2010 Hickinbotham of Dromana Taminga

Innovation, foresight, knowledge and quality are the hallmarks of the Hickinbotham Family whose association with wine production in Australia has stretched across a number of generations. Their winery and its vineyards on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula have been deigned to minimise the effects of production on the environment while at the same time ensuring positive and sustainable outcomes to it and the local community. Such is the care and commitment that their mission statement is available on the winery website, a fact not embraced by many others, at least in practical terms.

The Tamnga grape variety was originally developed in the halcyon 1960's decade by the Australian CSIRO to be grown in warmer climatic and higher yielding conditions such as the Riverland Region of South Australia. The term Taminga ('place of the white gum') was derived from pre-European settlement, a name given to Adelaide by the indigenous Kaurna people whose territory extended from the bottom of the Fleurieu Peninsula in the south to the eastern shores of Gulf St. Vincent in the north.      

A cross between Riesling and Gewurztraminer, the grape combines the floral aromas of Riesling with the spicy characteristics of Gewurztraminer to produce a wine of zesty, mouth-filling intensity. While Taminga was originally intended to produce a sweeter style of wine,  Hickinbotham of Dromana has used innovation and expertise to allow the grape at its cooler estate vineyards on the Peninsula to flourish and yield a distinctly interesting melange of powerful aromatics, spice and citrus fruits. What more could you expect from a variety with such a heritage!   

With changes in our culinary eating culture and the proliferation of Asian restaurants, Taminga is very well suited in standing toe to toe with the fiercest of dishes. Whether it is a nuclear Thai green curry or a lava hot Indian beef vindaloo, it impresses with how it quells the heat and spice while retaining its own integrity. While other whites buckle under the torrid assault and slink off to the background, Taminga does not in any way, shape or form. Often I am amused even bemused to see diners have the heavier reds accompany these types of cuisine but people once frowned if you had reds with fish. It's a personal choice isn't it ? My preference and recommendation to match these incendiary dishes has now changed to Taminga.

Once poured this bright straw yellow coloured wine opens up with some lovely lifted aromas of citrus and fresh flowers continuing on to a ripe mouth filling palate of spicy pear and lime with a hint of apricot and guava action in the background to add interest. Backed up by clean, balanced, crunchy citrus zest, the Taminga finishes crisp and dry. I liked this from the first sip. For wine aficionados and funsters alike, do yourselves a favour and experience this intriguing variety at your next Asian restaurant outing, you will not be disappointed. Drinking beautifully now.

Source: Winery Sample. Alcohol: 12.5%. Closure: Screwcap. Rating: 92 Points. 

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