Wine review – Domaine Belluard, Forester Estate and Mount Monster

Vin De Savoie Le Feu (Domaine Belluard) 2011 $57
The village of Ayze, 450 metres up in France’s Savoie region, is home to Domaine Bulluard’s 12-hectares of the gringet vine. Jancis Robinson writes just 22-hectares of the variety remain in Ayze, with Domain Belluard now the only commercial producer. Robinson quotes 19th century writing on the variety’s unique “property of not causing inebriation so long as one does not leave the table”. Apparently the cold night air does the damage. The 2011 (available from importer, provides, exotic and delicious full-bodied drinking. It’s bone dry, with teasingly tart acidity, melon-rind-like flavours and viscous, smooth texture.

Forester Estate Margaret River Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012 $17–$24
Margaret River’s classic blend of semillon with sauvignon blanc can offer so much more drinking interest than straight sauvignon blanc – while retaining much of the variety’s vibrant, fruity character. In this blend, semillon comprises 53 per cent of the blend and sauvignon blanc 45 per cent, with a splash of chardonnay making up the balance. A tiny portion of barrel-fermented material adds subtly to the texture. But the main game is the dazzling fruit festival in your mouth. The wine has a string of show medals, including a blue-gold medal at the Sydney International Wine Competition and a gold medal at the Royal Hobart Wine Show 2013.

Mount Monster Padthaway Cabernet 2012 $14–$16
The Bryson family owns two vineyards, totalling 170 hectares, at Padthaway on South Australia’s Limestone Coast, about an hour’s drive north of Coonawarra. The vineyard hold could produce, by my estimate around 120 thousand dozen bottles in a good year – fairly large production for a family holding in Australia. The family manages the vineyards and marketing of its Moorambro Creek, Jip Jip Rocks and Mt Monster brands. Their cabernet offers exceptional richness and purity of ripe varietal flavour. The mid-palate is juicy, plump and satisfying, but the wine still retains the elegant, regional structure.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 13 April 2014