Monday 25 August 2014

La La Land Malbec and Tempranillo - HOWARD Vineyard Pinot Gris


David Ellis

DO as the Argentinians do –
enjoy Malbec with barbecued
beef short ribs.
WINGARA Wine Group have released a new and somewhat quirkily-named La La Land label, with a 2013 Tempranillo and a 2013 Malbec from its Victorian vineyards the first two to hit the shelves under the novel and certainly eye-catching moniker.

And both live up nicely to the claims of Winemaker Phil Spillman as to their great generosity of flavour, and giving good reason to also look forward to a La La Land white that Phil says he has planned for release later in the year.

The Malbec is a particularly rewarding buy-now/drink-now wine with plump dark-fruit flavours, suggestions of spice and chocolate, and vanilla undertones. Phil suggests it as an ideal match with slow-cooked Argentinian-style barbecued beef short ribs – what else, with Argentina now producing 75% of the world's Malbec, and BBQ beef ribs somewhat of a national dish over there (where they marinate it in red wine, sprinkle with rock salt, slow-cook over a medium fire, and put on the table with the Malbec… certainly a match worth giving a thought to yourself.)

At $16 each, both the La La Land Malbec and Tempranillo are good-value buying.

GETTING itself an almost-cult
following in less than ten years.
ONE TO NOTE: HOWARD Vineyard that was established near Nairne in the Adelaide Hills less than ten years ago, is gaining itself an almost cult-following with some exceptional single-vineyard wines that are crafted with food very much in front of mind.

One such is their 2013 Pinot Gris made from fruit from a vineyard at Schoenthal, 450m up in the Hills, and which shows just how well the variety does here – in fact the Adelaide Hills could be said to have the perfect climate for making some of the finest Pinot Gris in Australia, the fruit enjoying a long cold ripening period that ensures flavour intensity and perfect acid development.

Pay $22 at Howard Vineyard's cellar door for this beaut drop, and enjoy chilled with seafoods or a Sunday roast pork. Buy via

NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out We're also on Australian Good Food Guide  in main blog.


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