Adelaide Hills – Stefan’s Connoisseur Weblog

Immediately we visited Adelaide Hills, the best wine area in South Australia due to the excessive elevation (about 400 meters above sea stage).

Shaw + Smith is a vineyard based by Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith. Their first classic was 1990. Initially this area was considered too cool for wine, however the cool local weather is right for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and glowing wines. S+S acquired Tolpuddle in Tasmania in 2011, so we additionally tased some wines from Tasmania. Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith teamed up with Adam Wadewitz and David LeMire to start out MMAD (Martin Michael Adam David). They acquired vineyards with previous vines of Chenin, Grenache and Shiraz in McLaren Vale.

We began at present’s tasting with one other blind Worldwide tasting, this time of Chardonnay. The Chardonnays have been tasted blind and we needed to guess the place they have been from. Solely after tasting it was revealed what we had been tasting.

These have been the Chardonnays we tasted:

  • Weingut Friedrich Becker, Mineral Chardonnay 2017, Pfalz, Germany: racy acidity, oak
  • Kershaw, Chardonnay 2019, Elgin, South Africa: restrained aroma, bitter end
  • Clean Canvas, Reed Winery Chardonnay 2021, Marlborough, New Zealand: mineral, recent, balanced, advanced
  • Wijnkasteel Genoels Elderen Chardonnay Goud 2016, Belgium: developed, acidity balanced with complexity
  • Kumeu River Looking Hill Chardonnay, New Zealand: mineral, acidity
  • Shaw & Smith M3 Chardonnay 2021, Adelaide Hills, Australia: delicate, stability
  • Tolpuddle Chardonnay 2022, Tasmania, Australia: nervy, youthful
  • Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2016, Burgundy, France: energy, finesse, advanced
  • Errazuriz  Chardonnay Las Pizzaras 2017, Aconcagua Costa, Chile: restrained aroma, racy acidity
  • Le Domaine d’Henri, Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume 2016, Burgundy, France: botrytis?
  • Torres Milmanda 2017, Penedès, Spain: developed, almond
  • Domaine Chanson, Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chevenottes 2015, Burgundy, France: oak, balanced, advanced
  • Moone-Tsai Chardonnay 2019, Sonoma Coast, California, United States: pineapple, developed
  • Shaw + Smith Lenswood Chardonnay 2019, Adelaide Hills, Australia: advanced, balanced
  • Younger Hagen, Platt Winery Chardonnay 2017, Sonoma Coast, California, United States: developed, opulent

My favorites have been the Corton-Charlemagne, Chassagne-Montrachet, and S+S Lenswood. It was attention-grabbing to see that the group was not often unanymous on whether or not the Chardonnay was from the previous world or the brand new world. This demonstrates once more how tough it’s to tast blindly. 

We continued with a tasting of wines from Shaw + Smith and MMAD. S+S prefers to specialize on the varities they’ve moderately than including new varieties.

It was clear from the tasting that the wines have a clear model, staying away from heavy use of oak, and bringing out the fruit.

These have been the wines we tasted:

  • Shaw + Smith Sauvingnon Blanc 2023: crisp and vivid
  • Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay 2022: delicate oak, stability
  • Shaw + Smith Lenswood Winery Chardonnay 2021: restrained aroma, elegant, delicate oak
  • Shaw + Smith Pinot Noir 2023: perfumed,, delicate
  • Tolpuddle Winery Pinot Noir 2022: advanced in aroma and texture, juicy, balanced
  • Shaw + Smith Shiraz 2021: perfumed, jammy fruit, ripe tannins
  • Shaw + Smith Balhannah Winery Shiraz: energy, construction, stability, wants time within the bottle
  • MMAD Winery Chenin Blanc 2022: structured and stylish
  • MMAD Winery Grenache 2021: perfumed crimson fruit, elegant
  • MMAD Winery Shiraz 2021: perfumed darkish fruit, charming and stylish

We completed our go to to Shaw + Smith with lunch:

  • Smoked ocean trout
  • Burrata with pickled zucchini and chives
  • Eggplant Hummus
  • Duck rillette
  • Wagyu Bresaola with figs
  • Cnarcuterie with pickles

Our schedule is sort of full, so I write these blogs on the bus whereas we’re on the best way from one vineyard to the subsequent.

