With Richard Slater & Grant Foulkes
2018 Tarrawarra Barbera, ABV 14%
Yarra Valley, RRP $30
Piedmont (Italy) is the home of the fabulous grape Nebbiolo variety – best expressed as Barolo and Barbaresco red wines. However, Barbera is the most widely planted variety. The key challenge is to keep the oak regime sympathetic to its fruit weight and relatively low tannin. This Yarra Valley wine is a lovely example- and its fighting price under $30 is silly. Bask in scents of smoked meats, rhubarb, sour cherry and other red fruits. Its palate is genuinely just-medium bodied but full of depth, flavour and interest. Every red fruit you want presents– raspberry, cherry, cranberry, with a dusting of icing sugar patisserie, and mixed spices adding effortless appeal. A few more years won’t damage its charms.
Conclusion: When allowed, visit Tarrawarra to dawdle through its Art Gallery and restaurant; meanwhile, try this wine with any slow-cooked, rich casserole, pasta bolognese or charcuterie.
2019 Farfalla Nebbiolo, ABV 13.5%
Victorian Pyrenees, RRP $49
Susuro Wines was created by an old colleague of mine and it’s been a truly wonderful experience tucking into her creations which take on an Italian flavour. I ordered a mixed case and each wine comes with a perfect food pairing recipe. The Farfalla Nebbiolo was made with fruit sourced from the highly sought after ‘Malakoff’ vineyard in the cool central Victorian region of the Pyrenees, yet its characteristics very much align with a classic Italian style. Deceptively light in colour; it’s inviting from the get go. Fresh and powerful smoky aromatics of tar and graphite sit alongside unique fruit tones of macerated strawberries and citrus peel. The palate is lusciously soft with slippery tannins, savoury rose water, pureed berries and fresh, precise mineral acidity; a perfect foil for many a Mediterranean dish. With exquisite art design on each label, and a personalised touch on each delivery, it’s obvious how much passion is put into the Susuro brand. I’d highly recommend ordering a case or two… or ten.
Conclusion: Pair with homemade pizza with prosciutto, pear, blue cheese, fresh roquette and a balsamic glaze.