Gill Gordon Smith is an ex Quantas flight attendant, who fell in love with wine. Now she has her own wine label, Fall From Grace, which she cells from a cellar door that doubles up as a wine bar/retail shop, based in Aldinga, McLaren Vale. The wine list here is quite brilliant, with a natural focus – but it’s a highly curated selection of natural wines, with a mix of top European and Australian bottles. The great thing is that everything is normal retail price, even if you drink in. Gill also does wine education here.
I was there on Friday night. It’s pizza and wine night every Friday, with a different guest winemaker presenting their wines. On this occasion it was the turn of Wes Pearson from Dodgy Brothers. As well as trying Wes’ wines, I tried through Jill’s four current releases. She works quite naturally, and I really like the wines.
She’s been using some clay pots for the last five years for fermenting and ageing some of the wines. They are 300 litre capacity. Some grape varieties work in them, some don’t apparently. Montepulciano is good in amphora but Carignan isn’t.
Fall From Grace ‘Mazerine’ Carignan 2015 McLaren Vale, Australia
Supple, bright and elegant with sweet cherry and plum fruit. There’s a sweetness and lushness to the fruit, but it’s always kept in check. Smooth and bright, this is hugely drinkable. I like the purity of dark fruits it offers. 92/100
Fall From Grace ‘Margarita’ Montepulciano 2015 McLaren Vale, Australia
This is made in 300 litre clay pots, constructed by a local potter. This ferments, spends 80 days on its skins in the amphorae, and then goes to old oak. Juicy, spicy and detailed with lovely floral red cherry fruit notes. Bright, with just a hint of earthiness. Fine, expressive and very pretty with some spicy complexity. 93/100
Fall From Grace ‘Boudica’ Nero d’avila 2015 McLaren Vale, Australia
Vivid, juicy, bright and vibrant with nice sweet cherries, raspberries and plums. A very fresh wine with some sweetness. Lively, juicy and pretty. 93/100
Fall From Grace ‘Lolita’ Arneis 2015 McLaren Vale, Australia
This spends 6 months on its skins and then goes to barrel. There’s a hint of mint on the nose. Fresh and textural with some direct citrus notes and a distinctive stoniness. Real interest. 92/100
Find these wines with wine-searcher.com
VISITING AUSTRALIA’S MCLAREN VALE