Wednesday, 9 July 2008

BRANDY DISTILLERY’S SPARKLING SUCCESS


Wc7July08

YOUR FREE WEEKLY WINE COLUMN for week beginning July 7 2008

wine with david ellis


YOU could probably say it had to happen: a wine company that was founded in western Victoria in 1963 by two of France's most famous Champagne houses – Krug and Charles Heidsieck – with the intention of making brandy, is instead producing some of our most outstanding sparkling wines.

And no longer under French ownership, but now Australian – and along the way also turning out some of our most outstanding cool-climate reds as well.

Located in the foothills of the blue-hued Pyrenees ranges 180km northwest of Melbourne and now known as Blue Pyrenees, it was originally called Chateau Remy and released the first of its lip-smacking reds 40-years ago this year.

But as well as those reds, its 'methode traditionelle' sparklers are grabbing the attention of consumers and judges alike both here and overseas, particularly a Vintage Brut, Brut Rosé, Midnight Cuvee (whose fruit is hand-picked under floodlight in the middle of the night,) and two cellar-door-only cuvees.

Don't look past the 2004 Blue Pyrenees Vintage Brut for that next celebration: excellently priced at $30, this bubbly has a lively palate of concentrated yeast autolysis characters and grapefruit flavours, and fresh acidity; enjoy it as a starter with hors d'oeuvres or with delicately-flavoured seafood mains.

ONE FOR LUNCH: Celebrating 100 years of family-run winemaking in South Australia's Coonawarra this year, Redman Wines has released a 2005 Shiraz that for price, value and flavour is possibly best described as 'stunning.'

Thirty-five year old vines in the heart of Coonawarra gave fruit for this wine that has wonderfully rich spicy fruit on the palate, soft round tannins and fresh acidity; pay just $23.50 and team with red meat dishes or hard cheeses.


(A recent column suggested an association between Redman Wines and Brookland Valley Wines; Redman has no association with other winemakers outside Coonawarra.)

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PHOTO CAPTIONS:

. TRUE Blue: A Victorian distillery that was supposed to make brandy, is in fact producing some of our best Bubblies.

. SCORING a century, Coonawarra's 100-year old family-owned Redman Wines has released a stunner 2005 Shiraz.

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