Something special from same-variety blends

Let's also talk about Claret.

By David Ellis from vintnews.

Something special from same-variety blendsBack in the 1860s Dr Henry Lindeman realised the advantages of blending same-variety wines from different regions with differing growing conditions and thus creating that “something special” in varietal taste and enjoyment.

While the company has regularly blended single varieties from different regions since, it’s just released a new label it calls its Regional Series and which showcases classic single varieties from complementary regions. These blends, it says, capture the best characters from each region to deliver wines that are beautifully balanced and expressive of variety.

With vineyards dating back to 1843 in the Hunter Valley and later in Watervale and the Clare Valley, the Adelaide Hills and Yarra Valley, Lindeman’s has excellent assets to draw on for unique, outstanding characteristics in these new single variety blends.

Using fruit from two vineyards for each of the three Regional Series blends – a 2011 Pinot Noir Chardonnay Vintage Cuvee, 2013 Chardonnay and 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – they’ve crafted wines of great value at just $23 each. The Regional Series Chardonnay is particularly rewarding, being made from fruit from the Hunter Valley and Adelaide Hills, with creamy stone-fruit, refined citrus and green apple flavours to the fore… and ideal to partner with pork or veal dishes.

One to note: Some 40-odd years ago, in the 1970s, Claret was all the rage to bring out at the barbecue or to put on the table for Sunday’s family roast beef lunch.

Not many makers label a wine Claret in Australia these days, however, preferring instead to put the blend (mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) on their labels. But the Hunter Valley’s Andrew Margan has just released a very more-ish 60% Cabernet and 40% Merlot as a Margan Special Reserve Claret, and it’s a real stand-out of this classic French-origin combo that will only improve with age: fleshy Merlot characters upfront, intense cigar box and spiced plum from the Cabernet, and lovely tannins. An ideal wine with barbecued steak and mushrooms, or after-dinner cheeses. Pay $50.

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