Four Buckets – Sevenhill Cellars, Clare Valley

January 28, 2011

2007 Four Buckets Shiraz, Touriga, Grenache

On a cools summers’ night, red wine is my wine of choice. We had bought half a dozen of reds offered by Sevenhill Cellars through the Family and Friends Wine scheme (we had bought white wines too).

The stylish 2007 blend of Shiraz, Touriga and Grenache called “Four Buckets” is a very nice wine. It goes with and without food. We had it after dinner to enrich our evening when we were sitting in front of our shed enjoying the sunset.

Dark red colour

The blend is rich and luscious. Lots of red berries, full bodied with a good structure and a long finish. We loved the wine. It made our evening. Look out for it. You might download the order form from the internet and send it to the winery.

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College Red – Sevenhill Cellars

January 16, 2011

Sevenhill Cellars ‘2007 College Red’

When I opened the bottle of ‘2007 College Red’ by Sevenhill Cellars from the Clare Valley and had the first sip I thought how awful. But after a short while only, my perception changed. The wine “opened up” so to say.

I just had to get used to the blend: one of Cabernet Franc with Malbec. Unusual somehow with dense aromas, a full palate of red and black fruit, weighty with a long finish. In Argentina Malbec is blended with many other red varieties but not so in Australia.

Beautiful. I immediately regretted that we had only one bottle of it. It came as part of a special order pack. We will have to order more from Sevenhill Cellars. At A$ 12 per bottle the wine is quite affordable.

Very dark coloured 2007 College Red

The back label

Agnolotti pasta

The blend of Cabernet Franc-Malbec went very well with the food: Agnolotti (originating from the Piedmont region of Italy) with mushrooms. It made a very pleasant lunch on a warm summers day on our farm in Glenburn.


Red snapper with Sevenhill Inigo Riesling

January 5, 2011

What a beautiful red snapper

My friend Brett Travis had given us the above red snapper before leaving on a fishing trip to Samoa. This was a wonderful opportunity for another wonderful lunch at our vineyard. We prepared the fish for a six persons meal.

Yummy veggies

It was a beautiful summers day. The fish was “crying” for a white wine too. We took the opportunity to open one of the recently acquired bottles from Sevenhill Cellars in the Clare Valley in South Australia where our mate Neville Rowe is the general manager.

The ‘2009 Inigo Riesling’ is a typical Clare Valley wine. It is young and fresh and lively. Of course I prefer German Riesling wines, and it is my view that Australian Riesling cannot reach that ultimate Riesling level which I love so much.

Sevenhill Cellars is the oldest wineries in the Clare Valley. It was founded by Jesuits in 1851 to produce sacramental wines. We enjoyed the “sacrament” with the delicious fish, and thank all our benefactors. Cheers mate.

2009 Inigo Riesling by Sevenhill, Clare Valley


Shakespeare in the Vines – Sevenhill Cellars

February 22, 2008

Ever since my friend Neville Rowe became general manager of Sevenhill Cellars in the Clare Valley I have followed this interesting enterprise though the internet.

The Clare Valley is one of Australia’s oldest and most famous wine regions, about 120 km north of Adelaide, South Australia. Sevenhill Cellars is located south of the small country town of Clare which gave the valley its name (along the B 82).

The vineyards and the cellar are owned by the Jesuits (Society of Jesus) (www.sevenhillcellars.com.au) who migrated to Australia (from Austria) in 1848 so seek a more peaceful life. In 1851 they established Sevenhill Cellars. It is the oldest winery in the Clare Valley and the largest producer of sacramental wine in Australia. Watch out for the ‘St. Aloysius Riesling 2005’ , their flagship wine (ranked 34th in the “Top 100 Rieslings” of the 2005 Sydney Royal Wine Show) but also try some of their fortified wines – Liqueur Tokay, Verdelho and Frontignac or the ‘Jesuit Fine Old Tawny’. Hope this is enticing enough for Riesling lovers to check it out.

Originally the place was called “Open ranges” but the Jesuit settlers called it “Sevenhill” reminiscent of the seven hills of Rome. The intention was to make the place a centre of Catholicism in this part of Australia and to produce sacramental wines. Today, they also produce table wines for the laicist consumers.

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Every year a Shakespeare play is put on at Sevenhill, called “Shakespeare in the Vines”. If you are around today, you are lucky because the romantic comedy “Twelfth Night” is shown on Friday 22 and Saturday 23, February. The ticket costs 35 A$ only. I am sure you will have a stunning night and the opportunity to choose from a variety of excellent wines.

The play is divided into five acts. It is actually quite complicated for me to give you a short account. I would like to refer you to http://absoluteshakespeare.com where you can read details about the story line and the characters.

I only want to mention that one of the most beautiful songs Shakespeare ever wrote can be found in this play. It goes as follows:

Come away, come away, death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid;
Fly away, fly away, breath;
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
O prepare it;
My part of death no one so true
Did share it.
Not a flower, not a flower sweet,
On my black coffin let there be strown;
Not a friend, not a friend greet
My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown:
A thousand thousand sighs to save,
Lay me, O, where
Sad true lover never find my grave,
To weep there!”

Thumbs up for Sevenhill Cellars

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Neville Rowe, general manager, Sevenhill Cellars

Address:
Sevenhill Cellars
Box 13 Sevenhill SA 5453
Ph.: (08) 8843 4222
e-mail: info@sevenhillcellars.com.au


A simple dinner on the farm with Inigo Shiraz

December 29, 2011

After a very enjoyable trip to Port Melbourne where we visited our friends Phillip and Julia who live in a former church (a very interesting dwelling), we returned to the farm and spend a quiet evening at home overlooking the vineyard and the paddocks.

