Sunday, June 27, 2010

Coriole Masterclass – Moncur Cellars Tasting Room 3 June 2010

Coriole is a well regarded winery with decades of experience making wine based on Italian grape varieties. Given the current trend towards alternative varieties, Coriole are well-placed to take advantage of the Australian public’s increasing love of something other than the more common Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and (dare I say it) Sauvignon Blanc.
Back in June, Red to Brown was treated to a ‘Masterclass’ with Coriole wine maker/owner Mark Lloyd (go here for a review of their 2009 Sangiovese (Link)

Below are some notes brief notes on some of the other Coriole wines we tried on the evening:

2009 Fiano
Floral nose of Honeysuckle and subtle lemon/grapefruit. On the palate some more lemon/grapefruit, bees wax/honey along with a touch oiliness and spice. Nice wine that is a great point of difference to the more common whites out there (and a consistent performer for Coriole).

2007 Coriole Sagrantino
This wine was an unexpected, but pleasant surprise on the night and a variety that we are keeping a close eye on. A nice herbal nose with a bit of plum, liquorice and leather. On the palate, the Sagrantino has robust, but not overpowering tannins, black, slightly liqueur fruit and more herbs (cloves), leather and earth. Good acidity as well. A very promising muscular wine with nice tannins.

2007 Barbera
Bit of a forest floor smell on the nose, some nice macerated red berry fruit and spice supported by fine tannins. Mouth filling and juicy. A versatile food style of wine.

2007 Coriole Nebbiolo
Has the Nebbiolo light red brick colour (never judge a Neb by its colour!), and a nice spicy, floral nose. In the mouth, some liqueur cherries and some spices, framed by robust tannins.

2007 Coriole Reserve Sangiovese
Darker than the standard Sangiovese, with a nice spicy strawberry and cherry nose. In the mouth there was lovely savoury red fruit, substantial tannin and acid, and some nice earthiness. However, it is balanced nicely, finishes with good persistence and is the perfect match for numerous Italian dishes (making me hungry thinking about it).

2007 Coriole Mary Kathleen Cabernet Merlot
Deep crimson colour (a clear contrast from the Italian wines we had been tasting). Black fruits, herbs and a hint of menthol on the nose. Some dusty blackberry fruit flavours in the mouth, ripe powerful fruit but not over-sweet. Tannins were surprisingly restrained. Surprisingly elegant given the tough vintage, and a very nice wine.

2006 Coriole Lloyd Reserve Shiraz
A rich and interesting nose with bit of a barnyard smell  and a slight hint of what I would say smells like cooked salmon skin (even RedtoBrown can come up with some questionable descriptors, but that is what came to mind). The wine is a powerful one, but it is not a bruising fruit bomb – the fruit is relatively restrained and elegant though intense. The usual suspect of dark chocolate has a support role. The wine has nice intensity and persistence. A great way to end the tasting.

Many thanks to Mark Lloyd and to the Moncur Cellars crew. It was a shame we could not keep talking with Mark about the wines as the evening was very informative and enjoyable. Based on the wines on display, Coriole delivers at all price points, and even in tough vintages.


Chris Plummer said...

I've also been fortunate enough to have met the delightful Mark Lloyd on a couple of occasions. Most of all I recall him speaking at a wine writers conference at Adelaide's museum a few years ago where Mark stood up and remarked how much it frustrated him when he travelled to the US and everyone seemed to unanimously praise his wines. He said in Australia people were more willing to bring up the aspects they didn't like in his wines, which pleased him aplenty and gave him something better to strive for.

It's a fine point for the benefits of constructive criticism of wine I believe, but having just said that, I usually can't find too much to criticise in Coriole's excellent wines myself ;)

How'd you find he responded to your comments in regards to Coriole's wines?

Chris P

how good is that 06 Lloyd Reserve? Awwwwww........

Brown said...
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Brown said...

Hi Chris,

I found that Mark responded positively to our comments on the night (in the few minutes we had to chat before he headed off for dinner.

When talking to Mark, we focussed on wines we enjoyed more than the others (not all that were tasted were written up), that were varietal in the context of a tough vintage, etc. I got the impression that like any winemaker of a quality wine, Mark would have taken any constructive (negative) criticism dished out in a mature and open-minded way.

An amusing example of this on the night was when we tasted the Nebbiolo. Someone on the table remarked that he liked the wine and it reminded him of a Beaujolais!. In response, Mark was very graceful and did not take offence, even if I found it an amusing conversation on several fronts. If I didn’t like the 2008 Sangiovese because of too much acid, or not enough fruit, etc I am sure I would have had a similar response. I think most wine makers confident in their abilities will take any constructive criticism on board or counter that criticism politely if it is unreasonable.

I was impressed at how solid the wines were that we tasted accross the range. A suprise for me.

Once again, thanks for your comment.


PS - I loved the 06 Lloyd Reserve. Nice wine from a vintage I thought was above average across SA generally. Will be interesting to see if the Shiraz fares as well as the Italian grapes in the 07 version, given how poor 07 and 08 was for Shiraz in the region.

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