Monday 3 June 2013


SOMETHING a little different that's
great with steak and kidney pie.

David Ellis

THE Clare Valley's Tim Adams has a problem: he's tweaked one of his great reds, shown it to liquor retailers and restaurateurs who've all said he's come up with a potential Aussie classic – but that no, they won't put it on their shelves or wine lists.

Because until now his Tim Adams Cabernet was labelled as just that, even though it had some 15% malbec blended into it. Buyers loved it, and a few years ago he increased that 15% malbec to 20% to further complement the leaner cabernet flavours with the wonderfully soft mulberry of malbec. This meant that because malbec was now a 20% component of the wine, by law it had to be included on the label, so since the 2008 vintage Tim's labelled it Cabernet Malbec.

And herein lays the problem: most bottle shops and restaurant wine lists don't have sections or listings for cabernet malbec – so they're shying away from this great new blend, a blend whose sales, incidentally, are booming in the UK. "Okay it's a reasonably uncommon blend," says Tim, "But once people try it they quickly become fans… it's just a matter of getting them to taste it."

LOADS of flavour, but less alcohol
goes well with salads and seafoods.
And having done so ourselves, we agree with Tim that it will be a decision you'll not regret. Pay $29, and as we did, enjoy with a home-made steak and kidney pie.

ONE TO NOTE: LILLYPILLY Estate in the NSW Riverina has followed-up its 2011 Sauvignon Blanc with a 2012 release that also has its predecessor's 10% alcohol content, compared with 11.5 to 12 per cent for earlier vintages.

"It's a response to talking with our cellar-door visitors and those we meet at wine fairs and other events," says Lillypilly winemaker, Robert Fiumara. "They tell us about wanting lots of flavour, but at the same time slightly lower levels of alcohol, from both a health perspective and to better suit modern cuisine."

Robert's created a great drop with ample herbaceous and tropical-fruit flavours and a crisp palate; good value too at $15.50 to share with salads, seafoods or Asian dishes.


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