Since we were spoiled with good food the whole day, we decided on a simple “German dinner” meaning cold dishes only. Some Australian cheese, cold cuts, olives, a salad and an avocado together with a German bread would do for the two of us.

Our dinner table

2008 Inigo Shiraz

From under the sink, my secret stash of fine wines, I produced a bottle of ‘2008 Inigo Shiraz’ by Sevenhill Cellars in the Clare Valley in South Australia.

The bottle was left from last years special order which we got through our friend Neville Rowe, who used to work there as marketing manager.

The ‘2008 Inigo Shiraz’ is an old fashioned red, beautifully round and full of flavours, with a lot of alcohol, in short an “umpf” wine, a wine with character. The grapes come from old vines (very old ones) and display black cherries and other dark fruit aromas. The tannins are smooth and has the spicy character we so much love in Shiraz. The finish is long and memorable.

Well, when I work in the vineyard, I inevitably think of the Bible and the many stories about vineyards in the biblical age. In fact many vineyards and wineries in my home town Trier and along the Mosel valley would not exist without “clerical” support.

The Jesuits of Sevenhill Cellars in the Clare Valley know how to make wonderful wines.

My tip: try some wines from Sevenhill Cellars. You won’t regret it.


And the winner is ? – 2007 Canberra International Riesling Challenge

November 4, 2007

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You might remember that I wrote about the 2007 Canberra International Riesling Challenge? The 8th Challenge has seen a new record of 486 entries (wines) from 249 wineries and six countries. What I have not done yet is to also inform you about the outcome of the event. This is the more enjoyable since the overall winner comes from a German winery which I visted recently in Würzburg, Franconia. The newly added category trophy of ‘Best in the World’ was won by “Weingut Juliusspital Iphofer Julius-Echter-Berger Riesling Beerenauslese 2006”.

As last year the ‘Challenge Winner’ came from Australia. The 2006 winner was a “Tim Adams 2006 Riesling” and the 2007 award was won by “Orlando Wines St. Helga Eden Valley Riesling 2002”.

The history of the event is a success story of new world wine, in this case Riesling wine, promotion. Under www.rieslingchallenge.com you can find the full story and the long list of entries and winners. Although I cannot do justice to all the many award winners from the different countries, I would like to selectively take out and refer to some of the participating wineries and their wines.

It came as no surprise that the German Riesling winner of the ‘Best in the World’ came from Franconia, one of the wine regions famous for its ‘Bocksbeutel’, wine filled in ellipsoid shaped bottles. Franconia (area under wines in 2007: 6072 ha) had a ripper of a vintage in 2006, ranked by the German wine magazine ‘Weinwelt’ as 4 to 5 star quality, the best since 1997.

Because of the cool August of 2006, the wines show high acidity which together with the excellent extraction values provides a high storage potential. The growing period, however, ended after a beautifully warm (almost hot) September, in a very wet October (50 to 140 liter precipitation) and for many vintners this meant a run against the clock to avoid the fruit rotting on the vines.

Weingut Juliusspital is one of the top German wineries. Horst Kolesch, the head of the winery (which is one of the three big wineries in Wuerzburg), can be very happy with the outcome of the event. Apart from winning the main trophy, his wines did very well in the competition and won various other medals. Another of the top Franconian wine producers, Horst Sauer Winery, won among others a gold medal in the ‘current vintage 2006 sweet category’ for his “2006 Eschendorfer Lump Riesling TBA” and a bronze medal for “2006 Eschendorfer Lump Riesling trocken”.

From the vicinity of my hometown Trier, the ‘Bischoefliche Weingueter’ won a silver medal for their “2006 Kaseler Nies’chen Spaetlese” (sweet category), a famous terroir from the Ruwer river. The “2006 Scharzhofberg Spaetlese” won a bronze medal in the ‘current vintage dry category’. The location of the vineyard is the prime terroir for Riesling wines in Wiltingen, a small village at the Saar river. From the Mosel vineyards of the Bischoefliche Weingueter the “2006 Dhroner Hofberg Spaetlese” won a bronze medal in the ‘semi-dry category’.

Let me turn to some of the Australian wineries. From the Yarra Valley the Long Gully Winery (the owners are of German origin)won a gold medal for their “2007 Long Gully Estate Riesling” (current vintage dry category).

From our own region, the Upper Goulburn Wine Region, only Delatite Winery (www.delatitewinery.com.au) had (three) entries. The “2006 Barwite Riesling” and the “2005 Delatite Riesling” won bronze medals each. The “2006 Delatite Riesling” won a silver medal. These awards are a great success and a further addition to the many national and international awards Riesling wines from Delatite have won recently.

The 2007 Judges were:
– Louisa Rose (Chairman of Judges), Chief Winemaker, Yalumba
– John Belsham, Foxes Island, Marlborough, New Zealand
– Ken Gargett, Wine Writer, Queensland
– Alexander Kohnen, Director of the German Wine School
– David O’Leary, Director/Winemaker, O’Leary Walker Wines
– Sally Harper, The Bathers Pavillion/Sommerlier, Sydney

PS: It was interesting to learn that Sevenhill Cellars from Southern Australia won a bronze medal for their “2007 Sevenhill Riesling” and a gold medal in the ‘museum class 2004 and prior vintages’ category for their “2001 Sevenhill Riesling”. My friend Neville Rowe has recently taken up the general managers position at this winery which is the oldest in the Clare Valley.