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Wine Reviews October

16 Oct
2012

Salo Chardonnay 2010, Valentini Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2008, Pinga Tempranillo 2009

I thought I might experiment with my wine purchasing habits and see whether buying a wine based on a pretty label would lead me to an equally pretty wine. So I trotted off to some wine shops and even pulled a good-looking bottle from the cellar and put the labels and wines to the test.

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I Dream of Gene [Kelly]

25 Sep
2012

Dancing the Salsa as part of the Street Latin bronze medal

Dancing has had me enamoured ever since I was a little girl. I grew up watching the old musicals such as ‘Calamity Jane‘, ‘Annie‘, ‘Oliver‘, ‘The Sound of Music‘ and my favourite, ‘Singin’ In The Rain‘. Consequently, music and dance have always played an enjoyable part in my life.

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Wine Reviews July

17 Jul
2012

Quealy Friulano Amphora 2011, Shadowfax Minnow 2011, Alain Graillot Syrocco Syrah 2009

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Wine Reviews April

10 Apr
2012

QUARTIER by PORT PHILLIP ESTATE Arneis 2011

Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

RRP $30.00

wine, label, grass

People tend to match wine with food and vice versa. It is an aspect of working with wine that I adore. Food AND wine? How could you not? However I also have an alternate matching battle going on in my head. Not only am I constantly thinking about food, but my mind has the habit of immediately wandering which song might suit the style, the flavours and the whole package of the wine before me. I’ll admit, it’s a bit strange.

Unashamedly, it turns out that my choice of Caribbean-style melody and dance seen in Kaoma’s 1989 version of ‘Lambada’ was the perfect accompaniment. This may seem non sequitur, considering that we are talking about the locally grown Italian white grape called Arneis, but allow me to explain as there is always a method to my madness.

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I’ll Come Running Back To You

27 Mar
2012

It began with an array of memories that washed over my mind. Then there were the Steely Dan songs I heard aired on the radio. Then I was outside gardening and loving the feeling of dirt between my fingers.

All this developed into a deep longing. I recall the sensation as it was building: A palatable excitement…A nervous grin…An itch…

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Wine Reviews March

13 Mar
2012

PHI Chardonnay 2008 

Yarra Valley, Victoria

RRP $46.00

La Donna del Vino

Dear Patrick Hernandez,

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Wine Reviews January

10 Jan
2012

HODDLES CREEK ESTATE Pinot Blanc 2010

Upper Yarra Valley, Victoria

RRP $35

wine, Upper Yarra Valley, gothic, label, Franco d'Anna

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Wine Reviews November

15 Nov
2011

CASTAGNA Allegro Rosé 2009

Beechworth, Victoria

RRP $34

Wine, bottle, rosé, Beechworth

They’ve done studies, you know. 60% of the time…it works every time

That may be a quote that I stole from the movie Anchorman – The Legend of Ron Burgundy [2004], but such a highly intelligent saying could also be applied to the wine style rosé. We are in the midst of a Rosé revolution that hosts events through the month of November. However according to my standards of rosé appreciation and ridiculously good mathematical calculations, it is actually a beverage that has the capacity to be consumed during two thirds of the year, if not more. Melbourne weather permitting, I am referring to the period from the end of October to the start of May. “60% of the time…it works every time”.

On November 10th, I celebrated the beginning of the revolution with this rosé from Castagna called Allegro, which easily confirmed its position as one of Australia’s top rosé wines. What can I say? It is difficult to dislike such a pretty peach, salmon, blush hued wine. Well actually no. That was a blatant lie because if the wine did not perform and do wondrous things in my mouth then I would not speak of it so highly.

Fear not, Julian Castagna has created a wicked rosé mistress of layered complexity like no other.

She beckons you forth by opening with a perfume of sweet pink musk followed by a gentle puff of smoke. Soft and playful on the palate, she kisses you with sugared almond lips dusted with vanilla icing. Texturally, Madame rosé has got curves in all the right places and in the right proportions with that final flavoured flush of rose water pinning you down for another glass. She brings an impressive 14.00% alcohol to the table, but with such a vivacious personality, it is no wonder that you are more than tempted to have a bit of a play with the alluring rosé.

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Wine Reviews August

9 Aug
2011

BY FARR Chardonnay 2007

Geelong, Victoria

RRP $55

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Wine Reviews July

12 Jul
2011

SHIRVINGTON Cabernet Sauvignon

McLaren Vale, South Australia

RRP $55-$65

Hmm…that name…Shirvington. Doesn’t it make you think of the Australian track athlete Matt Shirvington and the package that was so infamously publicized on television years ago?

