This article was published in The 30 Second Wine Advisor on Friday, Oct. 19, 2007 and can be found at http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/tswa20071019.php.
And so it was for me this week, when the tasty Australians that I picked off the shelf for Monday's and Wednesday's editions were followed coincidentally by an unexpected visit from an Australian-wine importer who came to town bearing a stellar cluster of beauties from the Antipodes.
(That's a great word, by the way, pronounced "an-TIP-uh-deez," from the Greek words meaning, loosely, "where people's feet point in the opposite direction," or "the other side of the earth.")
With thanks to visiting Rebecca Loewy, with the excellent, Napa-based import firm Old Bridge Cellars, we tasted through a half-dozen Australian wines (and one New Zealand goodie) and found them consistently well-matched to Pacific Rim "fusion" dishes at a fine local restaurant, Asiatique.
In the context of our recent explorations of Australian wines that fall outside the stereotypical "blockbuster" category, I was particularly impressed with Old Bridge's consistent commitment to Oz producers who focus on delicacy and regional expression in their wines, not merely monolithic fruit.
With the usual caveat that these wines weren't rated analytically but tasted in a sociable, restaurant setting with food, here are my brief notes on seven worthy items from the Antipodes.
Mak 2005 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Leeuwin 2003 Art Series Margaret River Western Australia Chardonnay
D'Arenberg 2006 "The Laughing Magpie" McLaren Vale Shiraz Viognier
Mak 2002 Clare Valley Shiraz
John Duval Wines 2005 Barossa Valley "Plexus" Syrah-Grenache-Mourvedre
John Duval Wines 2005 Barossa Valley "Entity" Shiraz
Chambers Rosewood Vineyards Rutherglen Liqueur Muscat
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