WanderCurtis Wine

Wine tastings, corporate events, reviews and recommendations

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Wine Australia Tour November 2016 Mclaren Vale (II)

Mclaren Vale Shiraz exhibits a range of sub-regional styles . They are typically medium to full bodied with vibrant pure fruit,blueberry, chococlate and spice . Sustainability is an increasingly important issue here especially regarding water availability . A trip to Battle of Bosworth demonstrated a trend to organic wine production.

The day started early in the Serafino Cellar room with a ‘speed dating’ Shiraz session.

Tintara with Paul Carpenter

img_0310These wines had a lovely tannin structure aided by open fermentation, basket press, hand plunging.

Tintara- Upper Tintara  Shiraz 2013

Only 500 cases made delicious sweet berry nose , 25% new oak, good  acid tannin  balance chocolate coffee blackberry

Eileen hardy 2013

112 yrs old vineyard  dead arm is a  problem  approx. $110 dollars/bottle  dark Berry complex +++





Serafino with Russell Gallagher and Charles Whish

Serafino Sorrento  3 km from coast

Their entry level shiraz, fruit forward savoury herb sage spice

Serafino Black Label

Spice nutmeg  soft fruit cinnamon , spice,  chocolate baking spice , clove length complexity +

Coriole with Alex Sherrah

img_0318Coriole Shiraz 2014  app $30 dollars soils are  600 million year limestone with just one foot of topsoil

Black berry fruit spice liquorice pepper

Lloyd Shiraz 2013

100 year old   vines planted in 1919, hand picked

Deep ++ dark spice open fermentation more oxidative piégeage  pump over.

Very complex- dark chocolate, coffee, pepper, soft lush ripe tannins , long finish,  baking spices blue berry , barrel 2 yrs French oak non irrigation, yield 2 tonnes per acre ,a few bottles per vine if you’re lucky. +

D’Arenberg with Jack Walton

The laughing magpie 2012 Shiraz viognierimg_0320

Foot treading co fermentation basket pressed app $30

Concentrated fruit, 450 acres biodynamic vineyards, coffee, chocolate, spice, blue fruits grippy tannins, fruit abundant

The Dead Arm 2013  app $60

Great balance persistence tannins,15- 20 mins foot treading at 4 Baume ,basket pressed

Brad Rey , Zontes Footstep

img_0323Chocolate factory chocolate core coffe mocha decadent

blackberry and blueberry pie star anise nutmeg.

As part of their sponsorship of Legacy club South Australia

Zonte’s Footstep donates a proportion of each bottle of Z-Force ,

in tribute to the bravery of members of the Z Special Unit



Sam Temme -Wirra Wirra

Cool climate area, boundaries Adelaide Hillsimg_0324

Catapult Shiraz 200 m above sl, fragrant  viognier french oak juicy berry perfumed aromatic style blueberries

Whaite Old Block scarce  earth programme,1975 Blewitt Springs

floral perfume tannin structure

RSW 2014  Flagship  wine named after the  original owner, grown on  sandy soils with bit of black clay

Elegance balance floral hand picked open ferment ,4 day cold soak , basket press French oak30% new,8 /9 days ferment

Blood iron power elegance  still a baby 2014.

Battle of Bosworth with Joch Bosworth

img_0327Puritan Shiraz 2016 no added sulfur,organic

Raspberries violets pretty floral purple sl reductive joven style it is filtered not natural

Battle of Bosworth Shiraz 2014

Floral elegant closed some smoke coffee

Learning points -less oak less time less new, fine grain.

Site specification leading to more elegance and  structure

Soursop weeds encouraged help  strip surface moisture.


A truly indulgent lunch with Steve Maglieri and winemakers  at Serafino’s fine winery restaurant.


Visit to  Battle of Bosworth, Sustainability session.

img_0350Location bordering Adelaide Hills , single vineyard wines

Settled 1836 first grapes 1838 lots organic viticulture the climate is ideal

Underground water  used for drip irrigation.

Sustainable , optimum watering needs worked out by hydrologist.

Also reclaimed water from Southern suburbs Adelaide  50% water for vineyard

600 mm / year rainfall

Soursop bulbs encouraged (South African weed helps aerate soils)We together with fungal hyphae


We had a live demonstration of Joch’s drone used to scare off birds and reduce reliance on netting.

