The weather has started to cool and the leaves on the old English trees have turned to golden yellow and fire reds which make me think of the change of style of food that I look forward to at the end of a long day. The sorts of food that pair perfectly with the mild days and cooler nights are more medium in weight and spice. This means that the wines that would match are of the same weight. Grenache, aged Sparkling, Sangiovese, cool climate Shiraz and Fiano. There are plenty of other varieties that fit that medium bodied frame of mind but these are the ones that immediately came to mind. If I was pressed I would say look to the Italian varieties or cool climate renditions as they are more elegant, structured and restrained.
d’Arenberg d”Arrys Original Shiraz Grenache 2009
d’Arenberg has built part of its reputation on Grenache and the quality of this wine shows as a result. This wine possesses savoury characteristics with a bit of funk thrown in. The Shiraz leads the way on entry but the Grenache takes over from the mid-palate on. While a lot of 2009s are boiled and over ripe, Grenache this wine seem to have avoided that all together. The mild drying tannins meld nicely with the flavours and acidity profile, meaning that it is easy to drink now but has enough gas in the tank to last for a while. What is most surprising in the lack of heat as most Shiraz wines are warm in the mouth due to the amount of sunshine that most of South Australia had in 2009. All in all for a wine that you will find at most retail store for under 20 bucks this is snazzy.
Price: Street price of $17
Drink: Now - 2018
Jansz Tasmania Brut Cuvee 2007
The fruit for this wine comes mostly from the Tamar Valley in the heart of Tasmania and what stands out most is the level of intensity that this wine possesses. When you compare the 2007 cuvee to the late disgorged 2004 version they aren’t that removed but this wine just has a bit more complexity and vibrancy. The flavours of honeydew melon, grilled nuts, almond meal and double cream burst onto the scene and they continue all the way to the back palate. The palate weight is medium bodied and the flavours are vibrant and fresh. All they need is a bit of food and the complexity is taken up a level. While it would be easy to drink this by itself, it works so well with food I wouldn’t bother to serve this as an aperitif. I would save this for the main event.
Drink: Now - 2017
La Guardiense Sannio Fiano 2010
Fiano offers so much in the form of food friendly flavours and just drink-ability I am sure that it will become one of the house hold names in 5 years’ time. This means that people that drink it now get to experience this style at a bargain price. The flavours of honey topped hay, papaya, spice and lemon rind work wonderfully with the flavours transitioning easily. What is so laid-back about this wine is that it is succulent and textured at the same time.
Drink: Now – 2019
Importer: Negociants Australia
Vinea Marson Sangiovese
While Sangiovese from Italy is one of the first to turn too, Heathcote seems to be producing wines of very high quality as well. Normally the style is a little bit fruitier than the wines from Italy but Vinea Marson seems to be able to pay homage to the traditional style more than other from Australia. The vineyard is planted to a large variety of sangiovese clones and picked at different times which might be the reason why it tastes so savoury with specks of sweetness. To start with the slightly herbal notes stand out but they soon are transformed into roasted English herbs, ripe licorice, dark cherries and spice. The elegant nature of the wine is evident which makes it so easy to smash. Normally I let the wine sit for 5 days but this didn't last 1. Whoops!
Drink: Now - 2019