Monday 9 December 2013

Chardonnay and Voigner, a blend like Simon and Garfunkel. Well, sort of.

UNUSUAL blend and a
nicely rewarding one.

David Ellis

CHARDONNAY and Viognier aren't something you see as a blend too often on bottle-shop shelves, so when Yarra Valley growers Garry and Julie Hounsell used these two from their low-cropping and somewhat exceptional Dixon's Creek vineyard in a 2013 Toolangi label Emanai, it had us asking: just what is Emanai?

And we got an interesting answer, for Emanai has nothing whatsoever to do with oenology, and is not even in the dictionary: it was purely created by Garry and Julie from the first two letters of the names of their children Emma, Andrew and Aimee.

As well it's an equally interesting wine, made for the Hounsell's by Franco D'Anna at Hoddles Creek Estate, with white peach and apricot suggestions to the front on the taste buds, hints of citrus, and is quite crisp and lively with somewhat tart acidity.

We found it both enjoyable on its own for a bit of imbibing in the shade on a hot summer's day, and for enjoying with (at Julie's suggestion) grilled whiting. And its nicely priced at around $20; with just 230 cases produced, if you can't find it in your local outlet give Garry or Julie a ring on 03 9827 9977, or order at
NICE match with duck, turkey,
lamb and gamey meats.

ONE TO NOTE: WHEN the Clare Valley's Tim Adams and wife Pam Goldsak visited Spain in 2002 and saw how well Tempranillo flourished there in the Rioja region, they were convinced it could do equally well back home in the Clare.

So they planted their first Tempranillo on their return, and now have some 16ha under the vine, saying their confidence has been entirely justified by the straight Tempranillo wines they make under their Tim Adams and Mr Mick labels, and a blend with Grenache under their Tim Adams The Fergus label.

"The Fergus is primarily Grenache and Tempranillo, with smaller contributions from Mataro and Shiraz," Tim says. "Our latest Fergus from the 2009 vintage has lifted red berry flavours and is a mouth filling wine that can be kept for up to 10 years, or enjoyed now with duck, turkey, lamb and gamey meats… and it's our best yet." RRP is $23.

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