These three selections were chosen for February 2006.
2004 Hare’s Chase, Red Blend, Barossa Valley
Hare’s Chase was started by Winemaker Peter Taylor and businessman Michael de la Haye. In 1998 they bought an old, dry grown, 40 acre Barossa vineyard. The vineyard contained small, scattered patches of Shiraz along with a number of other varieties. In revitalizing the vineyard they primarily grafted Shiraz while leaving small amounts of the other red varieties. The goal of Hare’s Chase is to produce wines styled after Cote-Rotie in Hermitage, France. This wine is a blend of 70% Shiraz, 16% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 3% Tempranillo, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in American and French oak. Dark ruby in the glass. Sweet, black fruit on the nose. A well-balanced Barossa wine that is not a fruit bomb. Drink now but can cellar a few years.
2003 Bodegas Juan Gil, Juan Gil, Jumilla
Bodegas Juan Gil was founded by Juan Gil Gimenez in 1916 when he built a warehouse in the middle of Jumilla to produce wine. Juan Gil is the higher quality selection. This wine is 100% Monastrell aged 12 months in French oak barrels. Dark in the glass. A restrained nose of toasted nuts. Fat on the tongue with expanding dark fruit flavors, short finish, and long after taste. Drinkable now but let breath one to two hours or hold for one year.
2003 Main Divide, Pinot Noir, Canterbury
Since the early 1970’s the entire Donaldson family has involved themselves in their wineries. They own the two New Zealand wineries Pegasus Bay and Main Divide. Their second tier wines are bottled under the Main Divide label. Main Divide is the local name for the Southern Alps. The goal of Main Divide is to produce distinctive, vibrant wines with lively fruit. This wine is 100% Pinot Noir aged 12-18 months in used French oak barriques. Crimson in the glass. An aromatic nose of cherries and chocolate. Round, ripe fruit on the balance with a good finish that provide for a satisfying drink. Drink now.