At the end of March, the South Australian Tourism Corporation (SATC) conducted the Adelaide Street Stomp event, in a laneway behind the Jam Factory Art Gallery, in the Adelaide CBD. The aim being to promote the various wine growing regions of South Australia, to the tourism industry, at a time when overseas travel is impossible, meaning that all tourism has to be from within Australia.
There was a stage set up for the grape stomping competition – with enough red grapes on hand for many of the attendees to have a go. This was coupled with very impressive acrobats, an Aboriginal musician, a bright, lively, spandex clad emcee and delicious pizza and antipasto platters. All in all a very impressive event designed to highlight the wine growing regions of South Australia to the tourism industry, so that they in turn can promote the regions to their customers.
There was one winery per region showing a range of their wines, with the Riverland being represented by 919 Wines, whose stellar wines included the drop dead gorgeous, 919 Wines 2017 Riverland Durif and their, 919 Wines 2017 Riverland Touriga Nacional – a cracking #emergingvarieties wine made from this exciting Portuguese red variety.
The McLaren Vale winery was from the outstanding Biodynamic Gemtree Wines who were showcasing several wines including their outstanding 2020 Marsanne – a French white variety that has taken a shine to South Australia’s growing conditions.
The Clare Valley was represented by the excellent Kilikanoon Wines, whose 2019 GSM (Grenache Shiraz Mataro) is a very classy wine with masses of colour and tight, intense flavours – oh, so drinkable!
The Adelaide Hills was ably represented by the fabulous Pinot Noirs from CRFT Wines, whose 2019 The Arranmore Vineyard Pinot Noir was just outdone in depth and concentration by their 2019 Whisson Lake Vineyard Pinot Noir.
Next came Kangaroo Island (KI) where The Islander Estate Vineyards is still busily recovering from the terrible bushfire of just over a year ago. Their Pétiyante Sparkling was drop dead gorgeous, with stacks of flavour, great balance and mouthfeel. This was paired with the 2019 vintage of their always excellent, ‘Old Rowley” Shiraz Grenache, which amply demonstrates why KI is such a fantastic wine making region.
David Franz Lehmann Wines ably represented the Barossa Valley with an unusual white wine, his 2020 Eden Edge, which is a retro blend of Riesling and Semillon as used to be made in the Barossa over half a century ago. It is an awesome wine full of lovely aromas and stacks of unctuous flavour. The 2018 “Waxing Lyrical” Mataro, which is in a newer lighter, brighter style, was ‘none to dusty’ and ready to drink right now.
Due to the milling crowd I didn’t manage to get to the Coonawarra stand, however, in the far corner of the event (but far from out of sight) was d’Arenberg who were showing/doing wine blending. Chester Osborn, almost larger than life was at their stand. The d’Arenberg 2019 McLaren Vale ‘Anthropocene Epoch’ Mencia was a sensational Australian expression of this emerging Spanish red variety that needs eons to achieve its best, but already has a gold medal from the 2020 Adelaide Wine Show. The other awesome wine they were sampling was the d’Arenberg 2013 McLaren Vale ‘Cenosilicaphobic Cat’ a blend of the Italian red, Sagrantino, with a splash of the French, Cinsault, added. At eight-years-old it is just starting to soften off enough to be drinkable with food.
All in all, an excellent afternoon of great wines, entertainment and food that should have the tourism industry waxing lyrically about the joys of South Australia’s wine regions to potential visitors.
A job well done SATC! Let’s hope that we are able to (restrictions allowing) get thousands of visitors checking out our excellent wine growing regions in the months to come.
Cheers and remember #chooseaustralianwine
This week I am talking about CABERNET FRANC, which is considered by many to be the “poor cousin” to Cabernet Sauvignon. Whereas in fact it is one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, along with Sauvignon Blanc. As often is the case in life, the progeny is bolder and brasher than the parent, with Cabernet Sauvignon making a bigger, more solid wine than CABERNET FRANC.
Long undervalued, CABERNET FRANC is just starting to come into its own as an emerging variety as drinkers recognise that it makes a brighter, more fragrant and elegant style of wine than its child does.
Over the last 3-4 years there have been a number of exciting new CAB FRANC wines arrive on the scene, such as the Marjico 2016 Cab Franc, the Lévrier by Jo Irvine 2017 Barossa Cab Franc and most recently, BRAND & SON 2019 COONAWARRA ‘LAST SUNDAY DRIVE’ CABERNET FRANC.
The Brand & Son wine has great depth of colour, a lovely powerful bouquet of violets, plums and a hint of dried herbs. A big, rich palate with masses of lively flavours with a splash of fine vanillin oak. To put it mildly, it is bloody gorgeous! This wine can be equally enjoyed on its own or with all but the richest of food dishes, be they vegetarian or meaty. It has plenty of structure and backbone to keep for quite a few years as well.
Winery Link: www.brandandsons.com.au