by The Sacred Chef
For the freshest fruit flavours available in your wine drinking experience it is hard to go past good organic wine. When the fruit on the vine has been treated with knowledgeable care sans the chemicals it often takes the wine making to a whole new level. By the same token being organic does not turn ordinary wine into great wine and cannot replace wine making proficiency. The number of organically grown wines is increasing all the time and I counted well over fifty wineries making organic wines during a brief bit of research. However distribution difficulties for many wineries mean that you do not find much of a range in your local bottle shop and it is something that can be greatly improved upon.
I am a strong advocate of regionalism or the eponymous terroire – meaning that certain regions and certain soil types produce better examples of certain varieties of wine. It took me a while to realise this and since I have pretty much committed myself to following this course of action I have had a whole lot less disappointing wine experiences. Of course there are always wonderful exceptions to any set of rules and some tragic ones too. We all have different likes and dislikes as well in our wine tastes and whatever I recommend here are really only my own opinions and I encourage you to follow your own taste buds.
Sauvignon Blanc – Upfront fresh tangy fruit driven style – New Zealand’s Marlborough, SA’s Adelaide Hills, WA’s Margaret River/Pemberton, NSW’s Orange, TAS’s Tamar Ridge.
Semillon – A clean crisp lemony style when young but ages into a complex burnished beauty– NSW’s Hunter Valley,
Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc – A blend of these two varieties best exemplified by – WA’s Margaret River
Riesling – Dry apple, lime, mineral sometimes floral style – SA’s Eden Valley, Clare Valley, WA’s Frankland
Chardonnay – Versatile style of wine ranging from full flavoured, creamy, buttery and big to peach, melon and lemon – VIC’s Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Beechworth; SA’s Adelaide Hills, WA’s Margaret River; TAS’s North and South.
Viognier – Full blown peach/apricot fruit and honey style – VIC’s Yarra Valley, SA’s Barossa Valley
Pinot Noir – Wild strawberry and cherry aromas and a flavour spectrum from young and fruity to elegant and complex – VIC’s Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Geelong; SA’s Adelaide Hills; TAS’s North and South; NZ’s Marlborough, Central Otago
Cabernet Sauvignon – Deep inky colour and black current flavour, classic wine that blends exceptionally well with merlot, high anti-oxidant rating – WA’s Margaret River; SA’s Coonawarra, Padthaway, Wrattonbully, McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Riverland; VIC’s Pyranees, Goulburn Valley, Bendigo, Yarra Valley; NSW’s Orange, Mudgee, Cowra, Hunter Valley
Merlot – Soft, dry and dark fruit variety of wine that has few great examples in Australia except when partnering cabernet sauvignon – SA’s Coonawarra, McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley
Shiraz – Blackberry and vanilla aromas in this red variety which ranges from chocolatey, prune, high alcohol in warm regions to peppery and coffee in cooler areas – SA’s Clare Valley, Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, WA’s Margaret River, VIC’s Yarra Valley, Heathcote, Mornington Peninsula, Grampians; NSW’s Hunter Valley, Canberra District
Grenache – Great blending variety with shiraz, earthy fruity flavours – SA’s Barossa Valley
Sangiovese – Italian varietal full of red fruit flavours with a herbal savoury finish – SA’s McLaren Vale
Tempranillo – Savoury black cherry Spanish variety blends well with shiraz – SA’s McLaren Vale
Zinfandel – Spicy and black berry big flavoured, alcoholic variety with massive plantings in California – WA’s Margaret River; SA’s McLaren Vale.
Temple Bruer 2007 Cabernet Merlot Preservative Free.
This is an incredible wine with cabernet berry fruit flavours that seem to be dancing in your mouth and a lovely medium bodied balance that can keep you drinking it all night long. This is my wine of the year so far and I recommend it highly to lovers of wine who want a flexible companion to great tasting meals of many persuasions.
I am looking forward to trying the 2008 vintage of this wine – now out.
Cullen Wines 2007 Margaret River White
As with all Cullen wines finesse is to the fore, and well before their decision to go biodynamic and organic they were making some of the finest wines in Australia. This predominantly Sauvignon Blanc and Semillion blend is a gorgeous wine, complex and refreshing. This will lift any extraordinary lunch or dinner to the sublime and you will thank existence for your taste buds.
Happs 2007 Preservative Free White
Another stunner from the west, this Chardonnay with amazing fruit flavours will reinvigorate the most jaded pallet. Drinking these wines you feel purer inside and it can be akin to a religious experience. The Happs vineyards are located in Dunsborough and Karridale WA.