Trois Terres Cuvée Moderne 2012, Languedoc, France

Drunk July 2015


The winery

Trois Terres came about after London doctor, Graeme Angus gave up city life in 2000 aged 33, to go to Australia to learn winemaking and viticulture, and eventually settling in Octon in the French Languedoc, where he created the domaine in 2004, with his wife Alice.


Trois Terres first developed on a very small scale, growing little by little to reach its current and probably definitive size of just under 4 hectares. So still a very small operation.


Octon, with its red “ruffes” and basalt, is situated between the schist soils of Faugères and Cabrières in SW France west of Montpellier, and the limestone and chalk soils of the Larzac and its slopes. The winery is central in Octon, with the vineyards principally in Cabrières and Saint Jean de la Blaquière. The winery has been organic since the beginning, but only began the official certification process in 2009 with bottles having the organic logo (“Agriculture Biologique”) from 2012 onwards should they wish.


All but one of the current vineyards are AOC and Organic cultivation methods allow for a balanced mix of plant, insect and animal life (unlike the bare earth monoculture of traditional chemical viticulture still found in so much of the Languedoc).  Graeme and Alice accept slightly lower yields for a minimal impact on the environment.

After the grapes have fermented and macerated they are gently pressed in a traditional vertical wooden caged hydraulic press. The wines are then aged in 2-to-4 year-old French oak barrels, for 8 to 16 months, depending on the wine.


The wine

Cuvee Moderne 2012: contained 80% Syrah, 20% Grenache grapes. 1 week skin contact, 12 months' barrel ageing.Very cold February, warm end of spring and good August rains. To drink now or over the next 5 years.

The Trois Terres Cuvée Moderne 2012 was indeed powerful stuff with a big intensity of blackcurrant and plum fruit. As much as like the organic principles of the winery and Graeme's story is fantastic, the wine lacked a little finesse and the palate felt a little overpowered by fruit and even alcohol which may be a result of excessive ripening perhaps due to very hot weather. Pleasant to drink but only with food (meat or cheese) as in isolation the power of the wine was daunting. I shall continue my exploration of wines from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of SW France.

La Curio The Nubile Grenache Shiraz 2010, McLaren Vale, South Australia

Drunk November 2013

The winery

Redheads Studio was established in 2003 is about an hour south of Adelaide, with the philosophy being Artisanship. The name was originally from a curry house restaurant which was the former occupier of the site. Redheads is a place where winemakers can go and experiment with their own ideas and make small batches of wine. The winemakers involved usually have a day job and go to Redheads to be free of their own winery's restrictions. A "Garagiste" approach which has produced some great wines. 

See earlier reviews on RedHeada wines:

Pieri Azzardo

The Good Doctor's Tonic

La Curio was produced by Elena Golakova Adam Hooper, making their wines at Redheads. The two young producers are passionate about the wine they make, the region they live in and the lifestyle it provides. Golakova describes her passion as "winemaking is art". Adam has worked for such notable companies as Penfolds, Geoff Merrill Wines, Tatachilla Winery and Maxwell Wines. 

Wine is fermented in rain water tanks cut in half to allow open fermentation. Relationships are fostered with the regions' best growers and fruit is crushed and fermented in small batches. Experimentation seems the norm, wild yeasts are trialled. 'Taking risks can be scary but ultimately rewarding,' Hooper said.

One of his techniques involves freezing fermenting fruit with dry ice (a lot of it) to drop the temperature of the must. This smashes the cell walls in the skins and facilitates the extraction of colour and a subtle tannin profile. But Hooper says while this method is labour intensive, not to mention all the plunging involved with the open fermenters, the results are worth it.


The wine

The La Curio The Nubile is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Shiraz, the classic combination of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Deep crimson in the glass with strong aromas of cedar and vanilla. The palate is full of cherry and plums with a hint of spice. A long finish with balanced soft grainy tannins and acidity.  Another very nice and interesting wine from the RedHeads folk!

Kilikanoon Killerman's Run 2010, Shiraz Grenache, South Australia

Drunk October 2013

The winery

Winemaker Kevin Mitchell purchased the Kilikanoon property in the heart of South Australia’s picturesque Clare Valley in 1997 with a vision of creating his own brand. The first Kilikanoon branded wines were from the 1997 vintage and released in 1998. The wines were Shiraz (soon to become the Oracle, Mort’s Block Riesling, Prodigal Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, with all the grapes coming from the 2 vineyards owned by Kevin and his father Mort.

Mort Mitchell has been a defining influence, having planted and lovingly tended for decades Kilikanoon’s Golden Hillside suite of contiguous vineyards, including the famed Mort’s Block, home to Kilikanoon flagship wines like Oracle Shiraz and Mort’s Block Riesling. The vines are now around 40 year of age. Kevin’s love of terroir comes from years of playing and then working in these vineyards as a child alongside his father.

From these humble beginnings with about 2000 dozen bottles produced from the 1997 vintage, Kilikanoon has grown its production to over 50,000 dozen in 2012. This has been done without any change in the philosophy of hand crafted wines, but has been made possible by the gradual acquisition of estate-owned vineyards throughout South Australia’s finest wine regions. In addition to its vineyards in the Clare Valley, which now total over 150 acres or 60 hectares, the Kilikanoon group, through its owners, partner winery Seppeltsfield and the Watervale Private Trust, a small group of wine-loving investors owns vineyards in the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Eden Valley, and the northern district of the Southern Flinders Ranges. In total over 3000 acres or 1200 hectares. The group sells excess production to a number of Australian wineries

This rapid growth required some help. Kevin’s main partners in Kilikanoon since 2001 have been two well-known Australian classical musicians, Nathan Waks (Principal Cellist with the Sydney Symphony and also Managing Director of Kilikanoon) and John Harding (concertmaster of the Hong Kong Philharmonic and Western Australian Symphony Orchestras), along with Bruce Baudinet (Kilikanoon Chairman) and head of Oracle Funds Management and their families. This has kept Kilikanoon a small family run company, with Board meetings often taking place under the arbour at the Kilikanoon cellar door…

 “This is one of the most brilliantly run wineries in Australia” from Robert Parker Jnr’s Wine Advocate, who has regularly scored Kilikanoon’s wines up to 98 points, and the coveted 5 red stars from James Halliday’s authoritative Australian Wine Companion. 

In late 2007 Kilikanoon and partners acquired Seppeltsfield in the Barossa Valley, one of Australia’s most revered and historic wineries, established in 1851 and the home to one of the world’s finest collections of barrel-aged fortified wines, including the unique unbroken collection of Vintage dated 100 year old Para Tawny (port) dating back to 1878, when the first wines were laid down, not to be bottled for 100 years. 

The wine

Low yielding grapes from several vineyards were selected from a range of South Australian vineyards to produce this Kilikanoon Killerman's Run.

The wine was deep red in the glass with an intense nose of cherry and oak. 

The palate appared very over powered by tannins on first drinking....the dryness was intense, though this moderated on subsequent drinking the next day with a good pasta meal where the fruit of Cherry and Plum was more evident. Hmmm....not sure what to make of this one, certainly not one of my favourites perhaps because the natural tartness of grenache hasn't been overcome by the shiraz. 

Kilikanoon has a reputation as an excellent producer, now I must try another one of their wines and hope for better luck next time.

Bought Philgas and Swigot