Monday, June 8, 2015
Cave de Tain
The following day, we tasted at Hermitage, arguably the birthplace of Australian Shiraz. I will talk more about this exceptional terroir in my next post. This tasting at Cave de Tain was an introduction to attractively priced Shiraz from this region. Cave de Tain is a co-operative which is responsible for a significant volume from the area.
The first wine was the 2011 Hermitage Classique, a blend from the area. It showed intense fruit, yet the mouthfeel was fresh and elegant, with silky tannins and a medium finish (92 points). The next wine was from Cornas, the 2010 Old Vines. This is a big and powerful wine, which shows meat flavours and slate minerality next to the black plum fruit. While the flavours are complex, the wine is not that well rounded (90 points). The 2006 Gambert de Loche, Hermitage is the old vines single vineyard wine from Hermitage. I was looking forward to this. It has a similar profile to the Classique, obviously older and more powerful. The elegance in the wine stands out again, but as before, the wine has not come together completely (92 points).
Then a surprise bottle was pulled out: it was the 2008 Kilikanoon Alliance Hermitage. The wine maker from Kilikanoon, who actually did two vintages there, was given some fruit to make his own wine. This wine was riper and a bit sweeter, but nicely balanced (93 points). It clearly showed the Australian difference. I was told the French wanted to pick the grapes, but he said, no, let's hang on a bit. So we have the Australian version: riper, more fruit orientated, versus the French version of more finesse and elegance.