Monday 5 May 2008
WHITE AGE REALLY IS IMPORTANT
YOUR WEEKLY WINE COLUMN for week beginning 5 May 2008
wine with david ellis
WHAT do you do when you've a great winemaking team with all the skills to go that one step forward, you've access to the very best of fruit, but you don't have a label that you think a resultant wine can sit comfortably with?
You create a totally new label, just as Wolf Blass did in 2001 with its White Label series to embrace specially crafted, iconic aged white wines.
This month it released only the second vintage of premium, aged whites under this White Label series, a fresh, modern-style Adelaide Hills 2003 Chardonnay and an Eden Valley 2002 Riesling.
The Chardonnay is an absolute stunner: while five years old now and drinking beautifully, it has all the signs of plenty of cellaring potential to get even more from it in three to five years. On first taste it's quite delicate, but powerful fruit comes through on the mid plate and there's nice toasty oak.
Blass has certainly achieved what it set out to do with this aged white, and at $40 you'd wonder if they've under-priced this exceptional Chardonnay: match it with your favourite seafood dish – or treat yourself to a lobster thermidor – and you'll have no regrets.
ONE FOR LUNCH: ONE of our most remote winegrowing regions is Tumbarumba in the NSW Snowy Mountains, a region that at 700-metres enjoy a cool climate coupled with extended sunshine hours – resulting in excitingly new and almost unique-in-Australia Sauvignon Blancs.
Barwang is one maker that's proving the untapped potential of this region, its 2007 Sauvignon Blanc coming from three Tumbarumba vineyards, and result-ing in wonderfully rich passionfruit, lemon, kiwifruit and mineral flavours. Just $19.99, you'll find it great with asparagus quiche, salad and a crusty baguette.
WINE OF THE WEEK: Ed and David Swift's Printhie Mountain Range Shiraz Cabernet from the NSW Orange region: generous with plum and blackberry flavours and supple tannins. Enjoy at $17 with hearty beef bangers and mash.
 TREAT yourself to this stunner with lobster thermidor.
 EXCITING 'new find' from NSW's Snowy Mountains.
 WINE of the week for hearty bangers 'n mash.