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The wines of Heartland, McLaren Vale, Australia

Heartland Wines Pty Ltd, 229 Greenhill Road, Dulwich, South Australia, Australia 5065
Tel: +61 (0) 8 8431 4322 Fax: +61 (0) 8 8431 4355
E-mail: admin@heartlandwines.com.au Website: www.heartlandwines.com.au

I've already written about start Aussie winemaker Ben Glaetzer, and his Mitolo and Glaetzer wines. Now it's time to review his more affordable Heartland range.

One of the reasons Ben wanted to set up Heartland is because he was aware of the amalgamation of companies in the Australian wine industry, with all wines tasting ‘generic’. ‘They’re less vibrant; less representative of what Australia offers’, he says. ‘I knew we could do better than that.’

Heartland has five owners. Ben is the major shareholder, then there’s Grant Tillbrook (accountant), Scott Collett (who owns Woodstock), Geoff Hardy (viticulturalist) and Vicky Arnold. There are two others with smaller shareholders, Gino Molino and John Pargeter (vineyard manager at Greenock Creek).

Heartland own 1000 acres of vineyard, 450 of which are on the Limestone Coast. As well as using these grapes for the Heartland wines, some are sold (for example, to make the Zonte’s Footstep wines). The other 550 hectares are in the Langhorne Creek region. The vineyards have a slightly different shareholding, but the majority of this is from the same people who are involved with Heartland. 

What’s impressive about Heartland is the quality of wines considering their cost and the volume made. These aren’t expensive, but outclass many wines twice their price. As I've said before, the world needs good, affordable wine. These are all affordable and all very good. 

UK agent: Great Western Wine (www.greatwesternwine.co.uk)

Heartland Stickleback White 2005
A blend of Semillon, Chardonnay and Verdelho. Quite fresh and aromatic. Lovely weight of fruit here: fresh and lemony but some tropical fruit, too. Very good+ 86/100 (£5.95 SWIG, Noel Young, Oddbins)

Heartland Viognier Pinot Gris 2005
Harvested in four to five batches, and the Pinot Gris was left for 7 hours on the skins. Lovely aromatic, perfumed nose is fresh, open and spicy. Good weight on the palate with nice freshness and some fullness, too. A complete white wine. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£8.99 Oddbins, SWIG, Noel Young)

Heartland Stickleback Red 2004
Sweet, open, accessible nose leads to a nice soft, open rounded palate that is rich and smooth. A delicious, accessible wine. Very good+ 88/100 (£5.95 SWIG, Noel Young, Oddbins)

Heartland Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Rich, smooth, ripe nose which is full and spicy with a hint of mint. The palate is smooth with nice savoury, spicy palate and chewy tannins. Very good+ 88/100 (£7.49 SWIG, Oddbins, Noel Young)

Heartland Shiraz 2004
Lovely open spicy nose is perfumed with well defined fruit. Apparently the Limestone Coast gives a mint/menthol note and the Langhorne Creek more chocolate and truffle notes. The palate is spicy and fresh with lovely pure, clean fruit. Nice stuff. Very good+ 89/100 (£7.49 SWIG, Noel Young, Oddbins)

Heartland Dolcetto Lagrein 2004
Heartland have 30 acres of Lagrein, which is the largest planting outside Italy. Lovely pure fruit here with a nice savoury tang to the beautifully pure red and black fruits. Smooth and seamless with a nice freshness. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£8.99 Oddbins, SWIG, Noel Young)

Heartland Director’s Cut Shiraz 2004
Rich, smooth, sweet intense spicy nose. The palate is smooth, full and spicy. Really appealing. Quite a big oak impact at the moment at present but this is one for the future. Very good/excellent 91/100 (SWIG, Oddbins, Noel Young)

Wines tasted 02/05
Find these wines with wine-searcher.com

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