Monday 29 June 2009



A ZINGY white to enjoy year-round with fish and seafoods is Primo Estate's  La Biondina, a 100 per cent fun-blonde Colombard from South Australia's Adelaide Plains.

First created by Joe and Dina Grilli a near-ten decades ago, this zesty drop was blended for several more-recent vintages with Sauvignon Blanc, but for the 2009 makers Joe Grilli and Daniel Zuzulo reverted to 100% Colombard.

To get everything just as they wanted it, Joe and Daniel picked half the fruit in early February to capture its zingy tang, and the other half well into March when the more varietal tropical fruit flavours were coming to the fore.

The result is a nicely fruit-driven wine whose passionfruit, melon and citrus flavours make it ideal with fish and seafood, but if you're not into these you'll find this one goes just as well with spicy curries; well priced too at just $15.

ONE FOR LUNCH: THE Hunter Valley's Oakvale make some quite unique and very food-friendly wines, one in particular their Reserve Barrel Select Shiraz that's made only when winemaker Steve Hagan is sure there is something really exceptional about a particular vintage.

The just-released 2006 is one such drop, a rich and robust wine from the company's bunch-thinned, low-yielding vineyard at Broke – in fact so little fruit was available, Steve was able to make just 100 cases of this wonderful wine that's loaded with varietal dark cherry and berry fruit flavours, pepper and vanillan oak.

If it follows its predecessors it will prove another great hit for this small winery – the previous Reserve Barrel Select Shiraz, the 2003, picked up Gold at its first show outing; pay $45 and enjoy with a winter's osso bucco and creamy mash touched with garlic and a sprinkle of parsley. (If you have trouble finding it, get on the phone now to Oakvale's Cellar Door on toll-free 1800 005 550.)




[] THIS little blonde's still having fun a near-30 years on.

[] GET on the phone: there's just 100 cases of this top Hunter Shiraz.

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