During my stay in Adelaide I was fortunate to meet several fellow wine enthusiasts at the various wine bars and bottles shops I visited who provided suggestions of wineries to visit and wines to try. As golf enthusiasts are almost religious in their willingness to recommend local golf courses to out of towners, I find that e-know-files are also willing to share their opinions and thoughts on local wines and wineries with tourists. The Australians I met were especially gracious and forthcoming with their wine opinions and one of the wineries recommended on more than one occasion was The Lane in the Adelaide Hills region. One of the folks I met suggested The Lane because of the variety of whites available for tasting which appealed to me since my game plan was to stay away from the fruitbomb Shiraz offerings that I had been exposed to here in the States, and instead focus on the varietals that I may not be as likely to find the US.
To that end, I stopped by The Lane late Saturday afternoon to try their line up of whites. Interestingly, I was greeted by a fellow American behind the tasting counter who just relocated to Adelaide to study Wine Business at the University of Adelaide. As it turns out, he grew up here in my home state of Virginia.
All of The Lane’s wines are made from estate grown grapes – 153 acres.
Throughout the tasting, I tried ten whites. A few of the notables included:
2007 Finn No Oak White
A blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Semillon. Pale straw color with lemon-lime and pear on the nose. Lively acidity with citrus tastes with a clean mineral finish. Would have been great with fresh oysters!
2006 Pinot Grigio
Pale white. I’ve never been a huge fan of pinot grigio, but I liked this one much more than most. Thai food, of course, would be an ideal pairing for this one. Since there are tons of BYOB Thai restaurants in downtown Adelaide, I should have grabbed a bottle of this one for the road.
Floral aroma with honeysuckles. Although I thought this particular viognier was tasty, I am still partial to good ‘ol Virginia grown Viogniers.
2008 Gathering Sauvignon Blanc Semillon
Pale straw color. Grapefruit and lime on the nose with nice acidity. Peach and mineral tastes. This one would have been great with grilled BBQ shrimp atop cheddar cheese grits.
Semillon is used quite a lot in Australian white blends – in particular with Sauvignon Blanc. Some say it provides an added dimension or interesting layer of complexity. Of course the skeptic in me feels that it could also be used to smooth out some of the imperfections in certain Sauvignon Blancs. Who knows.
I wish I had taken more time to taste through the reds and stay for lunch – unfortunately I didn’t realize I needed to make a reservation in order to have lunch and enjoy the views. The views of Mt. Lofty and Mt. Torrens from deck were awesome! Definitely worth a visit – their lunch serving fills up quickly so make plans well ahead of time.