I recently spent a week up in the sun-drenched town of Mildura as an associate judge for the Australian Alternative Varietal Wine Show. In the lead up I found myself embracing all things alternative, delicious and interesting.
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.
Spring has arrived and brought with it welcome bursts of sunshine. Keeping in line with the season, I thought I would write about three different styles of wine where each bottle bursts open in a shower of beads.
MONTEVECCHIO Rosso 2011
QUARTIER by PORT PHILLIP ESTATE Arneis 2011
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
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.
PHI Chardonnay 2008
Yarra Valley, Victoria
Dear Patrick Hernandez,
FIGHTING GULLY ROAD ‘Aquila’ 2010
King Valley & Alpine Valley, Victoria
HODDLES CREEK ESTATE Pinot Blanc 2010
Upper Yarra Valley, Victoria
FOSTER E ROCCO Nuovo Sangiovese 2011
CASTAGNA Allegro Rosé 2009
That may be a quote that I stole from the movie Anchorman – The Legend of Ron Burgundy , 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.