Esox Nouveau…Pike of the Clare Valley

A Catch of Pikes

A Catch of Pikes

Just returning from overseas holidays and into an unseasonally cool Sydney evening. The name Pike is synonymous with some of the most consistent Riesling in the country. However, there are dalliances to all corners of the vinous globe, (not to mention a bloody decent beer). But in this case, there’s a deviation to the dark (red)side. Whilst “The Assemblage” Shiraz/Mourverde/Grenache is familiar to the catalogue, it is joined with a pair of new stable mates: Homage and The Plantation.

“The Plantation” Grenache, Clare Valley, 2012

The Plantation...

The Plantation…no cotton wool between the Pike family ears.

Deep garnet in the glass. A heady, polished, juicy nose still smacking of oak. Red licorice and raspberry/choc lollies. Hints of baked pineapple dusted with cinnamon and sandalwood. Effortless drinking. Lots of juicy red fruits, supplemented with slippery mouth feel from the 15% alcohol. There’s a touch of tomato leaf herb/savoury quality, finished with medium acidity. This isn’t complex, nor is it simple. Just a well made drinking wine.  Fill ‘er up.

Alc: 15%

RRP: $23

“The Assemblage” Shiraz/Mourverde/Grenache, Clare Valley, 2012


The Assemblage…no Frankenstein’s monster.

Interesting nose of fresh turned earth, pepper, rhubarb, cool red-almost-blue fruit framed by Chilli Con Carne (spice and meat).. Medium almost medium + acidity, balanced by an inherent softness/ripeness of juicy fruit. A dusting of very fine tannin for structure. Lovely savoury fruit to balance the juicy red.  This finished a little on the warm side, even though it is listed as less ABV than the Grenache. Didn’t really work for me until I had it with dinner (King Island Beef sausages, BBQ Capsicums & Zucchini). The body then on song with the carbon of the char. Will be better for time or for now, with food.

Alc: 14.5%

RRP: $23

“Homage,” Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec, Clare Valley, 2012


Flattery will get you everywhere.

Attractive soft tobacco, brambles, cedar, red-black fruit, spice and peel. Medium bodied, silky tannin structure. The dark austerity and herbaceous nature of Cabernet is given the yang to its yin by the lovely, plummy Malbec fruit perfected in the vintage. The aromatics continue to waft and be the sweet fire of a freshly lit cigar. The label states “elegance” and this wine has it. In my view, the best drinking of the 3 now and the one with the most potential to live long and develop.

Alc: 12.5%

RRP: $23

All wines samples courtesy of Pikes Wines.


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