Here are some notes on the wines we tasted prior to Quantum Theatre’s (http://www.quantumtheatre.com/) brilliant production of “When the rain stops falling” – we tasted some complex wines to match up with the complex production!
Wishing Tree Unoaked Chardonnay 2008 – West Australia – Sourced from Western Australia vineyards just outside of Perth (largest city in West Australia). This chardonnay is purposely not aged in oak barrels so that only the chardonnay fruit flavors come through in the wine, a currently popular response to many ‘over-oaked’ chardonnays dominating the market in the past few years. Bright flavors of apple, peach, pear and citrus show through nicely with crisp finish that reminds me of the Burgundy Whites from the Macon region – clean, fruity and crisp.
Penfold’s Koonunga Hill Chardonnay 2009 – South Australia – One of Australia’s most reliable wine producers, Penfolds has built a worldwide reputation on affordable and pleasing mass-market wines like this South Australian chardonnay. The grapes are sourced from properties around South Australia and the wine spends several months in small oak barriques – something usually reserved for much more expensive wines. Creamy tropical and oaky-citrus flavors are dominant in this wine.
Wishing Tree Shiraz 2007 – West Australia – Like the Wishing Tree Chardonnay, the grapes for this wine are sourced only from West Australia, specifically the region south of Perth near Margaret River. This Shiraz is bright and flavorful in a medium bodied wine, with typical blackberry and red fruit notes followed by a lightly spicy finish. Considering the price point this is a very satisfying wine in a very competitive category.
Bremerton Old Adam Shiraz 2002 – South Australia – Recent vintages of this wine received huge attention; the 2004 vintage scoring alongside the “Grange” as one of Australia’s best wines. The Wilson family has produced grapes in the past but over the last decade or so has started making beautiful wines. This 2002 Shiraz benefits from some years in the bottle, allowing harsh edges to smooth out and lush savory textures and flavors of plum and dark berries to come forward followed by a long lingering finish. An intriguing wine, clearly less fruit-driven than many modern and popular Australian Shiraz, showing depth and savory layers that will be a great match for food.