Ozzie's Wine of the Month for February

by ozziepost 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • ozziepost

    G'day wine lovers,

    Many of you may realise that we've been very preoccupied of late with our R&R and then having to immerse ourselves back into civilian life.

    We were able to briefly re-acqauint ourselves with a very good and cheap red whilst on R&R. At the moment, there's little point in recommending it as it's supply is limited to a very small area. More later.

    I thought it'd be nice to try a new drop at the Apostates Restaurant tonite. It's a Margaret River shiraz. That's over in W.A. for you americans! It promised much, but did it deliver? Well, I must say I had some twinge of doubt as I read the label but I pressed on. You see, the label states:

    The classic Rhone varieties, shiraz, grenache and mataro, combine to produce a medium-bodied, generously flavoured wine which makes an ideal accompaniment to pasta or wine dishes, dark meats or cheese.

    Why should this raise doubts? well, as many of you know, I like full-bodied shiraz, not a medium-bodied drop.

    As we partook, I read the origins of the name 'Marmaduke' on the label:

    'Marmaduke' is named after Marmaduke Terry, who was one of the first settlers of the Margaret River region at the turn of the century.

    The bottle cost around A$16, around US$8. Here is the winery's URL and notes:

    MARMADUKE 2000

    A near perfect vintage, with mild ripening conditions ensuring full ripeness and flavour development.

    A shiraz dominant blend packed with cherry, plums and spicy notes. Softly textured with a layer of fine-grained tannins that provide the framework for enjoyable drinking over the next year or two.
    Marmaduke is a blend of shiraz, mataro, grenache with a hint of pinot noir and merlot. Grapes are sourced from the Trinders vineyard on the estate and two contract growers, McHenry’s Vineyard nearby and the Maiolo Vineyard, 25 km north of Margaret River. Here the vines grow on deep, fertile, sandy loam soils which have alluvial origins along the Carbunup River. The vines are trained vertically on a single cordon with extensive leaf removal. The Trinders Vineyard provides shiraz grown on a Geneva Double Curtain trellis in sandy soils. Mataro and grenache are sourced from the gravelly loams of the McHenry Vineyard and are traditionally trellised. Irrigation is used judiciously in all vineyards to maintain balanced vine growth and a steady rate of ripening.
    A mild yet wet winter with consistent rains until the end of October followed by cool to mild temperatures in November, resulted in a late budburst and flowering. Early summer was warm and dry, accelerating vine growth. Ideal ripening conditions - sunny days and mild night time temperatures - prevailed for the rest of the season, ensuring the development of fully ripe and flavoursome fruit. A little scare in early March by cyclone Steve produced only 7mm of rain and provided brief respite during a rather hectic harvest schedule. Fine and mild weather continued until the last grapes were harvested on April 12th.
    The search for fully ripe flavours necessary for the Marmaduke style requires harvest to be deferred till the latter part of the season when flavours and sugars climax and tannins soften. The Rhone varieties naturally ripen quite late in the vintage to make this possible. Constant fine weather ensured that the fruit came in with sugars around 25-26 brix, moderate acidities and loads of ripe flavours. Harvest occurred in the first and second weeks of April.
    All fruit is crushed and destemmed into closed stainless steel fermenters and pumped over for extraction of flavour and tannin. Fermentation proceeds rapidly with the ferment warmed to 32 degrees Celsius to achieve fast initial maceration. On the 7th to 9th day, the wine is drained off and the skins gently pressed with hard pressings kept separate. Malolactic fermentation follows quickly in large vats after which the wine undergoes a series of rackings. The wine was blended in September and racked to 2 to 5 year old French and American barrels. Oak plays a a slightly more prominent role in the flavour profile than previous vintages of this wine. Final blending and bottling took place in July 2001.


    So, would Mrs Ozzie and I recommend it? Unfortunately No!

