And the award goes to...
Our wines have won a plethora of awards in recent competitions, most notably Finca Sophenia Synthesis Malbec 2015 attaining platinum, best in show in the Decanter World Wine Awards.
The biggest and most important of Argentina`s wine regions, Mendoza includes a wide variety of altitudes and micro-climates to allow a huge range of wine styles. Many early winemakers were of Italian origin and brought with them their native Barbera, Bonarda and Sangiovese. However, it is Malbec, originally from Bordeaux and the south west of France, that has established the most successful presence in Mendoza.
Located in the high altitude Tupungato Valley region of Mendoza, this modern winery benefits from a long, cool growing season and strong UV sunlight that helps maximise the aromas and complexity of the resulting grapes. Tupungato sits at the western extreme of Mendoza right at the foot of the Andes mountains with an elevation of 1,200 meters giving benefit to the vineyards from a much cooler climate, abundant sun, and sharp contrast between day and night temperatures. When all the above is combined it allows the winemaker the opportunity to produce wines with utmost expression.
Deep and intense ruby red colour with violet hues. The nose is intense with concentrated floral notes and black fruits. On the palate, spicy black pepper combines with ripe plum, blackberry and dark chocolate. 12 months ageing in French oak gives vanilla, toast and smoky notes which linger on the long and elegant finish.
Matches with BBQ cuisine, steak, sausages, rich pork and game dishes as well as strong and full flavoured cheeses.
Gold also went to one of our new Rioja wineries – Finca Nueva Rioja Reserva 2010 and the note reads “The nose is superbly complex, with black fruit, fresh and mature, leather and animal hints, the palate has lovely layers of fruit and spice, hints of cocoa and an endless elegant length.”
The region of La Rioja lends its name to Spain`s most widely recognised wines. Much Rioja is blended from three districts; Alta and Alavesa to the north and the hot dry Baja district to the south, and uses Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo red grape varieties and the diminishing influence of extended ageing in oak barrels.
Finca Nueva was bought by Miguel Angel de Gregorio in 2004. He is also the owner and winemaker of the renowned Finca Allende. The vines for Finca Nueva are planted on limestone rich soils which brings a finesse and mineral character to the wines. They use sustainable viticulture practices in the vineyard as Miguel says "we do not govern the terroir, the terroir governs us". They do not use any kind of herbicide or synthetic chemicals and keep carbon emissions low.
This intense and concentrated Reserva spends 24 months in French oak barrels. Deep ruby in colour with a pronounced nose of black cherries and cedar wood. The palate is rich with notes of ripe blackberries, cherries and plums combined with dark chocolate, coffee and graphite. Soft tannins and a very long finish.
Excellent with braised lamb shanks.
Not to be outdone, our antipodean friends, Pauletts Vineyards, superb Rieslings won gold medals in the Sommelier Wine Awards.
Clare Valley is one of Australia`s oldest wine regions and is probably best known for its Riesling wines. Polish Hill River is a sub-region one and a half hours drive north from Adelaide. Named after the Polish settlers of the mid 1800s, the climate is ideal for premium grape growing with a combination of consistently good winter rains, hot summers tempered by cool nights and a long ripening period.
The name Polish River comes from the Polish settlers who came to the area in the early 1850s escaping religious persecution. Pauletts reputation for producing wines of finesse, elegance and intensity is justly deserved with consistent skill and care from vintage to vintage. Neil Paulett graduated from the Roseworthy oenology course in the early 1970s and spent a further ten years honing his winemaking skills at Penfolds before buying his own property in the Clare Valley. Located some 90 minutes north of Adelaide,this lovely property now extends to 150 hectares with 47 planted with vines. Since the first vintage in 1983 there have been many accolades both at home and internationally. These wines are a true reflection of the region and are of outstanding quality.
The Clare Valley yields one of the world`s great styles of Riesling. This youthful, aromatic, dry wine has intense mineral and floral aromas on the nose. These aromas follow through on the palate leading to flavours of lime, citrus and white blossom. Tropical fruits and citrus dominate the fresh, racy acidity and a distinct minerality comes through on the palate leaving a fantastic, clean finish.
Made to accompany seafood, especially prawn, crab, oysters and bass and mildly spiced Thai stir fry and seafood curries.
But the icing on the cake has to be the Hindleap Late Disgorged Blanc de Blancs 2008 from West Sussex vineyard, Bluebell, winning gold in the International Wine & Spirit Competition and further rated as “Outstanding.”
Late Disgorged means aged longer on yeast lees, making it richer, creamier, more refined and elegant. Light golden in colour with soft, gentle bubbles, this wine has a savoury developed autolytic nose from over six years ageing on the lees. On the palate there is lime-zest freshness with a good mousse, flavour intensity and a creamy texture. Fresh lemon and lime citrus flavours form the backbone of the wine, along with red fruits and brioche characters leading to a balanced, long finish.