Monday 9 June 2008



YOUR WEEKLY WINE COLUMN for week beginning 9 June 2008

wine with david ellis

TWENTY years ago when new-comer grape-growers and winemakers, pharmacist Ian McKenzie and schoolteacher Ken Pollock came to deciding just what wines would flow from their new BlackJack Vineyards in Central Victoria's Harcourt Valley, the one they pondered over the most was Shiraz.

"In those days there was hardly a market for Australian Shiraz," says Ian, "and many growers who had Shiraz vines were pulling them out in favour of other varieties; but we were keen on Shiraz, and today we're glad we trusted our judgment – and the advice of some wise counselors – and now the variety is our flagship red."

The fertile Harcourt Valley has rewarded BlackJack Vineyards, and drinkers, admirably: its Shiraz' in particular are rich, powerful and distinctly regional, the current 2006 release full-on berry flavoured with beautiful varietal spiciness and pepper undertones.

Pay $35 and enjoy with a hearty osso bucco and parsley infused potato mash.

ONE FOR LUNCH: ROBERT Fiumara reckons his just-released 2007 Lillypilly Moscato is the closest things you'll find in a bottle to eating a bunch of just-picked grapes that have had a few hours chilling in the fridge.

"This is a wine that's delicate, soft and grapey with all the hallmarks of Muscat aromatics and enough acidity to balance the sweetness," he says. "Drinking it anytime reminds me of summer year-round."

Good buying at just $13.50 to quaff nice and cold with light desserts, peaches and rock melon with ice-cream, or a platter of fresh fruit and soft cheeses.

BUY OF THE WEEK: BIDGEEBONG have aimed at the younger adult market with their 2006 Young Lovers Cabernet Merlot, a great-value $22 drop whose balanced sweet fruit and rich varietal characters go ideally with Asian dishes.

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WINE that nearly wasn't is now a flagship red

LUSCIOUS as eating a bunch of chilled, fresh-picked grapes

AIMING at younger adult market

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