Monday 9 May 2011


INSPIRED by the classics of France
… enjoy with fresh oysters, or a platter of cheeses.
David Ellis
WHEN he founded Western Australia's Capel Vale winery back in 1974, Peter Pratten set out create wines that would emulate those of the classic wine regions of France – Bordeaux, Alsace, the Rhone…
His enthusiasm paid off virtually from the start, and today his Single Vineyard premium series under the Mount Barker Whispering Hill and Margaret River The Scholar labels are highly-awarded gems of what he aspired to create.
"My father has always been inspired by the great wines of France, wines of elegance and typicity," says Peter's son, and now company CEO, Simon Pratten. "So it makes sense that our latest releases – the 2008 Mount Barker Whispering Hill Shiraz, 2008 Margaret River The Scholar Cabernet Sauvignon and 2010 Mount Barker Whispering Hill Riesling – would be influenced by our approach to handling these old world classics."
ONE to savour with sweet and
spicy pork spareribs.
We were particularly impressed with the 2010 Whispering Hill Riesling, a wonderful cool climate wine that's made only in select years from the very best fruit from the most select rows in the vines: the palate of this gem is alive with lime-citrus flavours, coupled with great flint and mineral characters.
Pay $35 and start a grand dinner with this and fresh oysters, or finish-off with a glass or two with some soft goat's and hard cow's cheeses.
ONE FOR LUNCH: HALF-WAY between Sydney and Brisbane is the New England wine region, an inland area of 42 vineyards and five wineries that was first planted in the 1880s, but it only now coming to recognition – particularly as Australia's only region to boast both warm and cool viticulture.
One label worthy of an investment in is Kurrajong Downs Black Duck Shiraz: the red berry flavours are influenced by spice and peppery characters making an ideal match with sweet and spicy pork spareribs. Great buying at $21.

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