August 19, 2009

Coonawarra Roadshow

Last night, I attended the Coonawarra Roadshow and tasted some of the best from that illustrious region. The region was represented with some well established names there as well as some new names to look out for. On the whole, the wines that were present showed many classic Coonawarra hallmarks – rich, concentrated reds with lots of savoury and spice characters and fine tannins. I was a little disappointed with a couple of the wines that I tasted from a normally very consistant quality producer but that may be because they were still alittle closed because of they were freshly opened bottles of 2007 and the high alcohol was not quite balanced by the fruit.

Many of the wines that were presented at the Roadshow were from the 2005 & 2006 vintages both delivering outstanding wines across the region. There were all the styles of mint character that you could expect from the very savoury through to that reminiscent of a Mintie lolly. The wines shared that richness of concentrated flavours with complexity that the Coonawarra does so well. As you would expect, the offering was red focused on some tables but there were some good quality whites and bubbles (obviously some of the fizz was a lustrous red shade). But big reds were on my agenda for the evening as can be attested by the hue of my pearly whites – the gentleman sitting beside me on the train home was very worried by my obviously rotten teeth and poor oral hygiene since he left very smartly.

The highlights for me were the discovery a new wine label produced by the Raidis family and the richness and complexity of the Di Giorgio 2005 reds. The Raidis family not only produce wine but also raise goats so aptly announce that they are ‘the newest kid on the Coonawarra block’. Their first wines under the Raidis Estate label are two whites and a red: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon. They selectively hand pick their grapes and the Cabernet that I tasted was literally bursting with vibrancy. The Raidis Estate Wines are not distributed to retail outlets as yet, but you may be lucky to see them poured in the on-premise or it would be best to contact the winery directly.

Di Giorgio Family Wines have been around longer and have a much wider range of wines available. I only tasted a selection, but was impressed with the wines that I did taste. They had a Sparkling Pinot Noir – 100% Coonawarra fruit that was well worth tasting, plus their 3 Coonawarra reds, Emporio blend, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. All were well made wines with great concentration and complexity.

I have posted the reviews for all the wines that I tasted but my Top 5 wines from the Coonawarra Roadshow were:

Coonawarra Roadshow Top 5

1. Di Giorgio 2005 Emporio Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon RRP$26
2. Katnook Estate Oddessey 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon RRP $ 95
3. Raidis Estate 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon RRP $21
4. Leconfield 2008 Old Vine Riesling RRP tba
5. Hollick 2006 Sparkling Merlot RRP tba

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