Lévrier means "greyhound" in French. Jo Irvine has a deep love for the breed and has been surrounded by them for much of her life. The artwork on the labels is a tribute to them and those images are stunning.
I recently received two Joel Gott wines courtesy of Vintage House Wine & Spirits - their Australian importers. There's not a lot of Zinfandel in Australia so to receive one, let alone from overseas, was a pleasant surprise.
Here's a variety I don't see much. It's great to see Irvine ripping in and giving it a crack - and differently too I might add. Through the hands of winemaker Rebekah Richardson, Irvine is aiming to capture a delicate expression of what is traditionally a bold and punchy wine.
Stray Mongrel alright - it's not everyday you see a blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Zinfandel but gee it works.
I washed down some French Toulouse sausages from my butcher and it hit the mark. Medium bodied, dark fruits take the lead from chocolate and some sweet fruit brightens the palate. Peppery spice in stealth mode sneaks in and cordons off the area - nice.
Some a little different from the Barossa here and it's a winner.
Smells a bit jammy, but sweetish jam. Dense red fruits but there's a peppery spice and clover game being played hard - and I like it. There's a consistency to a Mike Hussey innings, everything is measured and controlled. Some flash, some reverence, but in the end the elegance takes hold. Long to finish, I'd go here again and again no question.
This Zinfandel comes from a vineyard 500m above sea level which was certified organic and biodynamic in 2003.
Take a whiff and be met with fruit compote, prunes, blackcurrant, dark chocolate and exotic spices. Generous fruit delivery parades with ease leading to dusty tannins drawing out saliva for a mouthwatering finish. Tick!
A tremendously enjoyable wine with plenty of width and oceans of depth.
Another organic wine from Lowe, this time the fruit comes from Mudgee.
Named after achieving the London Times Rosé of the Year in 1992 & 1993, the Headstone name is in reference to being remembered for the achievement, thus having those words inscribed on a headstone.
Primitivo (also known as Zindandel) from young vines is used to make this Rosé. Plum compote and blackcurrant is followed by some strawberry although the aromas aren't leaping out from the glass. There's a meatiness about the wine too. It's nicely balanced and just a good drink.
Another food friendly wine which is starting to become a theme from what I have seen with the couple of Lowe wines I've looked at now. A snag on the barbeque would do the trick here.
Rosé originated in the south of France and is a style of wine which has flexible boundaries. It can be sweet or dry, and made with any number of grape varieties. There are some excellent examples are out there in the market, but beware those with a little too much sugar, as the sugar can act as a great masking agent for poor fruit.
The process of making Rosé is simple. Red wines get their colour from the skins, and this is the case with Rosé, the only difference being that skin contact is only for a very short period. Only a few hours in some cases.
The fruit quality of those Rosés shared was well above acceptable and trying to pin down a top wine was not an easy task. The gatherings of @SwirlSnifSpit occur the third Tuesday of every month at Era Bistro in Brisbane. Attendees are a mixed bag with this event attracting a Master of Wine, trade, industry and all in between to your novice. It's a great group to mix with and learn about all things wine.
Here were some of the Australian wine highlights...
La Boheme "Act Two," Yarra Valley 2011. 97% Pinot Noir with skin contact for 10 hours. Some Pinot Gris and Riesling skins were added to boost the texture of the wine. Bright in the glass with a lovely perfumed nose.
Attwood Wines "3 Little Birds," Geelong 2011. This hit the spot. Wild fermented Pinot Noir, it demonstrated some earthy funk. There was a soft and supple element early on then a masculine touch with oak. Damn fine.
Foster e Rocco Sangiovese Rosé, Heathcote 2011. Love the fruit here. Savoury, soft and supple. Good acid core. Some red licorice and a suggestion of watermelon juice which is spot on. A cracker!
Kangarilla Road Primitivo Rosé, McLaren Vale 2011. Primitivo is directly related to Zinfandel. One word sums this bad boy up...dry. Some savory characteristics and a little spice punching through with good fruit weight on the palate. A drying finish that cleans out the mouth. Have with food.
Turkey Flat Rosé, Barossa 2011. Easy to see why this is one of Australia's best selling Rosés. A blend of Grenache (61%), Shiraz (22%), Cabernet Sauvignon and Dolcetto. Raspberries a plenty laced with red licorice. Lip smacking goodness.
Sparrow and Vine Grenache Rosé, Eden Valley 2011. This won the colour award of the night, in my humble opinion. Super bright stewed cherry appearance and loads more on the palate. Appeared to have a reduced element too. Almond meal on the finish. Delicious. Made by Wayne Ahrens from Smallfry Wines.
Bespoke Bros Mourvedre Rosé, Heathcote 2011. Wine of the night? Bingo! Great colour and texture. I picked up a light petilence on the palate which I liked indeed. Very approachable and goes well as an aperitif or with food. Some funk. Some length. Some awesomeness right here.
Capital Wines "The Abstainer" Rosé, Canberra 2010. Great varietal characteristics - Cabernet Franc. Love the colour. Raspberries. A little fruity with great texture and grip. A Rosé in impeccable order.
Logan Wines "Hannah" Rosé, Orange 2011. Logan Wines hail from Mudgee but the fruit for this comes from Orange. Blend of Cabernet Franc, Shiraz and Pinot Noir. Very light and faint appearance. A simple no nonsense style. Strawberries and light whiff of cherry. Very easy to drink. Yum.