Earlier this year, we entered into a brief online discussion with a popular wine review website and some of its subscribers.
The subject was the Geelong Wine Region. To illuminate, Australia for some time now has had a system for the classification of Geographical Indications (GI) for wine; this mirrors similar systems in established wine-producing countries across the world. Under our GI there are three levels; State/Zone, Region and Sub-Region. As an example, “Barossa” is a Zone, Regions under this Zone are “Barossa Valley” and “Eden Valley”, and the one Sub-Region (Under Eden Valley) is “High Eden”. Put simply regions and sub-regions of a zone are locales where the climate, soil etc. result in distinct wines reflective of, and recognisable as from that particular area. An illustration is the Riesling wines from the (relatively) cold High Eden, as opposed to those of the (quite different climatically) Barossa Valley floor. Hence, a recognised Sub-Region.
For the Geelong Region (one of 65 across Australia at last count), the Zone is Port Phillip, and there are no Sub-regions under Port Phillip. So, there are no officially recognised Sub-Regions within the Geelong Wine Region. Our online discussion was around the need or not for Geelong Sub-Regions. For those of us operating within the region a need is certainly perceived, for those without they would be seen as “complicating” the promotion of Geelong as a wine area. This brought about some soul-searching at CorksCrew; is our role to promote Geelong wine? Perhaps not so much promotion, certainly support of those wines/wineries that we feel deliver in a quality and value sense. Our clientele demand Geelong wines. We stock a wide range, but we need to feel confident that the wines we select deliver for our customers. We don’t stock a wine simply because it is from Geelong. As the Region evolves, however, we are feeling a need to refer to “Moorabool”, “Bellarine” and “Surf Coast”. Why? Because each produces distinctly different wine styles. We will continue this discussion next time, but in the meantime take Pinot Noir as an example:
Bannockburn Vineyards Pinot Noir 2015 (Moorabool)
Typical of a Moorabool style, earthy, mulberry, warm spices with sappy whole bunch influences. Some red fruits and savoury forest floor on the nose, bright acid and fine tannin on the palate. Complex, restrained, and will be a good medium-term cellaring prospect.
Oakdene Peta’s Pinot Noir 2016 (Bellarine)
Trophy winner at the Geelong Wine Show. Full-bodied, well-weighted with lush plum fruit. Young now, a bit restrained, will open with age. Bellarine smoothness and integration well evident. Full mid palate, red fruits, balanced by firm acidity, fine tannins, long finish.
Brown Magpie Pinot Noir 2015 (Surf Coast)
In typical Surf Coast style, this wine is soft, lush, very approachable now. Quite spicy, musky, with red fruits evident. There are some bottle development characters of forest floor and earthiness. Drinks very well now.