Australia tasting

Another great tasting at Cambridge Wine Merchants last Wednesday, in their new basement tasting room at 42 Mill Road. The intention was to show that it’s possible to move away from the fruit- and alcohol-driven mass market and discover Australian wines which attempt a little more finesse and terroir.

There wasn’t a duff wine amongst the eight. The four I ended up buying were:

  • Harewood Estate Denmark Riesling 2006 – A lovely petrol nose undercut with citrus. Elderflower and under-ripe green pepper (tasty in a wine!) It lacked the minerality of a German Riesling but was excellent, and much more to my taste than the big tropical fruit style found elsewhere in Australia.
  • Woodlands Margaret River Cabernet Merlot 2006 – A full nose of dark cherries with herbal undertones. Full flavour of soft spice, mulled plums and damsons. Soft tannins but an underlying tautness reminiscent of a decent claret. Probably my favourite.
  • Heartland Dolcetto Lagrein 2006 – The most unusual of the eight. Deep blackberry nose with a slight hint of farmyard. Full of blackcurrant and spice, tasty tannins and cedar. The Dolcetto grape is the mainstay of the Piedmont region of Italy, whilst the Lagrein is from Alto Adige.
  • Kooyong Massale Pinot Noir 2006 – A spicy cherry nose with a slight gaminess. Fruit and light cherries on the palate, redcurrants, refreshing acid and a nice complexity. I bought this for Graham to try to see if it meets his requirements for exciting Pinot Noirs.

I almost got a bottle of the Chalkers Crossing Hilltops Semillon 2006 too.

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