Saturday, September 24, 2011
Tannat (the only palindromic grape variety with which I am familiar) is common in the south-west of France, in the foothills of the Pyrenees principally, where it is used as both a stand-alone variety and in red blends, and also in Uruguay, where it is the most common wine grape. McLaren Vale winery Pertaringa is excited about late-ripening tannat's potential in that warm region and this is certainly an impressive wine; a powerful, tannic offering (as is typical with tannat). It is deep purple in colour with ripe, dark berry fruit flavours and chocolate and earthy characters, toasty vanillin oak and fine-grained tannins. A wine of power and structure that will cellar well and would certainly benefit from decanting. $30. www.pertaringa.com.au.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
I must admit I am a sucker for the rosé revolution; all these new-wave, food-friendly, dry rosés that are perfect lunchtime wines - and are pretty darn good with dinner too. This wine has been one of the flagbearers. A blend of grenache, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and dolcetto from the Barossa Valley, it is light, crisp and refreshing with a nice balance between red fruit characters and savoury nuances. You could take this on a picnic, pair it with a Lebanese banquet or simply qauff it on the porch on a warm evening. Viva la Revolucion! $$18. www.turkeyflat.com.au
Another terrific late-picked wine from Producteurs Plaimont, one of the most consistent co-operatives in the south-west of France. An affordable alternative to the dessert wines of Sauterne, this is a blend of four south-western grapes; petit manseng, gros manseng, petit corbu and arrufiac from the Madiran region. You’ll find ripe citrus and tropical fruit salad notes on the nose, leading in to more ultra-ripe fruit on the palate, balanced by some delightfully fresh acidity. Complexity has been added by oak maturation and while this would be great with puddings, it would also work with pates and blue cheeses. $36 for 500ml. www.discovervin.com.au.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
The price of the individual-vineyard Graveyard keeps rising - but what a serious wine you get for your money. Made from vines that are 40+ years old, this is a Hunter classic from an excllent vintage. It is a plush, savoury and spicy shiraz with great tannin structure that will doubtless cellar for decades if you have the willpower (and it is under screwcap to ensure it is not spoiled by cork taint as it reaches maturity). That said, it is drinking beautifully in its gangly teen years, its intense dark fruit beautifully in balance with the French oak. A stunner. $150. www.brokenwood.com.au