Sunday, 10 May 2015

Beverages of the Adelaide Trip

As readers of the various posts about our trip to Adelaide will have realised we did a fair bit of shopping for bottled goods along the way.  This is a report on the quality of those purchase decisions (and to some extent on the purchase process - I refuse to use the term "experience").


It came as a surprise to realise that all my beer stops were in the Clare Valley.  Possibly I was running out of room in the car by the time we got to Adelaide?
  • Knappstein, Reserve Lager: this is produced close to the Knappstein Winery, well known as a source of good product.  As far as I could determine they only make this one style of beer, so the purchase was rather 'retail' with no tasting involved.  I am normally resistant to lager as it tends to be McBeer but this was definitely not that.  Very refreshing with a fruitiness in tatste and quite moreish: which could be dangerous at 5.6% ABV.  Will be looked into as an on-line purchase in the future.  
  • Clare Valley Brewing Company, Monkey's Uncle Red Ale The sales outlet, if not the brewery, is actually in Auburn, a few kms South of Clare in an old building.  They don't offer tastes as such.  One could purchase a small serve (probably a pony - 5 fl oz or 150ml) but I didn't want that much as driving so just bought a 6 pack of 2 styles "off the plan".  The Red Ale is quite pleasant as a representative of that style with a fairly full body, some complexity and a nice colour, but not unduly exciting.  At 4.6% ABV not too dangerous.  Certainly drinkable but I wouldn't go out of my way to pursue this.
  • Clare Valley Brewing Company, King Kong Stout,  A very good stout with definite chocolate tastes and some good bitterness.  6% ABV means caution advised especially towards the end of an evening.  If purchasing a stout I would include this in my range of candidates.
  • Pikes Beer Company Genuine Stout:  A somewhat lighter offering than the King Kong recipe, and a little less sweet.  The brewery describes it as cocoa tasting rather than chocolate, which is a good analogy. The purchase process was very good with knowledgeable staff giving information about the intention of the brewers and the ingredients used.  I suggested they make contact with Plonk so that further supplies can be acquired!
  • Pikes Beer Company Sparkling Ale:  at 5.2% ABV it has a little authority.  It is an IPA style with a lot of refreshing fruitiness in the taste and enough body that you know it isn't Bud Light or Southwark.  Well done those Pikes.


This part of the post might be a fair while in updating as a couple of the wines were only purchased in small amounts and seemed sufficiently good to save for a special occasion (or when something nice is needed after a bad day).  I'll start with a list of the wineries and (where I can remember them) comments from the tasting.

To a fair extent the wineries we visited in South Australia were guided by advice from James Halliday's Wine Companion, which we have found matches our tastes (although often not our wallet)!  The two Rutherglen establishments were known from previous visits and on-line transactions.
  • Kirrihill 2012 Tullymore Shiraz : The tasting room is a fair distance from the winery which is usually an issue.  In this case it wasn't, as the operative knew what he was at and was helpful.  A very complex wine with the expected wide range of good flavours. This suggested it was going to have long legs.  We could only get 2 bottles as it was in great demand.  
  • Kirrihill 2012 Tullymore Cabernet Sauvignon: A bit less 'oomph factor' than the previous offering but still very pleasant.  '
  • Annies Lane: A special room for tasting with carpet on the floor, so small dog verboten!  The lady serving was very pleasant however.  Two wines acquired here: a Locals Shiraz (only available at the cellar door) which had some interesting taste factors and a Reisling, mainly because were are rediscovering that variety.  The latter was a bit of a trip back to the past when the place was known as Quelltaler. 
  • Shingleback:  This was visited on a Saturday when the area generally was infested with stretch limos doing tours.  A rather 'big' red had earned 94 points and seemed to have the complexity that offered interesting drinking in a few years time.
  • Dogridge:  The tasting area was replete with a tour group so we stayed in the outdoor area, which was very pleasant and the lady in charge trotted out readily with samples for us (including leaving a bottle for 'pour yourself).  Two reds interested us enough for insertion in the boot.
  • Pirramimma:  Visited on our last trip and known to be pet friendly, with the tasting area in part of the warehouse area - a floor of stone, not carpet!.  Also human friendly!  Knowing room needed to be left for Rutherglen only one case of a mid-range red was acquired.was acquired.
  • Warrabilla  Dog friendly!  Their cleanskin wines are one of our staple evening drinks and the aim of going their was mainly to load a couple of cases into the car.  Which was achieved, with some conversation about the next cleanskin, which is being bottled soon!
  • Chambers; Again dog and human friendly.  Our staple from this winery (2006- !!!! - Cabernet Merlot) has been taken off the menu but after a little sipping a 2007 Cabernet and some 2009 Shiraz were determined to be interesting and a couple of cases loaded into the Pajero.  We also acquired some White wine, primarily for use in risotto but quite drinkable as is (and I have just satisfied myself that is in fact the case).  At $7 a bottle excellent value.

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