Monday 17 June 2013


GIVE it 12 or 15 years in the cellar, or still
enjoy now with wintry chicken and leek pie.


David Ellis

THEY'VE been making durif at Rutherglen in Victoria since around 1908, so it's little wonder the region has earned its reputation for creating iconic durifs that come from seven makers who've perfected the art of the varietal.

One such is Campbells Wines whose history goes back to 1859 but which didn't really get into stand-alone durif until the mid-1950s, and has since risen to be amongst the fore-front of makers: their recently-released 2010 Barkly Durif is nothing short of sensational with wonderfully powerful dark cherry and blackberry fruit, nice oak and earthy characters coming together to make it beautifully more-ish.

Not one to rush into, it could do with a good 12 months to settle comfortably in the bottle (and should prove hugely rewarding for those with the patience to nurture it in the cellar over 12 or 15 years,) but if you can't wait then, decant it a few hours before serving and enjoy now with a slow-cooked sugar-cured lamb rump.     

 $10 bargain from "wonderful"
Victoria Murray-Darling vintage.
It's certainly worth the $48 asking price for those who enjoy this not-quite-mainstream varietal and which is really now making a name for itself. And for those interested: Durif itself had its beginnings with the cross-pollination of Syrah and Peloursin in France's Montpelier region somewhere around the 1860s, resultant vines later found their way to California (where it's now known as Petite Syrah) and then to Rutherglen in 1908.

ONE TO NOTE: DEAKIN Estate Winemaker, Dr Phil Spillman says the "wonderful" 2012 vintage in Victoria's Murray-Darling resulted in the best overall quality fruit he's seen in nine vintages in the region.

And a quite exceptional chardonnay he's created from that fruit should have chardy fans rushing to their liquor stores: while this one's got excellent mid-ripeness apple and citrus flavours and a touch of brioche from time in-barrel, the price tag is a remarkable $10. Yes, $10. Certainly well worth snapping up a few and enjoying with a winter-time chicken and leek pie, or grilled tuna and roast vegies with a sesame dressing.


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