‘Gnarly’ is a word I imagine would often be used by surfers as they recount their experience riding a great wave. The term is also apt at describing the Riesling vines used in this wine, which date back to the 1930s. Domenic Torzi is the man behind the Torzi Matthews label. With a southern Italian background, Domenic has found his niche in the Eden Valley landscape crafting wines from traditional grape varieties of the area and also releasing some Italian varieties under the Vigna Cantina label.
This Frost Dodger Riesling expresses an abundance of the aromatic and flavoursome goodness that makes the Eden Valley region so famous. The wine greeted me with initial scents of lime juice and yellow flowers, followed by lingering notes of crunchy pear and orange zest. The palate continued along a zesty theme with young citrus fruit characteristics and a hint of green banana skin. This is an assertive Riesling with balanced acidity and a long flavour that parades its beautiful Eden Valley personality with every mouthful.
The first thing that came to mind when I picked up this bottle of Salasso Rosé was “What the hell does ‘Salasso’ mean?” Typing it into Google told me that it was Italian for ‘drain’. If Mr Google were a wine connoisseur, he might have actually extrapolated further by explaining that in the context of a rosé style of wine, Salasso refers to the bleeding off or draining of the juice before it becomes too coloured. In this case, the juice came from Shiraz vines with an average age of 15 years.
The wine pours into the glass with a beautiful salmon hue. Upon the first whiff I was transported straight to the State Rose Garden during Spring, alongside other pretty aromas such as strawberry Schnapps, apricot skin and turkish delight. This is a very smart wine with lively, crunchy acidity, and a continuance of delicate rose and strawberry flavours on the palate. A final delight comes with a whisker of silken texture that sits playfully on the mid-palate. Port Phillip Estate has made a delicious rosé that is perfectly suited for an abundance of cuisine.
Not long after purchasing this bottle of Chianti I found myself curled up on the couch watching ‘Silence of the Lambs’ for the first time. Yes, you heard me right…for-the-first-time. My partner told me that I must have lived under a rock to never have seen this film before now. Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that this is only one on a list of dozens of classic films that I have yet to see. Ho-hum. At least watching ‘Silence of the Lambs‘ that evening allowed me to hear the delightful protagonist Hannibal Lecter say, “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”
This Chianti is made predominantly from Sangiovese and pours into the glass with a dark plum hue. The nose has a dominating Grandpa-like tobacco scent mixed with cherries, cola, spearmint, sarsaparilla, blueberries and minerals. There is a fair amount of interest going on for this sub $15 wine. Sangiovese is a variety with naturally high acidity, which leaves a mouth-watering effect when consumed liberally. This particular style is medium-bodied with blood plum skin tannins and a delicate tobacco flavour that lingers towards the savoury finish.
It is suffice to say that I did not enjoy this Chianti in conjunction with a similarly prepared meal to Hannibal Lecter. My uncannibalistic evening involved some spinach and ricotta agnolotti with a simple, fresh homemade tomato and basil sauce. Now that sounds pretty harmless to me.
Stockists: Available at Boccaccio Cellars, Balwyn and Bottega Tasca, Carlton.