I’ve had a run in with single vineyard wines here before. This is one of them. In fact it’s one of three single vineyard examples that Mount Majura produces.
Mount Majura is a suburb in Canberra, Australia. Also name of the vineyard, so here we have a Mount Majura Vineyard red wine. The estate tempranillo, normally a blend from all 3 sites, is amazing and their other reds have had me talking about them for years. In fact, if I ever see a bottling I normally grab it. Unfortunately, for me, I don’t get to visit on wheels anymore, usually flying in and out.
Canberra, if you are not familiar with it, is a hot and dry place come summer but also very cold come winter, including seeing some snow and regularly featuring in the below freezing point scores. It’s inland, with vineyards at somewhere about 500 to 1000 metres above sea level. The vineyards are dotted around Lake George (dry as a bone most years) and surrounding towns. Soils are diverse to say the least, and as usual quite ancient. As a viticultural area, it’s considered cool by Australian standards. Shiraz, Riesling and Pinot family do well here but so do some of the more Mediterranean grapes that love heat and can ripen before the autumn chill moves in.
This is a beautiful wine with vibrant ruby, mauve colour in the glass.
The nose is muted but inviting with dark wild cherries, hinting of the sun and dry late summer earth waiting for the rain. There’s almost, not quite, a hint of prune. Late summer herbs give it a nice kick with a gentle lavender in the top notes that makes me smile.
On the palate, it’s rich and dark, dry and powerful with tannins for days. The tannins, while rather robust, are fine like the finest silt. Again, like on the nose the palate reminds me of late summer afternoons, when things are dry and the grasses rustle gently in the breeze. The alcohol is high but it’s not something you pick up straight away, being well integrated. There’s great balance to this wine but it does need a good solid steak that’s just been chargrilled on open flame in front of you with a lot of side salads. It’s leaving me parched looking for more, just one more sip…
From the winemaker: The red volcanic limestone-containing soils and easterly aspect of Mount Majura Vineyard produce single-vineyard wines of intensity. Rock Block is our original patch of tempranillo, full of the limestone ad volcanic rhyolite typical of the vineyard. Always the most fragrant parcel of tempranillo.
Mount Majura Vineyard Rock Block Tempranillo 2016 | Canberra District | 14% abv | RRP AUD48