John's clearly put his style stamp on the Saunders Springs Vineyards in McLaren Vale, and that style goes way beyond just the name. But before I get ahead of myself there's the view driving down to the cellar door through the vineyard;
|Saunders Springs Vineyard - McLaren Vale|
The haze you can see over the house is from the brilliant wood oven he's built in dining area. Oh before I show more pics I must apologise to you and John for the terrible quality, they really don't do the place justice.
You can see the wood oven in the back left. There's a huge table you can just see part of on the front right, this was from a salvage yard and was clearly cut a very long time ago, off what must have been a massive tree. The design of the area around the oven and cellar door feels like you've stepped back to a 150 years ago. Give me class like this over chrome and glass any day.
I took several pictures of the cellar door area, and almost all of them are horribly blurry, which has nothing to do with the wines I assure you. However, at least I have a good picture of the brilliant bar design which John made from old hogs heads (wood not swine), it's hard to see in the pic but the front of the bar is quite straight;
Oh yeah, I was gonna review a wine. The Whitefeather Red 2006 has won a number of awards at wines shows, and I'm rather skeptical of wine judges these days, but getting Silver/Highly Commended at the McLaren Vale Wine Show is something that is more than reasonable to crow about I reckon.
The wine is 81% Cabernet and 19% Shiraz, and matured in French and American oak for 13 months. It's full bodied with very good fruit, however I found the tannins somewhat dry at tasting and they are hiding the fruit a little at this stage. We later had the wine with dinner and as a food wine the flavours really come out to dance on the tongue. I reckon this one has many years before it's hit it's peak too.
Highly Recommended if you're having with food and ****.
Google is a bit of a failure when it comes to finding Saunders Springs have a look here: http://www.saunderssprings.com.au/
PS. tastings are by appointment, which I reckon gives you a good excuse to ask if the wood oven can be fired up for a pizza or two and you can see if I was right about the wine with food.