I’m often asked which wines we drink at home, and the short answer is a lot of everything, and it’s always changing, either because of seasons, changing tastes or the quality of a particular vintage of wine.
Over the last few weeks we’ve been getting back into our summer wines; crisp and zippy whites, spicy pinots and reds that are best when chilled. However when I say chilled I don’t mean cold, when a wine is recommended to be served at room temperature, its referring to the temperature a room would have been in medieval times, before heating was more common place, so around 15°-18°. It’s amazing what ten or fifteen minutes in an ice bath will do for a red wine, when its served at 25° will start to lose its finesse, when served at around our 28°-32° Xmas room temps, it will have a high, often overpowering whack of alcohol fumes, at that 15-18 it will show the finesse and structure that is was crafted to show, especially if you use a higher quality glass. Of course if you store you wines in a wine cellar or wine fridge then you can simply pull your wine out ten minutes before you pour. If in doubt, serve the wine a little cooler and it will warm in the glass, or warm it faster by holding the glass in your hand.
So with all of that in mind I threw a few samples from De Bortoli, what they have called their “Top Drops for Summer” into the fridge last week, for us to try around our regular tasting group.
De Bortoli Deen Vat Series No. 6 Verdelho 2014 – Verdelho isn’t a well-known style here, but it can produce some seriously tasty wines. This is pretty good, its quaffable with dry herbs and spice on the nose, apricot and pear, melon and lime and white citrus blossom on the tongue with an interesting dry and savoury finish. Great with food, however the finish can come a bit assertive as this warms, make sure you keep it cool. RRP $12.90
De Bortoli La Bossa Pinot Grigio 2015 – low yielding young vines are used here to produce a wine that is all fruit, with a touch of minerality. There’s white stone fruits upfront, pear in the mid-palate, and a short finish. Wasn’t my favourite wine of the day, however this will show its full potential in a few months when it’s seriously hot outside and you’re looking for something easy and uncomplicated. RRP $9.99
De Bortoli Deen Vat Series No. 4 Petit Verdot 2012 – much like Verdelho, there isn’t a lot of petit verdot grown in Australia, but it produces some fantastic wines, especially with a little bit of bottle age. Dark berry aromas in the glass, dark berries and fruits on the tongue, big tannin bold structure that comes to the fore as the wine warms. Already four years old this will still carry on for about another five years in the bottle.
De Bortoli Deen Vat Series No. 1 Durif 2014 – durif has a lot in common with its cousin grape shiraz, dark fruits and spices, fine chewy tannins when its handled well, and can take on a lot of the chocolate oakey notes from time in the barrel. This was my pick of the day, a great wine, tannin structure delivers that long chewy finish, touches of smoke and dry herbs that linger on the tongue, it also has potential to age in the bottle for the next few years, but I think it’s perfect now. RRP $12.90
De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon 2014 – a wine that is known around the world, often thought of as only a desert wine, but the truth is that the Noble One also makes a great cheese wine, even as an accompaniment to lightly dressed, grilled scallops. The Noble One has aromas that leap out of the glass, nectarine, cumquat, apricots and then on the tongue it shows all those orangery coloured citrus fruits with a touch of butterscotch, the sweetness isn’t overpowering but in perfect balance with the acidity. I love this wine. RRP $33