A classy Australian
For those who favor the big, "blockbuster" style of wine, Barossa is a name to reckon with: This pretty valley not far north of Adelaide, with its strong 19th Century German immigrant heritage, produces benchmark examples of Australian reds. It was my great pleasure to visit Barossa last November, where I enjoyed an afternoon at Veritas winery with its wine maker, Rolf Binder, who later joined us at dinner in the village of Tanunda bearing more of his wines.
Veritas is a smallish producer, so its wines aren't easy to find; and frankly, their U.S. prices, driven by demand, push close to my "threshold of pain" for everyday consumption. But Binder consistently makes what I consider some of Barossa's best wines, reds that frame the big Barossa style with a touch of European elegance; and when I discovered a small stash of Veritas at a local shop recently, I couldn't resist coughing up 30 bucks for this sample, a Bordeaux-style blend of 65 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 35 percent Merlot:
Veritas 1999 Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot ($29.99)
FOOD MATCH: Fine with pan-grilled lamb steaks, enhanced with an earthy Friuli potato-and-onion dish on the side.
WEB LINKS: The Garagiste Website is at http://www.garagistewine.com/, which offers world-wide sales and shipping including U.S. states where permitted by law. The Grateful Palate, which sells food specialty items and wine (where legally permitted) online, is at http://www.gratefulpalate.com/. My tasting report, with a few photos, from last year's Barossa visit is at http://www.wineloverspage.com/wines/barossa.shtml.
A year of wine and laughter
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Friday, Nov. 2, 2001