Monday, 16 June 2008

LIGHT MY FIRE: A TASSIE TURN-ON


Wc16Jun08

YOUR FREE WEEKLY WINE COLUMN for 16 June 2008


david ellis

TASMANIA's Bay of Fires has been producing wonderful cool climate Pinot Noirs for the past seven years, and their 2007 that's just been released is possibly their best yet.

Some unusual weather conditions contributed to this: late frosts in October knocked the vines around a bit and resulted in what is known as "hen and chicken," a condition that causes a high proportion of unfertilized flowers to develop into tiny currant-sized berries without seeds – but with a nice concentration of richness and flavour.

On top of this, unusually high temperatures later in January and February pushed flavour ripeness, resulting in a wine with beautifully raspberry- and cherry-like characteristics, a sweet fruit edge and soft unaggressive tannins.

This is a wine to enjoy with a roast leg of lamb and baked vegies; pay $40.

ONE FOR LUNCH: WAYNE Stehbens has created another classic Katnook Estate Coonawarra Chardonnay from the long, dry and cooler than average 2005 vintage that resulted in rich, full-flavoured fruit with high natural acidity.

This delightfully fruit-intense wine has typically varietal peach and stone-fruit flavours and a suggestion of pineapple on the palate; really good buying at $28 to linger with over a leisurely Sunday lunch – how about a Spanish omelette, salad and a warm crusty baguette?

BUY OF THE WEEK: WE sometimes approach wines with a bit of trepidation when the winemaker tells us it's "their first varietal experiment."

But the Clare Valley's Penna Lane have done wonders with their first go at Zinfandel, the 2006 The Willsmore coming up trumps with full-bodied Zinfandel Christmas pudding and plum fruit flavours and savoury oak.

Well worth the $35 to share with Thai or other rich and spicy foods.


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PHOTO CAPTIONS:

PINOT NOIR to enjoy with a roast leg of lamb and baked vegies.

CLASSIC Coonawarra Chardonnay: ideal with a leisurely Spanish omelette.
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