Or was that just me getting a little excited? Anyway, the joke beckons, but I will save that until last.

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Wine Reviews June

2 Jun
2011

CHALMERS Nero d’Avola 2009

Mildura, Victoria

RRP $29

This is a wine of mid-burgundy hue with dusty pink tones that made me seriously want to watch ‘Pretty in Pink’ because I kept picturing Molly Ringwald’s character fabulously suited up for her prom in that garish pink dress…you remember the one!

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Wine Reviews May

3 May
2011

GIACONDA Aeolia Roussanne 2008

Beechworth, Victoria

Photograph courtesy of the Wine House

Not everybody is privy to the fact that Rick Kinzbrunner of Giaconda has a gorgeous 100% Roussanne wine up his sleeves that he has been making since 2000. Some would say it’s a bit old-school, then rub their hands together as they wait in anticipation for the arrival of his ‘should be interesting‘ Nebbiolo.
Sorry, sidetracked for a moment there!

Back to this wine in particular, it is made from the Nantua and Warner vineyards in Beechworth and called Aeolia. That’s right, Ae-o-li-a. I’m not referring to the pigmented aureole around your nipple nor the Italian garlic mayonnaise aioli. Aeolia is a wine that can go the distance (such as the superb vintage of 2005 Aeolia), or is heavenly in its youth (like the focused 2008 Aeolia). Core to both wines is a heady perfume of honeydew and cashews, a hint of exotic spice, followed with a mouth-filling, tropical fruit, minerally, textural palate that continues to surprise with its length. Who ever thought Roussanne could be so good looking on its own!

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The ladies check out Luke Lambert’s wines in the Yarra Valley

3 Feb
2011

Oh dear, I was glancing through photos and realised I hadn’t even written up the trip to see Luke Lambert and his wines in the Yarra Valley back on November the 1st.

Oops.

My cousin Amanda is a massive cheese geek and overall foodie. We complement one another perfectly because I’m the massive wine nerd who also loves to eat food. Do you see how we mesh so well now?

After little debate, I convinced Amanda to take the day off work for health reasons and to accompany me on a visit to the Yarra Valley. First stop? Madden’s Rise Winery off the Maroondah Highway and also Luke Lambert‘s hideaway where he weaves his own magic.

After a home-brewed coffee in the lab, a tour through the vineyards to see his nebb (nebbiolo vines) and a sip through and comparison of the Heathcote and Yarra Valley Nebbiolo in barrel, we were met with this:

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Wine Reviews December

10 Dec
2010

BRESS GOLD CHOOK CHARDONNAY 2008

The Gold Chook theme is Adam Mark’s ode to things made traditionally with artisan care and minimal intervention. I could go into his love for breeding French chickens, but that would just detour us from focusing on this stunning wine. The fruit comes from the Macedon Ranges and so classically you get a tight wine packed full of grapefruit and citrus flavours whilst the lees stirring and subtle use of oak give it a distinct savoury richness. A beautifully made, hand-crafted wine representing some of the best in cool-climate Chardonnay that Victoria has to offer.

BRESS Gold Chook Chardonnay 2008

Macedon Ranges, Victoria


The Gold Chook theme is Adam Mark’s ode to things made traditionally with artisan care and minimal intervention. I could go into his love for breeding French chickens, but that would just detour us from focusing on this stunning wine. The fruit comes from the Macedon Ranges and so classically you get a tight wine packed full of grapefruit and citrus flavours whilst the lees stirring and subtle use of oak give it a distinct savoury richness. A beautifully made, hand-crafted wine representing some of the best in cool-climate Chardonnay that Victoria has to offer.

GALLI ESTATE Artigiano Sangiovese 2008

Heathcote, Victoria

Sangiovese is one of those success-story varieties and has come a long way in Australia. Our vineyards are becoming more mature with each passing vintage and thus producing richer, more flavoursome and structured fruit. Galli Estate have provided a much appreciated hand in improving the standard of Australian Sangiovese for us consumers. Their current 2008 vintage is drinking fabulously with supple cherry compote and plum flavours lying against some chalky tannins. I had it with pappardelle pasta in a rich tomato sugo and a little part of me died and went to heaven. So sit back, relax, and savour the work of the Artigiano!