2011 Marq Margaret River Gamay

The grape from Beaujolais has a home at the boutique Marq Winery in Margaret River. Accomplished vintner Mark Warren has championed alternative varieties and innovative winemaking techniques to produce among others, a grape diversity that includes Fiano, Vermentino, Petit Manseng, Tempranillo, Malbec and Gamay. All are varieties unusual to this part of the world.

The 2011 Gamay has a clear ruby red colour. Very pinot noir-esque on the nose and palate. Forest floor aromas, fresh cherry, pomegranate and some gamey notes. Silky smooth mid-palate supported by supple tannins. Laden with spicy cherry, strawberry and cream flavours. The twelve months on lees in French oak gives the wine a woody, caramel leather-type character. Medium-bodied wine, fuller and more intense than some cooler climate styles you would encounter. Persistent and satisfying finish of spicy red fruits. With the 2012 available, this is still a cracker to drink.

Source: Retail Purchase. ABV: 13.8%. Closure: Screwcap. Price: $25.00. Rating: 93 Points.

Vale Jeremy Pringle

Very sad news and a great shock. 

Jeremy Pringle was a mentor to me but he didn't know it as we had never met. 
His passion for wine was genuine and infectious. I marvelled at his concise, authoritative, witty and insightful commentary. He was assertive yet wrote in language everyone could understand. 
The amount of posts he got through was phenomenal. They were always the first ones I'd read.  
A great loss to the industry but his memory and legacy will live on. Condolences to his family and friends.

Tonight's drink is for you mate.

2009 Bellarmine Wines Pemberton Petit Verdot

In viticulture terms, the Pemberton Region in Western Australia's lower south-west is a recent phenomenon. With a maritime climate and relatively fertile soils, it is emerging as a premium grape growing region. Bellarmine Winery established at the turn of the new century has been a prominent player with a range of consistently well made, award-winning wines.

Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and recently Merlot in particular are growing well in the region and it appears their vastly underrated cousin Petit Verdot has that potential as well. 

This dry red wine has been matured for 12 months in French oak. 
Outstanding dark ruby red in the glass. Heady fresh aromas consist of blueberries, blackberries, violets and pencil shavings. Flavour-packed palate of smooth smokey black fruits, spice and well-integrated tannins that have tempered with age. There is a refined personality to this mid-weight and well balanced P V. Drinking well now but there is much more mileage in the tank with this one. Recommended. 

Source: Retail Purchase. ABV: 15.0%. Closure: Screwcap. Price: $26.00. Rating: 92 Points.