Tag Archives: Grenache

2013 Dodgy Brothers GSM – Eminently slurpable

Dodgy by name, but I assume not dodgy by nature, and definitely not dodgy wine.  But this is some good drinking wine, jam pack full of enjoyment and pleasure.  With its upside down labels, it would stand out on the wineshop shelf.  Dodgy Brothers is a partnership between a grower (Peter Sommerville), a viticulturist (Peter Bolte) and a Canadian winemaker (Wes Pearson). Based in McLaren Vale, and with limited volumes, it’s best to check out their website for availability.

The 2013 Dodgy Brother Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre, (70%, 18% & 12% respectively), immediately grabbed my attention.  Not because it was big and intense, or because it had one specific character which stood out, but basically because I wanted another glass.  And isnt that what wine is supposed to be about – pure enjoyment.

Dodgy Brothers GSM

Dodgy Brothers GSM

The nose of the Dodgy Brothers GSM had vibrant red fruit confectionary, good intensity, lots of floral violet earthy characters.  Hints of warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper.  On the palate, there was both dark fruit (plums, dark berries) complemented by red fruit (ripe cherries, wild strawberries).  Soft velvety tannins, and fresh acid.  It is at once voluminous but not lacking, nor too intense. Eminently slurpable, and keeps you coming back for more.

Not all that dodgy really.

Also have a look at the Dodgy Brothers 2013 Shiraz.

RRP $28
Alc 14.5%
Region: McLaren Vale
Source: Provided by producer

d’Arenberg 2010 Ironstone Pressings: Tasting Note

Within the Icons series of d’Arenberg wines ‘The Ironstone Pressings’ has some sparkly new attire, along with its siblings Dead Arm Shiraz and Coppermine Road.

d'Arenberg Icons

d’Arenberg Icons

d’Aarenberg’s 2010 ‘The Ironstone Pressings’ is a blend of 70% Grenache, 25% Shiraz and 5% Mourvedre.  2010 was a very good vintage, with abundant winter rains and a mild summer.  With such a decent proportion of Grenache in this blend and a vintage conditions, I was expecting abundance soft and supple red fruit, and that’s what I got.

d'Arenberg 2010 Ironstone Pressings

d’Arenberg Ironstone Pressings

On the nose initially there was plenty of sweet raspberry, red fruit, soft sweet spices, with great intensity. Over time the hints of warm earth, dry meats/prosciutto evolved.

On the palate of the ‘Ironstone Pressings’ the red fruit theme continued in a more restrained style. Wild strawberries, raspberry, and some ripe cherries. Milk chocolate, and savoury spice, supported by unobtrusive oak.  Hints of fresh Mediterranean herbs. Plenty of fresh and fleshy acid, with soft and supple tannins.  All round very balanced and complex, with everything in the right place for a GSM.

As a new release I thought the ‘Ironstone Pressings’ benefited from decanting and more air contact to develop the more savoury characters – but that’s purely personal preference.

RRP $65
Alc 13.9%
Region: McLaren Vale
Source: Provided by producer

Schwarz Wine Co 2012 Meta Grenache

The new Meta range from Schwarz Wine Co includes a Shiraz, Mataro and this Grenache.  Meta being defined an abstraction from a well known concept.

In my philosophy students mind it’s the essence or pure concept of a something.  With the Meta wines from Schwarz it’s the cutback essence of the varieties.  Unhindered by observable oak, or visible wine-making influences. Unfiltered, unfined. The pure characters of the grape show through.  The wines see hand picking, wild yeast small batch ferments, and some whole bunches.  The Meta wines are made in a fresh and juicy ‘drink now’ style.  Although for me the price probably communicates something different.

Schwarz Wine Co Meta

Schwarz 2012 Meta Grenache

The Schwarz Meta Grenache is definitely true to label – the essence of Grenache. A delicate and complex wine from Barossa Valley.  Ripe strawberry, perfumed and floral on the nose.  The palate shows warm spice and white pepper, with a herbal edge, but a core of ripe strawberry fruit.

