Monday, April 2, 2012

Chapoutier Tournon

Michael Chapoutier, the doyen of terroir in the Rhone, has been making wine in Australia for 14 years. He is focussed on Shiraz, of course, and picked Victoria as his region. He now has a number of vineyards in the Pyrenees area and Heathcote.

I tried three of his wines, my first experience with his Australian production.

The 2010 Chapoutier Mathilda Victorian Shiraz is a fruit forward wine. They call it vin gourmande, which is similar to table wine, I think. It has an interesting bouquet of red currant and some smokiness which translates nicely onto the palate. This is not a complex wine, but it has some length and is quite harmonious. At under $20 per bottle, this must be the value for money wine of the year.

Score: 88/+++

While the previous wine is sourced from three vineyards in the Pyrenees, the 2010 Chapoutier Shays Flat Pyrenees Shiraz is a single vineyard wine. The fruit is darker and more concentrated. Plum and spice dominate. The acidity is noticeable and will give the wine aging potential, but overall, I find this wine not particularly special.

Source: 89/+

The 2008 Chapoutier Lady's Lane Heathcote Shiraz was clearly the best of the three.Bottle age helped, but it was more the fruit and structure which stood out. The dark berry fruits give the wine a very smooth feel in the mouth. The wine is well balanced, something which cannot be said of all Heathcote wines, with good acidity and palate length. This is an excellent example of a full bodied wine, which is not overbearing and heavy.

Score: 94/+++

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