It’s Christmas Day, heading into the early afternoon now, with the last slices of Pavlova sitting out willing someone to return for yet another piece. On the wine front, I put two sample bottles up to the ultimate test today – The Christmas Lunch – and can happily report that both went down well with the family, one particularly so.
Food wise, today’s Christmas lunch featured typical Australian fare – prawns, oysters, calamari and a whole ocean trout, plus a nod to tradition with cold turkey. Dessert was chocolate pavlova with strawberries and blueberries. Matching up with this smorgasbord came two contenders, the Flaxman Sparkling Shiraz NV ($35) & the Flaxman Dessert Semillon 2009 ($20).
Now given how good the standard Flaxman Shiraz is, I’d be lying if I didn’t expect this to be good, hence why it got a guernsey on Christmas day to begin with. But it’s even better than that, and the bottle emptied before any other at lunch today (well in front of a grower Champagne double it’s price & a Grosset Polish Hill Rizza) as if to prove the point. This is actually drawn from fruit provided by James Linke (Karra Yerta) and with only 60 dozen produced it isn’t going to last long.
A lovely bright purple colour with that awesome purple froth of young sparkling red, this smells youthful, rich and enticing, with a chocolate and red berry nose carrying just a hint of the fortified Shiraz that was used as dosage. The palate is almost atypically well structured with a dry, savoury and tannic style that, when matched to the rich solid berry richness, makes for a seriously delicious, medium bodied, sweet-meets-dry red. Winner. 17.7/92
Moving onto dessert, I think that the richness of the Pav was a little too much for the Flaxman Semillon, a cordon cut Eden Valley sticky drawn from old hand picked vines. Light yellow/green in colour, it’s youthful stuff, showing marmalade and quince on a dense and sweet, dried fruit palate. A simple, well made wine, it’s just a tad too simple and blocky for real high points. 16.5/88+
Now that’s all done, I think it’s time for an afternoon nap…