Each year Rutherglen Estates puts their hand up to support St Mary’s House of Welcome in their Degustation for Dignity event. A philanthropic, worthy organisation of these donations, St Mary’s using the funds raised to support those in our communities who are experiencing poverty, severe mental illness and homelessness.
As a part of this event, Matthew Duke (who is often refereed to as one of the worlds leading wine experts) tasted and reviewed two of Rutherglen Estates wines- the 2015 Viognier Roussane Marsanne (VRM) and the 2014 Estate Durif.
2015 Rutherglen Estates, Renaissance Viognier / Roussanne / Marsanne, Rutherglen, Victoria
“I will start this tasting note with a list of percentages. Take note, they are all important statistics in explaining how this wine was made and also why it tastes like it does! The blend is made up of 55% Viognier, 25% Roussanne and 20% Marsanne and the oak regime is a very well thought out 43% new, 19% 1-year-old, 19% 3-year-old and 19% 5-year-old barrel amalgam. In taste terms this means that Roussanne and Marsanne just about match the Viognier element and this is crucial. Viognier can run away with itself – the peachy note can be too much if they are not tempered. Roussanne and Marsanne bookend the exuberant Viognier with leaner citrus note coming from the Roussanne and honey and muscle coming from Marsanne. The result is a perfectly proportioned supermodel. If you then add a discreet amount of new oak to lift and highlight the aromatic elements further and leave the rest of the old barrels to underpin the exuberance, you have a statuesque wine. All of this mathematics is pointless unless the flavours stack up. I can tell you that this is the finest Rutherglen VRM I have ever tasted and by comparison the wine made from similar varieties back in the Rhône Valley in France, nothing gets close to this shimmering, succulent beauty.”
2014 Rutherglen Estates, Durif, Rutherglen, Victoria
“OK – Rutherglen Estates is one of the most faithful contributors to St Mary’s House of Welcome over the years and they are also one of the finest purveyors of might red wines in Australia. I say this because the grape which they wield with awesome accuracy is Durif. This is the grape which is also called Petit Sirah in California where some incarnations fetch astronomical prices at auction. I am bemused as to why Australia hasn’t caught on to this hidden gem. Anyway, this is a ridiculously rich wine with layers and layers of plum, blackcurrant, leather, spice and fig and I have served it last this evening because every single person in this glorious Hall can swirl, sniff, swirl more and sniff more and coax out if this wine all of the elemental power and prowess is has in spades. On the one hand this is a classic. Full stop. On the other, for a different generation, this is a wine which is a future hero and standard bearer for an entire country!”