Tasting of  Chardonnay , Rose Shiraz, Cab Sauvignon and some interesting varietals –

Touriga Nacional floral ++vibrant red berries   8 yrs on 30 yr old rootsimg_0367

Lovely, Med bodied Med tannins ripe soft mod acidity +++

Graciano salty savoury herbal  cherry medicinal

White boar Amarone style  dried on vine cane cut Shiraz Cabernet amarone style 2012 rich lush.

It was a very informative and informal afternoon with the lovely Louise and Joch

which was rounded off perfectly with Louise’s delicious homemade scones!



Dinner Horta on the beach at  Port Noarlunga

Just in case we hadn’t had enough calories today,we  made a trip to Hortas overlooking the Ocean with Seafood, gambas calamari  and spiced Portuguese fish.

Some of the many wine highlights included the  Clonakilla Riesling and the 2007 Tasmanian méthode traditionnelle,7 yrs on lees, and a wide range of the SC Pannell wines.

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Wine Australia Tour November 2016 – Mclaren Vale (I)


McLaren vale’s proximity to the ocean creates substantial meso-climate variation. The wide range of soils from terra rossa to sandy soils around Blewitt springs enable a range of wine styles. Shiraz is king with over 50% of total crush, whilst Cabernet Sauvignon shines in the cooler sites. Many old Grenache vines survive from the late 1800s and more recently there is tremendous experimentation with Mediterranean varieties.

First stop and our base for 2 nights was Serafino  on Kangarilla Road. This beautiful property has majestic gardens, a lake, 200 year old gum trees, swimming pool, luxurious accommodation and an excellent restaurant. Maria Maglieri kindly whizzed me over in her sporty Audi  to our first tasting.img_0256


img_0258Mark Lloyd   planted  Australia’s first sangiovese in 1985, which now comprises 10 per cent of Coriole’s estate output, beside other significant plantings of Barbera, Nebbiolo. There is a new wave of diversification of Australian wine noticeable in this region with a wide range of Mediterranean varietals being experimented.

We were treated to a selection of these wines over the most delicious lunch amidst Coriole’s lovely gardens.



Serafino Fiano 2016 lemon,pear nice texture touch of  tannin, acid crisp. (This varietal  is the one they’re  tipping, it  retains acid in a hot climate, small berries, good texture , good with Asian food and easy to pronounce!)

Angoves Fiano 2016 – Tinned fruit, lovely  texture.

Coriole Picpoule  Very crisp acid , mouth puckering , Languedoc’s white grape with distinctive character.

Olivers Taranga Vermentino  oranges ,mandarin saline (lees stirring)

Coriole Chenin Blanc 2003 +Beeswax, paraffin honey lush mouthfeel length delicious lucky Mark brought this one out .

After a  brief refreshment back at Serafino we headed to  the Angove family winery for the evening .

img_0277-1Grenache tasting at Angove

‘Grenache is our Pinot’ stated Steve from S.C.Pannel . Steve was clear about his philosophy of expressing the purity of the terroir and grape without any need for the interference of oak or fuller bodied styles. The wines tasted were light to medium bodied, lively juicy wild strawberry and rasberry scented fruit ,perfumed with a touch of spice. These wines really displayed their beauty and are very much the jewel in Mclaren Vale’s crown.



Ministry of Clouds 2015 Grenache red cherries fresh light

Noon eclipse 2015 sl cloudy perfumed rose, hint spice liquorice nutmeg turmeric changed over the hour

Angove 2014 Warboys + +beautiful,complex earth spice perfume savoury smoky

Samuels  Gorge 2014 red fruits strawberry wild lovely length freshness perfume +img_0289

SC pannel Grenache fruits but also smoky meaty savoury rust blood

Yangarra Estate sandy soil bush vines ceramic eggs keeps it cool small cap min oxidation  good tannin acid savouriness structure

Dinner followed, opposite the lovely  Jennifer of  the McLaren vale wine organisation.Another gourmet treat,with trays of sliced shoulder of lamb,pearl barley and selection of Grenache followed by local McLaren vale cheeses .

Reflections of the  day.

The Aussies are refreshingly  direct, friendly, welcoming, passionate and  innovative. They appreciate comments and being open and verbal at tastings.

Watch this space for different varietals in future especially  Fiano and Mencia .

