Monday 1 December 2008



wine with david ellis

FEW wines are spoken about in the same reverential terms as Grange or Chateau Margaux, so when just one is included in talk when it turns to world benchmarks, that wine must surely be something exceptional.

And Brand's Laira recently-released The Patron 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon really can be called exceptional, as its a drop that no doubt will be compared with the world's greatest for years to come.

Now ear-marked as the company's flagship, it was created from fruit from an equally exceptional low-yielding vineyard planted in Coonawarra in 1971, and named The Patron in honour of the first 'Patron of Coonawarra,' Eric Brand; and as soon as they tasted it, wine critics both here and internationally were lauding it in terms normally reserved for Grange and Chateau Margaux.

Sweet dense blackberry and mulberry flavours, cassis, a hint of vanilla, perfect oak integration and a wonderfully silky finish are highlights of this wine, and its little wonder it has already grabbed a half dozen Trophies and more than that number of Gold Medals.

Savour it either on its own or with your favourite grilled or roast beef dish, and at $76 a bottle – a fraction of comparable-quality wines – think about investing in a few extra to enjoy as they mature further over the next twelve to fifteen years (and doubtless improve in value at the same time.)
ONE FOR LUNCH: TIM Adams is well-justified in talking about his 2008 Clare Valley Pinot Gris as "a serious food wine that is sensational with Asian-inspired dishes, seafood and salads…"

His fifth vintage of this variety, it has just enough sweetness to balance a crisp, fresh acidity and lovely flavours of pear, peach, lychee and passion-fruit; pay $22 and enjoy while it's still young and zesty with Tim's Asian, seafood and salad suggestions.  

(Need a drink? We're archived on


[] CLASSIC drop in every sense of the word

[] SHARE this with summer's seafoods and salads   

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