Saturday, October 31, 2009


 - McLaren Vale, SA
 - $35
 - Cork
 - 14.5%alc

In just a couple of years Samuel's Gorge has emerged as one of the very best makers of McLaren Vale grenache. With their 2007 release they join McLaren Vale's Cadenzia project; a project created to promote the excitement, energy, individual nature and diversity of the region's grenache.

Attractively presented in a long, thin bottle with mosaic label, the 2007 Samuel's Gorge Grenache opens to lifted, heady spice notes of liqueur cherry and currant fruits, with a more withheld use of seasoned, spicy cedar/chocolate oak. Sumptuous yet supple, its smooth, medium-full bodied palate contains vibrant, ripe and meaty dark red fruit flavours framed by a sensual, gentle extract of silky tannin and bright acidity. Finishing with agreeable floral notes and a lingering fruit sweetness, it's generously ripe and balanced without being over ripe whatsoever. 

ü From a very challenging season Justin McNamee has fashioned a 2007 Grenache which does a wonderful job of reflecting region, variety and vintage. God bless those old vines. Drink to 2015.
91 points


  1. Definitely a challenging vintage, but it seems that Grenache faired the best? Thoughts?

  2. Mmmm, tough question AG but lots of thoughts really.

    To be honest I was a bit scared off by some of my early encounters with 07 South Aussie reds, but have been coming a round to them a little since ( as some of the better wines get released). McLaren Vale looks to me like it's fared a bit better than Clare or Barossa, but I have a big soft spot for the Vale (I grew up not far from there).

    Many that I've tried certainly have fared into the ripe/meaty/dark fruited styles, but perhaps in a more balanced fashion than what a lot of 05's seemed to me. This seems to me to suit grenache at times, which can pull these characters off while still being soft, gentle, savoury and supple, without being burnt or astringent. Once again I have to mention McLaren Vale grenache here.

    As usual the d'Arenberg grenache wines are looking pretty good from 07, as is this Samuel's Gorge, but some others I've had just err into the confection fruit side of things a bit. I haven't had the 07 Tintara Grenache yet, which is usually one of my favourites.

    I definitely think that McLaren Vale grenache is a very underrated and perhaps even underpriced style, and now more than ever its makers are starting to get the hang of things, allowing their old vine fruit to express itself in an individualistic and character filled manner. Those old vines have a magical way of pulling through in tough seasons.The Cadenzia project is a great concept in my eyes (just might watch out for all those emerging makers of sangio/nebbiolo/tempranillo/saperavi etc from the same region ;).

    It's still relatively early days for my 07 tastings though AG - I've got a lot more wine drinking and touring planned yet!

    Congratulations again on the WCA by the way AG!

    Cheers as always,
    Chris P