Australia’s The Lane Vineyards is an Adelaide Hills producer whose wines are just being reintroduced into the United States after a few years away from our shelves. I sat down recently with viticulturist Marty Edwards over lunch for a chat and a taste through some of his family’s wines.
I took a lot away from that meeting. First of all I was duly impressed with the wines. Taken as a piece they are proportionate, food friendly and loaded with varietal typicity. One of their goals is to drive home the sense of place their wines exhibit. As wine consumers become savvier they’re more attuned to terroir.
The Edwards family has chosen to print Google Earth coordinates of the particular block each wine came from right on the front label. That decision strikes me as a great way to combine the modern tech world, with sense of place. At less than $20 apiece these wines from The Lane Vineyards represent outstanding values that most can afford to have on their tables regularly.
The Lane Vineyard 2015 Block 10 Sauvignon Blanc, $18.99
As the name indicates this single vineyard wine comes from fruit sourced in a single block. This offering sees no oak treatment of any sort and it spent three months on the lees. 4,500 cases were produced. Tropical fruit aromas light up the nose here. Citrus and stone fruit flavors drive the palate and teeny, tiny bits of grass are in play as well. Spice and mineral elements are part of the substantial finish. This is a clean, crisp and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc that washes beautifully over your palate.
The Lane Vineyard 2013 Block 1A Chardonnay, $18.99
Six distinct clones of Chardonnay are planted in the block this wine is produced from. The fruit was harvest over two weeks as each sub-section reached the desired maturity. 1,800 cases were produced. Golden delicious apple aromas leap with conviction from the nose here; bits or orange peel and tropical fruit are in evidence as well. Pineapple, lime and orchard fruits dominate the palate which is full flavored but gentle and complex. Limestone, bits of toast, vanilla and continued beautiful fruit flavors are all part of the long finish. Simply put, this Chardonnay was incredibly difficult to put down.
The Lane Vineyard 2013 Block 5 Shiraz, $18.99
This block of Shiraz used for this wine is made up of vines planted in closer proximity to each other. This tighter planting style demands less fruit from each vine, thus increasing intensity of flavors. 1,800 cases were produced. The dark and somewhat brooding nose is loaded with blackberry, raspberry and plum aromas. All of those fruits continue on the palate along with bits of blueberry, savory herbs such as sage and thyme, and bits of earth. A touch of dark chocolate emerges on the finish along with chicory, sour black cherries and bits of spice. This eminently food friendly wine has wonderful acidity. If you want to know what Shiraz that hasn’t been over manipulated tastes like, give this a shot.
If you’ve been thinking that Australia is home only to overly ripe Shiraz, these wines from The Lane Vineyards easily put the lie to that idea. In addition to being balanced and made to accompany a meal they share other wonderful attributes. The key thing that I loved about these offerings was the mouthfeel. Each of them has a wonderfully rich texture that’s loaded with character. These are exciting wines because they are well made, delicious and affordable. Drink them up in their glorious youth.