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:
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!