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JOHN ROZENTALS enjoys a new addition to Tim Adams’ Mr Mick portfolio.

January 3, 2019 Beverage, Headline News No Comments Email Email

Many years ago, when Tim Adams was studying winemaking at Riverina College of Advanced Education — not Charles Sturt University — he was working at the Clare Valley’s large Leasingham operation, where the legendary Mick Knappstein was Chief Winemaker.

The late ‘Mr Mick’ always described Adams as his ‘last apprenctice’ and obviously had a profound influence on his charge.

So when Adams, who had since established a very successful eponymous Clare winery, took over the Leasingham winery and vineyards in 2009 and 2010 it was something of a homecoming.

In some ways nothing had changed for Adams over the years. Whenever he was about to release a new wine, he still asked himself whether Mr Mick would have approved and only went ahead if he could answer the question in the affirmative.

And it was hardly a surprise that his new label — Mr Mick — celebrated his mentor nor that the new restaurant and cellar door carried the same title.

The wines were quite different, though, to those that Adams produced for his own label.

They were clearly intended for immediate consumption rather than cellaring, and for drinking rather than contemplation.

With the Mr Mick wines the only question that Adams and his wife Pam Goldsack — who is very much part a partner in business as well as in life — wanted people to ask was whether they needed another bottle.

The range — Mr Mick Rosé, Pinot Grigio, Vermentino, Riesling, Tempranillo, Cabernet Merlot, Shiraz, Late Harvest Riesling, Tawny and an NV Brut named after Mr Mick’s wife, Gela — has recently been boosted by the addition of a Grenache, reviewed today as Wine of the Week.

Mick Knappstein always believed that the primary purpose of wine was to give drinkers pleasure and I’m sure he’d be chuffed at the range that carries his name.


Xanadu 2017 Chardonnay ($39): This cool-climate dry white from West Australia’s Margaret River is very much in the modern style, showing plenty of fruit and only restrained oak. The fruit flavours are predominantly pear and stonefruit, and they have been enhanced by barrel fermentation and aging on yeast lees. It’s a complex wine that deserves complex food such as quite richly sauced seafood.

The West Winds Wild Plum Gin ($85 for 700ml): This full-strength spirit comes in at 39 per cent alcohol by volume so is not be toyed with. The base gin is high quality and the plum and honey flavours quite subtle and certainly not overdone. It is versatile in uses — make up your own cocktail, use for a quite exotically flavoured G&T, or just splash over ice and enjoy it on the rocks.


Mr Mick 2018 Grenache ($17): This medium-bodied red is unoaked so dependent on fresh fruit flavour for its appeal. And it has an abundance of juicy, red-berry flavours that quickly take to the fore. A simple wine demands simple food, and this is an ideal pizza wine. Or just relax with a glass on the deck after work … and don’t be apologetic about tossing in an ice cube or two if the weather gets hot.

Written by John Rozentals 

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