It had been some time since I tasted the wines from Maxwell Wines in McLaren Vale, and the quality across the board came as something of a revelation. The wines are not short of flavour or structure but come with a deft touch, lacking the brute force of the some of their local siblings. I particularly enjoyed this premium grenache, which offers excellent value for money.
There is bright jubey fruit intensity (think dark cherry and ripe raspberry) from 80+ year old vines, but also some earthiness and well-integrated French oak. There is plenty of length and depth here, but also immediate drinking appeal. Excellent buying for medium-term consumption.
The winter in 2014 was wetter than usual which resulted in well soaked soils. From August to early January it stayed dry with above average temperatures. Flowering started earlier than average and the grape set was even, but our vines had low bunch numbers. Veraison started normally but accelerated with a mini heatwave early January. Throughout January, 40mm of rain fell, double the average, but very helpful to freshen up the vines. Ripening continued with warm dry days and cool nights and we started harvest with the Verdelho on the 9th February, the earliest on record.
tasting notes (at bottling)
Colour: Deep plum red. Nose: This wine has aromatics of raspberry and red fruits with a hint of herbs. Palate: Fine tannins and mouth filling flavours are balanced to make this wine approachable. Complex spices, savoury fruits and delicate vanilla oak, and fruit concentration from the old vines.
This wine is made to enjoy upon release, however it is expected that it will continue to give excellent flavours at 3 to 7 years of age, assuming satisfactory cellaring conditions.