Well this should really have been our February meeting – just not enough days in the month!! The food on offer had an Indian theme; it was very interesting to see how the wines stood up to the challenge………..

1) Highness, ( Riesling), Rolf Binder, Eden Valley , South Australia, 2009, MYR74

Pale gold colour, hints of petrol aromas, with minerality and loads of lime and lemon. DRY with medium-high acidity, medium-bodied with an oily viscosity. Oodles of lime and lemon sherbet on the palate as well as nectarine. Smooth and full of character. Delicious. Medium-long finish.

Price Category: II Rating: Very Good

The majority agreed with its price category, one of us thought it could have cost more. This always sells out very quickly, popular with good reason.

2) San Pietro, (Gewurztraminer), Viticoltori  Alto Adige, Alto Adige DOC, Italy, 2010, MYR76

You might even say it was medium-gold in colour, aromas of lychees, rose petals and elderflower and a sweet pear drop hint too. Dry, low acidity, medium-bodied. A creamy palate, ponds face cream in fact, the lychees came through as well as a gingery spiciness in the background. A pretty classic flavour profile for a Gewurz. A pleasant medium-long finish.

Price Category: II Rating: Good

For a very similar price to the Riesling this suffered a slightly lower rating only because it was in the same tasting line-up. In isolation I think we would have liked this even more. Still well worth recommending.  This is the classic pairing for spicey and ginger-based recipes – it stood up to the foods very well, as expected.

3) Auntsfield Estate Chardonnay, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2009, MYR66

Pale gold in colour, aromas of oak, some minerality, hay, slight hint of fumes, vegetal (not looking good at this stage…..). The palate, however was a very different thing. It is a dry wine, has medium acidity, is medium-bodied and has fabulously opulent flavours of honey, lemon and a Devonshire toffee richness – anyone remember caramac? Deliciously long finish.

Price Category: II      Rating: Absolutely Fabulous

This was a huge hit. Tasted blind, as ever, we thought it might have been Semillon due to its richness and intense flavours. We all expected it to have a much higher price category (MYR80++) – a steal!!

4) Campo al Mare, (Merlot/Cab Franc/Cab Sauv/Petit Verdot), Folonari Family, Bolgheri DOC, Tuscany, Italy, 2009, MYR110

Deep purple (weren’t they a band?) colour. Aromas of blackcurrant, chocolate, vanilla and peppery (black). A dry wine, with medium acidity and medium to full-bodied with approachable tannins. The palate is one of black cherry in fact, liquorice and pepper with a lovely warming sensation together with a lovely long finish.

Price Category: III      Rating: Good

It seems we always difficulty agreeing the rating of a wine from the upper end of the scale – why? As I mostly purchase them my expectations are very high, but I try not to influence the tasting group . This is  on the cusp of our top category. Hence this wine split the group. As I transcribe these notes it is clear the wine is of a superior quality – half of us were right but the other half weren’t convinced obviously. It is absolutely a food wine. It coped remarkably well with the Indian spices (not perhaps the best match in the world). I will be trying this again with other dishes too in the future – watch this space.

5) Guest Red Wine, (Syrah/Grenache),  Jean d’Alibert, AOC Languedoc, France, 2010, MYR46

Deep ruby colour, aromas of black cherries and a smokey background note. Dry with medium acidity and tannin, a very flavoursome wine of blackberry, plum vanilla and again smokey oak. A medium-long finish.

Price Category: I    Rating: Absolutely fabulous!

I know much though went into the provision of this guest wine and it certainly paid off. Whilst it wasn’t terribly complex (what do you expect at this price level?) we loved it and found it very drinkable. A rather incredible price which completely fooled us, the majority of us expecting it to come from  category II. A good find – wish it was in my portfolio…….

6) D’Arry’s Original, (Shiraz/Grenache), d’Arenberg,  McLaren Vale, South Australia, 2007, MYR79

A deep, deep, purple colour. A medicinal/menthol nose together with plum and damson and some forest floor for good measure. Dry with medium to high acidity, rounded soft tannins, medium-bodied. Flavours of plum, damson, vanilla and spicey & peppery. This was really very pleasant. A medium-long finish.

Price Category: II    Rating: Absolutely Fabulous

We all rated it as a category III and loved it. It went very well with the spiciness of the savoury dishes.

Food and Wine Matching:

Spiced Vegetable &  Lentil Soup
Tandoori Chicken, Salad & Raita
Mango & Passion Fruit Mousse



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