Game of Rhones #wineiscoming
Peter: White walker weather. What a terrible day.Brett: And me without my obsidian knife.Peter: Obsidian umbrella should do the trick.Sammy: The only thing I brought is the drinking capacity of Robert Baratheon.Brett: Pete, we’re in trouble mate…
Even the vendors joined in the act.
- Northern Rhone: Cool climate with a focus on Shiraz/Syrah. Think savoury and earthy characteristics
- Sourthern Rhone: Warmer climate with a huge variety of different types of grapes. Tends towards blends in a more fruit driven style.
Yeringberg 2011 Marsanne Roussane – An unfamiliar blend. This was a thick bodied textural white. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Yalumba 2012 Hand Picked Shiraz Viognier – Viognier aroma was not as strong as I would expect on this. Red fruit and elegance with a lovely length.
Giesen 2011 Shiraz – Green and edgy in an interesting way.
Yalumba 2014 Eden Valley Viognier – This was a mellowed Viognier, with strong notes of citrus on the nose. A mouth-filling flavour though, and much less ephemeral than the fleeting taste profile I usually associate with Viognier.
Yalumba 2012 Hand Picked Shiraz Viognier – Lovely aroma on this. The Viognier adds distinct notes to the palate which made me raise an eyebrow. It’s tannic, but not too strong, with a good length. This Dornish red will definitely be making its way to my cellar.
Innocent Bystander 2014 Known Pleasures Shiraz – All of the Innocent Bystander wines had something to offer, with other wines presented having creative integration of whole-bunch grapes to add something ‘different’. But the Known Pleasures was clean, direct as a sword to the face, while remaining refined.
Yeringberg 2011 Marsanne Roussane – A unique blend that’s quite fragrant and fruity. The nose grabs you and the richness on the palate surprises. Something I’d definitely want to taste more.
Domaine René Rostaing 2010 Cote Rotie Ampodium – The last wine we tasted at the Rhone bar and it was my fav, a 100% Syrah that’s powerful and elegant (my small gripe is that it could do with a little oomph on the bouquet, i.e. a touch of Viognier).
Seppelt 2013 Chalambar Shiraz – A bargain priced Shiraz that I’d drink anytime.
There can often be a stuffiness about these wine festivals which can be intimidating for rank amateur, when surrounded by experts who can rattle off varietal, vintage and characteristics without blinking or taking a breath. Game of Rhones was incredibly fun, and particularly successful in re-framing wine tasting in a fresh new perspective. For example, the Yalumba stand were carving up a large platter of salami (yours for the bargain price of an @mention or Facebook tag), and they managed to keep the mood light with a never-ending string of sausage jokes. In keeping with the theme, they also had a blind-tasting competition (where you had to pick the varietal, vintage, and region), and the prize was a pig on a spit in your backyard!
Winemakers from across the Narrow Sea
If Game of Rhones sounds like the type of fun you’d enjoy, then make sure to check out Pinot Palooza that’s held later in the year. Pinot Palooza is a Pinot Noir themed tasting event also run by the folks at Bottle Shop Concepts, where Pinot Noirs from Australia and New Zealand are placed side-by-side with excellent music, great food, and a similar light-hearted and friendly vibe. There’s more information at its event page for each individual city (Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney), or follow the organizer’s twitter feed (@DanSims) for more updates.