Monday 17 September 2012


A CLASSIC 75 years on
– enjoy with roast chicken and
green olive and prune stuffing.


David Ellis

IT'S amazing enough that a white wine should continue to be made to basically the same style as it was when launched 75 years ago, but more so that at around just $11 it has the potential to also develop beautifully over 10 years in the cellar.

Houghton's White Classic was conceived by the legendary Jack Mann at the company's winery in Western Australia's Swan Valley in 1937, using basically Chenin Blanc with a blend of several other white varieties. The same year it won First Prize in the 'Dry White Table Wine' class at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show, with the judges saying they were "taken-aback by its bold new style."

And when one described it "as like the great White Burgundies of France," the company jumped on the quote and labelled it Houghton's White Burgundy. The name stuck until the European Union banned the use of their regional names by other countries in 2006, and it was re-named Houghton's White Classic.

Today it's making is in the hands of Senior Winemaker, Ross Pamment who deviates little from Jack Mann's original criteria, still using Chenin Blanc with a mix of several other varieties to result in lovely tropical fruit flavours of grapefruit, passionfruit, lime and rockmelon, complemented by peach and green apple.

Pay around $11 and enjoy with roast chicken and green olive and prune stuffing.

BEAUT drop to go with a beaut steak.

ONE FOR LUNCH: Steven Kurtz has put to good use fruit off 10- to 45-year old vines he deliberately pruned for low yields for his Kurtz Family Vineyards' Boundary Row 2009 Shiraz, a knock-out drop at $24 for those who like a beaut steak and a beaut wine to go with it.

The Kurtz family are 4th generation Barossan growers and vignerons of German descent, and winemaker Steve has coaxed wonderful black plum and cherry flavours to the fore with this drop. Ready to enjoy now, it's also one to consider for that special spot in the cellar over the next few years for future extra pleasure.



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