THERE’S MORE TO GUMERCHA THAN A BIG WOODEN HORSE
Who needs acid when you can come to Gumeracha and visit the Big Rocking Horse!
Big things, I love them. Big wines. Big meals. Big occasions. And I especially love a Big Monument. Been to all of them in Australia. The Big Banana. The Big Pineapple. The Big Orange. The Big Sheep. The Big Koala. The Big Lobster. The Big Ned Kelly. But one of them holds a special place in my heart. It was the first Big Monument I ever saw as a kid. It was The Big Rocking Horse in the sleepy little Adelaide Hills town of Gumeracha. This Big Monument that showed me that dreams were possible. That even the pointless actually had a point (and a bloody big one at that)! Gumeracha has always had a special place in my heart. And that special place in my heart has grown a little bit bigger after getting to know the wines of Gumeracha’s own Protero.
VEEE-ON-YAY… IS A-OK (as are Goats and all that they produce)
If I was a goat I would like to live here
So, we’ve done the Rose, loaded up on good Chardonnay and had some wonderful Cheese and Oysters. But before we hit the Protero stand i’m distracted by a delicious looking platter of Goats Cheese and Quince Paste tarts. I think that Goats are probably the most underrated food producing animal in Australia. They produce delicious milk, cheese and meat. Curry Goat is bloody delicious. But anyways, I was peckish again so I *Bad joke alert* grabbed one of those tarts faster than a footy player would on his end of season footy trip. Were they good? Delicious. Who made them? Couldn’t tell you. Sorry. It was a catering company in the Adelaide Hills that do weddings, parties, anything… If anyone who was at the tasting knows please leave a comment below because I would like some more Goat’s Cheese and Quince Paste tarts. Please.
On to the Protero stand. There were more people ready to serve wine than being served wine at the stand. Which isn’t hard when there is no-one being served wine. But do you really need four people to man one stand? Maybe not but the first thing that struck me about the folk at the Protero stand (a bunch of owners/assistant winemakers) was there enthusiasm and love of what they do. Always a good thing, especially when you’ve passed a couple of soulless Foster’s/Constellation/Pernod stands. These are the three companies that produce the vast amount of wine in Australia. They dominate the wine industry in a similar fashion to the way Coles, Woolworths and IGA dominate the Supermarkets. Which brings me to another point. While I love wines from wineries and companies of all sizes, why is it so easy to pick the big brands at wine tastings??
INTWINES GUIDE TO PICKING (and avoiding) THE BIG THREE AT REGIONAL (or other) WINE TASTINGS
- Excessive Promotional Material
- Excessive highlighting of awards no matter how minor
- Tight ass pouring of wine
- Rude, holier than thou and uninterested staff manning the stand
- No wine above $20 RRP available for tasting
- Start Packing up 3 hours before the end of the Tasting
Ahh, cascades... So relaxing, so nice after a silly rant.
Rant over. Back to Protero. Enthusiastic people. Excited for me to try their wines. Excited for me to spread the word about their wonderful wines. You don’t need me, I say, you have some fancy Winestate Wine Of The Year award for your Merlot. No, they say, we want real people to spread the word. It works best they say. Agree I do. And then they give me a taste of the most delicious Viognier I have had for a while.
2007 Protero Wines Viognier
Protero Viognier 2007
Price :: $29 from http://www.proterowines.com.au
Cellar Potential :: Delicious now and will stay that way up to 3 years
Score :: 94
Music Match :: Delicate, sensual and refined… The music to match this wine could only come from Minnie Ripperton, of Lovin’ You fame. Why? Minnie and Viognier are both underrated. In the wrong hands they can become a caricature. Yes, i’m looking at you South Park and various nameless winemakers. But when they are treated right they are both capable of soaring to undreamt of heights. Forget Lovin’ You and head straight to Inside My Love, in my humble opinion her finest moment. Grab a bottle of this sexy, slinky wine. Grab your partner. Put on Minnie Riperton. And let the magic begin…
The Summary :: This wine is delicious. In the wrong hands Viognier can be oily, horrible stuff that tastes like the juice in a tin of sliced Apricots or Peaches. But not this stuff. Sure the signature Viognier apricot is there. But the aroma is more apricot kernel than pure apricot. And it’s supported by lifted citrus, quince and pear notes. Delicate. These intriguing notes continue onto the palate where they dominate the apricot to the point of almost making it disappear. But it’s really all about the mouthfeel. Buttery, slinky and balanced with the right amount of acidity. Not in the least bit oily. Refined. And for my money one of the best value Viogniers in Australia.
* This post is dedicated to the memory of Keith Floyd, a true legend who bought class, humor and irreverence to the world of food and wine. I heard the sad news of his passing as I was writing this post. He will always be a great inspiration to me and many others. RIP Keith Floyd*