jamie goode's wine blog: Australia meets Italy

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Australia meets Italy

Another wet day in London. Elder son and younger son turned out for the same U11 cricket team tonight. Dodgy looking weather meant the match was restricted to 15 overs a side, and going in at no 3 elder son batted well, ending up with 18 not out. Then the heavens opened and the game was washed out. I can't remember the last day when it didn't rain, and we are almost into July.

Cold has receded a bit, to the degree that I can now taste again. The Glenguin from last night is showing very well from the fridge. Very crisp, primary and limey. Still don't think it's a long ager in the Hunter Semillon tradition, though.

I'm now drinking a very nice, commercially astute but still satisfying wine from De Bortoli:

De Bortoli Sero Merlot Sangiovese 2005 King Valley, Australia
Merlot usually sucks, and Sangiovese usually bombs when people try to grow it outside Italy, but here De Bortoli have worked some magic, and produced a delicious fruity red with a hint of seriousness. The Merlot was partially dried, which explains, perhaps, the generous, rounded mid-palate that really carries this wine. It shows a bright, spicy, sweetly fruited nose that leads to a concentrated palate with some savoury, spicy bite underneath the rich, sweet fruit. It finishes with a nicely bitter plummy tang, which makes this pretty food compatible. Quite tannic, which I like in this sort of wine. 89/100 (7.99 Waitrose, but watch out for when this is on promotion)

Tomorrow is the eagerly awaited Tesco Press tasting where they launch a revamped range, followed by lunch at Tendido Cero with Lenz Moser and his chum from Silverado Vineyards in California. Bring it on.

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At 11:41 PM, Blogger Salil said...

I've only had one experience with Sangiovese in Aus at Yering Station and I was very impressed with the wine. That one was quite cheap (in their standard Yering Station lineup), with ripe, sweet fruits and a savoury, earthy edge - very food friendly, and I'm wondering whether Aussie Sangiovese (at least around the Yarra and cooler climate areas like the King Valley) might be something worth keeping an eye on in the future.

On the Semillons, I'm starting to think that quite a few producers now are making them in a much more commercially-friendly style, where they don't need several years in the cellar before being drinkable. Perhaps thats the reason I've seen a fair number on shelves in the US recently, and now even a few in Singapore (where 'trend' wines and Bordeaux are still the bulk of what's out there).

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Head Office said...

It is indeed a lovely blend and I'm pleased to say that our regular price is 6.95.
All the Sero range sell well, espcially as they are unoaked. The Chardonnay / Pinot Grigo is also well worth trying.

At 6:20 AM, Anonymous Rome Accom said...

Being a fan of De Bertoli wines, and having read your review (even with the preface of 'Australian Merlot usually sux') I am looking forward to trying this drop out for myself.
Thank you.

At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Paul Hopkins said...

Hi Jamie

The problem is that the UK is sheltered in what is really available in Australia. Having been in the trade there for the last 10 years, I am continually mystified by the wines that end up doing well in the UK. For Sangiovese, Fred Pizzini and Del Zotto are worth looking at as is Casatagna if you can get your hands on it.

I agree that there is a distinct lack of high quality Merlot coming from Australia but if any mainland region can grow it it will be the King Valley.

If you haven't done so the one to really try and a wine that could easily be compared to the great wines of Pomerol is the Domaine A Merlot from Tasmania.

An amazing wine with none of the jammy fruits that virtually all Merlots in Australia has. The finish is fine and long and having tasting Domaine A wines against the great Bordeaux estates on numerous occasions I would not hesitate to put this up there as Australia's greatest Merlot and one of the world's greats.



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