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Bordeaux, Heathcote, Rose

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Bordeaux



Maritime Bordeaux in the west of France is a large producer of quality wines. Although saying that there's a large gap between the top few who produce ultra-premium wines with hefty price tags (Lafite, Margaux, Y'Quem, Petrus….) and the rest of the field.

The Left Bank with its gravelly composition of soils is more suited to Cabernet Sauvignon while the Right Bank is made up more of clay and this is where Merlot and Cabernet Franc dominate (as they are earlier ripens and don't mind getting their feet wet). In the middle, the Entre Du Meurs provides a slew of whites and reds made for early drinking.

On the right bank outside of St Emilion and Pomerol, there are a lot of well-priced merlots made that are more for early consumption. These come from the satellite Bordeaux regions.
The English built up a thirst for the better Bordeaux reds which they have coined 'clarets'. These are often tucked away for a while in their cellars to age and drunk with a few years under their belts. But not all Bordeaux is built for aging, so choose wisely.

Styles
For whites, there are the crisp and easily quaffed whites from Entre De Meurs, or the more ambitious oak-aged Semillion Sauvignon blends from Pessac Legonan. The queen of dessert wines, Sauternes can also call Bordeaux home. French oak maturation is a common thread amongst the elite reds, whites and sweet wines.

Grapes

White:Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle
Red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot

Some of the most highly rated recent vintages are 2005, 2009, 2010, 2016 and 2018.

Favourite Producers
Montrose, Pichon Lalande, Poitevin, D'Yquem, Coutet,
 



Heathcote

Located in central Victoria, while viticulture in Heathcote began with the gold rush around 1860’s, all plantings bar one were destroyed by Phylloxera around 1900. Modern viticulture began in the 1950’s through to the 1970’s with the establishment of Paul Osicka in 1955, Jasper Hill in 1975 and Heathcote Winery in 1978. Geologically the key to Heathcote is a deposit of Cambrian red soils which begins 20 kilometres south east of the town of Heathcote proper then north running along the Mount Ida Range for 60 kilometres. The dry arid conditions make water stress an ongoing issue and necessitate irrigation, though more established vineyards with deeper roots are able to avoid these issues. Temperatures range from warm to hot summer days with cool through cold nights idea for the production of full bodied red grape varieties such as shiraz, and most notably of recent history Sangiovese. 

Shiraz from mature dry grown vineyards is typically full bodied, dense, mouth filling with fruit profiles of blackberry, black and red cherry, leather, spice and liquorice with mouth coating density and ripe soft tannins which age gracefully. Outstanding producers include Jasper Hill, Red Eagle, Greenstone and Yabby Lake. 

Sangiovese and Nebbiolo have met with recent success in Heathcote. Chalmers wines have established a number of Heathcote vineyards with a range of varieties indigenous to Italy. Greenstone, a venture between David Gleave MW, Tuscan winemaker Alberto Antonini and former Brown Brothers viticulturist Mark Walpole, established plantings of Sangiovese, Syrah and mourvèdre on the Cambrian soils. They believe the Heathcote climate is perfect for Sangiovese, with close climatic conditions to Tuscany and many of the best Heathcote Sangiovese are produced from Greenstone Vineyard fruit. Outstanding producers include Greenstone, Vinea Marson and Foster e Rocco.

Sources:
The Oxford Companion to Wine, Jancis Robinson MW
James Halliday's Wine Atlas of Australia, James Halliday


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  1. Rinkydink French BDX Pack 20220
    Rinkydink French BDX Pack 20220

    You will receive 3 premium bottles of French wine delivered to your door, free delivery metro Melbourne and Sydney, other destinations $10 flat rate.

    We will email you a Zoom invitation, wine tasting notes, cheese recommendations prior to the event, you just need to have your wines ready and log on.

    Virtual wine lounges now available – we now have the option for you to relax with your friends in your own private virtual “Wine Lounge” at the end of the formal tasting.

    $99.50
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