The final wine is little robust. Again, the emphasis is on rich, spicy plummy fruit, supported by the key elements of structure: acid, alcohol and tannin. While quite closed immediately after bottling, only a short time in bottle has seen the fruit and oak emerge, and the palate shows intense ripe strawberry/dark cherry characters before the sweetness of the oak provides a balancing note. Fine tannin contributed by skins, stalks and oak provides persistence and length.
Nepenthe: described by Homer in The Odyssey as an Egyptian herbal drink so powerful that it eases grief and banishes sorrow from the mind.
Up here in the cool heights of the Adelaide Hills, Nepenthe produces some soul reposing potions of their own: uncompromising wines of outstanding quality and internationally recognised distinction. Wines that, strangely enough, have been impressing both critics and consumers with their varietal faithfulness and subtle Adelaide Hills nuances. But wines this good undertake a journey as arduous and epic as Homer's famous hero - a journey that Nepenthe, like the gods, determine with immutable fascination.
Nepenthe's commitment to consistently high quality wine starts with the land. In fact, they're so dedicated to quality that they formed two specialized companies to deal with the demands of their high altitude vines - Nepenthe Viticulture and Nepenthe Irrigation.
View all Nepenthe Vineyards Wines
With a landmass the size of the US, Australia has just as many appellations. Many wines are simply labeled from their state of origin. Some of these are the most popular:
New South Wales
- New South Wales has a variety of smaller wine growing regions. Many wines are a blend of these smaller appellations, leading to the more encompassing designation of New South Wales.
– A small percentage of Australia’s winemaking occurs on the West Coast. The largest Australian state, Western Australia, includes the appellations Margaret River and Great Southern.
– This appellation encompasses the states of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Grapes are often trucked in from at least 2 of these states for crushing and bottling, giving the wine a more general appellation of origin. This is the broadest appellation in Australia.
Like the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of
Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.