By Franz Scheurer
Make Redhouse Your House Red!
I wish I thought of that line!
This is the ‘house wine’ of SATCO (South Australian Trading Company) and it
contains equal quantities of Shiraz and Grenache from McLaren Vale. Originally produced for export it is starting to sell in Australia, and so it should!
The robust, spicy flavours of Shiraz blend particularly well with the fruit forward Grenache in this eminently drinkable red. It is savoury but elegant, complex but approachable. This is a terrific red, ready to drink now, at an affordable price.
Retails at $ 17 per bottle
New South Wales
Garage Cellars, Mai Messenger, p: (02) 9380 6133
North Sydney Cellars, David Cochrane, p: (02) 9954 0090
The European, Nick Stock, p: (03) 9654 0811
Rathdowne Cellars, Cameron Kidd, p: (03) 9349 3366
Edinburgh Cellars, Sarah Hutton, p: (08) 8373 2753
Cru Bar, Tony Harper, p: (07) 3252 1744
The name Lacuna, like Curly Flat Vineyard came from a Michael Leunig cartoon. In the imaginary world of Curly Flat there is a Lake – Lake Lacuna. A “lucuna”, according to The Concise Oxford is a “Hiatus, blank, missing portion, empty part, cavity…..” – hence the name fits well for a Chardonnay with no oak. The missing piece is by no means a distraction, though, as it makes for an interesting wine, and probably my favourite unwooded Chardonnay made in Australia! The wine was processed by de-stemming, crushing, fermenting in stainless steel using inoculated yeast, and then held in tank until summer, so it could go through a natural, partial malolactic fermentation.
Quoting Phillip Moraghan from Curly Flat: “I had always liked the wine, primarily for its pure expression of fruit - but having then bottled it, I did not know what to do with it, as I was focussed on establishing Curly Flat as a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir producer – so I let it sit in the cellar for almost three years, all the while watching its development. I considered releasing it under our second label, but finally in mid 2003, convinced that we had a very interesting wine that had the class to carry the Curly Flat label, we released it.”
They produced 340 dozen of which 160 dozen have been sold, and sales are increasing. Cellar door price is $22 a bottle (including GST). You’d better be quick!
Curly Flat Vineyard
Telephone 03 5429 1956
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot from McLaren Vale, Fleurieu and Langhorne Creek, this classic Bordeaux blend was aged in American and French oak for 18 months and, although extremely enjoyable right now, will reward richly with prolonged cellaring.
The wine was awarded the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy for ‘Best 1 Year Old Red’ at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show in 2002. Dr. Max Lake recommended this wine to me and all I can say is: “Thanks, Max!”
Probably not since the release of the Penfolds Bin 60A in 1962 (arguably Penfolds’ most successful wine on the Australian wine show circuit and each remaining bottle fetching four figure prices at international wine auctions) has a commercially released wine shown as much potential at such a price point. Buy it whilst you can, it will not be affordable at auctions in the coming years!
Available for less than $ 25 at good bottle stores. I bought mine at Kemeny’s in Bondi for $21.95 a bottle (case lot)
Hollick Sparkling Merlot, 2001
Australia’s sparkling reds are leading the world and Hollick has made its Sparkling Merlot in the Coonawarra since 1992. It is consistently excellent and superb value for money.
Made from the richer, medium weight Merlot grapes from three different Hollick Coonawarra vineyards sites, it is left on skins for 4 to 5 days then pressed. The pressings then go back into the wine and it is roughly aged in old oak without a rigorous topping-up routine, allowing some oxidation, which produces a very forward wine going into the secondary fermentation under pressure in stainless-steel tanks. It is then liquourised just prior to bottling with vintage port.
This is a very festive drink. It shows off a terrific bead and has a wonderful mouth-feel. Its length is admirable and there is just a hint of sweetness behind the elegant, slightly savoury fruit.
This is my favourite sparkling red to accompany a platter of Chinese cold cuts. It matches Pig’s Ear, Duck, Jelly Fish and Drunken Chicken perfectly.
Retails at $ 25 a bottle
For more information or orders contact:
Hollick Wines Pty. Ltd.
Tel.: 08 8737 2318
Hahndorf Hill Winery 2003 Trollinger Rosé
The Hahndorf Hill Winery overlooks the village of Hahndorf and part of the Onkaparinga Valley. Grapes were first planted 10 years ago, primarily Shiraz and Chardonnay, but there are also 10 rows of Trollinger and Lemberger. Larry Jacobs and Marc Dobson (both originally from South Africa) purchased the vineyard in 2002 and spent the last two years rebuilding and their new cellar-door has only just opened.
Trollinger is a high yielding black grape variety widely used in Württemberg (the wine area around Stuttgart) in Germany, producing ordinary, often sweet, wines for the local palate. It originates in the Tirol, the southern part of Austria bordering Italy. The name Trollinger is an aberration of the original ‘Tirolinger’ (from the Tirol). It is late ripening (later than Riesling) which makes it unpopular in other areas of Germany. It is also known as Vernatsch (in Switzerland) and Schiava (in Italy) and is also sold as table grapes under the name Black Hamburg (world-wide).
At Hahndorf Hill Winery they have used the Trollinger grapes to make a rosé by destemming, crushing with 4 hours skin contact in the press, then fermenting the juice totally dry prior to bottling. The resulting wine is bone dry, with a nose of raspberries and boiled lollies which are confirmed on the palate with a hint of pine needles, cloves and cinnamon and a surprising complexity and reasonable length. At 12% alcohol this is a terrific summer wine, perfect for our climate.
Only 500 cases have been made and it’s available ex-cellar door for $ 17.50 a bottle.
For more information or orders:
Hahndorf Hill Winery
Lot 10 Pains Road, Hahndorf
08 8388 7512