That Time of Year for Big Wine Dining

By David Ellis from Vintnews.

That Time of Year for Big Wine Dining

Images supplied by David Ellis, Margan Wines and Taltarni Wines.

A nice big-hearted drop to enjoy this time of year with equally big-hearted Winter time dining, is Taltarni’s classic “Bordeaux Blend” that brings together Cabernet, Merlot and a splash of Petit Verdot.

Sourced entirely from Victoria’s Pyrenees, the 52% Cabernet Sauvignon gives this one beautiful dark-berry fruit flavours, the 42% Merlot plum and cocoa, just 6% Petit Verdot balances acidity, and there are lovely tannins, making for an overall judiciously full-bodied food wine that can be bought and enjoyed now, or popped away to develop for even greater pleasure a few more years down the track.

It’s one to also think about decanting before serving, giving it a chance to open-up and show itself off to its best advantage upon pouring; just 15 or 20 minutes for the currently available 2014 vintage would be fine as it’s still a quite young drop.

Great buying at just $26 and as this is a classic French blend, think France again and put it on the Winter’s table with an equally classic French pan-fried Steak Entrecote Marchand de Vin (ribeye with a sauce of red wine and shallots).

That Time of Year for Big Wine Dining

Margan Vineyard Cellar Door and Margan Restaurant

One to note: another nice big, bold red that’ll have you quickly smacking your lips – and particularly so if you’ve reason for special-occasion dining coming up – is a Margan 2011 Aged Release Shiraz from the Hunter Valley.

Made from fruit off forty-year-old vines, this exceptional drop had 20 months in French oak barriques after fermentation, and was then bottle aged in Margan’s cellars for a further four years.

It means that today it’s full-bodied and smooth with varietal white pepper spiciness, and with classic ripe dark-berry, tar and cigar box characteristics of Hunter Shiraz. With its solid tannin structure you can see this one maturing beautifully over the next couple of decades… but if you want to enjoy it now (and its currently $100 a bottle,) match with a special-occasion dinner of roast duck, or venison in a red wine sauce.