Gwenn from Noble House was in yesterday and, guess what?, she brought some wine. One that caught the attention of most of the staff and of Larry Perrine of Channing Daughters who showed up on his way back to the South Fork, was Ponder, a 2004 cabernet from the Barossa Valley.
It’s made by Anthony “Ponder” Allport, who, according to the back label, only makes this wine from select sites in outstanding years, 2004 included. The labels says “The 2004 vintage is ranked amongst the best of the last 10-15 years, a long even ripening season with a short burst of warm weather right at the end. The general crop levels were 2-3 tonnes per acre and the grapes achieved full maturity with great fruit intensity and flavor.”
The wine is aged in new and old French oak hogsheads for 20 months. And you can immediately tell it’s Australian wine by the sweet fruit upfront. It’s got round slightly baked fruit and is long on the palate, but the alcohol (14.5 percent) is balanced by the heft of the fruit, with soft tannins. And it smells delicious. Again it smells like Australian wine, with a bit of the burnt tar that’s so distinctive in the syrahs, but you can tell it’s cabernet because the aromas are not too pronounced. There’s the cassis but also mineral/graphite.
Only 2,400 bottles were made and all are in the New York market. It retails for around $40.
Ponder is a project of O’Leary Walker Wines. Gwen said Ponder, the man, has a tatoo of the fish on the label.