YOUR FREE WEEKLY WINE COLUMN FOR W/B 20 OCTOBER 2008
wine with david ellis
THERE's every chance you've never heard of Alberino, but if King Valley, Victoria winemaker Sam Miranda has his way it won't be long before it's on popular wine lists across Australia.
Likened by many who know it to New Zealand-style Sauvignon Blanc, Alberino hails from the cool Rias Baixas region of north-western Spain and is late-ripening with high natural acidity, intense aromas and complex flavours.
Always looking beyond the horizon, Sam Miranda planted an experimental sixty vines of Alberino on his Symphonia vineyard in the early 2000s, and following their success increased this to 1.25ha in 2006.
Fruit was hand-harvested this year and made into a fresh and zesty wine with fragrant peach and apricot aromas and a dry and lingering creamy lemon tart finish – a wine that's great value at the asking $20.
Sam sees an exciting future for Alberino as a delightful food-match alternative to mainstream white varietals; team it up with a Spanish paella from its homeland – an easy cook-up of rice, prawns, calamari, mussels and chunks of flathead or snapper.
ONE FOR LUNCH: ROBERT Black has put to good use his experience both in France and on his Bunnamagoo Estate on NSW's Central Tablelands to produce small quantities of outstanding quality Chardonnay, Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, that have now been joined by a very more-ish Sauvignon Blanc Semillon from the 2008 vintage.
Making just 14,000 cases a year all-up allows Robert to concentrate on each individual wine, and this latest certainly doesn't disappoint: pay $21.95 and enjoy the grassiness of the Sauvignon Blanc and the lovely tropical fruit flavours of the Semillon with buttered grilled asparagus topped with parmesan.
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 SPANISH heritage: Alberino a welcome alternative white
 MORE-ish – and just the drop with buttered grilled asparagus topped with parmesan