Tonight we`re quaffing a 2013 Chardonnay, compliments of Mount Majura Vineyard. I first visited Mount Majura a few months ago on a rainy, cold afternoon where I soon warmed up in the comfort of a cellar door with amazing wines and friendly, knowledgeable staff. I smugly sipped my wine and tucked into duck pie, cheese and other local treats while looking at the poor blokes working on the new highway as the fog rolled in over the hills. Even the heavy duty roadworks didn’t take away from the rural ambiance of this winery and it really didn’t feel like we were so close to the airport and a short drive from the city.
The vineyards at Mount Majura were first planted in the 1980s and the cellar door opened in 2006 but it is the recent flurry of awards that seems to have put this winery well and truly in the spotlight – their latest accolade being for the 2014 Riesling at the Canberra International Riesling Awards. Wine maker Frank van de Loo is a fearless lad and is happily experimenting with all sorts of wine varieties and styles. The TSG for instance is a blend of Tempranillo, Shiraz and Graciano and what I love about this wine is that it is just so different. I`ve been to Rioja in Spain and enjoyed copious litres of Tempranillo but with a bit of Shiraz and Graciano thrown in, this a truly special wine. The Graciano in particular was a risky move as it’s a temperamental grape, prone to disease and low yields but its intensity works well with the fruit of the Tempranillo and spiciness of the Shiraz.
Sorry! Bit off track there as I’m supposed to be talking about the chardonnay but I hoped to highlight the fact that these guys are not making wine for hits and giggles. They`re the real deal!
As well as yours truly enjoying my Mount Majura experience, some lad by the name of James Halliday considers this winery to be fairly decent as well. In fact, he`s awarded it five stars. Five stars indicates ` outstanding winery regularly producing wines of exemplary quality and typicity`. Never met Mr Halliday but I`m told he does know a bit about wine…! Bottom line, if you want a relaxing experience, enjoying delicious wine at a scenic winery, poppy along to Mount Majura Vineyard. Now, to the 2013 Chardonnay. Still having some of the negative press about Aussie Chardonnay ringing in my ears from the UK, I pour myself a nice big glass.
The Chardonnay is heaven in a glass. A few sips in and I was trying to work out where I could remember a similar vino – it turns out it`s Napa Valley Chardonnay which is a bit odd given the two climates. I happen to love Californian Chardonnay so I`m a happy man.
The texture of this tipple is oily, viscous. On the nose I get caramel and some peach. I consider the acidity level to be medium. Some creamy honey is there too. There`s a nice mineral taste toward the end. Alcohol level is bang on so the balance is there. A very interesting wine but most importantly, versatile in my opinion. I`d happily drink it with or without food. Costs around the $30 mark which some might consider a bit pricey but I think well worth the expense. Nice match with tonight’s dinner of lamb koftas, falafels, fatoush salad and beetroot & greek yogurt. Compliments to the wine-maker and the chef (thanks Elle!)
Cheers – Suits