Sunday, 4 December 2011

Vino Contrasts.

Wynns Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 & Printhie MCC Riesling 2010

The iconic label art
 By my own admission I'm terrible at promptly writing up my tasting notes (this one is from back in October). It probably has plus and minus factors, but I do find it makes me think about the wines a bit before putting it all together in a “proper” note. These two contrast nicely, both are classic varieties but come from very different regions and wineries, one an established producer with a distinguished pedigree, the other an impressive newcomer. Each really impressed and were very much enjoyed.

The Riesling comes from the Orange region in New South Wales. Printhie make many lovely wines and this is the equal of any in the range. It also compares well with other varietal examples and indeed other rieslings from Orange.

Lovely pale gold colour and tight nose. Candlestick, minerality and kerosene on the nose which envelopes sherbet and grapefruit/lemon citrus fruit. The palate has zesty lemon lime, generous sweetness, a hint of the floral and a pineapple note. Acidity draws it all together but it's not too dry. Whilst good fresh, I tried it over subsequent days and the wine was lovely, with a softening and a tantalisingly complex mix of all the elements. A little short term cellaring may be an option. 90.

Second up is Cabernet from a classic Coonawarra producer Wynns. (This is the 2005 Black Label), I really like the wines from this producer and this is as good any they have released. The beautiful deep ruby colour (very youthful appearance) is the first aspect you notice and this is followed by the powerful and focused nose. There's cedar, tobacco along with a eucalypt/menthol note. Ample red and black berry fruit comes through, tailed by an earthy ferrous note. The palate reflects all the features of the nose and the fruit is lovely and held by more savoury elements of leather, briar and coffee. The tannins are mouth coating but well measured and close the palate nicely as a dusty afterthought. Great length. Just like the nose the striking thing is the power and focus of the wine delivered with such finesse, it's so complex and yet beautifully integrated and balanced. My pencil scrawl said “understatement & power; a Rolls Royce.” No doubt it will go for many more years. 94.

Although absolutely different wines, red and white, old and new, this pair are wonderful in many ways but share one crucial characteristic. This is the manner in which they reflect a sense of place and style; terroir. It may seem obvious, but there are far too many wines which don't do this and are generic. This might be ok for industrial high volume production, but I don't want to drink those wines and quite frankly life is too short. The depressing point here is that sometimes it isn't just cheap wines which are guilty of this, there are some supposedly quality examples which are in the frame. I'm not going to endorse faulty or rough wine making, but I'd take on these problems in a wine if the maker has “gone for it” in an attempt to strive for some style and individuality. From this point they can begin to create wine, because like playing music if you don't bring some style or something new to the process it's not really art and not really wine is it...

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