Monday 21 April 2008


YOUR WEEKLY WINE COLUMN for week beginning 21 April 2008

wine with david ellis

Senior Winemaker at Western Australia’s Ferngrove Vineyards, Kim Horton puts the success of his stunning 2007 Diamond Chardonnay down to two things – a bit of juggling in the vineyard and a bit more in the winery.

“2007 was one of the most intense and earliest harvests we’ve seen at Ferngrove,” he says. “A blast of hot weather in early March had us working really hard in the vineyard, followed by our juggling acts which really paid off.”

Kim chose fruit from four blocks carrying two different vine clones for his 2007 Diamond Chardonnay, picking one parcel before the hot weather and the second after it – but ultimately being forced to abandon the latter-picked.

Despite this problem, the resultant wonderful nectarine, lemongrass, ginger and spicy oak make this beautifully creamy drop one that enthusiasts of the Ferngrove label (based in the Frankland River region 360k’s south of Perth) will quickly snap up – particularly as only limited supplies are available.

Invest $23.99 and serve with chicken or pork and stir-fried Asian greens.

ONE FOR LUNCH: Back in the 1830s Major Thomas Mitchell wrote glowingly of the “rich and verdant” pastoral lands he’d discovered in Central Victoria.

Settlers soon followed the route of “the Major’s Line,” and today growers like David and Ruth Norris at Faraday on the foothills of Mount Alexander (from which Mitchell wrote his praises) are producing enviable quality wine grapes.

Blackjack Vineyards’ 2005 Major’s Line Shiraz made from the Norris’ fruit displays beautifully soft blackberry, liquorice and a little menthol fruit flavour, coupled with oak tannins; good value at $25 with

WINE OF THE WEEK: Katnook Estate’s 2007 Founder’s Block Sauvignon Blanc: zesty and racy with loads of gooseberry, elderflower and a touch of fresh citrus on the palate. Snap it up at $20 and serve with seafoods.

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WA winner: Ferngrove Diamond Chardonnay a stunner with port and stir-fried Asian vegies.

MAJOR success – Blackjack Vineyards’ 2005 Major’s Line Shiraz great value at $25,

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