By Franz Scheurer
Dettori Bianco 2007
This IGT wine from Romangia, Sardinia is made without chemicals or preservatives (apart from a small amount of sulphur) and after a resting period (the wine never sees oak) it is bottled, unfiltered and unclarified. It is a Vermentino and it undergoes a fair amount of oxidation while it is ‘resting’ and its colour is more amber than yellow; mind you there is not a hint of oxidation on the nose, nor on the palate. This is a fabulous wine; funky and captivating. Being a ‘natural’ wine it is however imperative that it is shipped in refrigerated containers as it is a lot more fragile. Due to the way it is made, there is a fair amount of bottle variation, but it is definitely worth the risk. It shows overripe citrus on the nose with hints of roasted almonds. On the palate is it rich, textured and slightly oily. The citrus, mainly grapefruit by now, is confirmed and flavours of rich, ripe figs develop slowly. It finishes long and dry and very, very moreish.
Imported by Gianmarco Balestrini from Lario International. Look out for it in your favourite restaurant.
Another IGT wine from Tenute Dettori, from Romangia, Sardinia and also part of Lario’s portfolio. This robust and funky red wine is a Grenache, known as Cannonau in Sardinia. Again it’s a wine made with minimum interference. After hand-picking the grapes are destemmed and left to macerate, temperature controlled, for 10 days. The wine is then rested in small cement tanks, then bottled without filtration, fining or stabilization. It is then stored in temperature controlled warehouses until it is released. Again, being a natural wine it needs special care as it very easily spoils. Decant it and let it sit for a couple of hours before you drink it. It’s most definitely a food wine and food brings out gamey, dark flavours with a spicy nose and a decent hint of mace on the nose. It’s a very good wine indeed.
Clos St Landelin 2005
An Alsatian Grand Cru from Vorbourg by René Muré, this is a fruit forward, high residual sugar, waxy, fat and glorious wine. If you like to drink your whites cold (as most Australians do) then it will work on its own, but if you prefer to imbibe your whites a little warmer, letting all the aromas and flavours come out, then it becomes a food-wine. Glorious with foie gras (seems that the local food always complements the local wine) it displays nougat, citrus and lily of the valley on the nose. On the palate it is thickly textured with flavours of lime, white pepper, lanolin and Demerara sugar. Finish is long and balanced as the natural acid in the wine slowly asserts itself.
Domaine Ostertag Riesling 2007
Another Alsatian Riesling, and this one is from the ‘Vignoble d’E’ which really just stands for Epfig, the village in the Bas-Rhin area where Domaine Ostertag happens to be. Andre Ostertag is the wine maker and they habitually get a little botrytis and have learnt to work with it to their advantage. He uses stainless steel tanks and organic fruit and his Riesling is not as oily or sweet as most of his competitors. On the nose you instantly perceive the scent of a meadow in spring with violets and honeycomb. On the palate it is quite dry at first, sweetening as it warms up and releasing lovely honeysuckle flavours. It ends fruity with medium length. Although not very fruit forward or sweet at first, it does stand up to chilli heat and works well with North African food that uses chilli and preserved lemons. Look out for it in your local bottle shop.
Distributed by Cellarhand http://www.cellarhand.com.au
Taylor Jaraman Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Hailed as vintage year 10 from Margaret River and Adelaide Hills, this is a Sauvignon Blanc that shames the New Zealand varieties with its cats’ piss, gooseberry aromas and flavours. It’s massively aromatic and if you dislike this style of Sauvignon Blanc then stay away; however if this is your cup of tea you will have a hard time finding a better one, especially at the $24.95 price point. It’s a stunner!
For more information go to: http://www.taylorswines.com.au
Coriole Fiano 2009
This is a beautiful wine and it seems that the McLaren Vale territory is exactly what this ancient Roman variety needs. It’s fragrant, yet austere, a little oily but not heavy, neither in weight nor in alcohol, bottled at 12.5% a/v. This is not an aperitif wine, but a food wine and comes into its own with chlorophyll-heavy vegetables, butter and savoury, down-to-earth dishes. Seek it out in your local bottle shop.
For more information go to: http://www.coriole.com
Mount Pleasant Maurice O’Shea Shiraz 2007
This wine joined McWilliams’s stable of wines as a tribute to legendary Mount Pleasant winemaker Maurice O’Shea in 1987 and the 2007 lives up to its namesake. The 2007 vintage was pretty picture-perfect and that, coupled with the wonderful old vines, made for a terrific wine. The original Mount Pleasant Old Hill vineyard at the foothills of the Brokeback Range was established in 1880 by the King family and purchased by Maurice O’Shea in 1921. This is a powerful, rich, long-lasting wine that allures the nose with rich, dark berry fruit and a fine-textured tannin mouthfeel with generous overtones of chocolate, dark berries, roasted almonds and a whiff of smoke. Finish is long and drying and it should improve with careful cellaring for the next 15-20 years. RRP $ 65
For more information go to: http://www.mountpleasantwines.com.au
Hennessy XO + Miniature Hennessy XO with Gold Stand
This 140th Anniversary Gift Pack is now available for $200 and at that price it’s a bargain. The very first ‘eXtra Old’ Cognac was created by Maurice Hennessy in 1870 and it is still blended today from more than one hundred old ‘eaux de vie’ from Cognac’s finest growing regions. It’s rich and full bodied with lots of wood and leather on the nose. The palate shows sweet essences of fruit with custard apple and dried raisins at the uppermost level. The cigar box flavours return and it finishes, long and moreish. Despite what the PR blurb might tell you, please do not add water or ice, it’s a bloody shame to waste these exquisite aromas and flavours.
Look out for it in your local.
Ambassador 2010 Reserve Lager
Beer, packaged like an old Champagne, exclusive like a rare Cognac and expensive like a rare bottle of wine, this vintage brew will knock your socks off. The 2010 vintage is arguably the best yet and the Galaxy hops was hand-picked at Myrtleford and used to the brew the next day. It’s rich and a heavy weight at 10.2% a/v and only 7000 bottles have been made. Bottle number 0001 was hand-delivered to Buckingham Palace and received by Her Majesty the Queen on the anniversary of her coronation on Wednesday 2nd June. Patience will be rewarded as the beer develops and matures with age. Unlike most beers, it should be cellared at about 15ºC for optimal drinking for up to 10 years! I wonder if anyone can wait that long…
Available now for $90 per 750ml bottle you should treat yourself to one… or two. For more information go to: http://www.crownbeverages.com.au