The Airstrip is a trio blend that in its turn, is part of a trio. It is a blend of Marsanne, Roussanne & Viognier with its heart in the French Rhône region but its feet, or should it be landing lights, in the centre of Victoria. It also has two Rhônish siblings -the Parish (Shiraz and Viogner) & Cresent (Shiraz blended with Grenache & Mourvedre). While Marsanne is not new to Australia, there is some great Marsanne wines being produced in this region. A region that boasts one of the largest plantings of Marsanne outside of France.
A pretty wine like this with perfumed honeysuckle, pear & spice aromas lends itself to starting the pre-dinner conversation, with the fullness of body to lead into mains. Twenty percent of the blend was barrel fermented giving the wine complexity, texture & a creamy silkiness that calms the senses.
There is enough acid to keep the palate fresh making it a great companion for food, although it is delightful wine to simply savour a glass or two. The perfume and elegant fruit weight is a good match for fresh garden herbs and fragrant Asian flavours.
Date: May 2012 Price: $26 Value: $$ Drink: Now
Note: Review first published on Wine Diva June 2012
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Everytime I go up to the Hunter, I try to find at least one new cellar door to visit. Of course, I don’t get up to the Hunter as often as I like so it has taken me until now to discover Tinklers. Their shirazs will be enough to entice you to visit having just won gold medals at the Hunter Valley Wine Show 2012.
This particular Shiraz has just enough Viognier to give it a lift in fragrance and texture. Perfumed cloves and cherry with blueberry nuances, it is elegant, curvaceous and supple with a long savoury spice finish. Enjoy with a warm duck salad with a clove scented vinaigrette.
Date: 16 August 2012 Price: $25 Value: $$ Drink: Now – 5 years
Photo source: www.tinklers.com.au
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From my very first sip of Condrieu, I have been a great fan of Viognier. And when you have such a harrowed life story as has this grape, you need all the fans you can get. Being nearly extinct in your home region (ok.. so there are reports that there was still just under 10 acres) because nobody loved you anymore due to insects & war amongst other things totally beyond your control, would have a dampening effect on anyone regardless of your quality.
Those dampened spirits have changed rather dramatically in 20 years though. And while this month’sWine Blogging Wednesday was focused on Virginian Viognier, as I do not have access to many (read any) of these, not wanting to be left out, I have opened some Australian V instead. Australia has played a significant part in this grape’s change of fate, as has the US & France itself, and one of Australia’s First Families of Wine, the Hill-Smith family certainly has been a pioneer in resurrecting the grape.
Yalumba’s pioneering work with Viognier in Australia has been ongoing since the first vines were planted in 1981 with the recent sourcing of seven new clones from Condrieu and the USA being planted in their vineyards. Not only does Yalumba produce classic dry Viognier and Shiraz Viognier, they also have several dessert styles and unique blend of Viognier with Tempranillo and Grenache.
From here Viognier has spread rather rapidly across Australia with 1451 hectares planted by 2010. The styles of wines being produced with this grape is also quite remarkable – sparkling whites through to boisterous reds & sticky dessert wines. While I love it’s curvaceous side, I probably have just as great an appreciation of it’s less flambouyant nature as well. Yes, they are Read More
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There is something about family. In the simplest sense of the word, we have all had one at one time. While it may bring to mind idyllic memories with beatific smiles, even the most dysfunctional are still some of the luckiest despite not feeling it. It is the ones that stay together that we are talking about though. And in times of crisis – financial & otherwise, these families have shown the temerity to hang in there when stockholders are fleeing or demanding heads to roll.
This sense of continuance is why when you are given the opportunity to taste the wines close to the heart of the current generation of 12 of some of the greatest families of wine in Australia, you certainly don’t say no. Even more so when these wines are then countered by wines made/chosen by the next generation.
The Ivy Ballroom was like a big family embrace with a unique tasting that started with the current generation of the Australian First Families of Wine. Here we tasted wines Read More
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D’Arenberg is an icon of the McLaren Vale & they are certainly prolific. I think that they would have to produce the greatest number of wines (ie: individual labels) of any family winery in Australia. However, they are also a producer of quality wines & there is plenty of pleasure to be found in one of their distinctive blends or expressive classics.
This is one of their distinctive blends & the name ‘The Hermit Crab’ recognises the McLaren Vale’s limestone’s origin – those creatures from under the sea. There is also a tip of the hat to ‘Hermit = Hermitage’ in the Rhone, the home of both of these varietals. The blend is 68% Viognier & 32% of one of my favourite white varietals, Marsanne.
Pretty talc, lime & apricot aromas jump out of the glass. The fruit is in such generous proportions with a fine silkiness throughout. A good robust wine for food, particularly for strong flavours as the acid keeps the wine in line & fresh.
Date: 7th March 2012 Price: $17 Value: $$$ Drink: Now
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