Monday 9 February 2015

Chandon’s Pinot Noir Shiraz - The Briar Vineyard Blend

RESULT of a vineyard mix-up that paid off
– one to enjoy simply with prawns off the barbie.
David Ellis

WE'VE heard plenty of names and descriptions applied to wines good and bad over the years – some nice and some not so nice (and, yes, some just plain rude) – but never before have we had a winery tell us about a wine they call their "dyslexic," and what's more, do so with something of enthusiasm.

But that's the moniker given by Chief Winemaker at Briar Ridge in the Hunter Valley, Gwyn Olsen and her team to a drop officially labelled The Briar 2014 Vineyard Blend… because while made from fruit from one vineyard, rather than being a single variety, that vineyard had somehow been wrongly planted with a collection of "odds and ends" because of what Gwyn calls a "misunderstanding in communications."

And this "dyslexic lot" included Semillon, Verdelho, Chardonnay, Vermentino and Sauvignon Blanc, leaving no choice other than to pick everything at the one time, and to process their fruit together and independently of other blocks. The surprising result is an enjoyably rewarding drop that Gwyn says "is a showpiece for the vineyard and for the Mt View area" (where Briar Ridge's vineyard are located.)

Crisp, citrus-fresh and savoury, relish it at $28 with prawns off the barbie.
ANYTIME fizzy enjoyment: a classic
for party, dining or simply on its own.

WATCH THIS ONE: LONG have we held that you don't need a special occasion to enjoy a good bubbly, and one fizzy red for any-time dining, or simply on its own for that enjoyment, is Chandon's Pinot Noir Shiraz.

Fruit for this came from diverse cool climate Victorian vineyards, the 70% Pinot Noir from several in Green Point in the Yarra Valley and Strathbogie, and the 30% Shiraz from Heathcote, the Yarra Valley and the Pyrenees.

If you love a good sparkling red this is a classic with sweet liquorice, cinnamon and clove aromas, and a full, rich and mouth-filling palate. At $32 take it along to that next party, share it at home with a good meal and good friends, or simply enjoy it on its own with a relaxing book or video…

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for week beginning 09 February 2015

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