YOUR FREE WEEKLY WINE COLUMN for week beginning June 23 2008
ANYONE with a love of Italian food shouldn't look past Tintilla
Estate's 2006 Catherine d'M Sangiovese Merlot, a "super Tuscan" from
father and son winemaking team Robert and James Lusby who were the
first to plant Sangiovese in the Hunter Valley thirteen years ago.
This wine derives it lovely red berry fruit flavours and savoury twist
from its blend of Italian- and French-origin grapes, and draws its
name from a similar marriage involving both countries – that of
Catherine de'Medici of Italy and Henry King of France in 1533.
Robert and James Lusby believe the two grape varieties make ideal
partners, Sangiovese's dark cherry and violet flavours and Merlot's
plum, spice and caramel oakiness resulting in a delightfully
medium-bodied "food wine."
Enjoy it now at $25.60 a bottle with Osso Bucco or hearty meat-based
pasta dishes (Sangiovese, remember, is the major component of
Tuscany's famed Chiantis) or pop it in the cellar to further develop
over the next 5- to 7- years.
ONE FOR LUNCH: WESTERN Australia's Margaret River had a mild, early vintage in 2007, resulting in slightly lower yields than normal but with wines of incredibly intense flavour.
Quirky-named Fifth Leg 2007 Chardonnay is one such drop whose loads of classic Chardonnay stone-fruit and melon flavours are balanced by citrus, crisp acidity and interesting hints of cashew from its subtle oak.
Pay $20.99 and enjoy with a chicken roast, or take along to your local BYO Vietnamese restaurant – it'll go well with their chicken, pork or fish dishes.
BUY OF THE WEEK: DE BORTOLI's Deen Vat Series 2006 Durif is a wonderfully full-flavoured wine whose rich, spicy fruit flavours make it an ideal partner for hearty casseroles or savoury stews. Nicely priced too at $12.99.
. A HAPPY marriage – Italy's Sangiovese and France's Merlot
. ONE for Vietnamese chicken, pork of fish dishes