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Sunday, 25 September 2011

McLaren Vale - Cadenzia Initiative

An introduction to Rowland Short of Maximus Wines led to a tasting group I am involved with, Swirl Sniff Spit, being given the opportunity to taste 'n' tweet about the McLaren Vale Cadenzia wines.  The Swirl Sniff Spit Grenache tasting was in support of International Grenache day which was on Friday 23rd September 2011.

A Cadenza in musical terms is an improvised piece, played as a solo and often allowing for virtuoso display.  A Cadenzia is a Grenache based, or Grenache dominant wine from a McLaren Vale initiative to showcase this wonderous grape variety.  An aim of the initiative is to further increase the awareness of McLaren Vale and of the Grenache variety that excels in this region.  

“Cadenzia is an impassioned improvisation played by a virtuoso soloist towards the end of a musical performance. Cadenzia is made in celebration of the winemakers opportunity after vintage, to blend an exceptional McLaren Vale wine around the Grenache variety.”
      PETER FRASER, Yangarra Winemaker

d'Arenberg Cadenzia GSM 2009
A Chester Osborn shirt of a blend in that there's also some Viognier and Roussanne in the wine for added colour and aromatics.  The Grenache is from the Derelict Vineyard Grenache - good pedigree. 

The wine itself shows good aromatics.  There's the prerequisite dark and red berries in the mix, plenty of spice.  It has good intensity, but is actually rounded.  Showing balance and structure; intensity aided by some cherry in there.  Ticks the right boxes.
Maximus Cadenzia GSM 2009
A more savoury beast than the d'Arenberg.  Charcuterie and meat along with the good fruit of raspberries.  The palate shows some good presence of fruit wound together, and carried by, some tannin.

All up it's juicy, rich, fruit laden, spicy - how many more adjectives, or superlatives can I come up with?  But the savoury element for me mark this out from your average fruit bomb.  Very good drinking to be had.  A new label for me, one I'm glad I've made the acquaintance of.

Yangarra Cadenzia GSM 2010
Yangarra wines for me have a little something else, depth and intensity.  I'm a big fan of their Mataro and whether some fruit from that block makes it into this wine I don't know, but there is that extra depth here.  Intense typical Grenach introduction, raspberry, and pepper; the aromas work well for me.

In the mouth there's a fair whack of fruit delivered, along with some spicier elements such as star anise and allspice.  The tannin is soft and works well with the wine delivering a good lingering finish.

Oliver's Taranga Cadenzia Grenache 2009
Good perfume on this, supplementy some earthier savoury elements.  Typical berry and black fruit flavours with some chewy chocolate to back it up. 
 Some bright acid supplements the tannin, possibly outplaying it.  Less plush and juicy than some of the others tasted, but don't let this detract you.  Otherwise it is an excellent wine. 

Samuel's Gorge Cadenzia Grenache 2009
I've been on record before that I like the wines of Justin McNamee - I wasn't so taken with the 2008 - this 2009 is a brilliant riposte to me.  Hallmark attractive perfume, some nutty oak a segue to the jucier and spice of Grenache. Under the hood its altogether a little darker, the black fruit side showing through. 

At the back end, there's some good texture, paving the way to a spice driven finish with some good tannin for extra interest.  Very good wine.

Dog Ridge Cadenzia Grenache Shiraz 2009
Dense, rich and ripe.  That is not a perjorative statement.  Whilst this is first and foremost a Grenache, it is aided and abetted by its Shiraz side-kick,  Plenty of black fruit, indeed in the glass it's a lot darker than those that went before it. 
There's Grenache aromatics of the quite jooby sort, the raspberry notes of certain boiled sweets.  Then the palate shows this lovely interplay between the Grenache and Shiraz: the juicy fruit and spice with some strawberry and raspberry.  Very morish, your glass (or bottle) won't last long.

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