The Oenophiliac

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Harpers – Mike Matthews: on Hallowed Ground’s London portfolio tasting


Hidden in the basement of the Adam Street Private Members Club, Adam St, London, you’ll find ‘The Gallery,’ a corner enclave where UK boutique wine supplier Hallowed Ground hosted their recent autumn portfolio tasting.

Hallowed Ground was formed in 2011 by wine columnist Amelia Jukes and business partner, PR and wine marketer, Elodie Cameron. The aim of the business is to showcase some of Australia and New Zealand‘s concealed boutique gems, whilst at the same time offering full marketing and sales support.

Under the slogan ‘Wines with Provenance,’ it is the ladies’ beliefs that provenance is the key to the future success of Australia and New Zealand fine wine by championing minimal intervention and modern winemaking.

The company has a small, exclusive portfolio. From Australia – Clare Valley’s Clos Clare, the ever delightful Ocean Eight by Mike Aylward, Mornington Peninsula’s Paringa Estate, split between Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley we have Fox Gordon, the McLaren Vale‘s very own Ulithorne Wines and new to the range, Langhorne Creeks Lake Breeze.

Take a skip to the other side of the Tasman sea, from New Zealand you will find offerings from the excellent Te Whare Ra range via Marlborough, Central Otago’s Surveyor Thompson and finally Mountford Estate popping in from Waipara.

This is a wine tasting I look forward to. It’s small, informal and very cosy. I don’t have to think. Why? Because the wines these guys have put together are superb, having tasted them on several occasions before, a few of which I’ll go in to more detail later. My interest on this occasion was on the newbie that had entered the range, Lake Breeze.

With a history dating back 120 years in grape growing, the South Australian family owned vineyard will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of wine production this year from one of Australia’s most awarded boutique wineries.

Under the guidance of winemaker Greg Follett, Lake Breeze has amassed a whole host of awards since 1994 including 25 trophies and over 100 gold medals. Other accolades include being named Australia’s Champion Small Winery and twice winner of Best Red Wine of the Adelaide Wine Show – Max Schubert Trophy.

Greg’s focus is on traditional style winemaking. Lake Breeze only selects 30% of fruit from older vines. In 1990 Follett graduated from Roseworthy Agricultural College with a degree in winemaking. After graduation Greg worked vintages around his native Australia before moving to California and France. In 1992 he returned home to take a proactive role within his family’s newly established winery.

Four wines were available for tasting, 2010 Bullant Cabernet/Merlot, 2010 Bullant Shiraz, 2009 Bernoota Cabernet/Shiraz and 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. Bizarrely enough the 2010’s were more for drinking now than keeping. The Cab/Merlot, displayed an interesting mix of green pea and black cherry on the nose with soft black fruits on the palate. Nice and easy, low in tannin and acidity, Nice! As for the Shiraz, about as relaxed and laid back a Shiraz as I’ve had for a while. None of those big heavy spicy numbers we might be used to. Soft black fruits again with a dab of white pepper, some tannin’s with good acidity coming back at the finish.

The two 2009s had a bit more about them. Drink now or keep for a few years before sipping away. Lake Breeze Cabernet Sauvignon – 98%Cabernet/1% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot – shows signs of young, developing fresh black fruits on the nose. The palate throws up some minerals with soft black fruit and dry tannin. Once the fruit dies away there is this huge bolt of acidity, hence the age potential. It should calm down after a while.

Now the Bernoota is a blend of 60% Shiraz/40% Cabernet Sauvignon. Remember the cough sweet, Tunes? Yup….Blackcurrant, mint, and eucalyptus, very evident on the nose….Tunes help you breathe more easily. On the palate, blackcurrant, black cherry, a big hit of spice, dry tannins followed up by some juicy acidity. Like the last wine it will calm down over time.

In all an interesting range.  A few noted highlights worth keeping an eye out for are firstly from Fox Gordon. The By George Cabernet Sauvignon/Tempranillo from the Barossa Valley – all the black fruit you can muster, black cherry, blackberry and blackcurrant. Along with all that black you might pick up some soft tropical flavours on the palate too, good tannin and soft spice. Very pleasant indeed.

A great white from Fox Gordon is their Fiano. An Italian variety that seems to be doing rather well here. A fresh little number with soft lemon citrus aromas, grapefruit and lemon citrus flavours, finished by clean, fresh crisp acidity. Still great.

Last but not least are the wines of Mike Aylward’s Ocean Eight vineyard. No tasting notes needed, I liked all of them.

Hallowed Ground has put together a quality premium range that you won’t find in any supermarket. The wines are tailor made for the independent sector. Believe me, you could do worse.

For more information on these wines visit www.hallowed-ground.co.uk

Story by Me!

Featured in Harpers Wine & Spirit Trades Review – Online Industry Blog

 www.harpers.co.uk

Enjoy!

Enjoy!

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