2007 Chambers Rosewood Vineyards Roussanne

Roussanne originates from the Northern Rhone valley in France and with marsanne and viognier makes up the trifecta of major white wines in this region. All three have the potential for age-worthiness.

It is one of the varieties permitted in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage and Saint-Joseph DOCs.

Like a chardonnay, Roussanne is golden in colour. It is interesting to note however that when mature, the grapes acquire a characteristic pinkish-brown colour which is the reason for the name of the strain.

This wine has pear and golden apples on the aromatics with a full bodied, honey and lemon zest component on the palate. An oily texture and smokey notes boost the entire fruit profile.
The non-irrigated Roussanne vines, many of which are over eighty years old at the Rosewood Vineyards in Rutherglen, produce low yields with wonderfully concentrated and unctuous flavours.

Australian winemakers do things their own way and some make Roussanne as a stand alone varietal wine while others blend it with Marsanne and/or Viognier.

Drinking well now and would go well with a variety of seafood or vegetarian dishes. 

Source: Winery Purchase. Rating: 87 Points. Website: www.rutherglenvic.com/wineries/winery

2008 Mt. Franklin Estate Daylesford Dolcetto

The vineyard of this family run business near Daylesford in central Victoria is planted on volcanic soil left behind after the eruption of Mt. Franklin about five million years ago. According to the winery website, the volcanic soils offer the vineyard a mixture of rich dark fertile soil peppered with mineral rich volcanic rock.

The Daylesford Wine Region has its own unique identity even though theoretically, it is part of the wider Macedon Ranges Wine Region to the south-east. In viticulture terms, it is a cool/cold climate region with some parts at 800 metres. Grape growing and wine making go back to the 1850's with the settlement of migrants from northern Italy who were escaping the yoke of Austrian occupation and Italian-speaking Swiss migrants from the Ticino canton in Switzerland who were fleeing poverty and rural deprivation.
Italian grape varieties such as Arneis, Nebbiolo, Pinot Grigio and Dolcetto reflected that early heritage in the district. To this present day, a wonderful diversity of architecture and institutions survive from that colonial and multicultural era.

The Dolcetto grape variety predominantly grown in Piedmonte in Northern Italy produces a finely flavoured dry red wine and not the sweet wine as its name, translated as 'little sweet one', implies. Unfortunately, in Australia Dolcetto still appears to suffer from that perception hanging around its neck. However, it is claimed that Australia does have the oldest current plantings of Dolcetto with vines dating back to the 1860's. One could reasonably assert that these vines may well exist in the Daylesford Wine Region.
Twelve months maturation in oak barrels has produced a finely balanced, medium-bodied wine with soft tannins, low acidity and a persist, opulent berry flavour. Deep purple in colour, this Dolcetto is stunning to the eye.

Intense spicy fruit, plum, aniseed notes and almonds on the nose take your breath away. The rich volcanic soils must have contributed in making this wine such a de-licious fruit bomb.The only caveat is that Dolcetto should be consumed while young. Why would you want to cellar this mouthwatering libation anyway and allow the youthful fruit flavours to fade?

Dolcetto can be enjoyed at room temperature while slightly chilled, gives the wine another dimension. Pairs well with Italian food and even some Asian dishes. 

Source: Winery Sample. Rating: 90+ Points. Website: www.mtfranklinestate.com.au

2010 Turkey Flat Vineyards Rosé

Rose has well and truly come in from the cold and Turkey Flat has been in the vanguard of the revolution. Like Riesling some years ago, rose did not enjoy a good reputation mainly because it was associated with wines that had a sweet cordial type nature.

From vineyards that date to the mid-1800's, Turkey Flat has some of the world's oldest shiraz grapes. The winery is located at Tanunda in South Australia's Barossa Valley.

The grape varieties that go to make this reliably favourite and unique rose wine are grenache and shiraz with smaller amounts of cabernet sauvignon and the Italian variety, dolcetto.

A vibrant pink/crimson in the glass, fragrant aromas of Turkish delight, perfume, herbs and red berries greet the nose. The palate is dry, crisp and well balanced with soft tannins and hints of spice and musk.

I'm a convert to the rose revolution that at present is justifiably gaining wide popularity and appears to know no end. With very few if any rules that regulate its production, rose wine can be made from a variety of red grapes. As long as rose retains some sweetness on the aromatics and a drier, more savoury palate with hints of spice, there will be no dissidents!

An engaging and quaffable wine that is very refreshing. Serve it slightly chilled and enjoy during the warmer months with spicy foods or just on its own. 

Source: Retail Purchase. Rating: 88 Points. Website: www.turkeyflat.com.au

1989 Henschke Hill of Grace

When you ask one friend to dine, give him your best wine! When you ask two, the second best will do! 
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The Henschke Hill of Grace had to be included from the cellar as it is renown as one of Australia's most iconic wines. Made from 100% Shiraz grapes from pre-phylloxera material brought from Europe by early settlers in the mid 1800's, it is grown in the cool climate of South Australia's Eden Valley Wine Region.

Crimson/brick-red in appearance with a sweet, earthy nose. Tar, leather, green-bean, some vanillin oak, plum jam and violets complete the delightful aromatics.

The palate had sweet, spicy and jammy characters, was slightly sappy with rich chocolate, violets and a chewy fine grained tannins on the mid-palate. Powerful yet full of finesse. Very well balanced and complex. No oak monsters reside in this stunning example of classic Australian wine.

The 1989 Hill of Grace held up exceptionally well, presenting fantastic secondary fruits and tannin balance leading to a long finish. If you do decide to enjoy older wines such as this revered one, I would suggest decanting a few hours before hand to enable the wine to open up thereby maximising enjoyment and pleasure.

Remember, you are not just tasting and drinking the wine itself, but experiencing history, geography, geology, winemaking techniques and even the winemaker's psychology in the glass!

The 1989 vintage has been unavailable at the cellar door for some time, but you may be able to obtain it from wine auction houses such as Langton's.

The vintage itself in 1989 was described as great with average to good yields, giving it a comparative vintage rating of 5/7. 

Source: The Cellar. Rating: 94 Points. Website: http://henschke.com.au/