Nothing like having a Spanish wine connoisseur visiting from Madrid to take
an opportunity to brag a little about Australian wines.
We might be a young country in comparison to the Spanish viticulture but the Swan Valley has the claim to the first winery in West Australia established in 1829 and second to the Wynham Estate in Australia.
On the strength of 80 years and 4 generations of history, we met with Shane Ukich at the Olive Farm Wines.
I wanted to establish with Fernando Relinque how Australian wines compare with his country.
Fernando said when he thinks of Australian wines he thinks of freshness & taste of fruit and I could think of no better place than to start than with the Olive Farm Wines.
Typical white variety grown throughout the Swan Valley is the Chenin Blanc and Verdhello and the Olive Farm wines offer some very fine examples.
But first to start, a very unique approach was the 2007 Brut Madeline made in the traditional ” Méthode Champenoise”.
First time I had actually come across the Madeleine, traditionally a table grape transformed to a Sparkling Brut. Certainly impressed my guest with its fruity beginnings and full bodied finish. Fernando thought that was a fair comparison to the “Método Tradicional” or Traditional Method produced Cava from his home country. Cava traditionally uses mainly indigenous Spanish grapes.
Next we tasted the 2015 vintage Chardonnay just released a week ago. A lot of Australian wineries have foregone the Chardonnay as it appears to lost traction but the Olive Farm Wines still have faith in presenting for taste a lighter oaked Chardonnay. 6 months in new and French Oak this Chardonnay holds great promise with a year or two cellaring.
Of course the proof with my Spanish guest would be the Tempranillo (pronounced tem-prah-nee-oh)
Interestingly the Tempranillo he is accustomed to in Spain is usually blended with 40 % Cabernet Sauvignon 15% Syrah as compared to our tasting. The 2014 Tempranillo had quite a tannic grippiness to the mouth.
And yes it was an excellent example of this variety’s spiciness with fresh cherry flavours.
Next on offer was the 2014 Durif. Principally a French cross pollination variety grown in California and Israel as known as Petite Sirah, the grape is perfect for our drier climate. This 2014 was all about that quite tannic , plummy full bodied wine with characteristic deep colour.
Olive Farm Wines
920 Great Northern Highway. Millendon. 6056
Swan Valley – Western Australia