I can never assume that I know even just a small bit about the vast world of wine and all it entails.
Had a wonderful dinner at LaLola. The food was brilliant, last time there, I had pizza, which was as good as pizza can be, they don’t do pizza anymore so we ordered;
Started with a selection of small plates, which included prawns and chorizo.
Had the Costoletta – Free range grilled pork chop, sautéed savoy cabbage, pancetta, roasted hazelnuts, caramelized apple, thyme jus, for the main.
Shaw and Smith M3 Vineyard Chardonnay 2008
Different to Margaret River Chardonnay which I am more accustomed too and drink more of, not as sumptuous or peachy, it is an elegant minimalist style of chardonnay that does not come with all the bells and whistles. Subtle use of Oak with a refined finish, great with food.
First Drop Minchia Montepulciano 2008
Chose from the wine list because Montepulciano was in the name and one of my favorite wine makers Avignonesi is based in Montepulciano Tuscany Italy. The waiter was kind enough to offer a tasting before choosing. Interesting fruit driven wine with blackcurrent and a dusty core that helps fill the mouth with a very pleasant flavour burst. Ordered a bottle.
Now back to never assume, I assumed the First Drop was an Adelaide Hills expression of the Montepulciano Clone of the Sangiovese grape http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vino_Nobile_di_Montepulciano but
“The wine should not be confused with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a red wine made from the Montepulciano grape in the Abruzzo region of east-central Italy.”
This explained why the First Drop did not taste like a Sangiovese, more like a medium bodied Barossa Shiraz. After discovering my mistake and discovering a new grape variety that I did like, a little research was needed, I found http://www.vinodiversity.com/montepulciano.html, a great resource for Alternative Grape Varieties in Australia.
“The grape variety Montepulciano is planted in Central and Southern Italy. It ripens late in the season and is thus unsuitable for the cooler northern regions of Italy.”
Now that is a grape that should be planted more widely in the Adelaide Hills, Barossa regions, I believe it would suit their climate better than Shiraz (Syrah) which produces a much more refined wine in cooler climates. Vino Diversity then goes on to describe the wine.
“The wines made from this variety are typically full bodied with deep colour, spicy and plummy flavours and high levels of tannin. They usually need some bottle age. You can pair them with hearty Italian cuisine or with sharp cheeses.”
At 14.5% alc it has all the good points of a great Shiraz without the big bad point, fruit forward with plums being shoved up your nose. I will be looking for more of this wine.
There are no bad points about a Shiraz…
If I still had a bottle of 2001 d’Arenberg Shiraz The Dead Arm, I would show you, that it could still knock you out in a dark alley with its wood and then bury you in Plum Fruit so you would suffocate when you came too.