2012 Woods Crampton Barossa Valley Mataro Rosé

Effectively a Barossa Valley field blend composed of 91% Mataro with a smidge of Grenache and Shiraz, this is an unconventionally dark rose thanks to the Mataro's colour. Bright clear ruby red to a light purple in colour it appears more of a light Pinot Noir or a Gamay than a rosé. Wild yeast fermented in large oak puncheons with six months on lees make for a velvety texture.   

Aromas of savoury plum, sweet spices, freshly cut violet fragrances and gamey, leather notes. Complex nose. Rich raspberry jam and spicy blackberry dominate the palate. Boiled lollies, earthy tones and a mineral edge add further to the mouthfeel. Lingering savoury finish. 

Essentially a dry ros
é, it is more fruit driven and with bitey heat prominent on the back end, didn't make for an enjoyable overall experience. A different take on the rosé theme and for someone who prefers the paler, dryer Provencal styles, this one is too rich and weighty.   

Source: Retail Purchase. Alcohol: 13.5%. Closure: Screwcap. Price: $19.00. Rating: 87 Points.

2010 Valhalla Wines Rutherglen Durif

Australia does Durif so well that I'm amazed there hasn't been a blog post until now. The variety has been planted in the Rutherglen Region of North East Victoria since the early 1900s and has become its flagship wine, the suitability of the terroir producing hefty full-bodied, highly tannic wines ripe for extended cellaring.  

Durif is a cross between Syrah and an ancient, now virtually extinct French variety Peloursin, created in the 1880s by a nurseryman Dr Francois Durif at the University of Montpellier. So pleased with the outcome, he boldly named the grape after himself. He would turn in his grave to find out that the variety is scarcely grown in France today !  

Established in 2002 Valhalla Wines is a boutique family-owned winery dedicated to producing handcrafted, premium wines from environmentally sustainable techniques and practices. The Valhalla name is a tribute to owner and winemaker Anton Therkildsen's Danish heritage and to the Norse mythology he is so passionate about. 

A dense almost opaque crimson in appearance. Dark chocolate, tobacco, stewed damask plum and leather comprise the brooding aromas. The palate is awash with concentrated spicy black cherry and plum with tongue-coating tannins to boot, all balanced by a fresh line of acid. There is a long, intense and strangely smooth finish. An iron fist in a velvet glove ! Has its fair share of power and grunt with a firm texture and mouthfeel throughout. Everything from go to whoa about this wine is dark, the colour, the black fruits, its savoury liquorice and peppery earth notes. But there is also passion from the people involved in making this wine and the other Rhone Valley varieties in their portfolio, who are dedicated to tradition and innovation.   

Beware of this brooding youngster. It's not a sprinter but is built along the lines of a marathon runner. Drinking well now but this will be a beast of a wine if you can wait ten years. Highly Recommended.

Source: Winery Sample. Alcohol: 13.8%. Closure: Screwcap. Price: $30.00. Rating: 91 Points.
Website: http://www.valhallawines.com.au/