Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More reviews and medal news!

I had a completely different blog topic for this post but then realised that I have neglected to write about some very good news for Karra Yerta!

Our big news for the week is that our 2010 Karra Yerta Wines Eden Valley Riesling won a Gold Medal last week at the
2010 Canberra International Riesling Challenge. This is Karra Yerta's first Gold Medal and needless to say, we are incredibly happy.

It just so happened that we received this news a day before flying to Melbourne so while we were away, we celebrated the win, along with the birthdays of two special friends, by drinking french champagne and of course, some Karra Yerta Riesling:)

We have also had two other reviews written recently - one on the 2010 Riesling, and one on our 2007 Shiraz Cabernet. Both reviews are written by our Sydney friend, Andrew Graham, who we have been sending wine to for years now. As you will read in Andrew's reviews, he prides himself on his honest appraisals. He's a true wine lover, and integrity must be his middle name. Please read his thoughts below, and then go to the links to his page to see further comments, from Andrew and myself.

Please note that our website is still to be updated with this wine (and in fact our recently released 2010 Shiraz Grenache), however both wines are already on the website order form. It is an understatement to say that I have a huge to-do list!


Sunday October 17, 2010

Karra Yerta Riesling 2010 (Eden Valley, SA)
12.5%, Screwcap, $25

Source: Sample

This picked up a gold medal over the weekend, which prompted me to pop some in the fridge. Second time I've had this actually and it looks even better now with an extra month in the bottle. Definitely an opulent wine this year, but in a very correct fashion. Again excellent stuff. Maybe a little fuller than the 09?

It's green in the glass this. Water green and neutral looking. But the smell! What wafts out is Eden Riesling perfection. Lots of lime juice, wet pavement and more lime juice in a big, nose-filling dose of Eden awesomeness. Palate is dry and pithy, showing some banana ferment characters, grapefruit and soft (though powerful) acidity. Long. Very long. Interesting to note that 'soft' acidity, for I tend to think that Eden and Clare Riesling acidity can sometimes be a little hard and clunky (which I often wonder whether that's due to injudicious additions). Not this wine.

All in it's a lovely, powerful, concentrated Riesling in classical form. For mine this is what Eden Valley Riesling is all about, and it's a style of wine that I absolutely dig.

The glass in front of me appears to be leaking.... 18.7/95


Friday, October 8, 2010

Karra Yerta Shiraz Cabernet 2007 (Eden and Barossa Valley, SA)
Screwcap, 14.5%
, $25
Source: Sample

Dear Flaxmans Valley,

I love you.

Or at least I love the wines that are produced from the grapes grown upon your rolling rocky hills. What's more, my love is stoked by just how consistent these wines are. Year in, year out, I am surprised by just how good your wines can be, like a warm and generous embrace that never loses it's intensity.

But this wine is not wholly sourced from within the confines of your vineyards. Oh no, this includes some warmer Barossa Valley fruit, contributing some different flavours to your elegant intensity.

Thankfully though, this cross blended red does your reputation good justice. It smells of ripe, briary red raspberry fruit, beetroot and sleek chocolate oak. It's a warmer nose than shown by some of the previous vintages of this wine, with a warmer palate to match, but it still feels... vital. Full of life. Soft and languid, polished and generous. It's still a little harder, a little more meaty, stewed and chewy in the context of the typical Karra Yerta style, but it never crosses over into desiccation.

In short, it is another good wine from a superb vineyard. It's not the greatest wine of the lineage, but it's - again - an enjoyable drink. 17.2/90

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Keep your eyes on the road, and your hands upon the wheel.... and the laptop.

I started writing this post on my way home from Melbourne, one of my favourite places to visit, so rather than start from scratch, I am going to try to continue the flow as I sip on a glass of red, and reminisce about my wonderful five day break that I waited three hundred and sixty five days for. I didn't have the Roadhouse Blues at all:) Oh, how I love The Doors! But back to my post which I started four days ago:

It's a magnificent spring day and as I have a few hours spare, while my co-driver takes the wheel, I plan to utilise the time to catch up on my blogs and other social media.

On the long weekend of October, every year, I travel to Melbourne to meet up with a group of Melbournian ladies to attend the
Hawthorn Football Club Best and Fairest Dinner (officially known as the Peter Crimmins Medal Dinner). It's always great fun and I also make the odd wine appointments here and there. This time round however, I seemed to have spent more time talking about wine privately, than at business appointments, and as I could actually share a glass or two whilst doing so, it made a nice change from standing behind the counter of the Collective Barossa shop.

I think that I made much progress on convincing people that riesling is worth revisiting. I am still amazed at the general misconception that in a city of (what I find) predominantly Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay drinkers, most people think riesling is a sweet wine. If I had a dollar for every time that I heard people speak of the rieslings of the late seventies/early eighties with much disregard and certainly not fond memories, I'd be fairly wealthy at the moment. It's very rewarding talking to people and being able to hand them a glass of our riesling, and see their reactions. I really do think that riesling will become more popular sooner than later, especially now with the International Riesling Scale which tells consumers, in a simple diagram on the back label, just how dry or sweet the contents are. I simply didn't have time to get the scale put on our 2010 riesling but certainly will for our 2011 vintage.

The Hawthorn Dinner was wonderful, the wine meetings and new friendships made were incredible, and the journey itself through Victoria was magnificent. Due to the recent rains/floods, the drive through Victoria was astonishingly green and lush. In past years, I have seen dust and fields of yellow and brown; smelt the drought in the air, felt it in my skin. Scary stuff when it's usually the last days of September or first days of October (not even summer yet) when I have witnessed the dire need for good rains throughout the state.

Through such pretty towns as Great Western, Ballarat, Inglewood, Horsham, Bendigo, Loxton, and through the heart of mallee country; Pinnaroo, Bordertown, Ouyen, I saw Australia's raw, natural beauty. I saw through the eyes of the international travellers that lob into the Collective Barossa shop, travelling to or from, Adelaide to Melbourne. I felt their sense of wonder. It took my friend and I approximately fifteen hours to drive back (it usually takes about nine or ten hours). We stopped at some towns for petrol, coffee, food, and a spot of other shopping, but most of the delay was caused by me wanting to stop and take photos! I had a very patient and understanding friend with me. I think in the end, he loved it, even though it meant arriving home many hours late, at midnight:) Sorry about that, Sue:) I feel that I captured some of the heart and soul of rural Australia in my photos this year, which is a total contrast to those taken at the same time/same events from 2009. Amazing.

To all of the friends and business acquaintances - old and new - who made our trip and stay so very hospitable and full of incredible memories, sincere thanks. I look forward to visiting again in the near future! And, if you are reading this and have not travelled through the towns that I have mentioned, mark it down on your to-do list as it truly is worth it:)

My recommendations for this trip are the Country Bakehouse at Loxton (country style food which is always sensational) and the Melbourne Tramcar Restaurant (an amazing experience and the staff and food are A+).