2019 Pfeiffer Durif 14.8%
    Rutherglen, Victoria RRP $35

    Last month Grant anticipated my current selection! Durif is one of Rutherglen’s distinctive specialties (fortifieds – of course- is the other). Morris, many more, plus Baileys (Glenrowan) and Eldorado Road (Beechworth) wave the Durif flag. As a red wine, Durif can be confrontingly tannic, needing years to relax, only giving sulky glimpses of heroic potential along its journey. But accessibility can be delivered. 

    Pfeiffer’s, at the ultra-photogenic Sunday Creek has a vast range to taste. If at least one wine doesn’t deliver thrills, get your senses tested! The “seriously nutty” apera, and Christopher’s VP are inevitable purchases. This Durif stood out too; a ridiculously vivid crimson colour, there’s lashings of plumcake, but the dense, dark fruits, spices, refined tannins and creamy oak makes for a memorable, reflective drinking experience. It’s still a big, rich, ripe wine, but Jen Pfeiffer has imparted finesse into the frame – Intensity meets vibrancy.

    Visit – the Pfeiffer website or make a road trip; a decadent casserole and crusty bread is my dining choice for this Durif; the wine’s power now or much later will match robust-flavoured fare. A decant and a big glass will help unleash its finery. Finally – get onto it! 


    Mafic Mt. Franklin Nebbiolo/Dolcetto 2019
    RRP $28, ABV 13.5%

    On a sunny spring afternoon my wife and I google-mapped a cellar door close to Castlemaine and found ourselves in a grassy-green, flower-peppered vineyard at the base of Mt Franklin. We were met by Mafic’s viticulturist in her shed-turned tasting room. Oh so rustic and charming. Overlooking the rolling, sun drenched hills, we chatted the afternoon away as she explained the unique sight (not quite Heathcote, not quite Macedon, not quite Bendigo) with ancient volcanic soils conducive to Italian varietals. They grow Pinot Grigio, Dolcetto and Nebbiolo and have the chief winemaker at Passing Clouds (not too far as the crow flies) whip up a range of vinos from this. There’s something so humbling about how Mafic goes about it. Their wines are precise, true to style, balanced, fresh, food friendly and have zero pretentiousness about them. And such value for money; under-priced in my opinion. It’s difficult to find any Australian Nebbiolo or Dolcetto of quality or that carries the essence of its native Italy, but this drop is as close as I’ve come across. A firm line of food friendly acidity drives the palate and is accompanied by softened tannin. Medium bodied and red fruited, it showed enticing floral aromatics and a classic tarry, graphite finish which perfectly balances out the plush raspberry and mulberry fruits. Each bottle we bought came with a ‘bookmark’ size write up of the wine for you to read through while you’re drinking it. All class. Please check out their website and order some for the warmer months.

    Pair with: A platter of blue cheese, kalamata olive, poached pear, serrano ham and herbed flat bread. 

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