I have been very lax over recent years in the number of trips to McLaren Vale, especially seeing how it's under 45 minutes away from me. Even worse I had set a pattern of visiting the same wineries each trip, so whilst initially I was planning on going to Kays I decided to delay that slightly and head somewhere new.
Kangarilla Road is one of the main roads leading east out of MV centre, but Kangarilla Road Wines is about 8km out past McLaren Flat where you're almost starting to get into the more hilly area of the Vale. A nice area and so amazingly green this year.
|I tried to get a bit of the angel's share - no luck|
We were warmly welcomed, which of course is typical of MV wineries, but so were the kids which is nice. A large array of reds was lined up before us, but it was the Zinfandel I was here to try, so imagine my excitement when I get told there are two Zinfandels! But I'm getting ahead of myself.
We started with the 2009 Sangiovese, and whilst I'm not a huge fan of this grape - I made my own Sangiovese one year and I think I've been swayed against it by that - this one had nice spicy cherries, medium body and light tannins, with a slight acid zing to end. No doubt a great food wine.
The 2007 Primitivo is actually the 'other' Zinfandel, as it's from a slightly cooler region vineyard and is made in the Italian style with less skin contact it's a slightly lighter and more spicy style Zin. I picked up an almost blue cheese aroma but in a very pleasant way, I wondered later about that and found this. Looking at the light colour of the Primitivo I expected it to be light to medium bodied, I was very wrong. This wine is like Bruce Lee, looks scrawny but packs a wallop. Thing is though, it's not a big jammy wine but simply mouth filling and satisfying.
I almost skipped the 2008 Cab Sav, I'm not a fan of young ones, but it's very good. Earthy still, but rich and smooth with a very good finish. I'm still wondering why I didn't buy any, but it's ok my friends did and thus I can drink theirs until I get my own.
The 2008 Shiraz I wasn't expecting anything special as I'd already read a review elsewhere, and whilst I will not repeat that review, the summary was it 'needs time'. That review was Jul 2010 and I didn't expect 3 months was 'time', clearly it was. This is a now a very good wine, lovely balance, and just a real pleasure to drink. We had this later with dinner and it continued to impress us all against another well rated Shiraz. The winery's notes are spot on so I won't add my own. Highly recommended.
The Devil's Whisker's Shiraz 2007 is co-fermented with Viogner, the tasting notes confirmed it but it was fairly clear on the impressive nose. I was ever so slightly less impressed with this over the 2008, it is a very good wine still and it's probably just personal taste and aging making me put the 08 in front right now.
Then to the 2008 Zinfandel. I think I was expecting it to be more like I remember California Zins and it's not. What I mean is it's not how I remember them, but there's a good chance this is exactly like those and my memory is at fault. Again, like the Primitivo, it's big in the mouth and nice complex flavours, more red fruits than black, with a nice spicy finish. I liked it.
Unlike some wineries, Kangarilla Rd let you taste their super premium wine, this being the 2007 Q Shiraz, though as this is new to the stable they might be aiming to get a following. This is clearly the best wine there. The fruit was apparently sourced from the Paxton Quandong vineyard (but I see no comparison between this and the 2009 Paxton Quandong). Excellent balance and designed to cellar for a considerable time. I was determined not to like this too much as I can't afford to drink it.
|The view north|