With Richard Slater and Grant Foulkes
2019 Shadowfax Pinot Noir
Macedon Ranges, Victoria
13% RRP $34
Pinot Noir gives its best when grown in cooler sites. The Macedon ranges provides that climate, plus hills and valleys aplenty. Shadowfax sources grapes cleverly, translating to a diverse set of well-made wines. Its cellar-door is close to the Werribee Open Range Zoo, enabling a welcome family diversion before or after (subject to COVID). Some people dismiss Pinot Noir as dilute and uninteresting; this wine will change that. It’s fleshy, spicy and refreshing. A youthful deep crimson colour leads to rhubarb and dark cherry scents, and a smidge of mint. It’s a ripe, proper sensual wine of refinement with silkiness that completes its spice-packed dark red berry flavours.
Conclusion : matches duck in any format, salmon, pork chops or most Asian dishes- plenty of options! Luxuriate with a big glass to fully enjoy this richly refreshing youngster, or hold for a few years and reward yourself.
Bay of Fires Tasmanian Cuvée Sparkling Rosé NV
12.5% RRP $48
Sometimes it might seem difficult to justify the price that most quality Tasmanian wines attract, especially when it comes to bubbly; but hear me out. In the hands of the right producer, with fruit grown in practically perfect conditions on top of nutrient rich soils, the quality will rival that of Champagne (that’s right, the French stuff) and far cheaper. It’s all a matter of perspective. This pinot noir/chardonnay blend has a ‘party time’ vibe with a playful bright pink appearance and lip smacking strawberry and citrus on the front palate. The finish gets suddenly serious with an earthiness of wild herbs, slate and baked bread; thanks to its many years on lees prior to bottling. Notice the difference in texture, palate weight and flavour profile as it moves to room temperature in the glass. A bit of a hunt around online and you can pick this up at quite the discount, if you’re quick.
Conclusion : Pair with seafood platter of smoked salmon, pan seared tuna steaks, deep fried calamari, fresh shucked oysters with a shallot and red wine vinaigrette.