Taittinger Prelude Grand Crus Champagne $130
There’s a lovable elegance and creamy richness to the Taittinger Champagnes. And with the non-vintage Prelude blend comes the extra flavour dimension from some of the most highly rated pinot noir and chardonnay vineyards of the Montagne de Reims and Cotes des Blancs sub regions respectively. A gentle, creamy softness makes Prelude the ideal drought breaker at Christmas.
WITH THE OYSTERS
Stefano Lubiana Tasmania Chardonnay 2005 $39
Steve and Monique Lubiana’s cool vineyard site produces chardonnays with a high natural acidity that accentuates varietal flavour and gives the structure and intensity to match ultra-fresh oysters. A little bottle age makes the flavour so much more enticing. Amazingly this is the current release, with the 2006 due for release around March.
WITH THE LOBSTER
Main Ridge Mornington Estate Chardonnay 2007 $52
There’s a unique purity, delicacy and finesse to Rosalie and Nat White’s barrel-fermented-and-matured chardonnay – with the opulence and complexity to complement fresh, cold lobster.
WITH THE CHRISTMAS HAM
Bream Creek Tasmania Pinot Noir 2008 $30
As soon as I tasted this recently in Tasmania, juicy, sweet Christmas ham came to mind. The wine comes from Fred Peacock’s Bream Creek vineyard on a high ridge overlooking Marion Bay, to the east of Hobart. The wine’s keynote is a pristine, mouth-watering, delicious pinot flavour. While this youthful fruitiness suits ham now, I suspect that if cellared the wine’s flavour will progress to a more complex, savoury, gamey state over the next five to 10 years.
WITH THE ROAST TURKEY
Ruchottes Chambertin Clos des Ruchottes (Armand Rousseau) 2005 $350
Well, there’s pinot noir and there’s Burgundy. Perhaps it’s vinocide to quaff this illustrious, potentially long-lived classic so young. But surely we can indulge in absolute luxury once year. 2005 is a great year for Burgundy and Domaine Armand Rousseau is one of the great producers.
WITH CHRISTMAS PUDDING
Champagne Krug Brut 1996 $500
Best to finish on a high note. Good vintages of Krug, like 1985 and 1996, are the Bradmans of bubbly. They possess the finesse and elegance of Champagne but also the power and gravitas of truly great wine. Like the Chambertin of Armand Rousseau, above, Krug vintage is truly awe-inspiring.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2009