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Grape Observer by Sean Mitchell - 1w ago
I visited McLaren Vale briefly with my fellow MW students in November, with stops at Coriole and Noon.  Some vineyard pictures and brief comments follow.

(Above) Shiraz vines at Coriole, against a backdrop of dry fields.  Some (possible) wind damage on shoot tips on right hand side.

Fruit set on 1919 shiraz vines at Coriole.
Heavy mulching for soil moisture retention on Coriole 1919 shiraz vines.
Gobelet trained mourvèdre vines at Noon, and dry soils.
Gobelet trained graciano vines at Noon competing with grass and a row of eucalyptus trees, and requiring irrigation lines.
Dry grown, gobelet trained grenache at Noon.
Some particularly healthy looking grenache vines at Noon, the outside row showing more vigour.
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Image courtesy of d'Arenberg

d'Arenberg's "The Ironstone Pressings" continues its form as a benchmark McLaren Vale GSM.  A blend of 70% grenache, 25% shiraz and 5% mourvèdre, the 2016 vintage is savoury and earthy, but with ripe and full flavoured fruit underneath.  The palate is full bodied, viscous and has quite firm but ripe tannins and long length on the finish.  This wine can be approached now or over the next decade.  Rating: Outstanding. Abv: 14.5%. Price: $75. Website: www.darenberg.com.au. Source: Sample.
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This is a resoundingly delicious wine from Claude Dugat.  From Lavaux-Saint-Jacques, the biggest of the Gevrey-Chambertin premier cru vineyards at 9.53 hectares and situated immediately south of Clos Saint-Jacques, the wine is quite deeply coloured (for pinot noir) and opens to aromatics of blackcurrants, fruit and violets.  The palate has fantastic length, with fresh acidity, tannins and great fruit.  This wine can be approached now, but should evolve and improve with a decade in the cellar.  Rating: Outstanding. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $300+. Website: na. Tasted: October 2018.
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I spotted this riesling from the Otway Ranges (Victoria) in, well, the Otway Ranges.  The vineyard looks to be just south of the Geelong geographic indication.  In any case, no GI is claimed.  In the glass, this is a very pure expression of cool climate riesling, with intense aromatics of lemon and lemon pith.  The palate is firm and linear, with racy acidity and more driving lemons.  This can be approached now, but will likely cellar for at least a decade.  Rating: Good. Abv: 12.5%. Price: $25. Website: dinnygoonan.com.au. Source: Sample.
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This is an enjoyable and interesting barbera from Angullong in the Orange wine region.  Quite savoury and Italian in bearing, it opens to aromas of red currant and sour cherry.  The palate is fresh, stoney and has good length on the finish.  Ready to drink now, this is a good release.  Rating: Good. Abv: 14.5%. Price: $26. Website: www.angullong.com.au. Source: Sample.
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