Monday, 10 November 2014

Hungerford Hill 2013 Classic Gundagai Shiraz - Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut

GOING BIGGER YET STAYING BOUTIQUE
David Ellis

CLASSIC Shiraz from the Gundagai region
where this varietal does so well.[]
ESTABLISHED back in 1967 as a boutique estate in the Hunter Valley, Hungerford Hill since 2002 has been owned by the Kirby family of the well-known James N Kirby engineering business, who've overseen its growth into a multi-regional wine-making operation now embracing not only the Hunter, but NSW's Tumbarumba, Gundagai, Hilltops and Orange regions.

But grown as it has, its stuck by its boutique estate philosophies, and just recently under its Classic series label released a Gundagai Shiraz, a Hilltops Cabernet and an Orange Merlot from the 2013 vintage.

The 2013 Classic Gundagai Shiraz is an elegant, medium to full-bodied wine that reflects just how well this variety does in the warm temperate Gundagai climate at around 200 to 300m altitude on the NSW side of the border with Victoria.

With typically varietal dark fruit and black pepper notes it's one to pair-up with Asian pork spareribs or Peking Duck, or with barbecued honey/chilli marinated steaks.

MAKE Sunday morning brunch a sparkling
affair with this Spanish drop.
ONE TO NOTE:  IF you enjoy a bubbly anytime because, let's face it, you just like the flavour and the sensation of bubbles, Spain's Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut is one to consider always having a bottle of in fridge or cellar.

This is one of the largest-selling sparkling wines in the world and officially a Cava – a wine made to the traditional Methode Champenoise. A blend of Parellada, Macabeo and Xarel-lo white grapes it was fermented for 10 to 12 days, racked and clarified, and then bottled for secondary fermentation in the bottle.

With flavours of green and citrus fruits and nice Mediterranean aromas in the glass, this is a bubbly with loads of sparkle and more-ish-ness about it. Well priced too at $16 to just drink and enjoy on its own, or to share with friends over a late-morning Sunday brunch of scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, or Quiche Lorraine.

NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out  http://www.vintnews.com We're also on Australian Good Food Guide http://www.agfg.com.au  in main blog.

10Nov14

Monday, 3 November 2014

Toolangi Chardonnay - Rosemount Estate’s MV Collection 2012 Shiraz

TOOLANGI PROVES THE JOY OF CHARDONNAY
David Ellis

PREMIUM drop to enjoy with simple roast chicken,
grilled lobster or barbecued veal chops.   
THE Yarra Valley has garnered an enviable reputation over the past couple of decades for Chardonnays out of makers like Toolangi who planted their first vines there back in December 1995.

And as the latest release from this small family-owned operation, their 2012 is a veritable explosion in the glass of what Chardonnay is all about, with predominantly citrusy grapefruit flavours to the fore and quite extraordinary length (how long the flavour lasts in the back of the throat after swallowing.)

Owners Garry and Julie Hounsell went in hard with the secateurs for this wine, pruning back heavily to maximise fruit flavour and quality as Yarra Valley vines, with the climate they enjoy, can be quite prolific producers. And interestingly, after harvesting the fruit was processed at two separate wineries, Yering Station and Oakridge, and the resultant blend put together at Yering Station.

This 2012 Toolangi Chardonnay is nicely priced for a premium drop at $25, and with its full-on varietal flavours makes for an ideal partner with everything on the table from simple roast chicken, to grilled lobster if you're maybe celebrating, or for a  more casual outdoor barbecue of veal chops and mushrooms.

THIS one's a perfect match with a
Sunday beef roast or barbecued herbed lamb chops.
ONE TO NOTE: IF that Toolangi Chardonnay was all about flavour in a white wine, Rosemount Estate's MV Collection 2012 Shiraz is all about flavour in a red wine.

One of four wines released mid-year under the MV (McLaren Vale) Collection label, this one is again a glass whopper that's all flavour, flavour and more flavour – with savoury blackberry to the fore and nice back-up cherry fruit, supple tannins and a long finish, justifying Rosemount's Chief Winemaker Matt Koch's summation that McLaren Vale is one of the company's "most dynamic wine regions."

Pay $25 and match this one nicely with a Sunday beef roast or barbecued herbed lamb chops.

NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out  http://www.vintnews.com We're also on Australian Good Food Guide http://www.agfg.com.au  in main blog.
                                               
Wc03Nov14



Monday, 27 October 2014

2012 de Mestre Wines Shiraz - Matua Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc


BET YOU'VE NOT HEARD OF THIS ONE
David Ellis

BEST wine from the smallest vineyard
you've never heard of
SYDNEY lawyer-cum-weekend winemaker, Paul de Mestre likes to sum up the fruit of his hobby as "the best wine from the smallest vineyard you've never heard of…"

And while we think he's pretty much right, don't go rushing out trying to find a bottle. He makes just 800 a year, and these can be bought only from his little 16ha vineyard on Sofala Road at Ilford in the Mudgee Region of the NSW Central Ranges, or online. And even then that's if he's got any…

While not officially organic, Paul takes a minimalist approach to his winemaking, trusting nature, as he says, at every turn. The result is delightful cool climate varietals that can vary considerably from vintage to vintage, but which always deliver big on texture and flavour, be they his Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon or Viognier.

His currently available 2012 de Mestre Wines Shiraz at $30 is a corker, coming from a perfect vintage – and by adding a touch of Viognier he's achieved a wine that's nicely fragrant and has forward flavours of plum and black pepper that make it an ideal accompaniment with slow-roasted Greek lamb (how we enjoyed it.) Go to www.demestre.com.au to organise a bottle or six, or to arrange a vineyard visit.

 LABEL helps you choose off the shelf
the style of Sauvignon Blanc
that best suits your palate.
ONE TO NOTE: NEW ZEALAND's Matua that can claim to being the country's first producer of Sauvignon Blanc 40 years ago, has now come up with an interesting concept with the release of three labels that give buyers some extra help in choosing off the shelf the style of Sauvignon Blanc that best suits their palate.

The label of their Matua Smooth describes it as "soft and elegant," and being from the warmer Hawkes Bay region more luscious, juicy and food friendly; a Matua Crisp as "fresh and tropical" with vibrant Marlborough tropical fruit and citrus fruit flavours and fresh, crisp acidity; and a Marlborough Matua Lighter as "cool and fragrant" with tropical passionfruit and gooseberry flavours and 25 per cent less alcohol/calories.

Each of these 2014 vintage wines is priced at $22 through BWS.

NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out http://www.vintnews.com We're also on Australian Good Food Guide http://www.agfg.com.au  in main blog.

Wc27Oct14


Monday, 20 October 2014

Lindeman's value Chardonnay - Briar Ridge 2014 Single Vineyard Dairy Hill Semillon


$10 CHARDONNAY'S TRUE VALUE FOR MONEY
David Ellis

GET the conversation going around a seafood
lunch or dinner with this great drop.
LINDEMAN'S Bin 65 Chardonnay has long been one of the best value-for-money Chardonnays in this country (and in international markets too,) one that at a current $10 never fails to satisfy for flavour, toss-it-down enjoyment, and price.

And interestingly while launched onto the market here 23 years ago, it had in fact been in production for six years before that – to supply the Northern Hemisphere that had taken with gusto to the drink's fruit-driven and easy-drinking style, and when eventually released in Australia in 1991 was an overnight equal  success here too.

The current-release 2014 made from fruit sourced across a wide area of South Eastern Australia maintains the tradition, with lovely fruit salad, fig, peach and toasty oak aromas that follow through delightfully on the palate. Enjoy it on its own pre-dining as the conversation gets going, in the party-room, and indoors or out where it makes for a terrific match at the table with all manner of seafoods.

And you'll notice that it's new label's got some changes to it, with a sketch of Dr Henry John Lindeman's 1885 Cawarra homestead set within a triumphal wreath featuring Australian native eucalyptus and gum nuts, and under these the Latin phrase 'Felicitas in Vitae,' meaning 'In Life Happiness' – from Dr Lindeman's own favourite quote "the one purpose of wine is to bring happiness." 

ENJOY this trophy winner with oysters
with Asian sauces, seafood salads or crab.
ONE TO NOTE: THE Hunter Valley's Briar Ridge has just released its 2014 Single Vineyard Dairy Hill Semillon that garnered a Trophy for Best 2014 Semillon at this year's Hunter Valley Wine Show.

A great coup for Chief Winemaker Gwyneth Olsen who joined the company only last year, this is a drop that came from low-yielding vines with wonderful concentrations of flavour, that in turn reward in the glass with elegantly crisp citrus and refreshing acidity, and with accompanying lemon and lime aromas.

At $35 a great partner with oysters with Asian sauces, seafood salads, or crab.

NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out http://www.vintnews.com We're also on Australian Good Food Guide http://www.agfg.com.au  in main blog.


Wc20Oct14

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Mark Best's Pei Modern restaurant's new wines

Mark Best's new Pei Modern restaurant, recently installed in the space once occupied by The Woods in Sydney's iconic Four Seasons Hotel, is challenging guests' palates with an array of unusual wines to match his bold new menu.

Mark Best's Pei Modern comes to Sydney's Four Seasons Hotel

Think Young Vine Pinot Meunier and Barossa Savagnin to accompany his flavoursome meat and seafood creations.

Read the full report here.


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

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