Tasting notes - Rutherglen's Rhone varieties

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Campbells Winery, Rutherglen

Campbells Winery, Rutherglen

Mount Prior vineyard, Rutherglen, Victoria

Rhone varieties play an important role in the diversity that is at the heart of Rutherglen. The dry, warm climate provides conditions ideal for these styles.

2007 Jones the Winemaker Marsanne

A complex wine with mineral, talc and honeysuckle characters. The richly textured mid-palate and delicate long finish make this wine very enjoyable with many ‘difficult to match’ foods. The grapes for this wines come from Bundelong. Handpicked and whole bunch pressed at the end of February the juice was roughly racked and the fermentation was carried out in 4 year old French oak barrel with lees stirring to give it texture and complexity. This variety and the style it was made make it very food friendly and versatile - anything from asparagus to anti-pasta to white meat and fish. Cellaring up to 8 years.

2006 All Saints Family Cellar Marsanne

Hand harvested, wild fermented and unhurried. Barrel fermented by indigenous yeast and aged on lees for 18 months, then bottled with minimal
intervention. This is a Marsanne of bewitching aromas of pear, quince and musk with layer upon layer of creamy texture and flavour. Dishes based around white meats will be perfect with this wine, particularly if well seasoned with traditional, earthy flavours such as nutmeg, truffle, thyme, sage or juniper.

2007 Rutherglen Estates Marsanne Viognier

This blend of Marsanne and Viognier is a perfect alliance of varieties that share a common heritage and show a natural affinity for each other. Marsanne and Viognier are both French grape varieties that are used in the white wines of the Rhone Valley. The 2007 Marsanne Viognier provides the fresh, fruity and citrus backbone of Marsanne, with Viognier adding richness and intensity to both the palate and the nose. The more delicate
fruity Marsanne characters are delightfully enhanced by the fruit intensity of Viognier, producing a delicious wine with great freshness, aromatic strength and length of flavour. The 2007 Marsanne Viognier is once again an unoaked 70/30 blend of Marsanne and Viognier.

While designed to be enjoyed while young and fresh, the characteristics of the varieties allow the development of added texture and palate richness as the wine ages in the bottle. This blend loves white meat, salads and Asian fare.

2008 Campbells Viognier

A Rhone variety from the south of France finds a perfect home in Rutherglen, where the long, dry autumn enables it to fully ripen and produce its tantalizingly complex flavours.  The wine's colour is medium straw with green hues and it has an attractive nose of fresh pear, orange blossom and subtle spice. The palate shows up front apple and pear fruit with hints of apricot & spice. Partial barrel fermentation has added weight and texture to the mid palate and spicy oak characters on the finish.

With its incredible depth of fruit, and appealing mid palate texture, Viognier is a very versatile food wine. An ideal partner to prawn and crab ravioli with citrus beurre blanc, or a mild Thai chicken curry with coconut, coriander and fragrant rice.

2008 Anderson Shiraz Rosé

While working in France in 2004 / 2005, winemaker and Rutherglen Young Blood Christobelle Anderson was quite taken by some of the famous Rosé wines of Tavel and Provence in Southern France. Light, refreshing, low alcohol and completely dry, this style of wine is as perfect for the Australian summer as it is for the Mediterranean.   Curiously, there are not many rosés made in this style in Australia. So, with this style in mind, Christobelle and her father Howard decided to pick a small amount of their Shiraz early in the 2008 vintage and try their hand at a European style rosé.  The resulting wine is a world away from what you’d expect from an Australian rosé.  It is not a light red, not at all sweet, and just 11.1% alcohol.
 
It is made from Shiraz (called Syrah in Southern France) yet the wine is quite pale (but has some pink colour thanks to the intensity of the dry grown fruit).  It also has no phenolics (drying or bitter compounds found in the skins), which has allowed the wine to be left bone dry.  It has lovely strawberry and cherry blossom flavours, and that light, refreshing character they were aiming for.

2007 Valhalla Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre

Grenache, shiraz and mourvedre are timeless companions having been grown and blended together in the southern Rhone Valley of France for centuries. Valhalla's 2007 GSM is a vibrant crimson colour that exudes a mix of lively fruit characters on the nose with hints of spice. The palate is intense with red and black fruits alongside earthy, savoury flavours. This fruit generosity is balanced by supple tannins and rich mouthfeel with good length. The berry fruits and spicy tones lend this wine to be matched with a variety of dishes including stir-fries, barbequed spare ribs and veal saltimbocca. It's drinking well now but will benefit from short to medium term cellaring.

Regions

  • Rutherglen (VIC)

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June 01st, 2009
 
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