We caught up with a small group of friends recently, all of whom have travelled. ‘Extensively’ would not be quite right but they get about. The discussions revolved around where in the world we had all seen (not that we have seen that much of it) but it quickly came back to how much of Australia we haven’t seen. For my wife and I, it even got down to how much of Tassie (our home state) we are yet to explore.
Our friends know my interest in wine and the subject came up about the wine regions in Australia. They all assumed I had been to them all. When I mentioned how I had been to all except any of the regions in New South Wales, they were a bit shocked to say the least. One of the couples had been and, yes, they spoke of the more “well known” region in NSW, but they were very complimentary about Mudgee and surrounds. Yep, Mudgee. They said it just seemed more personal and intimate and not so touristy.
I know I’ve mentioned this before but, thanks to Dave Cumming of Define Wine, I now have more of an appreciation of the wineries of the Mudgee area and the wines being produced. It is indeed on list of places we must visit, and sooner rather than later.
The first thing that captured my attention was the age of this wine. It doesn’t resemble a five year old wine, certainly not when it comes to the colour and aromas. It seems so fresh on both counts (apart from a slight earthy aroma on the nose). There is a sweet fruit (blackcurrant?) note on the nose with a complimentary cedary oak character too.
There’s a lot to like with the flavours even if it is only medium bodied (and I mean this in a good way). Rich black fruits, a plummy mid palate (I like this in a wine) and a licorice/fennel sort of influence as well as it trails off on a long, smooth finish.
Bearing in mind this is a quality, premium wine designed to be drunk with a bit of age, expect some tannin (quite delicate but showy) and oak at this point in it’s youth. They are simply part of the structure of the wine and, at this adolescent part of its life, it’s doing very well considering. To be fair to it and yourself, give it some time in a decanter. Otherwise, may I suggest you buy some for your cellar. It will reward patience.
Region: Mudgee, NSW Price: $50 Source: Sample thanks to Robert Stein Wines and Define Wines
NSW wines are disgracefully underrated. By all means get your good self to Mudgee, and the wineries at nearby Rylstone, but if you’re constrained for time I would go to Orange first and the Canberra region second. I do however agree with your friend’s comment that Mudgee is less touristy. Orange is a beautiful wine region and the wines are magnificent but at times it feels like half of Sydney is there.
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Thanks Simon. My daughter, son-in-law and grandsons have just this week moved to Sydney so there is a good chance a visit to the area will be on the cards. I have been to Canberra, in 2007, but only had time for a visit to Clonakilla due to a hectic training schedule. We are back there for a wedding in March next year so plan on making the time to visit more cellar doors.
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