I could not help but notice this bottle of Cava. What with its solid metal base and coat of arms emblazoned in silver down the front, it simply beckoned me to pull it from the shelf.
Segura Viudas is a very old estate dating back to the 11th century from the renowned Penedès region of Spain. The grapes they use for this sparkling wine differ to what we normally taste in wines from Australia and France. For Spain, the varieties Macabeo and Parellada are chosen to provide the base, which are then refermented in the bottle (like they do in Champagne) and allowed to rest on its yeast deposits for 30 months.
All the hard labour is worth it in the end. There is a lovely richness to this wine’s aromas, with notes of meadow flowers, hay and candied citron in the background. The palate is refreshing and yet not too acidic or crunchy, but actually has some substance and structure. My partner and I chose alliteration to match this dish, so had Cava and curry. Alternatively, you could match it with creamy pasta or risotto dishes and roasted chicken or pork.
Stockist: Dan Murphy stores
A.A.BADENHORST FAMILY WINES White Blend 2010
Swartland, South Africa
A.A.Badenhorst is a relatively new and finite addition to the Melbourne market, being sent over by former Melbourne resident and wine guru, David Clarke, and his South African wife, Jeannette. The Badenhorst family own 28 hectares of old bushvines planted to a varied collection of white and red grape varieties. According to their website, the wines are made by the ‘dynamic and good looking cousins, Hein and Adi Badenhorst’. A further scroll down reveals some photos to prove that yes, they are mature and handsome South African men.
This wine is a rich blend of predominantly Chenin Blanc, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Viognier, with dribs and drabs of Verdelho, Chardonnay, Colombard, Grenache Gris, Semillon and Clairette Blanche as well. The winemaking is relatively simple, with the fruit whole bunch pressed and run directly into old casks for a natural fermentation and then blended after just over a year with only a small addition of sulphur prior to bottling during the whole process.
What can I say? This wine is fabulous and incredibly fresh. The nose opens with a rich honeyed effect with a hint of brass. The palate is slippery and smooth with flavours of white peach, fresh apricot skin and roasted chestnuts. The focused acidity provides a lovely balance against the richness and makes it a suitable companion to roast chicken and vegetable courses with plenty of garlic.
Stockist: Available at Harry & Frankie, Port Melbourne
The Roberto Voerzio winery was established in my birth year, 1986, so it is only fitting that I should feel so attracted to this label. The artwork adorning the Langhe Nebbiolo is called ‘La Pigiatura’ (The Crushing of the Grapes) and was designed by artist Riccardo Assom da Villastellone in 1988.
Voerzio’s wines hold a cult-like status in the wine world; not only because of their quality but also because of the tiny quantities they produce. The Langhe Nebbiolo is a little easier to get hold of, but good luck getting hold of some of their Baroli (their top wines)!
This Langhe Nebbiolo comes from the excellent 2010 vintage. It is still a wee baby and I could have easily set this aside for another 3-6 years before even opening it. Nonetheless, at this stage there is plenty of deep black cherry liqueur notes with elements of woody herbs, red liquorice and a hint of vanilla. The palate flows thick with a seamless line of Nebbiolo tannin with delicious flavours of sage and a meaty iron note at the finish. Drink it slowly with some good Italian salami, capocollo and bresaola.