A Misfit to be Justifiably Proud Of

A Misfit to be Justifiably Proud OfBy David Ellis fromvintnews.

There would be others, we suspect, who’d lay claim that a wine comprising of no less than five varieties was the result of carefully hand-selecting fruit off as many vineyards or blocks as there were varieties; and then, judiciously blending these to specific proportions of each.

But not John Davis, owner-vigneron of Peppertree Wines in the Hunter Valley and his Head Winemaker, Gwyn Olsen when it comes to their 2016 Rogue Vineyard ‘Wild in the Wood’ Hunter Valley field blend. Because they’ll readily tell you that this one’s the result of a “misfit” block planted somewhat haphazardly some 20 years ago with left-over Semillon, Chardonnay, Verdelho, Vermentino and Sauvignon Blanc from other blocks, and rather than be wasted they’ve been simply all-in machine harvested.

The resultant wine turns out in fact to be a really rewarding drop, with lingering individual varietal characteristics with a lovely mouth-feel. Pay $30 and enjoy on its own as warmer days’ approach, or at the table with a range of lunch or dinner-time seafood, chicken or veal dishes.

Or as we did, with pan-fried pork loin chops, apple sauce and potato cakes.

One to note: a stint of living in France saw Jim Lumbers falling hard, he’ll tell you, for the intoxicating aromas and unparalleled complexity of Pinot Noir – so much so, that on his return to Australia he spent months searching for a site that came as close as possible to the variety’s ideal growing conditions as he’d seen in Burgundy.

When he ultimately found it in the Cullerin Ranges overlooking Lake George in the Canberra District, he established his Lerida Estate vineyard in 1997. Today that vineyard absolutely thrives with vines he got from selections off some of the greatest in Burgundy, and for lovers of Pinot Noir, his 2014 is one to really look out for.

2014 was a great vintage in the Canberra District, and Jim’s Lerida Estate Lake George Pinot Noir explodes with luscious fruit flavours and integrated tannins; at $26.50 enjoy with a variety of fare from duck to mushrooms, spring lamb or oily fish.