Oh, wow! This Konpira Maru Icarus is an impressive wine. On the nose, it is meaty, dark-fruited, currants, with a hint of dry biscuit. On the palate, Konpira Maru Icarus is creamy, cool, long, and dry. It tastes of olives and cardamom. There is something special about this Konpira Maru Icarus. When I spoke to Al Reed on the radio, he said that Kilmore is possibly the best place in Australia to grow Cabernet. Konpira Maru Icarus is made in a drink now style, and it is enriching to drink now. However, if I find a bottle of this Konpira Maru Icarus 2019 in 2034, you bet I’ll be excited to drink it.
Konpira Maru Icarus is definitely a Cabernet to pair with Lamb.
Alistair Reed & Sam Cook discovered they share similar viticultural, winemaking and beer-drinking values. In 2014 the first release of Konpira Maru netted just 600 bottles. Their goal is interesting wines with minimal intervention and maximum care, full of character, but also with a focus on affordability and a high-drinkability factor. They source fruit from South Burnett, Granite Belt QLD and Kilmore in Victoria. In 2016, Konpira Maru took on their own Whitlands vineyard.
Konpira Maru Icarus Kilmore Cabernet Merlot 2019 Winemaker Notes
“This wine is so bloody yum; it’s silky yet edgy, like that hot hot scene from The Bodyguard when Whitney Houston’s (RIP) silk scarf is cut in half by Kevin Costner’s sword. And just like Whitney (RIP) sung in that piece of cinematic genius, I will always love this wine. I have a special bond with it, a simpatico, a goddamn wine crush bordering on the creepy. Everything about it. Its aromatics, its taste, the way it looks at me like I just roasted the perfect potato.
Site: Quarry Ridge Vineyard, Kilmore, Victoria.
Production: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon 40% Merlot. Destemmed ensuring whole berry remained, fermented in stainless steel. One week cold soak prior to a 4-week wild ferment and a 5 day post ferment maceration. Then 40% in old french oak barrels and the rest aged in stainless steel. A touch of sulphur added at bottling, unfixed and unfiltered. 14.5%
Tasting notes: A real old school dry red gem, with silk from the fruit and the oak, producing a wine with juicy dark berries and a touch of quinine.”
While not actually a wine region. It could fit neatly into Macedon or Sunbury. It has a cool-climate, elevation, higher rainfall. Therefore the ability to make great wine is present.
The noble variety of Bordeaux’s left bank. Firm tannins, a streak of acidity and punctuated by flavours of cassis, violets, spice and leather. The best examples can age for the long-term. Although Cabernet does often require blending with Merlot, Cabernet Franc or Shiraz to fix the hole it has in its middle palate.
It gets a tough time most of the places it is grown. But in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion Merlot not only dominates but makes some of the best wines in the world. Perfume, silky and plush. Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon season the wines with structure and acid but in some places, like Petrus, they are almost not needed.
The invasion of “Sunshine in a bottle” put Australian wine on the map. The fruity, easy-going, somewhat samey wines were endearing for a short time. Then the next big thing knocked them off their perch.
This forced producers to increase quality and emphasise the special terroirs of Australia. Of which, there are many. And many more yet to be discovered.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is pretty special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product. This includes the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. This is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.
By macerating the juice on the skins, the wine gains tannins, and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.
Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.