Saturday, July 2, 2011

Olssens of Watervale 2006 The Second Six

They don't make 'em like that any more. They can't get the wood, y'know.

Or, I suspect, in this case the Carmenère.

I've written elsewhere about the circumstances that brought us to the Olssens of Watervale cellar door, but it's worth reiterating that the drive is the sort of thing that's likely to deter any but the most determined traveller.

The continued absence of a website seems almost inexplicable in the twenty-first century and it took a while for an order to go in, but given the fact that a consultation with Mr Halliday's tome revealed a range that largely sat in the $20-$30 bracket and was consistently rated in the 93-94 range I was always going to get there eventually.

The highlight of the visit to the cellar door was my encounter with The Olssen Six, one of the few examples of a Bordeaux blend to feature all six of the classic Bordeaux varieties. There are others that go close - the Cullen Diana Madeline being one notable example - but four out of six or five out of six ain't six out of six. You're not going to get that perfect six unless you can lay your hands on some Carmenère, and it seems, from what I can gather, that there are a mere half-dozen or so vineyards in Australia where the variety is grown.

I've still got five bottles of The Six lurking in the cellar fridge with the next rendezvous with one pencilled in for some time around 2014. My note from the bottle we sampled in October 2010 reads:

Olssens of Watervale 2006 The Olssen Six (5/5 $60) Possibly unique blend of  Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Carmenère and Petit Verdot. From the first whiff there's a considerable Wow! factor. Intense, focussed, layered and elegant, a wine to savour at length and leisure.

At around $30 cheaper, its little brother doesn't have quite the same depth but there's plenty on offer here as well.

Olssens of Watervale 2006 The Second Six (4.5/5 $28) Deeply red in the glass, with complex notes across the nose and an acrobatic balance of red and black fruits across the palate this doesn't pack quite the same punch as its sibling but comes across as well weighted with a pleasing depth of flavour and a lengthy finish which, again, encourages the drinker to take some time over the end of the bottle.

1 comment:

  1. nice review and good to see a serious approach to the tastings! Have purchased an Ollsen six and two second sixes from 2011 and 2013 respectively so hopefully they are at least as good as the earlier vintages you have tasked and commented upon.