May 2014 The Oconee Wine Club
Both wines this month come from Australian winery called Wild Oats. Wild Oats Wines are produced by premier Australian winemakers, the Oatley family. Well known for their sailing and tourism pursuits, the Oatley’s first major venture was in fact wine, where Bob Oatley and his three children Andrew (Sandy), Ros and Ian planted their first vineyard in the Hunter Valley in the late 1960’s. Their children, Bob’s grandchildren, comprise the third generation of Oatleys in the Australian wine business today.
Having endured a five year hiatus from winemaking, but continuing to grow grapes on their Mudgee properties throughout, the Oatley family reemerged in 2006 as Robert Oatley Vineyards, based on their family-owned vineyards in Mudgee and purchased the neighbouring historic Montrose and Craigmoor wineries in which to make and market their new wines, the first of which was Wild Oats. Their state-of-the-art winery is the region’s largest, where the team make an outstanding array of wines from Mudgee-grown grapes along with parcels from other specialist Australian regions around the country. James Halliday, Australia’s most highly regarded wine critic, elevated Robert Oatley Vineyards to prestigious FIVE STAR status in his 2011 Australian Wine Companion
Wild Oats Shiraz ($14.99 Retail) continues the Oatley family history of fine craftsmanship. In selecting a number of richly flavored parcels of grapes from our vineyards in the Central Ranges of NSW, and with quality French oak influence, our winemakers have created a sumptuous and velvety red wine with complexity and some spicy characteristics. It tastes of berries, plums, baking spices and a touch of mocha on the lasting firm finish.
Wild Oats Chardonnay ($ 14.99 Retail) continues the Oatley family history of fine craftsmanship. Blending a number of parcels of grapes from our vineyards in the Central Ranges of NSW, with various components undergoing a combination of tank and oak ferment our winemakers have created a terrific example of modern Australian chardonnay, where fruit and texture are the vital components, with oak playing a supporting role. Lovely pineapple and fresh fig flavors, creamy, spicy oak with a touch of vanilla and a long, textured finish.
Connoisseur Club May 2014
Laguna Russian River Chardonnay 2012 ($ 26.99)
Nestled in the heart of the Russian River Valley, Laguna Ranch Vineyard has been home to world-class Chardonnay for the past 30 years. An elegant expression of its namesake vineyard, Laguna Chardonnay is an exceptionally well-balanced and luxurious wine.
” Abundant pineapple, mango and honeysuckle notes intermixed with a hint of background oak jump from the glass of this 2012 Chardonnay. There are 19,000+ cases of this lovely white that should drink well for 3-4 years. It is an excellent example of a classic Russian River Chardonnay.” (Robert Parker)
Il Grigio da San Felice Chianti Classico Riserva 2009 ($ 26.99)
Agricola San Felice is a multi-faceted enterprise with activities spread over various locations: above all, of course, the tenute, or farm estates, with their prized vines and olive trees; the Vitiarium, where most of the scientific research is carried out; the winecellars, where all of the production takes place, from vinification to maturation in barriques and bottling; the frantoio, or olive-oil press; the borgo, the company headquarters and retail enoteca, but, in particular, a medieval hamlet transformed into an elegant hotel complex; and, finally, the livestock operation, centered on raising prized local breeds.
Produced from carefully-selected sangiovese grapes, Il Grigio represents the iconic elegance of the traditional Chianti Classico, exhibiting the steely temperament, the dynamism, and the ability to surprise typical of the adventurous, all qualities eminently characteristic of the noble variety that yields Il Grigio.
93 Rated by Robert Parker, “A pure expression of Sangiovese, the 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva Il Grigio shows the inner warmth and richness that is characteristic of the Castelnuovo Berardenga subzone of the famous Tuscan appellation. Balsam herbs and eucalyptus oil appear at first and slowly give way to black fruit, cherry cola, violet and Spanish cedar. It shows an extremely polished feel in the mouth. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2028.”