Zema first on the list today, Coonawarra
Sun 25 Mar 2012
The smallish Coonawarra wine region is a tight knit community of wineries. They are always referring you on to other wineries as you travel suggesting helpfully depending on your preference.
The weekend crew included people that just work Saturday's or once every two weeks.... or they might be married to one a wine maker next door and work at this cellar door and another. Cara park operators, school teachers, and publicans made up the balance of the work force.
The marketing of the region is quite tight as well. Maps, tasting books and a featured web site bring it together nicely... and most wineries are up the one highway, but as the signs say, remember that its 110km/h, so be sure to check the road into the distance before pulling out to dwardle to the next winery!
The final tip is to be sure to bring some cheese, carrots or apples to eat between tastings. I found that all these had a great effect in neutralising the palette between tastings. Heaps of water of course.
If you are going to drink the full sample, I calculated that could have about six tastes in the first hour and three each hour after to stay under the limit. Otherwise, spitting it out keeps the BAC down and the head clear for better decisions!
Very much worth the experience.
John's tasting notes from the Coonawarra.
Merlot $39 Flavorsome
Cabernet Sauvignon $39 something special at the end
2005 Shiraz $24 - young
2008 cab sauv $24 - young
2006 cab sauv $34
Mawsons Wrattonbury Cabernet Sauv $15
Yalumba Coonawarra Estate Cigar Cab Sauv $25
Smith and Hooper Cab Sauv Merlot $17 ** Good value for the taste
2010 Merlot $25 - Light for flavour
2010 Petit Verdot $30 - Light unique grape variety
2009 Cab merlot $25
2010 Shiraz $25 - Easy to drink
Katnook (note that I love Katnook)
Katnook Founders Shiraz 2010
Katnook Estate Shiraz 2009 $40 - Very good - Purchase 4
Katnook Estate Cab Sauv 2009 - very good, not quite as good as the Shiraz for mine
Prodigy 2008 $100 - Exceptional - purchase one for cellaring
Odyssey 2008 $100 - Lighter Cab Sauv - Prodigy Shiraz the pref
Coonawarra Estate Black Label Cab Sauv $35 - Always purchasing this one back home, not quite as polished a flavour as others in Coonawarra and not as good value.
Cab Merlot 2009 $22
Two Row Merlot $27
Blockers Cab Sauv $27
Nothing stood out here - late in the day, so taste buds knackered
Enjoyed all their wines. Excellent value for money across the range
Coonawarra 2008 Shiraz 17.50
2007 Shiraz $17.50 - Best value wine and nice flavours. Ready to drink, so I purchased a dozen
Amazing facility and excellent cellar door service
Shiraz 2006 $28 - Quite good, probably worth the $28
Cab Sauv 2007
Maturation 2004 $35
Everyone I saw on two occassions at Zema left having with product!
2007 Shiraz $20
Family Selection shiraz 2006 $40 - really nice, ready to drink, purchased 4
Family Cab Sauv 2006 $40 - Also very nice, but I was at the Coonawarra for Shiraz
Shiraz 2009 $20 - Ready to drink, good value, Purchased three
2009 Cab Sauv $20 - Lots of Fruit flavours
2009 Tolmer Cab Sauv $ 32 - Early and very dry on the palette
Shiraz - Excellent, purchased two