I was recently approached by a marketing company and invited to take part in The Label Project. “The Label Project is a once-off never-to-be-repeated exclusive global wine adventure being run during September 2012, and is open only to bloggers who have been invited to join. Over 140 selected bloggers from 12 different countries have been invited to embark on this unique wine journey at the same time.”
So I’m thinking to myself “Mmmm – this sounds like a bit of fun and a challenge – three bottles of mystery wine with no labels, just a few clues and a travel / wine prize to be won… I’m in!”
Wine #1 arrived in a nice little wooden box, packed with wood shavings, three spray bottles and a couple of cards with the following clues about its origins.
- It lies between two other major and much older wine regions
- Its macro-climate is cool but within the region there are many varied topographies, soils and meso-climates
- It is famous for its fruit produce including cherries, pears and apples
- Hints of honeydew melon aromas
- A palate of lemon pith
- Underlying creamy texture
The three spray bottles contained:
Aroma #1 was all Citrus and Lime sherbet
Aroma # 2 was White peaches, nectarines vanilla & coconut
Aroma #3 was burnt caramel/nuts, toasty oak & yeasty bread
Pale green gold in the glass, lemon / lime citrus and white peach in the nose with a whiff of oak. On the palate mineral slightly, some mouth weight, nice acidity balanced with creamy malo characters – lovely succulent finish.
Variety – Chardonnay
Region – South Eastern Australia probably the Adelaide Hills. Shame I haven’t had a lot of SA Chardonnay in my life being a NZ wine lover first but a bit of Google-ing gave me the clues I wanted.. I was a library and information manager in my previous career so have pretty darn good search skills.
Wine#2 arrived a few days later same box but this time the clue cards were accompanied by a lovely box of chocolates in the shape of the letters that make up the words – The Label Project – Glenys and I played Choco-scrabble with the letters until we got down to the last few and we couldn’t make any more words.
- Altitude of the region ranges from around 250-400 metres (approx 800-1300 feet) above sea level
- In general, winters are cool and wet but summer days are warm, dry and sunny here
- It is very popular with wine tourists
- Spicy aroma of rich fruit cake
- Rich berry flavours with a hint of dark chocolate
- Velvety texture
Dark black cherry red to deep violet in the glass, mainly plum with spice, chocolate notes and subtle oak on the nose, big luscious fruit-cake all right with a little pepper and nice grippy tannins leading into a long full bodied weighty fruit and spice finish.
Variety – Shiraz
Region – This has to be from the Barossa Valley – that’s from the obvious clues and a little memory of other fantastic Barossa Shiraz that I have tasted over the years. The Barossa is one of the most visited wine regions & after a bit of research on the Barossa geography / terrior convinced me.
Wine #3 arrived today and being so excited with the previous wines, without hesitation I ripped open the packaging and the box to find the wine, two photos of rich red soils and cloudy skies and the usual clues.
- The terrain is completely flat
- Its subsoil is an ancient marine bed
- It has a maritime influenced climate
Varietal clues :
- Leafy aromas with a hint of mint
- Ripe cassis flavours
- A firm structure with good persistence on the palate
Dark inky violet in the glass, smoky herbal, blackcurrent cassis and minty in the nose, dark rich fruit with a wonderful tannin structure and grip – fantastic lengthy finish and Glenys absolutely loved it too – she’s a big grunty red wine fan like me.
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: Limestone Coast – South Australia
The Limestone Coast has been referred to as the Bordeaux of Australia, where the vines are planted and grow in rich, red Terra Rossa soil and which is home to regions such as the Coonawarra and Padthaway. I can’t pick between the two so will stick with the Limestone Coast region rather than a sub- region.