Monday 5 March 2012


FROM the Hunter Valley, but made in the style
they enjoy it in its home-country Portugal.

David Ellis

WHILE Verdelho is still somewhat of a niche wine in this country, it's a variety that deserves more attention for its ability to go so well with food – in its home country of Portugal it's a natural with seafoods, but you'll find it equally rewarding with dishes based on light meats such as pork, veal and chicken.

Mount Eyre in the NSW Hunter Valley produces a very-moreish Verdelho under its premium Three Ponds label, sourcing fruit from a vineyard on the sandy loam river flats along Monkey Place Creek at Broke, and first planted in the 1970s.

Its 2011 Three Ponds Verdelho came from an ideal vintage and is very much in the style of Portuguese Verdelho, with plenty of nice tropical and citrus aromas and flavours.

Enjoy it nicely cold but not too much so, pairing with a Sunday brunch seafood platter or barbecued pork, veal and chicken as its fans do back in homeland Portugal. The Three Ponds 2011 is well-priced at $19.95.

HERE'S just the drop to enjoy
with a good Bouillabaisse.
ONE FOR LUNCH: WEATHER patterns in the Awatere Valley of the Marlborough region of New Zealand's South Island can most probably be best described as "harsh:" rainfall is low, sunshine rates are high, the nights are cool and the area can be almost constantly hammered by high winds.

But 2011 delivered a surprise, with the vintage enjoying warmer than usual days and still-cool nights that played right into the hands of local winemakers, delivering them fruit that brimmed with varietal flavours, structure and intensity.

At Yealands Estate their 2011 Pinot Noir proved particularly exciting and a 2011 Pinot Noir Rosé that's just been released is a lovely drop with luscious ripe strawberry and raspberry flavours and mouth watering acidity. Pay $24.95 and enjoy on its own – or team it up, as we did, with a good Bouillabaisse.


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