I've always wondered whether east Gippsland might be eminently suited to producing fine Bordeaux style wines. It has lakes, proximity to the sea and a cool, but not too cool, humid maritime influenced climate. Getting the late ripening cabernet sauvignon grape ripe might just be possible in this sort of environment.
East Gippsland however is largely untrammelled as a viticultural region, part of the enormous Gippsland geographical indication that encompasses so many climates, soils and topographies that it is unlikely to be useful as a guide to the wine consumer. This Bordeaux blend from the McAlister Vineyard, "The McAlister" is sufficiently good that if it is representative of the Longford region's potential, then well, this region has a lot of potential, and deserves to be spoken of in the same sentence as some of the more famous cabernet blends from the Yarra Valley.
A blend of 59% cabernet sauvignon, 27% merlot, 13% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot, even the bottle, which is sealed under a labelled cork, looks Bordelaise. The wine itself, from the 2005 vintage, has aromatics of blackcurrant, cedar and plums. The palate has flavours of blackcurrant and tobacco, medium length, with fleshy mid palate support from ripe merlot in the blend. This wine is ready to drink now and over the next five years or so and is remarkably left bank Bordeaux like in style. It deserves attention on the grounds of principally its balance, and its complex and interesting expression of the Bordeaux grape varieties. Very Good
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