Chaplin wine. This one retails for $27 and it was the one wine in the line up that I wanted to take home and finish during dinner after that tasting. It’s an astounding Barossa Shiraz!

Colour: Very dark with sunset highlights.

Nose:  Earthy, cut grass, hot chocolate with a whiff of coconut.

Palate: Raspberries and creaming soda at first. Creamy mouthfeel with forest floor and horse stable undertones. Lots of chocolaty, briary aromas, tight, well-structured with velvety tannins.

Comment: Big wine, but gorgeously smooth, lots of sediment on the bottle already. We all loved it!


Eppalock Ridge Shiraz 2003

Rod and Sue Hourigan moved from the McLaren Vale to Heathcote in the 70s and never regretted their decision. Sourcing fruit from Redesdale and Colbinabbin they produce a gutsy Shiraz. Dark and spicy notes mingle with dark cherries and finish on a note of peppery heat. A good wine to drink now with a slab of barbecued beef or cellar for a few years and wait for the more gamey characters to develop.  RRP $ 29 p/bottle

For more information have a look at: