EXCELLENT Autumn and Winter rains in 2008 and perfect ripening conditions earlier this year gave Hunter Valley makers every opportunity to create some exceptional wines from the 2009 vintage.
Tintilla Estate's owner/winemaker, Robert Lusby and winemaker son James, took advantage of every aspect of this vintage, and you'll have trouble trying to find fault with their 2009 Tintilla Angus Hunter Valley Semillon.
Somewhat fruitier than normal, this wine's got lovely lemon and lime flavours, good acidity and an austere finish, making it ideal to enjoy young with pasta smothered in a creamy mushroom sauce; certainly great buying at $26.
ONE FOR LUNCH: Just 80 lucky diners will sit down to a degustation prepared by classic French chef, Damian Pignolet of famed Bistro Moncur in Sydney's Woollahra, with accompanying wines from cold-climate Logan Wines at Orange in the NSW Central West.
A 2008 Chardonnay and a 2007 Shiraz will head-up the wine list: we're particularly wrapped in the Shiraz that's very food-friendly and almost a cross between the style of France's southern Rhone and that of Italy with its forward fruit flavours and excellent use of wood.
The Damian Pignolet/Peter Logan Degustation Dinner will be held at Logan Wines' Mudgee Tasting Rooms on September 19; details (02) 6373 1333. If you can't make it, pay $25 and match up the Logan 2007 Shiraz with roast duck and baked vegies.
FOR THE DIARY: The Hunter Valley's Inaugural 'Home Grown Gold' Wine Tasting will offer the first chance to taste Gold and Trophy winning wines from the 2009 Clear Image Hunter Valley Wine Show; venue is Lindeman's Wines in Pokolbin on Saturday afternoon August 29 with entry $20pp. There'll also be a Wine Masterclass ($50pp;) info www.winehuntervalley.com.au or (02)4991 4533.
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 SHARE this one with pasta and a creamy mushroom sauce
 FOOD-friendly Shiraz ideal with roast duck and baked vegies