I'm not too familiar with Passing Clouds wines - truth is I'm not sure I'd ever had one before - so was agreeably pleased when a couple of samples turned up recently. A cabernet shiraz blend, and a pinot noir. Knocked them over on consecutive nights as you do, and must admit I loved every sip. They were downright tasty. Here we go.
Passing Clouds Graeme's Cabernet Shiraz 2015 $34
At first sip I thought this is right at the end of that very ripe spectrum. You know what I mean, will I still be enoying it and want a second glass? Too right I did, and went back for a third I don't mind telling you. Had to fight off the other half to get my share too, I might add. No, very impressive indeed. Ripe yes, but balanced and elegant, tannins fine and ripe, dark fruits... blackberries, coffee, black cherry, nice length, silky texture. Like I said, impressive.
Passing Clouds Fools on the Hill Pinot Noir, 2015 $47
This isn't from Bendigo, but from Macedon Ranges - a place I've not heard of called Musk. I had high hopes because (I know this is going to sound silly) one of my very favourite pinot producers is from the Macedon - Curly Flat. I'm thinking if this has any of Curly's smoke, spicy, brambly earthy goodness... then I'm on a winner. Well, let me say this is certainly good. Not quite as lip smacking as Graeme's Blend, but good nonetheless. Enticing floral scents, dark fruited and earthy, a nice dollop of spice, juicy acid, complex... there's a lot to like. I'm a fan.
I then was sent a couple more - a Bendigo Shiraz 2015 ($34) and The Angel Cabernet Sauvignon Endigo – again from Bendigo - at $53.
I like them both but at this early stage I’d be tucking in to the shiraz with a smile on my face. It’s meaty and curvaceous, bold certainly but not brash. Think dark berries - blackberry, black cherry, that sort of thing – and some earthy herbal interest and mild spice. Toasty/charry too. But it’s refined and sophisticated. I enjoyed it a lot.
The Angel cabernet I had to warm to. Not sure why, it’s a nice cool-climate cabernet, no doubt, and it drinks well. Which is as it should be… according to the notes it’s made from the the finest barrels of fruit. But the more I drank the happier I became, so I’m putting it down to that cool-climate leafiness that tends to stand out early and then slips seamlessly into the background. So by the end I’m a happy camper. This will improve with medium term ageing too.