Francois was and is very much at the forefront of modern, exciting winemaking in the Rhône, starting his career as a Chef he released his first wines in 1991 (a mere 400 bottles). He has created a large range of wines but has a dedicated following in particular for his various cuvees of Condrieu, this is essence of Viognier: florals, stonefruit, spice, citrus et al. François is not scared to experiment or by the use of new oak and botrytis (in dry wines). On a personal note I was very happy when François came to Frantzéns Kitchen and slowly read through every page of my not small wine list!
I really enjoy and admire the handiwork of Bilancia’s Warren Gibson and Lorraine Leheny in my home country’s Hawke’s Bay region and in particular their Rhône inspired Syrah which always shows a purity, brightness and “Rhoney” vibrant pepper & spice. Softened out with a little bit of bottle age, it’s drinking beautifully now. (the 2019 sounds like a cracker also!)
I really hope we can see their “la collina” epic single vineyard Syrah on these shores sooner rather than later as it’s one of NZ’s great reds, while I’m doing a ‘wish list’ let’s add their new “Tiratore” Chardonnay which is piling up rave reviews. This is one of the great small wineries of New Zealand.
Seems like the whole wine world loves gin and this is no exception, created by martini-loving winemaker Andrew Marks (Wanderer Wines & Gembrook Hill Vineyard) They use a copper pot bain-marie alembic still, traditionally used for making perfume which preserves the delicate nature of the botanicals which include juniper berries, coriander seeds, macadamia, sandalwood, rosemary, lemon myrtle, organic navel orange, angelica root, orris root and cassia bark. The final crucial component is water - rainwater from Gembrook in the Yarra Ranges with a purity that allows the botanicals to shine.
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