27 May 2013

Reds for the cellar

We are sometimes asked for suggestions for wines to put in the cellar. 

Below are some of our current suggestions at different price points (posted May 2013). These offer good drinking now but will repay some time in the cellar. 

To make it easier we have also picked 3 wines to go into a Bordeaux starter pack

Chateau Senilhac le Prade 2009  (Haut- Médoc)  $23 A stand-out quality and value for money wine in a long line-up of Médoc wines from 2009. (Keep until 2016-2019)

Legende de la Tour Carnet 2004 (Médoc) $48
The second wine (made from younger vines) from a great Bordeaux producer from a great year (keep until 2020)

Chateau Lagarde 2009 (Saint Émilion) $29.90
If you are a fan of Saint Émilion or merlot, or just looking for a good wine at a great price, its pretty hard to go past this wine! (2013-2018)

Chateau Fleur Poitou 2010 (Lussac de Semilion) $25 A lovely merlot blend from the St Émilion satellite of Lussac St- Émilion. From the outstanding vintage of 2010. (Keep until 2015-2020)

Chateau Haut-Vigneau 2009 (Pessac-Leognan) $38 Typifies the silky tannins, minerals and structure of the wines of Pessac-Leognan on the outskirts of Bordeaux ( drinking now but keep until 2020+)

Chateau Haut Peyrous 2008 (Graves) $38.50 Organic producer who has modernised this classic vineyard. (Delicious now but will keep until 2023)

Amiral de Beycheville 2009 (Saint Julien) $78 The second wine (younger vines) of one of the great Bordeaux producers from a great year. (best 2015-2020+)

Chateau de Aiguilhe 2008 (Bordeaux Cotes de Castillon) $72 Legendary right bank merlot blend. Considered an up and coming chateau according to Oz Clarke. Cover of Decanter magazine November 2012!  (best 2015-2025)

Close des Quatres Vents 2007 (Margaux) $110  A classy micro producer in Margaux. An exceptional plot, adjacent to some of the best and most expensive producers in Margaux, producing great wine from a master winemaker (approachable now but keep until 2017-2027)

For more details go to www.discoverin.com.au or call us on 0260206016

24 May 2013

Organic v biodynamic wines

DiscoverVin distributes several organic and biodynamic wines. What is the the difference between organic and biodynamic wines? Are they are different to "natural" wines? 

Unfortunately due to different regulations in various countries and different agencies that enforce "the rules", it is often difficult to find universal  accepted definitions. 

However, in short.....
"organic" refers to no sprays and minimal use of sulphur, 

"biodynamic" means organic plus the use of specific production methods pioneered by Rudolf Steiner .

"Natural" means no additives whatsoever and the use of natural ferment (no added yeast or mechanical means to control fermentation- essentially fermented grape juice not intended to cellar for the long-term! 

Recently we came across a very good explanation of these terms on the wine list of the Rouge Tomate restaurant in New York City. This is a Michelin starred "Modern American" restaurant featuring local seasonal ingredients and a fantastic international wine list of mostly organic and biodynamic wines curated by sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier. This restaurant not only employs chefs but uses a "culinary nutritionist" who helps in the preparation of the dishes!

We think that their explanation of the difference between organic, biodynamic and natural wines is as good as any that we have seen, and we have reproduced it here.......
So whats all the hype about?  It is difficult to prove that organic or biodynamic wines taste better. Proponents believe that the wines taste "brighter" with better primary fruit characteristics and complexity and better reflect the terror of the site. Or in other words the practises produce more "authentic" wines. Perhaps its not necessarily the practises themselves that lead to better wines. Perhaps if a producer goes down the path of organic or biodynamic production they are meticulous and following best possible practices to produce the best possibly quality fruit from their vineyards?

Many of the producers distributed by DiscoverVin follow organic or biodynamic practises or are in the process of  "converting " to organic practise. Effectively this conversion process means that the agency granting organic status in this case, The European Commission, recognises the primary producer is now following approved pratices and after a certain number of years will be given organic status.  In France producers are given "AB" status by the Agence Française pour la Développemente et la Promotion de l'Agriculture Biologique. The producers are able to use the AB logo once they have achieved organic status. Recently they changed their logo so you will sometimes see the old one on the left (above) The new one on the right will be appearing gradually with new vintages.

The vineyards at Chateau Tour des Gendres in Bergerac. The grasses and weeds are allowed to grow, sprays. minimised, creating a vibrant natural ecosystem and forcing the grapes to compete and send their roots deep into the soils below

Our organic producers..

Chateau de Saurs (Gaillac)- converted since 2012 vintage
Domaine de l'Ancienne Cure (Bergerac)- converted since 2012 vintage
Chateau Haut Peyrous (Graves)- in conversion
Domaine Bellegarde (Jurancon)-in conversion
Chateau Bouissel (Fronton)-in conversion
Chateau Semeillan Mazeau (Bordeaux/Listrac Medoc)-in conversion
Chateau Moulin Pey-Labrie (Fronsac)- in conversion
Domaine Roche-Audran (Cotes du Rhone)

Our biodynamic producers..
Tour des Gendres (Bergerac)- converted to organic since the 2005 vintage.

Luc de Conti at Tour des Gendres supervises crushing of biodynamically produced grapes at Chateau Tour des Gendres in Bergerac

18 May 2013

DiscoverVin support Mater Chicks in Pink

All courses on the menu were pink

DiscoverVin were happy to support the "Mater Chicks in Pink" with a fundraising dinner at C'est Bon in Wooloongabba, Brisbane on April 15. The "Mater Chicks in Pink" support women diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  Over $2000 was raised on the night.

Celine and the team at C'est Bon put their heart into the event, gathering support from their suppliers, decorating the rooms, working for free and wearing pink aprons in the kitchen. All of the staff worked for free and the suppliers donated all food and wine used, so that as much money as possible could be raised for the cause!

Homemade Gravelax with Honey Dill Mustard Creme.
All of the food had a pink theme.  The Domaine de la Croix Rosé was the perfect wine for the dinner.  The salmon pink colour of the wine was ideal and looked wonderful with the Pink Fish.  The colour and the soft fruit flavours were lovely with the Homemade Gravalax served with a honey dill mustard creme.  

The wine's dry and savoury aspects on the palate meant the Irresistible Rosé also worked well with the Free Range Chick in Pink.  The soft and supple wine was lovely with the oven roasted free range chicken supreme coated in beetroot crust on spinach and exotic mushroom risotto beurre pink.

Vivid pink dragonfruit & lychee sorbet was spectaular finale.

The rosé was also a good accompaniment to the pink dessert - The Dragon, the Crunch and the Ballet Dancer.  This was a vivid pink dragonfruit and lychee sorbet in a brandy basket.  Superbe!!

Pink stripes for the plates

The kitchen team in their chicks in pink aprons.

South West France Dinner Bathers Pavilion May 23rd 2013

We are very much looking forward to seeing our Sydney friends this week at a south-west France dinner at Bathers Pavilion in Sydney. 

The menu looks fantastic and the wines will be great!

This will be your chance to explore (or re-aquaint yourself) with the food and wine of this beautiful region of France.

At the time of writing this, tickets are selling fast. Please contact Bathers Pavilion on 0299695050 or eat@batherspavillion.com.au for bookings or for more information. 

We look forward to seeing you there. If you can't make it, follow the blog and we will post some photos/details after the event!

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