The Evans & Tate Classic is back again. David Pike reviews the history of this fine wine and extols some of its virtues.
EVANS & Tate Classic is one of Western Australia’s most recognisable brands.
After 16 consecutive vintages it remains among the most popular wines consumed in the west and east of the rabbit-proof fence.
The wine began life as a sauvignon blanc-based wine made by Bill Crappsley in 1987.
It is hard to believe that today it started out as a 500-case brand and at times was on allocation to the better liquor stores around Perth.
Evans & Tate Classic, which today produces more than 200,000 cases, ranks as one of the State’s largest production wines.
The wine has enjoyed remarkable success over the past 16 vintages, maintaining a consistent quality level and providing value for money.
The only glitch concerning the wine came with the onset of puberty – the growth spurt. Consumer demand for the product was such that for the first time in 1994 Evans and Tate needed to source fruit from outside Margaret River – with less than enviable results to my mind.
The wine still offered value for money during that period but it lacked the vibrancy and punch that was its appeal.
The difference of using outsourced regional fruit may have only been slight yet the difference was highlighted when the winemaking team were able to revert back to sourcing fruit only from the Margaret River region after the 1997 vintage.
The wine is blended from fruit sourced throughout the Margaret River region using the following varieties depending on vintage (2003 as highlighted), semillon (69 per cent), sauvignon blanc (23 per cent), chardonnay (6 per cent) and another variety or two (2 per cent).
Despite being produced in a volume that makes it the largest bottled label coming out of Margaret River, Evans & Tate Classic has been able to retain the perception that it is a boutique wine.
This, in many ways, is testament to the marketing team but also, more importantly, to the winemaking staff.
Each of the winemakers responsible for the ‘Classic’ has consistently been able to produce a wine that shows a vintage difference each year yet keep the wine constant and very vibrant.
Such is the size of the brand, it has around four bottlings each vintage which helps to preserve the wine’s fresh and vibrant appeal.
Evans & Tate Margaret River Classic 2003 rrp $17.99 17/20
Bottled under a screw cap closure for the first time.
The wine displays varietal and regional herbaceous notes with gooseberry, snow pea and a touch of tropical stone fruit aromas.
The palate is fresh, clean and lively.
Notes of guava, lemon pith and citrus fruit combine with a grassy herbal touch and zippy acidity.
Ready to chill. Whip the top off and enjoy any time.
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THE Parmelia Hilton has dipped into its cellar and decided to open up bottles from its majestic collection of Bordeaux wines.
The forthcoming Bordeaux Wine Dinner at the Globe Restaurant will feature just ten wines all from Bordeaux and a glass of fizz from Laurent Perrier.
The wines on offer give you a unique chance to taste wines from some of the classic Bordeaux houses and great Bordeaux vintages. The highlight is a 1947 Chateau Margeaux that has been regarded as outstanding.
Searching through my library of wine books I came across a book written in 1952 by Alexis Lichine called Wines of France.
In the book the respected wine authority writes, “the first few vintages were poor [at Margeaux] because the vines were new, by 1943 Margeaux had one of its best years since the twenties, the 1945 was still better, by 1947 the vines were old enough to make a magnificent wine, perhaps a shade better than the other great vineyards of Bordeaux”.
Enough said and, although a tad cliched, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a great wine and nine other similarly stunning wines.
The wines matched to a five course French Menu de Degustation at the Globe Restaurant on June 27 are: the 1947; ’85 Chateau Margeaux 1er cru; 1983 Chateau Latour 1er cru; 1982 Chateau Haut Brion 1er cru; 1983 Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1er cru; 1986, ’88 and ’89 Chateau Cos D’Estournel 2eme cru; 1989 Chateau Branaire Ducru Grand Cru; and 1978 Chateau Rieussec Sauterne 1er cru, Sauterne, France.
As you can only squeeze so much out of these wines numbers are limited.
The dinner starts at 7pm and you probably don’t want to be late. Places for the evening are $650, which wouldn’t get you the cork of the 1947 at auction.
For further details contact the Globe on 9215 2421.