    This may seem strange for a "Wine of the Month", but each has their own taste. For Mrs Ozzie, it made her somehat 'tiddly' and for me, somewhat nauseous!!

    So, are you game to try it? Ozzie won't be bringing it to an Apostafest, so don't worry on that account!

    Cheers, Ozzie

  • Englishman


    This is the best red wine I have ever tasted.

    But then you knew it was going to be, didn't you?


  • Mulan

    Mike, I have to agree. It was so great, and we (Princess, Bigred and me.........Prince doesn't partake) had it for Christmas Eve dinner.

  • Room 215
    Room 215

    Oz, your wine tips are great fun; sadly so few of the wines you like make it into widespread distribution over here. One source for great Australian wines is importer John Larchet's Australian Premium Wine Collection. An expat American, he beats the bushes for great artisanal wines Down Under to add to his portfolio. Unfortunately, too many of these are made by the thimbleful and are very expensive, even if they can be found. The Clarendon Hills Astralis is one prominent example of John's wines.

    If you believe the press release from the winery, the Killersby shiraz belongs with Astralis, Grange Hermitage and Henshke's Hill of Grace. It is a lustly, full-bodied, teeth-staining wine, generously endowed with fruit extract, glycerine and a fairly long finish; but I'd hesitate to place in the Pantheon of Gretness described about. Yet, for me, at one fifth the cost of those biggies, it represents far greater value. It's been served at least once at the prestigious James Beard House, so it's not without stature. Just my 0.02 cents.

    Marmaduke, I'm afraid, has yet to make it to these shores; but I'll make some inquiries among my contacts in the trade. Meanwhile, keep those wine picks coming!

  • CoonDawg

    We've been taken by a domestic vinyard. My sister in law introduced us to Tabor Hill of Michigan.

    Our favorites are the Lake Michigan Shore Dry Reisling

    Lake Michigan Shore Reisling Reserve

    American Gewurztraminer

    They are all very good and all afordable...though we have to have our shipped.

    I have always been a fan of Rieslings. I like a semi-sweet white, they've been my favorite for some time. I also can appreciate a good Merlot.


  • ozziepost

    G'day all,

    Thanks for your comments. I must agree about the Killerby Shiraz. The winemaker is ben Killerby who I have met some years ago and we we still occasionally converse on the phone.

    Ben's Shiraz is really "up there" Roomie. One book I read valued it as one of the world's top three or four shiraz. It can be obtained by personal order, Ben mixes a special Cab Sav for me, kinda private bin stuff. But the shiraz is "the one".

    Glad some of you guys enjoyed the drop. I feel a little thirsty just "talking" about it.

    Cheers, Ozzie

  • Jourles

    Coon -

    If you have yet to sample the northern Michigan varieties of Grand Traverse, Leelanau, and Chateau Chantal, they are worth the effort. Chateau Chantal has a B&B attached to it and they are now expanding the rooming. Beautiful place. Smack in the middle of the penninsula overlooking both bays. We are going back there in March for a long weekend.

    Not only are the northern MI vines unique, the geographical area is amazing. Picture yourself in a mountainish town surrounded by Carribbean waters - minus the warm water.

  • unclebruce

    g'day ozzie,

    i've been meaning to p[ost you a card but .. well i've been busy as a kid on xmas morning.

    my whine of the month? Oh where would a man start .. can't edit my posts .. the smilies don't work .. what's simon been up to while i was away? .. ooo i found the smiles .. good work simon, this place just gets better

    cheers to you and m.ozzie

    ps: Tanja pino's slush'n good this year .. hic!

  • plmkrzy

    geeezz I missed this. I was waiting for it all month! I must have missed January's.

  • ozziepost

    G'day Plum,

    There was no January Wine of the Month. Sorry to disappoint, but like I said in another post, we were combining R&R with some more sourcing of one of the world's great unknown, yet still great, red wines. That'll keep ya guessin'!

    Cheers, Ozzie

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