This blog celebrates Australian wines that are produced from alternative, emerging or rare grape varieties, hopefully piquing interest and inspiring people to broaden their palate and enjoy some of our more esoteric, commercially made libations.
Reviews of wines from boutique producers, of avant-garde blends, of mainstream varieties grown in atypical regions or of organic/biodynamic, natural and small batch wines are posted also.
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