Australia, much like Canada, is a confederation of states. It consists of six states – Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and Western Australia.
Victoria, located in the southeastern corner of the huge island, south of New South Wales, is am major wine producer.
Viticulture started here with Hubert de Castella (a Swiss) in 1854, and at one time produced 50 per cent of the output of the country.
Ever since, many European immigrants settled in Victoria’s most promising regions and started making wine.
The state offers a stunning range of wines – from red, white, sparkling, fortified and everything in between, produced by 250 wineries spread over thousands of kilometres.
Bendigo, Gippsland, Golburn Valley, Nagambie Lakes, Grampians, Heathcote, Mornington Peninsula, Pyrenees, Startbogie Ranges, Sunbury, and Yarra Valley are wine producing regions of the state.
Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley are considered cool climate regions and excel in pinot noir, and chardonnay.
Yarra Valley, located east of Melbourne with sand-loam, and a mix of rocky clay sub-soil, is cool climate and has an annual rainfall of 1160 mm.
The altitude ranges from 50 to 400 metres. Here pinot noir and chardonnay grow particularly well, and in the hands of knowledgeable winemakers yield outstanding wines.
Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne, is also cool with yellow and brown soils over friable, well-drained clay and approximately 350 mm. rainfall in the growing season.
Pinot noir does exceptional well here.
Heatcote and Pyrenees, Startbogie Ranges and Sunbury are considerably warmer than Yarra and Mornington Peninsula and grow cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, shiraz, and other varieties successfully.
Recently, a specialized media in Toronto was treated to an expanded tasting of Victoria wines of which I found the following appealing:
Chardonnay Reserve, 2008, Australis, Gippsland
Intense apricot, pink grape fruit and peach blossom aromas dominate, Medium bodied. Silky texture with a long toasty finish. An excellent food wine.
284935, $ 39.95
Gladysdale Pinot Noir, 2008, Giant Steps, Yarra Valley
A typical pinot noir of “forest floor” smells berries. Smoky with good acidity, light, “caresses the tongue”, smooth and elegant. Long after taste.
219725 Vintages, $ 39.95
Shiraz, 2008, Camelback, Sunbury
Aromas of ripe plums and black berries are readily recognizable. Mid-weight with crisp acidity and good structure. Excellent finish.
665125, $ 26.95
Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Shiraz, 2009, Plunkett Fowles, Starthbogie Ranges
The wine was matured in 5000 litre oak casks according to the winemaker. Deep garnet leaning to purple in colour, it exudes cherry and blackberry aromas, with underlying peppiness. Mid-weight, with good acidity. An excellent food wine to enjoy with flavourful food i.e roast loin of pork, medium rare steaks, hard cheeses.
Vintages $ 35.00
Noble One Botrytis Semillon, 2008, De Bortoli
This sweet Semillon is always extremely aromatic exuding aromas of peaches, apricots, and white flowers. Well balanced, refined and elegant with an outstanding finish. A wine that will compel you to meditate!
08917252, 375 ml. $ 29.95