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wane and we are looking for what’s going to replace it as the go-to summer tipple. Rosé is more popular than ever, aromatic whites are charming anyone who comes within whiffing distance and chardonnay is going through a rebirth – the choice is immense and summer could be over before you’ve settled on your favourite wine. To save time (and money), I asked sommeliers from three pillars of dining to give me their insights into what’s going to be hot drinking. Representing fine dining is Sarah Ward, sommelier at Circa, the Prince in St Kilda. Opinions from the hottest new kid on the block are brought to you by Mark Bailey from the Aylesbury in the
BEN ThomAs’ BEsT foR summER » To read more reviews, visit www.theweeklyreview.com.au/wine
CBD and in the local upmarket bistro corner is Alastair Dobbs from new Hampton restaurant Os Kitchen and Wine Bar. For Ward, summer drinking is all about “the two big Rs: riesling and rosé”. “It is great to see more people drinking riesling; it is a fantastic wine to match with food, so versatile. As for rosé, a wine that can be dry, savoury, textural and also pink … it’s the perfect summer drop, with or without food. “We are building up our Champagne selection, bringing in some more rosé, and indulging in a broader range of whites by the glass. “Sitting on the Circa balcony with an ’09 Raveneau is not a bad way to spend one’s afternoon.” It’s a similar story at the Aylesbury with riesling and rosé, but there’s also an eclectic mix of alternative wines on the list. Bailey says, “As a sommelier, I always hope for refreshing semillon and riesling plus dry rosé to be big in summer, and all of these will make a large appearance on the Aylesbury wine lists. “I think bellinis will be making an appearance soon – we have had quite a few requests. How can you go past fresh fruit and bubbles on a warm, sunny day?” Dobbs, who has just opened Os Kitchen and Wine Bar with Italian-influenced food and wine list recommends “anything from Puglia, particularly falanghina”. “It is the ultimate summer-food wine. Think apricots and lime with great textural mouthfeel. It just screams antipasto, grilled scallops, cured meats. “With the arrival of spring and summer imminent, the list (of wines) by the glass is becoming lighter and fresher and in line with our food menu.” \
What I’ll be drinking They recommend and pour wine all day and night, but here’s the inside scoop on the sommeliers’ favourite tipples on a hot evening. Mark Bailey \ “White port and tonic with a good splash of lemon is a winner for me. I discovered it in Hong Kong, of all places.” Alastair Dobbs \ “Definitely an ice-cold beer. However, this year I’m going with rosé.”
( (HEMERA / THInKsTOCK, KIRsTEn EDWARDs)
at home are open and a The windowS summer-like breeze is blowing, our collective thirst for sav blanc is on the
Sarah Ward \ “I do enjoy a negroni on a hot summer’s day. And if I can get my hands on a bottle of ’09 Oakridge 864 Chardonnay this summer, I will be very happy.” The Oakridge has long since sold out, but here’s Ward’s negroni recipe: “Equal parts (30ml) of Campari, sweet vermouth, and gin. A good-quality sweet vermouth like Antica Formula makes a difference. Build the drink on ice in the glass – big blocks of ice don’t water the drink down too much. Top with an orange rind garnish and enjoy.”
taste this Shelmerdine Pinot Noir 2010
Le Chat Noir Sauvignon Blanc
La Linea Rosé 2011
Polvanera Falanghina 2010
Really pretty aromas are on show here, with cherry, raspberry, funky forest-floor notes, mint and smoky oak. It tastes of dark and red cherries, spice, strawberry along with a nice savoury component. There’s sweet/sour balance to flavours that I really enjoy. In short, it’s delicious. It’s even across the palate and beautifully structured with smooth, silky texture and drying, powder-fine tannins. It finishes with long strawberry and sour-cherry notes.
Here’s a nice, cheap alternative to the power and passionfruit of Marlborough sav blanc. It comes from the south of France near Carcassonne at the foothills of the Pyrenees. Bright but not overt aromas of tropical fruit, apple, melon and a hint of herbaceousness lead to good intensity on the palate with nice grassy, lemon and mineral flavours. Has a smooth texture in the mouth, but it’s still light, bright and zippy. Length is pretty good, too, with a lemon and mineral finish.
If drinkability is the measure of a good rosé, this rates highly. A bottle didn’t last long at our place on a recent hot day. Made from tempranillo grapes, this is perfumed and floral, with aromas and flavours of cherry, redcurrant, strawberry and cream, dried herbs and orange citrus. With a creamy, silky texture and dry, crisp acidity it’s both sensual and refreshing. A tasty finish of red berries and citrus juice and slightly bitter (in a good way) pith will keep drawing you back.
I got to taste one of two bottles brought into the country before the shipment arrives at the end of the month. It’s insanely floral, with blossom, apricots, rose petals, spice and clingstone peaches. Flavours of stonefruit, lemon juice and zest mix with a briney, slatey minerality and a suggestion of dried herb. It’s textural but dry and with refreshing acidity. It finishes with intense stonefruit and lemon pith flavours.
Food match \ Grilled sardines with a sauce vierge
Food match \ Grilled chicken wings
(Yarra Valley) $34; 13% ★★★★★
Food match \ Mallard with ceps and a red-wine sauce
So you love a bargain?
(Valée de l’Aude, France) $16; 12.5% ★★★★
(Adelaide Hills) $20.95; 12% ★★★★
4★ Really good 3★ Good 2★ OK ★ Not worth it
(Puglia, Italy) $35; 12.5% ★★★★
Food match \ Grilled prawns
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Peter Lehmann Eden Valley Dry Riesling 2011 (Eden Valley) $18; 11% ★★★★
A new, modern label for Peter Lehmann Wines but it’s the same classic wine – and that’s a great thing. It’s highly fragrant, with bright floral aromas along with citrus, quince, bath salts and tropical fruits. Juicy lemon and lime flavours have a real elegance about them, and there’s a mineral element, too. A good line of citrus acidity runs along the tongue and the wine is dry, refreshing and nicely balanced. It finishes with zesty, juicy citrus intensity. Food match \ Marrow-stuffed squid
NOVEMbEr 23, 2011 \ The weekly review 11
The Weekly Review