Schwarz Meta Grenache

Schwarz Meta Grenache

Also check out their Meta Mataro and Meta Shiraz.

RRP $35
Alc 14.1%
Bottles: 650
Sample: Provided by producer


Fortified by its Warm Glow

In the depths of winter there is nothing better than to be enveloped in the warm glow of a fortified wine.  Its soft unctuousness slides over your mouth.  Comforting mellow flavours combined together with the warming touch of alcohol.  While being a big fan of this style, I probably don’t drink as much as I would like.

South Australia has been a producer of fortified wines ever since the states proclamation in 1836, and has a proud heritage with some well known producers in both Barossa and McLaren Vale.  Many a winery has various styles, with various varietals, but it has never been a big category on its own.  Perhaps I should do a better job of drinking them.

Olivers Taranga 'The Banished' Fortified Grenache

Olivers Taranga ‘The Banished’ Fortified Grenache

Oliver’s Taranga based in McLaren Vale have two; a fortified Muscat and ‘The Banished’ Fortified Grenache.  ‘The Banished’ is aged for 20 years in old brandy barrels.  On the nose it’s full of crème caramel.  Dried stone fruit and fruit-cake aromas are lifted from the glass by warming brandy spirit. On the palate its rich and warm.  While having a noticeable mouth coating sweetness, its not cloying and finishes clean.  Long and lingering flavours of toffee, brandied orange peel and nutty sweetness cover you.

Yes I really should drink more of this style. I really should.

RRP $40
Alc 19%
Sample: Provided by producer
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#GrenacheDay 2012 – Celebrating South Australia Grenache

So, I admit to being tighter than a scared ducks posterior. But you have got to love well-made wines at a great price.  Weather it be Riesling, Semillon, or Grenache there’s plenty to love from some under-rated grapes.

Grenache, or Garnacha as it is referred to in its original home of Spain, is one of the most widely planted red grape varieties in the world.  It requires very warm, and dry conditions to ripen. Generally you will find Grenache wines to range from medium to fuller bodied.  They can show a lovely sweet spice character with red fruit/ berry flavours and complement a range of food without dominating.

Grenache is the leading variety in most Southern Rhône wines, especially in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.  Here in Australia, Grenache is often overshadowed by the powerhouse variety, Shiraz. It is not uncommon to find Grenache blended with other varieties, such as Shiraz and Mourvedre and it is in the South Australian warmer regions of Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale that Grenache is most consistently found to be of fantastic quality.  It can also be used in some sensational rose’s or as a fortified wine. For an early history of Grenache in South Australia check out Philip White’s blog. Below are a couple of Grenache table wines which we enjoyed this International Grenache Day.

2010 Oliver’s Taranga Grenache

Sourced from McLaren Vale fruit from a great recent vintage, and part of a select few in the Cadenzia project to promote McLaren Vale Grenache. On the nose it shows gorgeous floral perfume characters and with a slight earthy/forest floor background.  Red fruits and cherry characters are dominant with the typical sweet spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper.  On the palate it is medium bodied, with wild strawberry/cherry characters following through. The pleasant spicy character is mirrored again, adding to the complexity. The palate is soft and round with supportive tannins, but recommended drinking would be #GrenacheDay 2012!

Olivers Taranga Grenache

RRP $30
Alc 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Sample: Provided by producer

2006 Turkey Flat Grenache

Sourced from 100 year old Barossa bush vines in the Bethany subregion.  While not their current release it’s good to be able to see an older style Grenache.  Quite a funky, earthy character on the nose, with good intensity of dark cherries.  Nice subtle roasted meats and a herbal quality in the background. On the palate very soft medium bodied, with raspberry and red fruit dominating. Subtle sweet spice and fennel seed, with good lingering finish.  This would match rosemary studded roast lamb with a mint jelly. Could possibly cellar for another few years if you would like that earthy/funky character to develop more.

Turkey Flat Grenache

Turkey Flat Grenache


RRP $25 (current release price)
Alc 15%
Closure: Screwcap
Sample: Personal cellar
Ratings: Robert Parker 90pts, Campbell Mathinson 91pts, James Halliday 91pts