Following on, these wines were our Christmas tipples of choice. It was warm and dry in Perth and the choice was for a cold meat luncheon – resulting in bubbles and Rose taking centre stage. On the food side, particular mention has to go to the ingenious ‘stuffing muffins’ which are baked savoury muffins with Chorizo. Glorious stuff that worked especially well with the unusual Rose.
Champagne Lanson Gold Label 1996
Apparently Woolworths brings this in to the country now (it was previously Fosters) and recent bottles have been a disappointment for others. This bottle was a well cared for Fosters import.
Golden yellow in colour, this had a toast, toffee & honey nose that was aged Champagne at its best. Developing apricot fruit & integrated autolysis makes its presence felt on the long, satisfyingly grapefruity dry palate with typically poignant 96 vintage acidity. It starts round & very full in the mouth, but as it moves along it gets dry & crisper. Lovely stuff. 18.7
No.1 Marlborough Cuvee NV
This lost surprisingly little to the vintage Champagne above on the quality stakes, though it is obviously more one dimensional & youthfully fresh compared to the Lanson.
Very pale straw colour, the nose is green, Granny Smith appley with a little creamy Chardonnay influence. The palate is dry & slightly tart with more green apple & citrussy acidity. Its a little short when placed next to the Lanson, but its also fresh, well made and clearly delineated. Great value and a very good drink. 17.9
Arrivo Adelaide Hills Rosato di Nebbiolo 2008
This highly unusual Rose comes off Peter Godden’s Arrivo property in the Adelaide Hills and is just the ticket for anyone looking for a savoury summer Rose to drink with food. Just don’t drink it on its own.
Pink, blush red in colour with just a tinge of Nebbiolo orange, this opens with a flourish of strawberries, Turkish delight (the real stuff). The palate starts with sweet lolly red strawberry fruit but after that its all a little bit hard. Full powered acidity & drying, Neb tannins make for a rather dry & severe finish. On its own its actually quite a challenging drink, but with the aforementioned ‘stuffing muffins’ it was good stuff. I’d be very interested to see what happens with this in another 6 months time – the rating may well increase substantially. 17.5 but minus 1 if you drink it without food.