Wednesday, October 08, 2008

WBW 50: Wine Hiking

Wed 08 Oct 08

I have to confess, when I saw this month's Wine Blogging Wednesday topic I was pretty disappointed. Russ at Wine Hiker has chosen ... wine hiking. Wine hiking?! Choose something local?!

I live in the north of England! My nearest vineyard is Yorkshire Heart (I think this is one of the most northerly vineyards on the planet) and the vines were only planted in 2006!

The last time I hiked and wine was involved it was in Morocco (well, the wine was at the end of the day). I knew I had no hope of laying my hands on a Moroccan wine (and wasn't sure I really wanted to, either!).

So, time for lateral thinking. I've just been to the southern Rhône - where I walked through a vineyard in order to sit under a tree and have lunch (yes, that's hiking). I'm a bit Grenache-d out, so let's stretch that to the Rhône in general. Hmm, so let's go for Shiraz. Oh, or a Shiraz Viognier blend - very Côte Rôtie.

I can't do local to where I live now, so let's go for local to where I grew up. I grew up in Brighton, South Australia and (happily) McLaren Vale is just 30km (or about a 40 minute drive) away.

And so I am sitting down to drink Battle of Bosworth 2006 Shiraz Viognier from McLaren Vale.

And yes, that is very very tenous. But! The closure is a screw cap which makes it ideal for hiking or picnicking in general!

All bases covered.

The wine. The short answer is that it's a very good drop. It did cost £10.99 from Oddbins, so it does need to deliver. And in this case, the Viognier is adding the flair that it should do. The nose is quite pronounced, with plenty of blackcurrant as well as warm spice. There's a touch of red fruit and some perfumed notes that I couldn't quite put my finger on. This is a real fruits of the forest nose. The palate has masses of fresh fruit: blackberry fruit rather than blackcurrant, black pepper, with some cedar and tobacco flavours developing. The tannin is very soft and well integrated but there's some good acidity and the length is great. There's some warmth from the alcohol (14.5% abv) but it is well integrated - I didn't pick it nearly as high.

As you can probably tell, I was really happy with this for £11 (Andy did think we've had better for the money but hasn't actually named those bottles yet!). It's a very approachable wine but it's not simple. The masses of fruit will appeal to those who aren't after a challenging wine but its complexity will keep adventurous drinkers (and hikers) happy.

Russ - I'm really sorry I've been so rubbish at joining in the spirit of this month's WBW! I hope you'll forgive me!

Please, 1winedude, choose something easy for WBW 51!

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5 Comments:

Blogger winehiker said...

Alex, despite your wearing your hiking shoes only figuratively, yours is a great post. If you're ever here in the California wine country, look me up and I'll show you what all the fun's about. Thank you for participating!

Russ

10:14 pm  
Anonymous matt - mmwine said...

I love your creative thinking. I think you did a fantastic job with WBW 50. I must say I've not had a Shiraz / Viognier blend, and your review makes me quite interested.

I'll have to find one and video review it. I am hopeful it lives up the this great wine you've reviewed for us!

Cheers!
Matt

3:25 am  
Blogger CatsPuke said...

Theres a vineyard in Swillington.

http://englishwineproducers.com/leventhorpe.htm

I've tried the wine at the Farmers market, and I wasn't that impressed, but it was 9am and I already had a hangover. I'm no expert by any means though! CP x

1:45 pm  
Anonymous Steve said...

Hi Alex

If you're in Headingley, your nearest vineyard is actually Leventhorpe near Allerton Bywater (http://englishwineproducers.com/leventhorpe.htm) - you should definitely give it a visit if you've not yet. The owner is a really nice guy and spent a long time chatting with us. The madeleine angevine and seyval are pretty good - the latter is served at Leeds Seventeen.
cheers
Steve

1:58 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Thanks, Russ - I was a bit worried I wasn't getting into the spirit of things!

Matt - Shiraz-Viognier blends are all the rage in Australia at the moment so, if you can't quite spring for a French blend, you should be able to find an affordable Australian one relatively easily ...

CatsPuke (I think I prefer CP!) and Steve - thanks for the suggestions - I'll be keeping them in mind!

11:23 am  

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