McLaren Flat is located in the flatlands to the East of the town of McLaren Vale heading towards the Adelaide Hills. There are some of great cellar doors and I’ve visited almost all of them at the beginning of this year. I had a great time and I’ve tasted many beautiful wines!
Last month I wrote about six cellar doors that form ‘Flatmates’ – now it’s time for the rest of cellar doors that are located in the neighborhood in McLaren Flat: Graham Stevens Wines, Parri Estate and Woodstock Estate.
Graham Stevens Wines
I had nothing to do and instead of sitting in the town of McLaren Vale (which, by the way, is a beautiful town worthwhile visiting!) so I went for a long walk; this is how I found Graham Stevens cellar door with Graham himself serving the wine!
I was impressed with Graham’s attitude, sense of humor and a huge passion to wine. He has shared a lot of interesting info about the history of the region, differences between the old and new winemaking techniques and his opinion on the people who, so often, are not able to admire the subtleness of wine. As he says, “The size of wine shouldn’t be measured by aggression, but its true taste.” I can agree with his statement as many people need to have muscular and fat wine to be able to appreciate it.
So what wines does he produce? Extraordinary, exceptional and… very tasty! I’ve tried seven wines during the visit and I couldn’t say a bad word about any of them! Let’s take a closer look at the wines I tasted; they are available, unfortunately, only in Australia:
- Stevens Fleurieu Chardonnay 2014 (12,9% vol., 18$) simple and easy to drink wine from the entry level of Graham Stevens Wines; lots of citrusy flavours and a hint of spices on the finish;
- The Cousins Grenache 2014 (14,1% vol., 15$) a beautifully coloured rose wine with fresh and delicate strawberry and raspberry aromas and well-balanced, fresh palate with raspberry acidity, strawberry flavours and a hint of white pepper on the finish;
- The Stevens Family Shiraz 2010 (coming soon – check out other wine reviews in Tasting Room)
- Reserve Shiraz 2008 (coming soon – check out other wine reviews in Tasting Room)
- Cabernet Sauvignon Fleurieu 2010 (coming soon – check out other wine reviews in Tasting Room)
- 2014 Vintage Fortified Shiraz (coming soon – check out other wine reviews in Tasting Room)
- The Old’s Man’s Liqueur Grenache (coming soon – check out other wine reviews in Tasting Room)
More about Graham Stevens and his great wines you will find here: https://www.grahamstevenswines.com.au/
Parri Estate is located almost opposite Graham Stevens and apart from beautiful cellar door, there is also a restaurant where you can eat some great food and drink as much good wine as you can. As I’ve been already after lunch, I couldn’t let myself even for a dessert ;)
But I let myself to taste a few wines (oh yeah!!) and I was very surprised with the prices of some of these wines, which were… too little if you consider the quality of what you’re paying for. I even said it out loud, that I would be happy to pay 35-40$ for some of the wines that cost 25$!
On the other hand I understand the attitude and I agree with John Phillips who said, that they want people to buy wine, enjoy it and come back for more. Maybe that’s why instead of buying no wine or just a bottle for 35$, I bought four bottles 25$ each; plus I will definitely come back here to buy more next time I’m in McLaren Vale!
I remember being very impressed with Debra and John remembering not only the name of every single person in the cellar door and restaurant, but also the wines that person ordered and enjoyed! At the beginning I thought they were loyal customers or friends, but later on I realised there were not! Amazing way of treating visitors and customers, you feel very good while tasting the wine and you feel the kindness of the owners.
I’ve tasted nine wines and left the shop with a few bottles of wine, Organic Olive Oil hand-cream and a funky ‘wine glass flip flop’ – but at this moment I will focus just on wines ;) The list of the Parri Estate wines I’ve tried you will find below:
- Southcote 2009 (16$) fresh, lemony and light white wine from Mount Compass with a note of peaches and lemon peel on the finish;
- Savagnin Southern Fleurieu Estate Grown 2012 (12,5%vol) a very well-balanced and light wine; flowery, lemony and fresh with a bit of residual sugar and creamy structure;
- Pinot Noir Limited Release Southern Fleurieu Estate Grown 2010 (coming soon – check out other wine reviews in Tasting Room)
- Shiraz Viognier 2006 (coming soon – check out other wine reviews in Tasting Room)
- McLaren Vale Grenache 2006 (coming soon – check out other wine reviews in Tasting Room)
- Shiraz Grenache McLaren Vale 2010 (15% vol., 25$) ruby wine with a beautiful, delicate aroma of black fruits and spices with a hint of sweet plums; the palate is silky and balanced with blueberry and blackberry on the finish;
- Cabernet Sauvignon Southern Fleurieu 2005 (13,5% vol., 25$) bouquet with plums, blackberries, licquorice, spices and herbs; palate with a bit too overcooked black fruits and nice long woody finish;
- Cabernet Sauvignon Selection Limited Release 2007 (coming soon – check out other wine reviews in Tasting Room)
- Port Shiraz Grenache Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 – as there’s not much of this wine left, it is difficult, not to say impossible, to buy it; I was lucky and get a small glass to taste from straight the barrel!
To find out more about Parri Estate visit http://www.parriestate.com.au/
It was almost the end of the day, I’ve been a bit tired and on one hand I wanted to go home and relax, on the other – I wanted to visit as many cellar doors as I could. Therefore instead of going home for dinner, I and my beloved decided to visit one more place – Woodstock Estate; when I was younger I used to have a lot of fun at Woodstock Music Festivals so it was obvious to me to visit the cellar door of Woodstock Estate ;)
There were too many people in both the cellar door and the restaurant; many screaming children and many interested in wine tourists walking around the huge property. For a short moment I’ve been talking to the son of chief winemaker, but unfortunately he had to please everyone in the cellar door, I had no opportunity to talk longer and find out more about the estate. What a pity! Especially that the wines were really very nice.
I’ve tasted eight Woodstock Estate wines:
- McLaren Vale Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (11,5% vol., 19$) – a very tropical, balanced and fresh wine with a hint of residual sugar and ripe white fruits on the finish.
- Mary McTaggart Riesling 2013 (11,8% vol., 28$) a fresh and easy to drink white wine with lots of citrus flavours and a minerality on the fresh finish
- The Octogenarian Grenache Tempranillo 2012 (15% vol., 32$) a well-balanced wine with red and black fruit aromas and a hint of herbs
- Cabernet Sauvignon The Year 2013 (25$) is a harmonious ruby wine full of spices, black fruit flavours and a long finish with black cherry and thyme;
- Naughty Monte 2013 (coming soon – check out other wine reviews in Tasting Room)
- Pilot’s View Shiraz 2012 (coming soon – check out other wine reviews in Tasting Room)
- Woodstock Botrytis Semillon The Year 2013 (10,5% vol., 20$ for 375 ml) – to get the botrytis affected grapes in McLaren Vale, the producers spray the vineyards with water and special botrytis ‘blend’; the wine doesn’t taste as botrytis wines I know, but it was great to find a new taste; the wine is not very sweet, but very delicate with flowers, pears, apples and honey flavours;
- Very Old Fortified Minimum 20 Years Old – (coming soon – check out other wine reviews in Tasting Room)
Go to http://www.woodstockwine.com.au/ to find out more about Woodstock Wine Estate!
It looks like these are the last cellar doors from McLaren Vale I’ve visited this year; but there are still many cellar doors from McLaren Vale and I will write about them very soon!