Wine Notes – March 2010 

By Franz Scheurer


KalleskeflorentineChenin Blanc 2009

This is a very different wine and not at all what you would expect from a Chenin Blanc. Fruit is sourced from the Kalleske vineyard in the Barossa Valley and it gains its name from Caroline ‘Florentine’ Kalleske, the first daughter of Johann Georg Kalleske, who migrated to Australian form Prussia in 1838.  It is wild yeast fermented and partially barrel matured to provide complexity. What is unusual is the nose of butterscotch, which is confirmed on the palate. This is a terrific wine, as long as you have pre-perceptions as to what a Chenin Blanc should taste like.

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Woodstock McLaren Vale Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2009

I would have thought that the McLaren Vale would be too hot to grow either of the varieties in this blend successfully, alas, it seems that this wine made by Ben Glaetzer proves me wrong. Although it displays some typical Sauvignon Blanc ‘cats’ piss’ aromas and flavours it is a restrained and refreshing wine, perfect as an aperitif or with some white asparagus and burnt butter. At a RRP of $18 is very good value

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Man O’War Sauvignon Blanc 2008

I am a fan of the Man O’War wines and the 2008 Sauvignon Blanc is one of the best of its kind to come out of New Zealand. This is not a blockbuster, not one of those typically New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs that leave no room for anything else, afterwards. This is an elegant, complex wine that surprises with multi-layered citrus flavours and a beautiful earthiness. I would happily pair this with fresh Italian pasta and a non-tomato based sauce or simply enjoy it with some freshly shucked oysters.

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Pecorino I.G.T. Tiberio 2008

Bottega Rotolo is the new kid on the block and they import and represent some excellent wines, and the Pecorino is one of them. This is an Italian white wine made from 100% Pecorino grapes, cold macerated on skins, fermented in stainless steel tanks and bottled, then kept for a couple of month before it is being released for sale. This is a spicy, austere white wine with aromas of figs and roasted cashew nuts. On the palate it is quite acidic at first, slowly releasing stone fruit with mineral undertones as it warms up. It finishes long, dry and flinty. This is a superb food wine and will go fabulously with simple, white sauce based chicken or veal dishes.

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or ring Bottega Rotolo on 02 9695 1310 or email


Red Claw Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay 2008

The fruit comes from the Yabby Lake vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula and it’s a lovely fruit driven Chardonnay, meant to be enjoyed young. Although quite high in alcohol (14% a/v), this isn’t at all obvious and the lifted citrus and honeydew lemon aromas are confirmed on the palate. Probably aged at least for some time in old oak it is a well-crafted, enjoyable Chardonnay and at a RRP $23 it’s a bargain to boot.


Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir 2007

This Central Otago Pinot Noir from the Earnscleugh Vineyard at Alexandra is one of the best value for money Pinot Noirs coming out of New Zealand. It’s fresh, it’s fruit forward, it’s unmistakably Pinot Noir and it does not display any stalkiness or greenness at all. Carol Bunn makes a terrific wine with just enough complexity to hold your attention and lots of balanced fruit to make you want another glass.

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Mythe Absinthe Traditional

Made by Elie-Arnaud Denoix in Collonges La-Rouge, France, this Absinthe transports me straight back to the mid 60s when I would steal and enjoy my Dad’s illicit Absinthe, he managed to buy from some farmer in the Jura in Switzerland. It’s about the closest thing you’ll ever get legally in Australia; it’s a perfect 10. Olive green in colour it takes on the typical pastis white, cloudy hue (luge effect) when water or ice is added, although to a much lesser extent. Bottled at 69% a/v it’s a cracker but the aromatics is what makes it. If you can get hold of a bottle, do, quickly before they sell out!

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Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis 2008

From Domaine Sainte-Claire, selected by David Ridge and distributed by Déjà vu this is a top Chablis, wonderful on its own and fabulous with food. There is, in my opinion, no excuse for any good restaurant not to feature this on their list. Sourced entirely from Brocard’s own estate around the winery near Prehy, this is wine displays a combo of terroir/authenticity, some layering, good winemaking and freshness. With a slight green tinge, this wine has enough acid and complexity to promise a minimum of 15 year improvement and might only reach its peak in 20 years+. This Chablis totally reflects Jean-Marc Brocard’s consistent approach to careful winemaking from estates he has built up from a 1 ha start in the early 70’s to some 140 ha of AOC Chablis vineyards these days At a RRP of $40 this is an absolute steal!

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