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Australia - South Australia - Barossa - Wolf Blass

I had no idea how big this winery is. When you drive up to it, you see a huge sprawling complex easily covering 50 acres. I found later that their bottling and distribution facility is 14 acres under one roof. This is definitely the biggest winery facility I've ever seen. It turns out that they do bottling and distribution for all of the Fosters owned labels in South Australia here, but still, it's really really big.

Despite their size and obviously commercial strength, the tasting room at the cellar door is staffed with very friendly people. They cell over 50 different wines, but I wanted to taste some of their flagship wines so I chose their premier tasting which cost $10. Normal tastings are free.

2004 Gold Label Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay
Apple flesh colored. Very fine bubbles. A bit of a sour bite, like sour apples. Sourced from Eden Valley & Adelaide Hills. AU$19

2006 Gold Label Eden Valley Riesling
Pale straw, brilliant. Faint honey on the nose, flowers. Delicate citrus taste (including grapefruit). Has a very long finish, goes a bit bitter at the end, like apple skins. AU$19

2001 White Label Riesling
Definite petrol, kerosene notes. Hints of toast. Fruit is 90% gone, needs 5 more years to have that classic old Riesling taste. AU$40

2005 Gold Label Adelaide Hills Chardonnay
Big classic Chardonnay with an oaky, buttery nose, and maybe hints of mandarin. Big time cantaloupe and melon flavors. Finishes peachy and smokey. A bit of that bitter smoke at the end. Hints of petrol at the very end. AU$19

2001 White Label Chardonnay
Lemony nose. Tastes like broiled parmesan on almost burnt toast. Still some fruit left. Powerful stuff. Got better as it warmed up a bit. AU$40

2004 Gold Label Barossa Shiraz
Dark pinky purple. Big pepper nose-nice. Full flavored, nice long finish. Coats your teeth. Milk chocolate finish. Very drinkable now. AU$22

2004 Grey Label McLaren Vale Shiraz
A bit darker than the Barossa. Warmer nose, more caramel. Bit of green pepper taste. Grows on you. At first it tasted a bit unripe, but just seems more concentrated after a while. This wine grew on me as I drank it. Beautiful long dark chocolate finish.

2004 Gold Label Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon / Malbec
Very dark, almost opaque. Strong cedar needles on the nose. A very unusual style of Cabernet. The Malbec comes through very strongly. AU$30

2005 Grey Label Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
Inky dark. Super nose - great mix of mint and leather. The smell takes me straight to a eucalyptus forest. Upfront taste is big bold dark cab, then mint, then blackberry. Good stuff. AU$35

2004 Platinum Label Barossa Shiraz
Brilliant colored. Nice warm, balanced nose. Beautiful balanced taste of vanilla, sour berries. Very nice long finish with chocolate notes. This tastes like a special wine. Absolutely the best I tasted here. AU$185

2002 Black Label Shiraz / Cabernet Sauvignon / Malbec
Touch of brick in the color, slightly opaque. Nose is big and multi-layered, complex. Cassis comes through strong from the Cab. Coffee. Nice finish, but not as haunting as the Platinum Label Shiraz. AU$135

Posted by Bruce on March 7, 2007 2:17 AM

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