Wantirna Estate Annual Tasting 2012 

Wantirna Estate. With his fascination with Victorian wine, Reg Egan established this wonderful place in 1963. This place remains a family run winery with daughter Maryann as the chief winemaker.  You would not have expected to find such a beautiful winery producing top notch wines just around the corner from Glen Waverly.

I was first introduced to this place when I attended a Dan Murphy’s dinner. They had the Amelia on tasting that night and I still remember how floored I was at the quality of the wine. I quickly signed on the website and awaited the annual tasting. Wantirna Estate don’t do cellar door, their stock is usually swallowed up during the annual tasting whist the rest of the precious cargo is already promised to their negotiations.  So….if you happened to miss this years, be on the lookout for next year!

The Vineyard

I managed to wrangle my parents to the tastings, thus picking up a designated driver in the process 🙂 We were all extremely surprised to find a this little gem of a place 10 mins from our house. Beautiful lush and well kept gardens with vineyards in the backdrop. It was pretty magic.

The Tasting Room

We were greeted by Reg who happened to be wheeling out a few cases of wine for a customer and were ushered into the tasting room. There we found a massive spread of cheese, bread, crackers, pate and very cool looking milk jugs used for water or spittoons…hopefully not both. There were five wines on tasting this year, the Isabella, Lily, Amelia, Hanna and the newbie, the Ratafia (limited edition). The usual four wines are named after their granddaughters and each with a different personalised label. I thought that was pretty cool. With my note pad (my phone) and camera at the ready, I jumped right in!

Wantirna Estate Wine Lineup

2011 Isabella Chardonnay

First up is the Isabella Chardonnay, with that typical buttery nose. This was very rich with a bit of zip in it, like kiwi fruit and crispy peaches on cream cheese.  It’s a very soft wine on the palate, light, thin, elegant and very much in the background. I would say shy? But once you get to know it a bit more, there is a punch of minerality, salinity and overall oyster shell taste. Very rocky and oceanic from start to end and finishes very french in character with violets.

Very approachable and a good start to the day.

2011 Lily Pinot Noir

Lily had a light and gentle nose of brown sugar, crushed cherries, green leaves and a touch of alcohol. The attack has a very outback feel to it; leafy, gumnuts and sticks. Some chilly and a lot of spice came in the mid palate, somewhat ashy with very little fruit characters. Finishes light and ethereal, almost non existent but for the lingering flavors of paprika and charred wood.

I did like the taste of this wine, very complex in flavors but I wasn’t completely sold on this. I would have liked to try this the next day after the strong spice flavours had time to settle, I believe this would make for a much more rounded wine. If you like a lighter style of shiraz perhaps, give this a go.

2010 Hannah Cabernet Franc/Merlot

Hannah is Wantirna Estates most expensive bottle due to the limited supply of the wine. I enjoyed the nose of this, think of freshly cut grass, asparagus and brussel sprouts kept in a big copper bowl on a wooden bench. Next to it is a plate of goat cheese and a vase of red roses. An extremely complex wine which paints a delicious picture.

You take a sip, nothing, after a nose like that, you feel a little disappointed  But then you feel it, a tip toe sensation creeping up the back of your tongue and BAM! Black pepper steak with roasted veggies fill your mouth. It’s thick like gravy and sweet lamb like notes with a touch of cranberry pulp. Amazing fleshy and sweet roasted meat flavours on this wine with a thick and rounded mouthfeel to match. Finish lingers for ages, longing for another mouthful and plays with spices of sweet pepper and cinnamon and dried cranberry.

I like this, would love to see how this develops…if it lasts that long…

2010 Amelia Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

Amelia is the flagship wine of Wanternia estate and has earned the Distinguished classification in Langtons. This is the wine which introduced me to Wantirna Estate so I am excited to try the 2010. Like the Hannah, the nose has a lot of complexity and character to it; sweet charred wood, caramel and char sui along with some candle wax and green leaves after it rained.

The attack is the most balanced of all the wines, with a line of acidity backed with red and black fruits and a grippe mouth feel. This breaks into a mid palate akin to eating ribs falling off the bone; soft, a little fleshy and a touch minty. Finishes the same as the attack, more acidic but great balance. A wine to cellar and drink for sure. I love wine.

Ratafia de Bougrgogne

This is something special. In 2003, a small amount of chardonnay juice was fortified, racked off and left to mature for eight years. This is the one time it has been done and only 254 bottles exits. I’m going to say it now….please make moar!!!! Have you ever had a non-baked cheese cake? With a thick biscuit base? Topped off with an assortment of tropical fruits? Slithers of candied lemon peel? Squish that into liquid and this is pretty much it.

The nose starts of like a beautiful lemon tart. Then comes the parade of mango, pineapple, passionfruits with a thick creamy background. The attack has a cheesecake feel to it. It’s viscous, but not too viscous. You get those tropical fruits and alot of kiwi. Not sure if my brain is tricking me but I can almost feel that thing pineapple does to your tongue. Not as sweet as you may think; the acidity really balances this wine, rounds it out and cuts out any overly sweet flavors associated in these kind of styles. Finishes short and tastes like a strawberry flan.

Yum.

If you haven’t tasted these wines yet, I suggest you go hunting for them. For me, the standouts were the Hannah, Amelia and the Ratafia. Gorgeous wines with bags of flavor, depth and fun from the first sniff to the last drop. Be sure to visit if you can…and the view is not too shabby either.

Enjoy

Kenny

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