Wine review – Bouchot-Ludot, Manners and Ross Hill

Chablis (Bouchot-Ludot) 2011 $16.49
Chablis – Burgundy’s northernmost sub-region, at around latitude 47 degrees – makes unique and delicious, lean, intense chardonnays, reflecting the very cool climate. The best, like those of Raveneau, can be sublime. But more workmanlike wines, like this Costco import, still capture the unique and loveable regional style. The high-acidity of Chablis, which suits fresh-shucked oysters particularly well, made it our Easter coastal tipple. And because it’s not at all like an Australian chardonnay, it adds variety to our drinking. Costco’s global buying power allows us to drink it at a realistic price.

Manners Mudgee Gewurztraminer 2013 $20
James Manners’ impressive 2013 gewürztraminer kicked off a superb fixed price Bistro Ceello dinner during Orange’s recent food week. Manners’ father, Michael Manners, returned to his alma mater (formerly Selkirks) to cook with Bistro Ceello owner, Michael Want. The dry gewürztraminer, sourced from a high altitude vineyard in the Mudgee region, accompanied a rich, silk-smooth prawn custard, served with prawn bisque, watercress and cucumber. Gewurztraminer could easily have overwhelmed this dish. But Manners’ version featured just enough of the variety’s distinctive Turkish delight and lychee flavours to harmonise with the food. (It’s available at wellmanneredwine.com.au).

Ross Hill Benny and Taylor Orange Shiraz 2012 $22
Bistro Ceello’s Orange food week dinner included a confit of duck leg, served with a risotto of walnut, parsley and Second Mouse washed rind cheese. The crunchy, very fresh walnuts and pungent sweetness of the local cheese added to the warm, comforting opulence of the duck. The accompanying wine came from Ross Hill, established in 1994 and now with two vineyards at around 800 metres and 1000 metres respectively. The shiraz, from warmer sites and a cool vintage, offers attractive spicy and peppery aromas, medium body and a tight, fine, savoury palate with delicious underlying ripe-berry flavours.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 27 April 2014 in the Canberra Times

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