In the mouth the Chardonnay came across as a pretty good expression of the more contemporary take on the classic variety. My preference tends towards the increasingly out-of-favour buttery styles, but they're obviously on the way out and this was a pretty clear example of why that's the case. Nice fruit that wouldn't have needed a swag of oak to disguise faults because, basically, there aren't any.
The Verdelho was also a pretty good expression of a variety that seems to have dropped off the radar recently, but had plenty of tropical fruit flavours. There was also an interesting Viognier Marsanne blend, which had definite appeal though I prefer my Marsanne as a headline act (Jen Pfeiffer's Chardonnay Marsanne being a notable exception).
Given the popularity of the sweeter styles in the marketplace and the likely need for something along those lines in the on-site restaurant the sweeter Alba blend comes across pretty well though it's not really my kettle of fish.
Of the reds, the Rose was a pretty good example of the style, not bad but hardly likely to tip out the wines I've settled on as regular residents of the Little House of Concrete refrigerator.
The most impressive wines on offer were the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Merlot, both of which tasted exactly the way they should at $22 per bottle. Classy, refined, with varietal character and a rounded mouth-feel.
At the price I'd definitely consider them as a full-price prospect, but the presence of a 50% discount meant that there was certainly going to be a case going into the boot.
The question was 'which one?' and in the end I opted for the Merlot, though the glass of Cabernet I savoured over lunch went very close to persuading me to add a second case to the one waiting for us beside the front door.
Given the lengthy detour we ended up opting for lunch in the restaurant rather than deferring decisions until we reached Warwick. The restaurant, given its location does rather well on weekends and from discussions with the aforementioned dapper gentleman in the tasting room I don't think I'd be lobbing on the doorstep on a weekend without having booked first.
Just before noon on a Friday they already had seventy bookings for Sunday lunch, and our meals provided a pretty clear explanation of why that's the case.
A couple of reservations, however.
First , this is serious food, with serious prices. It's not the sort of place where you go looking for a fifteen-dollar steak and chips. My wagyu beef was perfectly cooked, wonderfully tender and quite wonderful and Madam's entree-size prawns and pasta was very nice as well, but neither was a huge meal and the bill was rather substantial.
Second, I realise serious food takes time, but we really ended up waiting far longer than you would have thought necessary. That meant I had plenty of time to savour the glass of Cabernet, and could easily have fitted in a second if I hadn't been sensitive to the need for diplomacy.