Our subsequent cease was Henschke, a family-owned vineyard with a protracted historical past within the Eden Valley. It was established in 1868 and we have been obtained by the fifth and 6h era winemakers, Stephen and his son Andreas. Mount Eldestone, created in 19522 by 4th Era Cyril Henschke, is the longest consecutively produced single winery varietal wine in Australia. Stephen’s spouse Prue has launched biodynamic farming practices in all of their vineyards. One of many benefits of a inexperienced soil moderately than a barren soil is that it supplies pure cooling. Eden Valley has a bigger distinction between day and night time temperatures (known as diurnal vary) than Barossa, which is vital for the fragrant growth of the grapes. Stephen is a powerful advocate of screwcaps over corks; based on him it preserves wine a lot better by shielding it from oxidation.

We began with a tour of the historic cellar.

The principle sorts of Henschke are Riesling and Shiraz, and that’s what the tasting targeted on:

  • Peggy’s Hill 2023 (100% Riesling): yellow apple, citrus, crisp.
  • Julius 2023 (100% Riesling): restrained aroma as a result of it’s nonetheless younger, advanced, focus
  • Henry’s Seven 2022 (72% Shiraz, 15% Grenache, 11% Mataro (Mourvèdre), 2% Viognier, 8 months in seasoned French oak): black pepper, recent, medium physique
  • Johann’s Backyard 2022 (79% Grenache, 21% Mataro (Mourvèdre), from Barossa, 10 months in seasoned French oak): restrained aroma, spherical, gentle with an edge from the excessive alcohol
  • Keyneton Euphonium 2019 (52% Shiraz, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot, 18 months in oak (80% French, 20% American; 17% new): the Cabernet Sauvignon character dominates with sturdy however ripe tannins and blackberry/blackcurrant aromas
  • The Wheelwright 2018 (100% Shiraz from previous vines planted in 1968, aged 18 months in oak (65% French, 35% American; 21% new): black pepper, berries, gentle velvety tannins, stunning fruit.
  • Mount Edelstone 2018 (100% Shiraz from previous vines planted in 1912, aged 20 months in oak (77% French, 23% American; 27% new): jammy blackberry fruit, velvety tannins.
  • Hill of Grace 2018 (100% Shiraz from previous vines planted round 1860, aged 18 months in oak (83% French, 17% American; 20% new): advanced and stylish, wants extra time within the bottle.

It was a tremendous alternative to have the ability to style the three Shiraz wines from vines from ~50, ~100 and ~150 years previous in a horizontal tasting (totally different wines of the identical classic). Proper now the Mount Edelstone was nicer to drink than the Hill of Grace, though I anticipate that with time the Hill of Grace will likely be extra advanced. There isn’t a phylloxera in South Australia and the previous vines are nonetheless on their very own roots; they’re among the many oldest surviving vines on the planet.

We had dinner on the Coal Cellar + Grill, conveniently positioned within the Hilton in Adelaide the place we have been staying. I had a kangaroo tataki (scrumptious!) adopted by rack of lamb (I’m not certain how they managed to cook dinner it effectively carried out on the skin and uncooked on the within).

In fact there was wine as effectively:

  • Henschke Tilly’s Winery 2019 (mix of Semillon, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc)
  • Kooyong Pinot Noir 2020 Mornington Peninsula
  • Katnook Property Amara Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Coonawara
  • St Hallett Previous Block Shiraz 2013 Barossa Valley
  • Coriole Willunga 1920 Shiraz 2016 McLaren Vale
  • Jim Barry Assyrtiko 2021 Clare Valley

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