Angove Family Winemakers are celebrating 125 years of being in the wine business. Isn’t that great?

Enthusiastically I attended a celebratory bash to hear that four generations have steered this wonderful South Australian company since inception. And there are new Angove generations in line to take the company forward.

The current patriarch is John Angove, an affable chap who was totally down to earth about his business, the big pressures around the wine industry in his State, and around this rain-soaked country.

But he was up-beat about the family company, and clearly excited about the new premium wines his head grape cracker Tony Ingle was putting into bottle.

Angove have come full circle. Their original HQ is now a housing estate (Tea Tree Gully) termed the Adelaide Plains I guess; they moved to a larger place at Nanya near Renmark in 1910, and have now taken possession of vineyards in McLarenvale since 2008.

Aside from the 125th, the big news John had for me was to present a new wine crafted to coincide with release during all this hilarity; and that Angove would build a modest cellar door in McLaren Vale soon-just where they’d uprooted some no longer needed merlot vines.

The new wine is called Medhyk 2008, 14.5%, (USD 53), ++++; an old vine shiraz, selected with meticulous tasting from all the McLaren Vale barrels made that year. It’s layered, it’s juicy but contrite rather than loaded up with knock-out tannin or over-ripeness. Licorice is the major fruit flavour though subtle.

Medhyk 2008 Old Vine Shiraz

Tony Ingle outlined how three vineyards contribute to this wine: planted in 1961 (Jones Block), 1947 (Swan Block) and 1974 (Leask Block).

Angove Chief Winemaker-Tony Ingle

The next Angove generation is Richard and Victoria; as well as being a mother nurturing the next generation of owners, Victoria has worked in the export aspect of their business.

I spoke at length with Richard, a first meeting, as he rapidly came across as humble and grounded as a family wine producing member.

He has worked in other regions and countries, possesses a winemaking background yet has developed more versatile business skills along the way, and more recently worked with Angove import portfolio (Champagne and Prosecco) as well as their agency brands.

“I really enjoyed the sense of community and the fast learning curve in my early days doing vintage in the Hunter Valley. I respect the direction, and broad palate experience I copped at Brokenwood, under the eyes of PJ Charteris,” he adds.

Now he can breathe in all the depth of the South Australian regions as Angove Vineyard Select varietals come from five SA regions: Clare (riesling 2010, of course), Limestone Coast (chardonnay 2009), Adelaide Hills (sauvignon blanc 2010, all the rage), McLaren Vale (the usual suspect, shiraz 2009) and Coonawarra (one home for cabernet, 2008).

I thought the Angove Vineyard Select Riesling 2010, 12%, (USD 18); ++++, was a real banger, lime and lime juice characters, great lines of acidity, and I heard later, quite sweet, though eaten with quail and citrus polenta while tasting, it had masked this sugar.

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