Redwood Creek Wines

I neglected ‘Sleuth a bit during the month of July because I was so busy working summer festivals. Despite the fact that I’ve lived in this country for 4 years, I’d never been to a proper British music festival. I still haven’t been to a proper British music festival but I worked/attended Art in Oxford and the Port Eliot Festival in Cornwall. The Port Eliot Festival is a literary festival situated on the manor grounds of Lord and Lady St. Germans and every year plays host to a variety of authors as well as various musical groups. I loved the location, the festival was spread among the rolling green hills of the estate, as well as in the woods and along the river that runs through the estate. You’re probably wondering, “What the hell does this have to do with wine?” I’m getting to it. I was sent some wine by the California winemaker Redwood Creek and thought it would be great to take along these wines to a nature setting. Redwood Creek like to think of themselves as a wine of the Great Outdoors and what better place to try their wines then in the wilds of Cornwall. My friends and I stopped by the river to taste the Redwood Creek 2008 Merlot. A straightforward merlot, plums and black cherry, a bit of spice and mocha,  lovely round tannins but not jammy or overcooked. It was fresh and relaxed. I was really expecting a gigantic fruit bomb but this wine was nicely balanced. It’s a nice little wine, perfect for picnics or festivals when you really just want a good time wine. We joked that this wine was the good time girl of wines, lots of fun but you wouldn’t exactly take her home to meet your mom. We also tried the 2008 Redwood Creek Cabernet but felt it wasn’t as well balanced as the merlot nor was it anywhere near as satisfying as it. If you’re faced with both in the aisle,...

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Some Young Punks hanging around Imbibe

I love kitsch. I should have been a teenager in the 1950’s, although then it would have been high culture. I would have been an avid reader of anything pulp fiction. “Spicy Adventure Stories”,  “Unwilling Sinner”, “Sin on Wheels”, I would have collected them all! So when I spotted Passion has Red Lips by Some Young Punks, South Australian winemakers, at the Imbibe show recently, I had to stop. Like a moth drawn to a flame, I couldn’t stop myself from trying the wine. I know I shouldn’t have been suckered in by the label but I was…. So what are Some Young Punks up to? A trio of winemakers causing havoc in South Australia, the grapes come from Clare Valley, Langhorne Creek, the Barrosa, Adelaide Hills and any other appellation I may have missed from that part of the world. The punks credo is to make “charismatic wines that are true to what we think ‘wine’ should be about. If someone doesn’t like the way we do it then they had better put the bottle down because there’s already not enough to go around.” Although they may seem like they’re kidding around, these winemakers, Col McBryde, Jen Gardner and Nic Bourke make some serious wine. These wines are seriously Australian as well. There is no mistaking the ethnicity of these wines. Heaps of fruit, full on, in your face, don’t mess with me reds. Subtle is not a word often heard around these wines. The 2009 Passion has Red Lips certainly lives up to it’s name. A blend of McLaren Vale cabernet and Clare Valley shiraz, passionately berry, extremely perfumed, I took a step back after taking a sip. Juicy plums, blackberries, blackcurrants and a smoky edge to it all on a lush, full body. Phew! I still don’t get the name of the next wine, The Squid’s Fist 2009. Do squids even have hands? No? How do they have fists then? Anyway, I suppose that’s something to ponder while you down this...

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