A Hunter Red Reminiscent of Spain

By David Ellis from vintnews.  

Margan Family Wines have released a lip-smacking 2015 red blend from their Hunter Valley estate that brings together Tempranillo, Graciano and Shiraz off vines that were inter-planted – or "field blended” as it’s known in the industry – and then all picked at the same time to be vinified together as a single wine. 

It’s a lip-smacker because, as Chief Winemaker Andrew Margan points out, the Tempranillo provides it with rich fruit flavour, the Graciano with necessary acid, and the Shiraz as its tannin.  

"As the vineyard is planted on the red volcanic soil of the Fordwich Sill, this gives the wine a Hunter earthiness along with savoury fruit and rustic tannins, and which all actually make it quite typical of a Spanish wine.” 

2015, Andrew says, was a good vintage for reds in the Hunter, and as the fruit for this blend was picked at full ripeness, he was able to craft a nice, medium-bodied drop with a palate of red and black berries, hints of oak and earth, with complex savoury tannins, and balanced acidity. A Hunter Red Reminiscent of Spain

Altogether a good match with duck breast spiced with wholegrain faro seeds and sweetly-tart mustard cherries. Pay $40 and while excellent for immediate enjoyment now, Andrew says this wine will cellar well for best drinking appreciation around fifteen years down the track.

AGFG suggests Ross Dobson’s stir-fried duck with pepper and Thai basil, recipe here

One to note: it’s just over thirty years since Chandon released its first-ever wine, a vintage Blanc de Blancs, and after all those years of making bubblies identifiable by the year of their vintage, the Yarra Valley maker has now launched its first Chandon Blanc de Blancs non-vintage. 

It says it’s given it what it calls "an exciting opportunity” to show off how good Aussie Chardonnay fruit is, from which this drop is 100% made, coupled at the same time with the use of traditional methods of bubbly-making. 

Chardonnay represents about forty-two per cent of Australia’s total white grape harvest, and because of the enormous variety of locations in which it is grown, Chandon Senior Winemaker, Dan Buckle says each terroir (a region’s climate, soils and terrain,) provides fruit with its own unique flavours. 

"This wine will introduce keen sparkling drinkers to the elegance, purity and refreshment of Chardonnay,” Dan says. 

"Its bright palate includes primary fruit flavours of pears and Fuji apples, nectarine and ripe Meyer lemons, and it has soft acidity and a gentle creamy texture… excellent with baked whole snapper and an Asian herb salad, and with lemon tart at dessert.” Pay $32.