Thursday, September 12, 2013

Franschhoek Uncorked: Shiraz vertical tasting at La Bri

La Bri farm, nestled into the Franschhoek landscape and surrounded by oak trees
The bridge into the farm
The river in full spate after all the snow and rain of the last few weeks
We looked for trout as it comes down past the trout farm but didn’t spot any escapees
The wine cellar
You could have some burgers or pancakes
or really good sausages
Nice place for a family gathering
The essential teammate: GM & winemaker Irene Waller's PA
Time for a sit down, some wine and a bite to eat
We giggle about the industry
A La Bri barrel from Vicard containing lots of information and some very good wine
Great excitement as they have a pair of owls nesting this year in the hollow oak. This is the female sitting on the eggs which are soon to hatch.
Vines at rest but bud break is just starting to happen and the trees in the background are also starting to green
The walled herb garden
Winemaker Irene Waller pouring her wines. As you can see from Lynne’s tasting notes below, we really liked these wines and you can clearly see their progression. All have a small portion of added Viognier
We started with the 2011 Viognier which is lightly wooded and very much in the style of Condrieu on the Rhône. Restrained sweetness, white peaches, melons and elegant minerality
2005, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 La Bri Shiraz for tasting.  Brief notes read. 2005 Still full rich fruit, chalky tannins, licorice later.  20078 Incense and cherries on nose. Cherries, licorice, salt and prunes with a whiff of tobacco at the end
2008 Violets and rose geranium on nose. Sweet and sour fruit in balance. Much more elegance. Very much a food wine and at its peak right now. Serve with game, duck, anything with a rich jus
2009 Lemongrass oil mulberries expensive wood on nose then violets, rich cassis and basil on both. Hints of  coriander seed and lavender. Very complex , warm with quite chalky tannins, will go on and on. Ends with violets. Like eating a violet macaroon.  Cellar now
2010 (a hard vintage) Cola and mulberries on nose. Sweet fruit, very, very chalky tannins so won’t be ready for a while. Ends with cherries, red and maraschino
2011 Vanilla then mulberries on nose. They repeat on the palate. Ripe and hot off the tree. Juicy lots of dimensions, herbal references and rhubarb. Ends with peaches from the viognier, vanilla and nice dark toasted wood whiffs. This will be ready earlier than 2010
 Irene with some of the labels.  The 2011 is still unlabelled
The Lab Brie 2012 Shiraz was one the Top 12 in this year’s Shiraz SA Wine Challenge
The upstairs tasting room
View of the Franschhoek mountains across the vineyards
There is always one.  In their flower garden of golden clivias, an orange has appeared
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2013
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