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PARTNER this with lamb shanks
in a red wine and tomato sauce.


David Ellis

BLACKJACK Vineyards in the old apple and pear growing district of the Harcourt Valley just south of Victoria’s Bendigo, is one of those places fortunate enough to enjoy Indian Summer autumns whose cool nights and warm clear days allow the grapes to ripen just ever so nice and slowly.

Such was the case in 2010 although the area also had more rain than usual during summer. But this did not impact on the vines’ fruit quality, giving Blackjack’s owners and winemakers, Ian McKenzie and Ken Pollack plenty of good fruit into the winery over an almost leisurely two weeks of vintage in April.

Their 2010 Cabernet Merlot particularly benefited from such a good vintage, and with the style constantly gaining in popularity this is one to look for for enjoyment now, or to put away to development in the cellar over the next decade: we’re prepared to suggest now that it’ll be looked upon then as a classic of the style.

With loads of red fruits and hints of chocolate on the nose, it’s got a lovely palate that’s soft and supple with a solid core of concentrated berry fruits and ripe tannins; pay around $25-$30 and enjoy as we did with lamb shanks in a red wine and tomato sauce accompanied by a creamy potato mash.

NEW ZEALAND bubbly that’s
“unexpectedly Champagne-like.”

ONE FOR LUNCH: IT’S thirty years since it launched in 1982 and Lindauer can now lay claim to being New Zealand’s most popular sparkling wine brand, its most-exported bubbly, and as well hold pride of place as having been its country’s first commercially available local methode traditionnelle.

And it’s enjoying good sales here in Australia, a well-priced Lindauer Special Reserve Brut Cuvee NV selling at around just $20. Made from Pinot Noir (75%) and Chardonnay (25%) from Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, it was held on lees for 2½ years before release to make for an ideal party-room drop that like other Lindauer Special Reserves has earned it such nice commendations from critics as “unexpectedly Champagne-like.”



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