Lighter more restrained terroir driven elegant wines  .. it’s a  young country so still finding their best sites and their feet.

My favourite wines of the tour notified by  +/++/+++

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Adam wins this year’s Wine Australia’s Tasting Blind Club 2015-16

For as long as I can remember whenever Adam & I get together outside work we’ve always served wine blind to each other.   Tasting blind forces you to really focus on the wine and sharpens your appreciation of it.  But most of all blind tasting is a great leveller: the wine’s pedigree, whether humble or aristocratic, is left by the door, the whisper of critics is silent, and one is blissfully ignorant the size of the hole, large or small, it would make in your bank account.  It’s also fun to try and work out what the wine is!

So I’m particularly delighted to announce that Adam’s great tasting skills have been recognised as Winner of this year’s Wine Australia’s Tasting Blind Club.


The monthly Tasting Blind Club presents 20 wines (19 Australian with one imposter) arranged in flights by theme and served blind.  Participants from the wine trade include sommeliers, educators & wine students. The challenge is to answer a list of questions identifying the wines’ features & the year’s best taster wins a place on a trade visit to Australia’s wine regions.

Look out for Adam’s blog on the trip this autumn.

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Peter Lehmann Wines with Andrew Wigan at The Swan Restaurant June 5th 2014


The sun set on the Thames , on a glorious pre world cup evening. 

Some of Australia’s finest wines  were presented by one of their leading Winemakers – Andrew Wigan to entertain a full house of 35.

We were also delighted  to have experienced oenologist , Keith Andrews and Joe Roberts of the Hess collection at The Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe .

A gourmet four course dinner was served

Starter-Char-grilled king prawns with mango and coriander salsa.

Main-Wagu Beef, young leaks, purple sprouting broccoli and Sauce Choron

Dessert-Montgomery cheddar with Eccles cakes 

Coffee and petit fours

with  the following wines

Wigan Riesling 2008                                                                  
Margaret Semillion 2007                                                                            

 Art’n’soul Shiraz                                               
Mentor Cabernet Shiraz Malbec 

Stonewell 2007

Botrytis Semillion 2011


Peter Lehmann


Full tasting notes and further details of our favourite wines of the night and where to buy then to follow

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Bordeaux Index New World Tasting

The first of hopefully many more tastings featuring over 100 fine wines exclusively from the ‘New Word’.

Overall impressed by some great examples of fresh and refined wines coming out of Australia, skipped the New Zealand wines as I am such a big fan already (Craggy Range in particular  not considered for being too good!) and unfortunately didn’t have time for the South African.  Highlights included:

Most extraordinary wine:

The Laird (Shiraz) 2008, Torbreck, Barossa Valley, Australia.  Made from vines over 100 years old, pre-phylloxera at extremely low yields. This wine was dark and inky with an incredibly persistent nose of rich Xmas cake. In the mouth a texture and complexity reminiscent of a Pedro Ximenez solero but not so sweet but a bit like a dessert. Long intense finish.  Amazing with a price to match!

Most seductive wine:

Catena Zapata, Malbec Argentino 09. A blend of two vineyards, characteristic malbec plumbs and berries and a bit of toast & coffee on the nose, then wow! A delicious blend of fruit, coffee, chocolate and creaminess in the mouth, luscious and so easy.

Best value:

Torn between Chapoutier’s Tournon Shays Flat Shiraz 11 from Victoria, Australia where the nights are cool giving lovely fresh clean fruit, very good and Au Bon Climat, Wild Boy Chardonnay 10, made in a non-interventionist way again really fresh, zesty citric notes, intense and age worthy.



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Peter Lehmann ‘The Futures’ Shiraz 2008 Barossa

peter-lehmann-shiraz-2008Deep flavoured, concentrated, intense shiraz, full of spice, liquorice and black fruits. Lovely balance, silky tannins and long finish.

Found in Iceland! at the seafood grill Reykjavic, managed to buy half a case. N/A UK. Please contact me, I may part with a tasting sample!

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Mcguigan ‘The Shortlist’ Coonawarra Cabernet 2010

Classic Coonawarra Cabernet, ripe blackcurrant fruit, minty, eucalyptus, liquorice and not long later smoky, coffee, dark chocolate. A steal at £11.99 with current 20% off Australian offer at Majestic. Winner of multiple gold medals recently in Australia, relatively small quantities made; buy, buy, buy!