The Cru Invites You

 Inviting you to our degustation lunch at the Victory Hotel on November 20

Four course menu, 16 wines, great company - $100 pp

Q&A with Vale Cru winemakers presenting at the Victory Hotel


Waywood Wines: introducing Andrew Wood, Lisa Robertson and Holly

What is one of the wines you will present on the day?
2014 Waywood McLaren Vale Monastrell

What can we expect in the bottle?
It’s a fresh elegant variety; Mataro or Mourvedre in this country.
Monastrell is a Spanish name, and I find the Spanish version more perfumed, floral, a bit more feminine, with earthiness as well.
I’ve been using the variety for blending but there was one single puncheon that I really liked so decided to bottle it.
It’s an interesting variety.
Sometimes in barrel it shows a feminine side, other times a masculine side, but this had a mix of both; the florals, the spices, the perfume, but also the dirt, grunge, the tannin, the dark fruits of Monastrell.
Every time I looked at it I found it more interesting.

Vale Cru luncheon: what are you looking forward to?
Mainly the opportunity to see the influence of different varieties, across different vintages, from different small batch winemakers; and show the diversity of McLaren Vale. It gives us an opportunity to discuss that, show that.

Vale Cru is a collective of small batch winemakers, which means?
Small batch winemaking is a very personal, hands-on approach. Most of the winemakers in the group are the grower and the winemaker – not all – but even as a winemaker you’re still very active in the vineyard. We’re individual winemakers but we really influence the fruit we started with; sourcing it, handling it ourselves, looking after it. The fruit has to be high quality to start with which shows through to the wine. 
It’s a personal touch the whole way through which is expressed in the end product.

James and Miriam with Emmaline. Lazy Ballerina.

James and Miriam with Emmaline. Lazy Ballerina.


 Lazy Ballerina: Introducing James Hook, Miriam Bourne and daughter Emmaline

What is one of the wines you will you present?
The 2010 Lazy Ballerina Shiraz

What can we expect?
This is a very good example of a mature Shiraz that’s had five years of bottle age. It’s half way through its ageing; you could open it in another five years and it will still be very drinkable.
I chose this wine because it’s a typical McLaren Vale Shiraz with blackcurrant, red and dark fruit characters. And 2010 was an uncomplicated growing season, it wasn’t too harsh on the vines. No heat waves and no serious rain events. It was an enjoyable wine to make and it’s an enjoyable wine to drink.

What are you looking forward to?
Seeing all the different years and different styles – and an opportunity to be part of the tasting experience.
Other years we’ve held exhibitions but this year, with the format being a long lunch, we can taste each other’s wine and share that experience with guests.
Many of the wines were made in tiny qualities, so they’re just not around much, so I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to seeing what they’re like.

Why does McLaren Vale Shiraz taste like chocolate?
All the flavours in wine come from either the grapes themselves, the barrel or the yeast.

Soil influences everything, but it’s not like the soil tastes like chocolate; it’s not a direct flavour that gets dug out of the ground. It’s a complicated flavour that isn’t attributed to one source. And neither is chocolate. That’sa combination of dairy and beans.
Fruit, oak and yeast: when you see that chocolate flavour in our wines you’re getting a combination of these elements.


 Wistmosa Wines: introducing Sadie and Steve Gomer 

What is one of the wines you will present?

Our 2011 Wistmosa Wines Shiraz

What can we expect?

It is McLaren Vale Shiraz; a style very typical of this variety and made from fruit grown in our previous vineyard (Boots Hill, near Simon Hackett wines).

The colour is deep brick red, the nose has violets, spice and a hint of chocolate. The palate is soft but structured, the fruit is blueberry interlaced with spice, liquorice and a subtle hint of chocolate.

The wine has been in bottle for four years now; it is currently drinking beautifully and will continue to do so over the next five years.

Vale Cru luncheon: what are you looking forward to?

Meeting the people who follow Vale Cru and having the opportunity to sit down with them and share what we are passionate about. These are the people who we make the wines for and it is great to be able to relax and share our wines with them.

And it’s going to be great this year. Rather than a just a tasting we are going to be able to sit at a table with them, enjoy food and wine and actually spend a decent amount of time with them.

Why don’t we get headaches drinking Vale Cru wines?

When better quality fruit comes out of the vineyard you have to do less to the wine during the winemaking process, therefore, what you are consuming is a more natural product. You tend to not get side effects from a more natural wine.

However, there’s still a point where the actual volume consumed will determine that you still get a headache!

James HookComment