View Full Version : Great Wines from Paradise IV

18th January 2012, 07:09 PM
From Paradise comes only elegance

There are only a few wineries in Australia that can claim to be making wine back in the 1800s and many of them would not have a clue what their old winery looked like. They are gone! Demolished! Paradise IV still has the ruins of the old winery. Looking at it, I kept feeling like I was in France more than in Australia. A ruin represents but a broken history but it is still a history.

Paradise IV is collaboration between Ruth and Graham Bonney and Doug Neal. Ruth and Graham look after the vineyard and Doug looks after the wine making and sales.

Ruth and Graham planted vines on the same patch of land that James Dardel had a vineyard in the 1850’s. (The ruin is his antiquated winery.) James died in 1903 (on his vineyard!) but the vines were pulled out in 1881 by order of the state government. Poor James must have been broken hearted! Ruth and Graham replanted the vineyard in 1988 and called it Moorabool Estate after the river a couple of hundred metres away.

Doug, a school teacher, fell in love with wine and worked at Giaconda and in Burgundy to understand winemaking. When he joined forces with Ruth and Graham, the name of the winery was changed to continue the sense of history.

These are not old fashioned style wines. Modern with good fruit, integrated acids and soft tannins is the pattern here. The current releases are from the 2009 vintage with the exception of a 2010 Chardonnay.

The 2010 Chardonnay is very full and rich on the nose with aromas of butterscotch and white peaches. It leads you to think that it will be equally big and quite heavy on the palate but looks can be deceiving! It has super intensity of flavour but without the heaviness that most Australian Chardonnays with these aromas would have. Imagine richness and lusciousness but a beautiful long, clean finish. This is such an elegant wine with the perfect structure for aging. After tasting the 2007 and 2008, I would very happily cellar it for five years. Especially as the colour is deep yellow but heaps of green hues showing its youth.

The 2009 Chaumont is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Why put Shiraz in what otherwise is a Bordeaux blend? Why not and because it works! I found a spike of flavour about two thirds along in the mouth. This is the Shiraz component (with a little help from the small amount of Merlot as well). Raspberries and black pepper dominate the aromas in this wine. The silky soft tannins with super persistence of fruit make this wine probably too drinkable. Will it age? Most people would find it too approachable now to cellar it but five years, should see some lovely age complexity adding to the stunning fruit.

The 2009 Dardel Shiraz is more European in style than Australian but still speaks of Australian fruit – and even Geelong fruit! Black pepper, black cherries and some savoury characters are on the nose and following onto the palate. This is a rich, luscious wine but only medium in body. It is enveloped with fine grained, silky smooth tannins.

All the wines are made in a truly traditional hands-off approach with the strong conviction that great wine can only be made from great fruit (Ruth and Graham’s domain). Wild ferments only – no added yeast is used here. All wines are barrel fermented but with only a small component of new oak. Barrel fermented wines are normally racked a few times a year to get rid of the lees (dead yeast cells) but Doug racks them only once or twice a year. Although he uses a lot of wood, the majority of it is older wood thus not imparting lots of obvious flavour or tannins.

Doug says that he is aiming for flavour with a richness and opulence without high alcohol. I reckon that he has achieved it. These wines are elegant! Maybe, they are not made for the one-eyed Barossa drinkers but Pinot Noir drinkers do take a look. You will enjoy these!
PS Since first writing this, the 2009 Dardel is sold out at the winery. Winebins still has good stocks of it left. The 2010 The Bates'Ford has just been released and is now in stock. Ring us or email us or visit our website to buy any of these wines. Ph: 03 9510 5424 Email: info@winebins.com.au Web: www.winebins.com.au (http://www.winebins.com.au)
Written by Jenny Polack

Mick Pacholli
23rd January 2012, 01:59 AM
I have really enjoyed your tastings Jenny. Probs see you this week.Cheers...