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DRINK Ruby purple colour, generous raspberry and dark cherry on the palate with extended length. 9 months in aged French hogsheads, this wine is unfiltered + best opened well before pouring. Cellar 6 – 7 years.
EAT with Peking duck, grilled lamb chops, charcuterie, terrines and pâtés, confit of duck, risotto of mushrooms, poached salmon, pork belly, braised lentils and aged goats cheese.
TALK pinot noir is made into some of the world's most exciting, most exclusive and perhaps most expensive wines. Most of Australia’s pinot noir vineyards are less than 25 years old.
DRINK sangiovese is at home in our climate and soil, producing wines which are stylistically strong. This is a wine of rich fruit with bright cherry and raspberry notes, hints of vanilla and spice and a well-balanced tannin structure.
EAT with gnocchi, fried calves liver, braised eggplant, cannellini with rosemary, pork and fennel sausages, gnocchi with roasted pumpkin, calzone, fish soup, tomato based sauces and pizzas, pecorino and provolone.
TALK Carlo Corino, a revered early Italian winemaker at Montrose in Mudgee and pioneer of sangiovese, produced several by the late ‘70’s. Carlo planted barbera, nebbiolo and sangiovese in ‘76. There is no truth in the suggestion that he smuggled the cuttings into Australia down his trousers.
DRINK A delicious off-dry (closer to dry than sweet) three-way blend of sauvignon blanc, riesling and pinot gris. WHITE has characters of citrus peel and lemon curd with an appealing fresh and balanced finish.
EAT with foods with heat and spice (Mexican, Thai or Middle Eastern), rice paper rolls, grilled chilli octopus, duck larb, Asian-style fish and salads, fajitas, chile en nogada, manakeesh, moutabel, shanklish and kofta.
TALK An off-dry white wine style is one that retains a little fruit sweetness which especially complements the aromatics and bold flavours of ‘hot’ and spicy food.
DRINK shiraz from aged vines + 12% pinot noir Deep purple with spice, blackberries and raspberries on the nose + 20 months in seasoned American hogsheads. Cellar to 2023.
EAT with a potato, chilli and mozzarella pizza, rare barbecued dry- aged ribeye, grilled vegetables with salsa verde, lasagne, barbecued beef ribs, crusty whole wheat bread with creamy gorgonzola.
TALK In the 1920’s, one of Australia’s most respected winemakers, Maurice O’Shea, made a blend of pinot noir and shiraz. He called it Mount Pleasant Henry Pinot Hermitage. It had a devoted following among what was then Australia’s modest number of serious red wine drinkers.
DRINK A variety often quite high in alcohol and tannins, intensely flavoured and deeply coloured, this wine has modest alcohol but an outstanding purple colour. Packed with dark rich and delicious fruit flavours, it punches well above its weight.
EAT with fillet of beef, pork belly, offal such a braised kidneys with brioche toast, liver and bacon, mushroom polenta, slow-roasted lamb leg, rich pasta dishes, gruyere and parmesan.
TALK It is agreed in many Australian wine circles that primitivo (aka zinfandel) is a work in progress here. Local flying winemakers have made primitivo in Puglia, Italy and zinfandel in California and now work more confidently with the grape in Australia. primitivo is also known as tribidag in Croatia, from whence it originated.
DRINK This wine has hints of musk, bubble gum and licorice. The palate is sweet, layered and generous with blackberry and black fruit and a juicy finish. It is unfiltered + best opened well before pouring. Cellar to 2022.
EAT with any roast of beef or lamb, Moroccan tajines, bangers and mash, cauli soup with garlic toasts, meatballs and mozzarella, vegetarian and red wine risottos, gazpacho, classic tapas, paella.
TALK A variety on the rise in Australia, it’s finding its place on top wine lists and in the hearts of red wine aficionados. Some old vines have quietly been elevated to the status of viticultural gold mines. The persistence of those grenache producers and the future of the variety seem assured.
DRINK A vintage and varietal blend of chardonnay and semillon tank and bottle ferments from both Mudgee and the Hunter. Long, lean and crisp, drink well chilled.
EAT with oysters, sashimi, mudcrab, sushi, yum cha, truffle risotto, carpaccio, beef tartare, seared scallops, fried chicken, prosciutto, crumbed deep fried mushrooms with aioli, curries, macarons and meringues.
TALK This blend of two French grapes, chardonnay and semillon, a not uncommon mix in the New World, is not found in any Old World AOC appellation.
DRINK Arguably a mutation of pinot noir, the grey-blue pinot gris grape produces a food and people-friendly style of wine. Made with high altitude fruit from Orange NSW where cool nights help to develop the varietal characteristics which this wine has.
EAT with baked ricotta, asparagus, steamed chook with Chinese aromatics, Indian curries, Thai fish cakes, barbecued salmon, turkey, salt cured fish, goats cheese with quince paste.
TALK Some say that a full bodied pinot gris is quite difficult to identify in a blind tasting.
'09SPRING FLAT RED
DRINK This 6 year old blend of shiraz + cabernet is still suitable to cellar. Dark and rustic red with aromas of pepper and black fruits + a hint of mint and rich in blackberry and vanilla characters resulting from maturation in French, American and Hungarian oak.
EAT SFR 09 loves a bit of fat such a rare grilled lamb cutlets, red onion and goats’ cheese quiche, shredded pork belly, braised goat or venison, grilled salmon, rich pasta dishes, Chinese food, ripe brie and aged cheddars.
TALK A blend of 2 well-known French varieties that successfully transplanted to Australia, SFR 09 is 25% cabernet + 75% shiraz. cabernet sauvignon is the second most widely planted red wine grape in Australia, following shiraz with which it is most often blended.
DRINK A modern food-friendly style of shiraz with aromas of berry and spice + 6 years of bottle age. The addition of a little viognier to the ferment added complexity and lifted the nose.
TALK shiraz viognier takes its lead from the famous Côte Rôtie wines of the northern Rhône where the cool climate, spicy and elegant shiraz is enriched with a small addition of the white grape viognier prior to fermentation. Real benefits from this blend can best be had when the two grapes are picked and crushed together and co-fermented.
DRINK The original prize-winning Mongrel flagship blend, now in its fourth vintage + 6 years on. Unpretentious, it is what it is. Vibrant, medium-bodied, fruit-driven, drink now and enjoy!
EAT with steak and chips, roast corner of topside, pappardelle with braised mushrooms, watercress and pea soup with gorgonzola, taleggio and potato tortilla, roast chook, racks of lamb, premium pork sausages + mash, parmesan with plum or pear paste.
TALK The action of co-fermenting red wine grapes with white could be explained as a kind of wine alchemy, producing a different result than simply blending a red and a white wine. It can actually change the way the varietal flavours develop.
DRINK Classic varietal characteristics, deep garnet colour with a hint of oak + black fruits on the nose – a food-friendly Italian-style barbera to drink now or, for added complexity cellar for 3 – 4 years.
EAT with big seafood flavours like barbecued octopus, vitello tonnato with capers and olives, osso buco with gremolata or a platter of salume ( cured Italian-style meats ) with fresh crusty breads.
TALK In 1976, the first barbera, sangiovese and nebbiolo were planted in Montrose (now Craigmoor) by Italian winemaker, Carlo Corino, under the Monticello label. In 1984 or thereabouts, Corino made the first Mudgee barbera nebbiolo blend, under the Monticello label. It was a beautiful wine.