Christmas eve was a wonderful family dinner, with a mixed plate of fresh oysters, prawns, and tuna and salmon sashimi for the entrée, and then a prawn gnocchi for the main. Would love to tell you more about the food but this is a wine blog. Stay on message they always say. Suffice to say the food was beautiful.
Now to the wine . . .
Bellussi Prosecco di Valdobbiadene – $25 - My wife is a big fan of Prosecco so we kicked off the evening with this . . .
On the nose it had that subtle bit of yeastiness which I like. On the palate it had good fruit, a hint of pear, with a bit of sweetness, but from mid to back palate was dry, and you’d definitely put it in the dry style of prosecco. Very tasty and drinkable, and at $25 a bottle would happily purchase more.
With the seafood platter we had a 2008 Grosset Watervale Riesling ($35). A somewhat developed colour for an ’08, this is a wine that is dominated by lemon and lime flavours. Nice and juicy on the palate. Quality wine that will undoubtedly age, though also highlights to me my personal preference for the Eden Valley Rieslings. This wine had none of the floral nose and minerality on the palate that I love in my riesling. Not a criticism just my preference. If you love your Clare Valley riesling you'll certainly enjoy this.
With the prawn gnocchi we had the 2006 Martinborough Vineyard Pinot Noir ($80). I’m not someone who has drunk a lot of pinot noir (not compared anyway to what I have put away in terms of cabernet and shiraz), but I’m certainly coming around to the variety and starting to drink more of it. This wine has done a mighty service to that cause.
I’d say it’s the best Pinot I’ve drunk this year. It combines power and hedonism, with complexity and elegance.
Firstly it’s a dark pinot that foretells of the power and hedonism of the wine. Secondly it has a wonderfully aromatic nose. While there are descriptors I could mention, none of them to me stand out or are obvious, but rather all blend together to produce a wine that you could just keep on smelling (for the record I got strawberries, game/meaty aromas, and spice).
On the palate it is all class. It is silky and smooth, and while there is some sweetness on the front palate, the flavours are predominantly savoury. In fact the front palate provides the yum factor, while the middle to back palate provides a complexity of flavour that you keep coming back to. It has great length, structure, and tannins, and I’m sure it could age at least another 5 years.
I could feel a bit guilty having drunk it when it still had some ageing left in it, but it was just such a beautiful wine that I see no reason to feel that way. It was a superb way to finish off the night.