Wine review: The wolf at the door
MOST Australians who have drunk wine in their life will know the name Wolf Blass. Wolfgang started making wine in 1966 and the brand has since grown to be one of the most well recognised labels in the country. This month sees the 40th release of the "Black Label"; the only wine to have won the prestigious Jimmy Watson trophy at the Royal Melbourne Wine show three years consecutively, and then a fourth win in 1998. Chris Hatcher has been working at Wolf Blass for more than 28 years, 20 of those as chief winemaker and has overseen the crafting of some truly world class wines.
White Label Chardonnay
Piccadilly Valley, 2015: Like biting a fresh nectarine and letting the juice drip down your hand. Beautifully made with stone fruit, bergamot smokiness, cashew and apple skin. Textural, complex and yet precise flavours that go on and on. A top class chardonnay.
Grey Label Cabernet/Shiraz
Langhorne Creek, 2013: Revisits Wolf's original 1967 blend from the region. Pretty, yet earthy: beetroot chocolate cake, mint/eucalypt ganache and a graphite sprinkling. American oak gives a sweet decadence for early consumption, but the wine will reward time in the cellar.
Black Label Cab/Shiraz/Malbec
Langhorne Creek and McLaren Vale, 2012: From the stellar 2012 vintage: Endless aromas that seemingly evoke fruit of plums, cherry, blackberry, savoury charred eggplant smoke and graphite/pencils but ultimately it smells of power. Intense and bold. Give it plenty of air if consuming young.
All wines available from major retailers.