Date: November 11 2012
Tim Knappstein's pinot gris sits subtly on the pinot gris side of the pinot gris-pinot grigio divide. The Italian ''grigio'' generally indicates a leaner, tighter style; and the French ''gris'' something more richly textured. Both words mean grey, referring to the pink-grey grape colour of this pinot noir mutant - though grey could easily describe the often non-descript wine it makes. In this instance vineyards at Lenswood and Charleston in the Adelaide Hills contribute vivid pear-like varietal flavour. And partial barrel fermentation and malolactic fermentation add smooth, slippery texture to a very good pinot gris.
Clare Valley winemaker Tim Adams served his winemaking apprenticeship, from 1975, under Mick Knappstein in Clare's landmark Leasingham Winery. Adams later established his own brand. Then in 2011 as Constellation Wines Australia imploded, Adams, with partner Pam Goldsack, purchased the Leasingham winery, but not the brand. The inexpensive Mr Mick range, dedicated to his old master, are the first wines released from the new venture. It's a satisfying, medium-bodied, savoury style, sourced from Adams' and Goldsack's Ladera Vineyards in the Clare Valley, and made a couple of years before the Leasingham acquisition (presumably for the Tim Adams label).
When Tim Adams made this wine in 2010 he would never have imagined a year down the track owning the historic Leasingham Winery. He sourced shiraz from the Rogers, Sheeoak and Vine vineyards, made the wine and moved it to oak barrels for maturation. The wine emerged from barrel 18 months later and Adams allocated it to the brand new Mr Mick label - a budget brand created for the old Leasingham operation. It's a lovely wine at this price, showing attractive cherry-like and spicy shiraz varietal aroma and flavours. The palate is rich but not heavy, and the tannins soft and easy.
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