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JOHN ROZENTALS finds that a bottle of bubbly brings a few tears to the eye and plenty of fine memories.

September 11, 2019 Beverage, Headline News No Comments Email Email

To me, the late Mal Logan was always a guy who inspired confidence even when there was no reason for confidence – such as standing up in the back of a small truck, hanging on like grim death, as we hurtled crazily through a new vineyard he had helped establish on the outskirts of Mudgee.

He was that like that. Not to mention being fun-loving, successful and always on the ball.

I guess that like most successful people Mal was many different things to different people.

To many in the financial community, particularly those who followed a certain well-known columnist, he was simply ‘Mal from Northbridge’, a roguish wheeler-and-dealer who generally ended up on the correct side of the deal, and mostly had a well-considered opinion.

To his family and friends he was undoubtedly a kind, gentle, thoughtful man who loved a glass of wine and helped establish a successful wine brand.

To many wine lovers he was a lucky one whose name adorned a premium sparkling wine. He was the ‘M’ in Logan Vintage ‘M’ Cuvée.

I was fortunate in having quite a few dealings with Mal, ranging from hard-headed business discussions about wine PR to much lighter moments in one of his popular Willoughby restaurants chatting with friends about the demise of corks.

Anyway, when the latest release of ‘M’ Cuvée lobbed on my desk I couldn’t help becoming a trifle misty-eyed and engaging in a bit of reminiscing.

WINE REVIEWS

Baily & Baily 2018 Silhouette Series Dry White ($10 per 1000ml bottle): This series of new wines all play on bingo-call themes. Hence this is No 22 Two Little Ducks Dry White, and there’s also No 11 Legs Eleven Sauvignon Blanc and No 1 Kelly’s Eye Cabernet Sauvignon all line-priced in one-litre bottles. It’s a good wine regardless of being anonymous varietally — crisp, dry, very drinkable and great value.

Logan 2017 Chardonnay ($25): According to the release notes, winemaker Peter Logan, one of Mal’s sons, aims for a “subtle, nuanced style” with this wine. He has certainly achieved a fine balance between delicate yet powerful fruit flavours and the richer, derived touches of oak and yeastiness. Peter suggests matching the wine with chicken cassoulet or hearty soup. I’m certainly not disagreeing.

WINE OF THE WEEK

Logan 2016 Vintage ‘M’ Cuvée ($40): The richness of colour and strength of flavour of this dry bubble suggest a high red-grape content. In fact the blend is predominantly chardonnay (63 per cent) supporting about equal portions of pinot noir and pinot meuniere. It’s nutty and toasty with great finesse and a long, long finish — a very fine celebratory drink, indeed. Have it on its own or with lighter white meats.

Written by John Rozentals

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