Tasting Teusner Wines

I had the pleasure of attending a Teusner Wines tasting at Adelaide’s East End Cellars a couple of weeks back. Winemaker Kim Teusner brought along four of his latest reds for the eager punters to sample and many of us took the opportunity to chat with him about his wines.

First up was the unoaked ‘Joshua’ Grenache Mataro Shiraz 2009 which was presented alongside its “big brother”, the ‘Avatar’ GSM 2009. The contrast between the two was quite marked. While the ‘Joshua’ leapt out of the glass with a lively blend full of fresh berries, complemented by the dusty earth of Mataro, the ‘Avatar’ had a richer feel, with the oak bringing forth the Mataro and Shiraz. Overall the impression of the ‘Joshua’ was of fruity sweetness (although sugar was, of course, not present) while the ‘Avatar’ was a well-balanced savoury experience.

Next I tried ‘The Dog Strangler’ 2009, a straight Mataro (a.k.a. Mouvedre) named after a French term for the dense vines of this grape variety. As my first experience of an unadulterated Mataro, I was unsure of what to expect. Plums, spice and pepper carried through to an exotic mouth-filling palate with rich tannins. This was a satisfying wine, but the tasting experience proved a little puzzling for me, due to unfamiliarity.

The ‘Albert’ Shiraz 2008 was an intense wine typical of the best the Barossa offers. It had an elegant palate with good oak integration, made with more subtlety than most. Black fruits abounded in this very drinkable (or cellar-able) wine.

A bonus at this Teusner tasting were wines from Astrolabe (an excellent sauvignon blanc and a pinot noir), Stoneleigh Syrah (from the oldest shiraz vines in NZ) and a zesty riesling by Tasmanian winery Frogmore Creek. These are wines that Teusner import and distribute in South Australia, just because they’re wines they love. Fantastic!

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