Monday 24 May 2010



david ellis

HOLLER "Mary!" in Hunter Valley winemaker Bob Lusby's household and you'll be answered by either his wife, his mother, his aunt or his sister – because they're all named Mary.

Now to add another layer to the cake, Bob's named one of his Tintilla Estate wines after this foursome, his 2007 Tintilla Estate Four Marys Pinot Noir.

Not generally recognised as a Pinot Noir region, the Hunter Valley can in fact produce some excellent examples of this variety, and Bob and his son James have done just that with their Four Marys label.

The low yielding and early ripening Pinot Noir vines – descendants of cuttings brought from Burgundy in the 1930s – gave Bob and James fruit of wonderfully full-bodied flavour, and with a long, silky finish.

Concentrating on mainly red wines – Tintilla itself is an old-world name for red wine – Bob says the 2007 Four Marys Pinot Noir has a varietal profile similar to the regional style the Hunter Valley delivers so well with Shiraz.

So holler "Four Marys" in your liquor store, pay $30 and enjoy this one at home with a lamb roast and all the trimmings.

ONE FOR LUNCH: New Zealand winemaker Matua Valley has released a Sauvignon Blanc that's got just 9-per cent alcohol compared with around 14-per cent for the norm – yet its full-flavoured with loads of typical lychee, gooseberry and passionfruit flavours.

Labelled Matua Valley First Frost, this 2009 vintage is an ideal drop to offer with a seafood and salad brunch, or maybe even yum cha when you want to enjoy a few accompanying glasses without the full alcohol (and therefore also the full calorie content,) and good buying at $20.99.



[] NO confusion when choosing this one with road lamb and the works.

[] LOWER alcohol – and lower calories – to go with seafood or yum cha.

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