Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Watershed Moment

Now back from both Vancouver Island and the Naramata Bench, I'm hopefully going to be able to settle down a bit and get some postings done so that I can catch up a bit. There won't be as much need for travelogue as well as wine talk.

238. 2004 Watershed Shiraz (Margaret River - Australia)

Don't worry. I didn't open an Aussie Shiraz just to go with soft cheese. It just made for a better picture of the bottle and it did show off one of the Poplar Grove cheeses that I picked up on the weekend while at that winery.

As you can see on the label, a fair bit of effort goes into marketing this winery - with competitions and labels for medals. I suppose it does draw your eye to the bottle on the shelf - it did mine - and it's a good way to gather some attention and momentum for a newer winery. So long as you can deliver.

Watershed wasn't a winery that I was familiar with - and I like to keep my eyes open for all things Margaret River. A bit of Google-ing (has a proper spelling for that "word" been determined yet?) shows that their first release of wines was in 2002 and that they're located in a pretty tony region of Margaret River - next to renowned Leeuwin Estates.

The winery started with a syndicate of investors and had the single largest initial planting of vines in the area. They now have four vineyards and are one of the few regional wineries that have the capacity to go for international sales.

New winery or not, it is delivering for the wine writers. Noted Aussie writer, James Halliday, has awarded Watershed his highest ranking, 5 stars, and it has been called one of the top ten Dark Horse Wineries in Australia.

All this being said, I'm guilty of liking a bit more fruit on my Shiraz when it comes to just sipping. This wine was fine with food (not the cheese so much) and I'd try Watershed again but this bottle wouldn't be my first choice for a cocktail party or sitting in front of the TV.

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