Nice drop for a spicy affair

Lillypilly Vineyard on a misty morning.

Weve long been unabashed fans of Robert Fiumaras Lillypilly Red Velvet, a wonderfully slurping blend of a dozen varieties that most of us have seldom, if ever, heard of.

Merlot, carignan, ruby cabernet, zinfandel, st magaire, tarrango, durif, touriga, mondeuse, chambourcin, malbec and cabernet sauvignon all tossed into one delightfully light red to serve chilled at a hot days barbie, or with the feet up watching the cricket on the box.

Now the ever-inventive Robert has released from his Leeton NSW winery another toss-it-down light red blend for summer-time enjoyment, particularly like his Red Velvet with some chill on it.

His 2004 Gypsy Rose is made from a handful of red varieties, but predominantly petit verdot, barbera and chambourcin. Its fresh, has nice fruit character and is a bit drier than the Red Velvet; at $14.50 its ideal to take along to the local Thai BYO and enjoy with a Pad Thai noodle dish or at home, served nice and cold with spicy sausages off the barbecue, peanut sauce and a crispy-crust damper.

Two for the cellar: A more-ish summer-time white for those not keen on a lot of oak in their wine, is Yarra Ridges 2005 Unwooded Chardonnay. Ready to enjoy now, or to put in the cellar for two or three years more bottle-age, this is a wine with fresh tropical fruit and citrus aromas, and crisp fruit flavours. Pay $19.99 and match with pan-fried swordfish and a mango/lime salsa.

De Bortoli have released their 2003 Yarra Valley Pinot Noir, a wine whose concentrated varietal flavour makes it ideal now with duck or other gamey meats, or to put aside for a special occasion sometime in the next three to five years. Happily pay $40, because its only going to become more pricey as supplies dwindle and it reaches peak drinking condition around 2010.


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