By David Ellis from vintnews.
When one-time doctor-become-vigneron, Larry Jacobs and journalist Marc Dobson migrated from South Africa in 1997 to pursue their passion for wine, they fell instantly in love with and bought the boutique Hahndorf Hill Winery in the Adelaide Hills, that was then on the market.
They were particularly fascinated with the number of Germanic and Austrian grape varieties that had been planted by the winery’s previous German owner in the early 1990s, with one of these being Blaufrankisch, which is an Austrian variety that thrives in the Adelaide Hills’ warm days and cold nights, and was being used to make Rosé.
In 2008, however, Larry and Marc took a bolder step, deciding to make a 100% varietal Blaufrankisch – and to this day are the only Australian makers doing so, although the variety has recently been planted in both Victoria and Tasmania.
The just-released 2013 Hahndorf Hill Blueblood Blaufrankisch is a stunner drop, and well worth ordering directly from the cellar door: if you are wondering about flavours, think along the lines of a blend of Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo and Shiraz, with elegant red berry fruit and a touch of spiciness, nicely cocooned in gentle tannin.
Certainly well recommended at $40 to enjoy with venison, lamb or duck; order online through at www.hahndorfhillwinery.com.au
One to note: cold, wet and windy conditions just as vines were flowering in the Yarra Valley last year, meant fruit production was markedly down – but conversely quality was “exceptional” thanks to a rapid change from those adverse conditions to “fantastic” during the subsequent growing season.
For Domaine Chandon, flavour intensity, freshness and abundant natural acidity in that fruit has resulted in a 2014 Chardonnay being a real stand-out, with upfront fresh pear and apple flavours, a lovely zesty acidity and great length of flavour. Pay $32 and enjoy with roast barramundi fillets and herbed roast potatoes.