Wednesday 9 July 2008
BRANDY DISTILLERY’S SPARKLING SUCCESS
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.)
. 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.