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  • Writer's pictureThe Bluebird. A Midtown Eatery.

July Wine Club-Indigo

Good Day Mates. We are headed down under to Australia and New Zealand for wine club this month. One of the Indigo wines featured this month even has ties close to home.

We are starting out in New Zealand on the northern part of the South Island in the Marlborough AVA. The 2022 Capitello Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is from winemaker Ray Walsh. Ray grew up in New Zealand and it was a backpacking trip in the '80 where he found his calling, he worked a harvest in Germany to finance his travels and he was hooked. He came back earned a degree and worked alongside Kim Crawford and with New Zealand's Villa Maria Estate. In 1993 Ray moved to Oregon and helped put King Estate on the map with their Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. It was 2003 that he stepped away and started Capitello Wines. The Walsh family makes it home in Eugene, where their wines are produced, but head to New Zealand in the spring to work harvest and produce more wines from the Marlborough region. And to think some days I get worked up traveling between restaurants spaced 12 blocks apart.

Its tough to feature wines from Australia/New Zealand and not feature a Sauvignon Blanc. This one is perfect because of the close ties to home and it's just great juice. This wine is crisp and refreshing, The nose is very aromatic (not cat pee) {I had my doubts about saying cat pee, I have yet to smell/drink a wine from down under that has those characteristics} [the best description of Sauvignon Blancs I read was 'it tasted like a freshly opened can of tennis balls] Whoa....I digress. Let me be clear, this wine does not smell or taste like cat pee. This wine has exotic aromatics, I picked up lychee and passionfruit. This wine still has the green flavors (green/jalapeno peppers) you come to expect from an Australian Sauvignon Blanc, the flavors are so well integrated it just makes this a great Sauv Blanc.

For our next wine, we head to Australia, the feature this month is the 2020 Paxton McLaren Vale Shiraz. Shiraz is definitely the main grape of Australia. In 2022 there were 433,305 metric tons of Shiraz grapes crushed for wine production. I was suprised that Chardonnay took second place with 358,007 metric tons, Sauvignon Blanc was 5th with 90,409 tons. Cabernet Sauvignon (246,723) took 3rd and Merlot was 4th with 97,489 tons of fruit. Paxton's calls their approach to wine making "back to the future. They combine tradition, hands-on management, integrated and complimented by modern technology. They strive to keep inputs to a minimum and try not to use sulphur dioxide-they continue to master biodynamics and the never-ending non-chemical weed control.

I have really enjoyed researching and writing about wine the past few months. I am trying to write better descriptors for the wine, it's really hard because I believe flavors of wine can be subjective. I am going to quote Paxton's tasting notes on this one:

  • "Bouquet: Oscillating between ripe blackberries stolen from your neighbor's back fence and wild fennel seeds harvested along a country roadside this wine keeps your intruigued waiting for further revelations like cocoa and star anise.

  • Palate: A medium to full-bodied wine with fresh mulberries (I still don't know what a mulberry tastes like) on the palate entrance. The texture feels like floating over rolling hills in a smooth convertible, opening up like a view over an expansive valley at the crest of the last hill. Elongate by careful maturation in French oak barriques, the finish is like watching a glowing sunset at the end of an action-packed day.

After that description who wouldn't want to drink this wine.

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