Monday 4 August 2008



wine with david ellis

THIRTY years ago, with winemaking in Victoria's Yarra Valley still somewhat in its infancy, David and Christine Fyffe released the first wines under their Yarra Burn label, and stood back to anxiously await the reaction.

Any trepidations certainly proved unfounded as the accolades, the trophies and the gold medals that have rolled in ever since still clearly testify.

And in the three decades since that first release, the Fyffe's have created some absolute stunners, while also finding time to pioneer Yarra Valley spark-ling in 1983 and Australia's first Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blend soon after.

Their now-released 2007 Yarra Burn Chardonnay is a classic of unbridled tight citrus characters on the palate coupled with sweet ripe fruit, all made the more enjoyable with that fully-developed citrus – and hints of white peach –  coming through in the bouquet that almost explodes on pouring.

An excellent choice at $25.50 to serve with seared tuna steaks and winter vegetables, or at a Sunday brunch of duck terrine, salad and crusty baguette.

ONE FOR LUNCH:  PETER Barry has raised a few eye-brows with the labelling of his Jim Barry 2007 The Lodge Hill Dry Riesling – but he says he's included the word Dry for his international rather than local customers.

"Most Australians expect Rieslings from premium areas such as our Clare Valley to be dry, but more than 90 per cent of Rieslings are markedly sweeter overseas where our Lodge Hill's got a big following," he says.

"At 480 metres – amongst the highest in the district – ours is a Riesling whose palate is dry, with tangy lemon rind and lime fruit flavours, and with a chalkiness that balances the steely, crisp acidity and long limey finish."

Pay $19.50 and serve with scallops grilled for a minute on the shell, and drizzled with a sauce of soy, ginger, garlic and lemon; top with fresh parsley.

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. NO FEAR: Yarra Burn's not looked back since its launch three decades ago.

. DRY approach – telling it as it is for Jim Barry Wines' countless overseas fans.

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