Taking a bit of time out from our tour of Bordeaux, here is a quick wine tasting report from the weekend of a vineyard in the Granite Belt in Queensland.
On the weekend we resumed the wine trail and drove the short distance to the top of Mt Tamborine and visited with Witches Falls vineyard. They have debuted their 2007 range of Reds and a vast array of their local Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
With Durif still growing, one gets the sense that they are about ready for a real renaissance in the Granite Belt and at Witches Falls in particular. Although the critical praise hasn’t quite arrived as yet (most vintages still rating in the low 90s from names like Halliday and company) the wine is gaining momentum and winning a few awards.
While at the vineyard and cellar door, we tasted the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 2006 Prophesy Cabernet Sauvignon of which we bought two bottles for cellaring and later consumption.
The former (2007) was very young and fresh with a nice variety of fruits and tannins and would make for easy drinking now and for the medium term.
The latter (2006) reserve was a real surprise, a dark horse if you will, with a very subtle but complex undertone and a pleasant aftertaste. We’d like to say that the balance (perfect) and length were more restrained and deeper (less fruits, more oak). The two wines seemed to be in different leagues, and we are left to wonder at just how much more complex the reserve will get with age. Hence, the purchase of two bottles.
You can visit the cellar door whilst marvelling at the view west from Mt Tamborine daily from 10 am – 4 pm and they are located at 79 Main Western Road, North Tamborine QLD 4272.
As promised, we’ll take a brief look at the excellent wine we acquired whilst we were visiting this beautiful part of south west France, and post a few photographs of the town itself.
We didn’t realise that the city itself would be such a draw card – the surrounding areas are as picturesque as ever we’ve seen – but the town has a very relaxed and pristine look which is complimented by a friendly and outgoing population.
As we might have mentioned earlier, the cuisine in and around the vineyards was superlative, however we also had great meals in the town itself. There is also a retail corridor where you may find all the leading chains plus a few boutique stores, meaning that shopping is another decent past time and can be a lot cheaper than in Paris.
The Grand Opera house occupies a large section of the “inner city” opposite the Regent hotel, and is only about a ten or fifteen minute walk from the major churches and grand plazas.
The tram network unlocks the town since it is not preferable to drive (unless you have to).
The good thing is there is no shortage of potential tours departing from the town itself, so you don’t especially need a car unless you are planning your own tours to specific vineyards (in which case you would have to ring ahead to get permission to visit).
Now, to our own “retail therapy” – In Bordeaux we bought a nice array of fine Medoc and Sauternes wine including:
- 2004 Chateau Palmer (Margaux), 3er,
- 2004 Chateau Margaux (Margaux), 1er [Half Bottle],
- 2005 Chateau Pontet-Canet (Pauillac), 3er, [Half Bottle],
- 2006 Chateau Doisy Daene (Barsac) – Sauternes, [Half Bottle]
In Paris we bought one additional bottle of wine:
- 2006 Chateau Lafite Rothschild (Pauillac), 1er
We bought an unusual number of half bottles although this was mostly to accommodate our baggage restrictions (and import restrictions). All of the bottles are now resting out at our wine cellar in Brisbane city where they will stay a while until ready for drinking!
Stay tuned for more – we haven’t even begun to discuss the wine tasting notes for the five Chateaux which we visited – we’re just scratching the surface 🙂