Monday 3 October 2011


WORTH an investment for the cellar:
or enjoy now with char-grilled eye fillet.


David Ellis

STICKING by their philosophy of producing their popular Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot only when fruit quality warrants it, Margaret River maker Voyager Estate decided not to make and release the blend from the 2006 vintage.

"2006 was extremely challenging," says Voyager Manager of Winemaking and Viticulture, Steve James. "The winter was one of the coldest we've ever experienced, with rare, severe frosts. But by contrast we were rewarded in 2007 with a near-perfect growing season and warm to hot summer: it gave us fruit that was rich and ripe with excellent flavour concentration and tannins."

Steve chose the 88% Cabernet Sauvignon component from two major vineyards, and with a smaller quantity from a third and the 12% Merlot from yet a fourth, keeping each parcel of fruit separate throughout the winemaking process to achieve what he calls "exceptional balance" in the final blend.

This wine has rich dark berry fruits at its heart, and accompanying mocha and dark chocolate notes. At $60 its one well worth investing in for its cellaring potential and development up to 15 years, or to enjoy now while young with char-grilled eye fillet and a medley of corn and roasted peppers.

GREAT Australian Alsace-style Gewurztraminer to
savour with spicy, not- too-hot Thai dishes.
ONE FOR LUNCH: JOHN Cassegrain whose family winemaking heritage goes back to France in the 1600s, is a great believer that Australia really can produce wonderful examples of France's classic Alsace region aromatic Gewurztraminer… and he's using fruit from the cool NSW New England to achieve it at his Port Macquarie winery on the State's Mid North Coast.

"The variety suffered in 1970/80 when it was grown here in warm climates and blended with Riesling to produce sweetish, fairly ordinary wines," he says. "But delicate fruit we've sourced from Toppers Mountain Vineyard south of Inverell is perfect for great Alsace-style Gewurztraminer." Try his 2010 Edition Noir at $25 that's nicely fragrant and ideal with spicy, not-too-hot Thai dishes.


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