"For love of everything that is wine"


Tasting a few of the best wines in Australia

Posted by hitnerwine on April 16, 2008 at 11:23 AM
My compliments to the following wineries:

(1) Torbreck (Barossa Valley, South Australia)
(2) d'Arenberg (McLaren Vale, South Australia)
(3) Jim Barry (Clare Valley, South Australia)
(4) Vasse Felix (Margaret River, Western Australia)
(5) Leeuwin Esate (Margaret River, Western Australia)
(6) Kay Brothers Amery Wines (McLaren Vale, South Australia)
(7) Two Hands (Barossa Valley, South Australia)

If I were to select the winery that was the most generous and welcoming during my time in Australia, it would have to be Torbreck. From the lovely person behind the counter, I got to try the 2004 and 2005 'RunRig' Shiraz. On the market, each of these bottles sells for more than $200.00, and both were indisputably brilliant wines, made from vines a great deal older than one hundred years of age.

For my part, I thought the '05 to be somewhat more elegant than the '04. Both were extremely young, generous wines. The '04 had thick fruit, spice, mint, tar, and light jam (in a good way) on the nose, along with a toasty-granola scent. On the palate, the '04 was just starting to develop, with great laying of fruit, tannin, and all sorts of complexities, all ending in an extra-long finish.

The '05, on the other hand, was a tad closed, but still revealed a little mint, mocha, and a fair bit of refined fruit scents. Though it boasted a huge mouthfeel, I could not easily dismiss the wine's not-unfounded elegance. As for the finish, I thought it to be merely an extension of all that I felt on the palate. Thank you, Torbreck, for pouring me such fine items. The '05 'Factor' was also rather splendid, to say the least ...

Concerning the other six wineries I mention above, there were more wines that stood out than I could possibly mention in a single blog entry.

At d'Arenberg, 'The Ironstone Pressings' (vintage 2005) was truly excellent, boasting a little game and fragrant perfume scents, continuing on the palate with light berries, along with other concentrated fruit flavours; delicious!

At Jim Barry, 'The Armagh' (vintage 2004) was glorious. Powerful and sensual, it offered notes of chocolate, spice, game, and a whole load of toast and currants. Inviting, though tight, the palate was profound and layered. At $195.00 (AU), this wine is at the top of the Aussie market, and it's quality, in my view, most certainly reflects this.

As for the rest of the wineries I mention above, quality across the board was tremendous. Each of these wineries, without exception, have a great deal to be proud of. My thanks to Vasse Felix for granting me a tour, even though I had not arranged it prior to my trip.

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