WAYNE Stehbens has built an enviable reputation as Senior Winemaker at Coonawarra’s Katnook Estate for creating wonderfully fuller-bodied Merlots that always stand out from the crowd.
And his newly-released 2009 is no different: crafted from full-flavoured fruit from a low-yielding vintage, this wine’s got beautifully up-front plum and red currant flavours, a nice sweetness to it – together with a touch of spice – and fine tannins.
“We had average winter rainfall that helped budburst in Spring,” Wayne recalls of the 2009 vintage. “But January was a testing time with a mini-heatwave, slightly below average temperatures for the rest of the vintage – that was the latest since 2004 – and yet resultant fruit of outstanding flavour.”
At $40 enjoy this one with rare rib-eye fillet and field mushrooms.
SPECIAL OCCASION: WHAT better way to ring-in New Year than with the same wines that Sydney’s Lord Mayor and her official guests will be enjoying at the Sydney Opera House on December 31 as they watch the annual fire-works that have made Sydney the New Year’s Eve capital of the world.
The Hunter Valley’s Scarborough Wine Co has been chosen to provide the wines for this year’s official bash – and at the Dawes Point Viewing Area for a selection of the 1.5-million people who will line the harbour foreshores for this year’s event – and one in particular to think about for your own celebrations is their 2009 Scarborough Yellow Label Chardonnay. At $28 it’s honeyed lime, butterscotch and roasted cashew flavours match beautifully most party foods.
CHRISTMAS MUST: A GOTTA-have for yourself or a family or friend wine buff this Christmas is Jeremy Oliver’s Australian Wine Annual 2012. Jeremy’s used his 27 years industry experience to rate 14,000-plus current and back-vintages from more than 300 leading Australian producers… it’s a must for those looking for the best from Under $20, to what Jeremy considers our Top 100 for that Very Special Occasion. Priced at $29.95 from most book shops.
(NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out http://www.vintnews.com )
Written by David Ellis