Are you Game to confront a Lady who shoots her lunch?
I came across Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Chardonnay a few years ago on my way from Melbourne to Sydney. The Fowles Wine cellar door is hard to miss and is well worth the stop even if just for a cuppa before getting back on the long road. Matt Fowles and his team have a number of labels under the Fowles Wine stable and I have found some pearls under the Stone Dwellers label as well as the impressive Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch range. From the start, I was impressed by the Ladies Who Chardonnay’s texture and creaminess without being overtly oaky achieved with careful portion work.
And it is a distinctive label that is hard to forget, no?
I do have to admit, here and now, that even though I grew up on a farm and am no stranger to guns and hunting, I feel quite unsettled by the hunting references on the labels. Putting that aside, I love the slick graphics and the vintage appeal of these labels. Once on the table, they are quite a ….. er … conversation … starter.
Recently, I got to catch up with what they are up to and I am glad to see that Fowles Wines have added to the range with their $20 ‘Are You Game?’ tier, keeping in the hunting theme. I have also noticed that they do a fairly wild mix of Merlot, Lagrein and Tempranillo at the Ladies Who Shoot level that I am keen to try next time I see it on a menu or on shelf.
While the wines no longer have Sam Plunkett’s deft touch, they continue to have that food friendly personality and freshness. Sam has gone on to launch his own label, Wines by Sam and is one of the success stories of the Naked Wine portfolio. So the future is looking bright for both partners of the former Plunkett Fowles team.
Other news on the Fowles front is that they are making moves to expand into the USA. Good news for stateside wine lovers and I am sure that the brand will certainly raise eyebrows and glasses.
Incidentally, I pulled the Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Chardonnay 2010 out of the cupboard to have with lunch with friends the other day and it was a hit. Sadly, I don’t have another bottle to open in another 5 years but it could certainly have lasted the distance from the look of it.
Are You Game Sauvignon Blanc 2012 ($21) – Topped off with 4% old barrel semillon to round out the savvy which has only seen stainless steel. Deeper tangy citrus notes of grapefruit are complemented by more tropical nuances. The fruit weight is bolstered by the semillon which provides some calmness and silk to the mix.
Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Chardonnay 2011 ($35) – A savoury style Chardonnay rich with pineapple, stonefruit and minerals. The fruit is plush in the mouth with grilled pineapple hitting the mid palate and finishing with a light toast. A neat and tidy Chardonnay that is bound to please with or without food.
Are You Game Pinot Noir 2012 ($21) – An interesting blend with 5% zinfandel (primitivo) to add some spice. On the nose it is rich cherry, cinnamon and that pinot mushroom comes to the fore. Again, it is stylishly made with bright fruit on the finish. As advertised, a wine that will go well with game.
Are You Game Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 ($21) – Rich and ripe earthy chocolate and currant gets a cherry fruit lift. A very foodable wine with smooth tannins and juicy fruit but it is also rather sessionable as well.
Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Shiraz 2010 ($35) – A red counterpart to the Chardonnay that is just as elegantly made. Generous blackberry fruit is joined by cloves, pepper and olive tapenade adding savouriness to sweet fruit. The bold fruit still has length and line to keep it interesting.