When you are sent samples of the latest Penley Estate project wines, you most definitely have to make a night of it! And in my case that started in the bath, trying the two side by side in our Riedel stemless wine glasses.
Each year Penley Estate based in Coonawarra (South Australia) release a project wine from harvest. As they say:
These will be styles that sit outside our existing portfolio that allow winemaking experimentation and push the boundaries of what is considered traditional Coonawarra.”
The 2018 project wines come in the form of 2 regional wines made in a contemporary style. These “non-identical twins” are both made from Shiraz grapes, yet one is from Coonawarra Shiraz grapes and the other from McLaren Vale Shiraz grapes.
Both lots of fruit were hand harvested and they tried to include as many whole bunches as possible. They used small open fermenters and foot stomped and hand plunged the grapes. The juice was then left for 2 weeks with the grape skins before being gently pressed and put in oak for malolatic fermentation (the process of turning tart-tasting malic acid into softer-tasting lactic acid).
The wines were bottled in late November and both retail for $35. Here are my notes:
Penley Estate 2018 Coonawarra Shiraz
The label on the 2018 Coonawarra Shiraz is inspired by the book ‘Remastered’ curated by Sebastian Agnessens in which contemporary artists revisit the work of classic artists. Penley have recreated their interpretation and chosen words to reflect their story and values.
I found this one an inky black-red colour in the glass. The nose is very fresh and vibrant making me think of berries and moss – it’s like fruits of the forest sprinkled with spice. I found this one more ‘sweet’ on the nose compared to the McLaren Vale Shiraz. In the mouth it’s juicy and very approachable with plenty of fruit and a nice oomph of tannin coming through at the back of the palate.
Only 230 dozen were produced.
Penley Estate 2018 McLaren Vale Shiraz
The McLaren Vale Shiraz label is Penley’s interpretation of the Rembrandt painting ‘Syndics of the Drapers Guild’. It represents togetherness and unity which are two of Penley’s company values. Plus if you look closely you’ll notice all the people are woman on the label which highlights the wonderful women who make up the Penley Estate team.
In the glass it’s a velvety red-purple colour. When I gave this one a whiff it made me think of savoury mint and berries with plums and olives. It has a real depth to it on the nose. While in the mouth it’s super smooth with flavours of spiced plums and raspberries coming through for me.
Only 260 dozen were produced.
Which one does my palate prefer? I would have to go with Coonawarra on this occasion. And Mr Spittoon preferred the McLaren Vale. Therefore it was easy to decide which bottle we were each going to finish off 😉
A big thanks to Kate, the winemaker, and the Penley Estate team for sending these samples my way.
All opinions are based on my own taste buds. Wine is subjective & always evolving, so make sure you drink what you enjoy!