Sunday, March 30, 2008

Adelaide Hills

It actually snows in Adelaide Hills in the winter time in Australia, because it is a higher elevation north of the town of Adelaide. It is very beautiful and filled with charming little towns. The main winery I visited here was called The Lane where the owner was kind enough to give us a tour of his state of the art equipment. It was brand-new and spotless with an amazing basket press and a mistral which is a windblower that sorts the grapes. He also had his own nitrogen generator, Mueller stainless barrels that rolled on their own racks for lees contact and some fascinating tall cylinder stainless tanks for white wines which he called bullets. We focused primarily on sauvignon blanc and pinot gris, because that is what the Adelaide Hills is known for. However, we also tasted 3 of his shirazes out of barrel and I was amazed at how wonderful they were – big, concentrated, but with a very nice acid. He used terms like “dead ants” and “boot polish” to describe the wine, thought I would have said “spicy dark chocolate” and “anise.”
Adelaide Hills is also known for pinot noir, but he didn’t make any. However, I tasted a wonderful Adelaide Hills pinot noir at Henschke with spicy dark cherry, medium acid, and a long finish. Very delightful.

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