Monday 8 December 2014

2014 Margan Chardonnay - Voyager Estate Margaret River 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

GREAT match with "new age" Christmas beef or
lamb roasts in the outdoor covered barbecue.


David Ellis

AS long-time traditionalists who found it hard coming to grips with the idea of ditching the hot turkey at Christmas in favour of cold seafoods and salads, we're now finding it even more challenging seeing growing numbers going back to "hot" – but in the form of roasts done outdoors on Aussie Christmas Days in covered barbecues.

Quite a number of neighbours, friends and even relatives have told us they're doing "slow cooked" barbecue-oven roasts this year – beef butts, lamb legs or shoulders, racks, or even piles of shanks – so those who normally sweat it out in the kitchen, can spend more time enjoying the company of guests outdoors near the ice-box.

And when some of these "new age" types asked if we could suggest a good wine to go with their outdoor beef or lamb and accompanying hot-baked trimmings, we suggested splurging a little with a Voyager Estate Margaret River 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot – that would match perfectly with both the beef and the lamb.

Not the cheapest at $70, it is, however, an outstanding drop made from fruit off three exceptional vineyards mainly planted back in the mid-1990s (and some earlier still in 1978,) with wonderful fruit purity on the palate, and a richness and freshness they'll certainly find hard to beat with those beef or lamb choices.

FOR traditionalists, equally perfect with
Christmas Day honey-baked ham or seafoods.

ONE TO NOTE: THE Hunter Valley's Andrew Margan, on the other hand, is a traditionalist planning on matching this year's family honey-baked ham on Christmas Day with his 2014 Margan Chardonnay, a very rewarding drop at a nicely-priced $18 for those of us to whom Chardonnay will always remain a favourite tipple.

2014 was particular good for Chardonnay in the Hunter, and this one is a great buy-now, drink-now wine that'll reward at the Festive table with lovely aromas of white stone fruit, grapefruit and some oaky creaminess that all follow through nicely on the palate… ideal with Andrew's honey-baked ham idea, and equally so if you – like us – are opting for cold seafoods and salads for this year's family celebrations.

Or if you're doing roast turkey, match it with Andrew's 2013 Margan Shiraz; at $22 its peppery notes will match perfectly the turkey's white and dark meats with a herbed stuffing.

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week beginning 08 December 2014

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