Once past the humongously big area that is “South Eastern Australia”, the next level of appellation is usually the state. As the biggest wine producing state it’s usually South Australia that is most prominent on the wine shelves, with perhaps Western Australia next (WA is a relatively small producer in volume terms though it does produce a good proportion of Australia’s quality wines). NSW has the Hunter Valley and others, but it’s those regions whose names make it onto labels.
Victoria has lots of quality wine regions such as the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and Heathcote, but blends between them are not that common either. Here are a couple of Victorian wines I tried recently that are multi-region blends:
MWC Pinot Gris Victoria 2015 (13.5%, €18 down to €15 in September at Molloy’s)
The stylistic division between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris is quite a divider (and I’ve commented on it myself several times). The divide is now being blurred by many wine makers who want to make a fresh, mineral style but with a lot more flavour than bulk Italian Pinot Grigio – Fiona Turner at Tinpot Hut is one.
This example is quite rich, though not as sweet or oily as Alsace versions can be. There’s lots of tangy fruit flavours as a result of extended time on the skins. It’s got enough to please both crowds without selling out to either – a great achievement!
MWC Shiraz Mourvedre Victoria 2014 (14.0%, €18 down to €15 in September at Molloy’s)
Wines sold in the EU don’t have to mention minor parts of the blend if they are less than 15% in total, so mentioning the Mourvedre component of this 95% Shiraz 5% Mourvedre wine is a deliberate choice by the producers. That tells you something – they want to stand out from the crowd of varietal Shiraz and they also think that even 5% of a variety adds something to the final wine.
As its sibling above, this is a blend from different premium vineyards across Victoria. My educated guess would be that it contains a fair bit from the cooler southern regions such as Yarra Valley as it’s much lighter than most I’ve had from the warmer inland areas. In the mouth it’s nice and smooth, but well-balanced. It has the usual black fruit and spice but they are fresh rather than stewed or jammy. This Shiraz blend would be fantastic with a peppered steak!
Disclosure: both wines kindly provided for review