Wine 1: Tim Adams, Foxlee Single Vineyard Riesling, Clare Valley, 2014
South Australia is the largest producing state in the country and Clare Valley is one of its most reputed sub-regions. It lies above the Barossa Valley and about 120 kilometres north of Adelaide. Its naturally warm climate is tempered by cool breezes that blow in the afternoon, as well as the high altitude, with some of its vineyards lying 570 metres above sea level. Clare Valley is famous for the riesling grape that was first planted here back in the 19th century by immigrants from Germany’s Silesia. The warm climate is no hindrance to a full expression of this variety which is more commonly grown in cooler places. Here it is aromatically expressive, whilst its keen acidity makes for a wine that will keep well for several years.
Tim Adams was born and raised here and founded his estate in 1984. From modest beginnings, the firm has grown through the acquisition of several vineyards in different parts of South Australia. Over his 30 years of experience, Tim Adams has refined the style of his wines to produce a range that covers the classic varieties of his region, such as shiraz and riesling, but also more recent introductions such as tempranillo and malbec.
This is a classic style for the region that has used low temperature fermentation and ageing in tanks.
The nose is crisp and floral, with some wax and paraffin-like aromas that often characterise Clare Valley rieslings. The palate is surprisingly delicate and the flavours are precise and taught.
Sushis, smoked fish, dry charcuterie, sea food.
Wine 2: Cave de Tain, BM, Crozes-Hermitage rouge, 2012
Even with its fairly modest 1500 hectares, Crozes Hermitage is the biggest appellation in the Northern section of the Rhône valley. Although some white wines are made here, this is essentially a red wine appellation, using exclusively the syrah grape variety. The vineyards spread across slopes and low plateau on the left bank of the River Rhône near the town of Tain. The wines are generally softer and ready for earlier drinking than those of neighbouring and more prestigious appellations. But the best contain all the charm and lively character of this fine grape variety in this particular climate. Supple and slightly peppery fruit and subtle balance are often the key words in Crozes.
La Cave de Tain is an exemplary cooperative winery in the Northern Rhône and is the biggest overall producer of the region. Its members together own an exceptional range of vineyards spread amongst the various regional appellations. And this winery makes the most of them, with an enterprising and often innovative approach that has earned it an enviable reputation. Its wide range includes Vins de Pays alongside prestigious appellations such as Hermitage. This wine’s name, BM, signifies that its grapes come from the village of Beaumont Monteux, whose warm soils produce ripe fruit that has been fermented in tanks and then matured in wooden barrels for thirteen months.
The nose reveals floral and peppery aromas that are the hallmark of syrahs from this region. The core of the wine shows blackberry-like fruit with a slightly toasted edge. This wine has lift and style, with its freshness carrying the intense fruit flavours. The tannins are just crunchy without any harshness. We loved the supple, summery balance of this wine with its fine fruit flavours. It shows both elegance and character.
Serve at 15°
Grilled red meat, lamb cutlets or leg of lamb, dry charcuterie, roasted fowl, summer vegetable stews.