The Australian Technology Park seems to carve out a niche for "alternative" wine festivals. After the hugely successful Rootstock festival for organic and biodynamic wines, comes Vino Paradiso, a new festival of food and wine, targeting a younger audience with many unknown wineries presenting and DJ music to boot. The other feature seems to be high temperatures. I visited on Saturday, and after the scorcher at the Rootstock festival, hey presto, it was 39 degrees celsius again. The air-conditioning could not cope, and the tasting of red wines in particular was difficult. They should have been cooled, but were not.
I stayed with some of the better known wineries. Eden Road presented its single region Shirazes. The 2013 Eden Road Hilltops Shiraz was quite perfumed and pretty - a feminine wine with excellent texture (92 points). The 2012 Gundagai Shiraz is darker in colour and more peppery, but the finish is a bit uninspiring (90 points). The popular 2012 Long Road Shiraz is a blend between the two regions (mainly Gundagai) and more of a quaffer, but with attractive aromas (88 points).
The 2010 Kaesler Bogan Shiraz and the Pizzini Barbera and the Nebbiolo did not impress me, but suffered from being way too warm.
The major surprise, however, was the 2012 Soul Growers 106 Vines Mourvedre. This is the best single variety Mourvedre I have tasted from Australia (or anywhere). There are only 106 vines left from this 130 year old vineyard north of Nuriootpa in the Barossa. The flavours are very complex and varietal. Blackberry and mulberry flavours are mixed with spice and mild red meat. The texture is framed by smooth and silky tannins.