Tag Archives: fiano

It’s time to celebrate some fabulous Australian ladies in wine – Olivers Taranga

Right about now, there’s an awards night happening in London to celebrate Australian women in wine http://womeninwineawards.com.au/

While I’m am all the way back here in Melbourne, Australia, I thought I would celebrate Australian women in wine my own way…

Let me introduce you to Olivers Taranga

I love wineries that have great stories behind them, whether it’s about the history or about the people behind the wine label.

Olivers Taranga is one of those wineries embedded with family history. The head winemaker behind Olivers Taranga is Corrina Wright. Corrina is joined by Brioni Oliver – vineyard, cellar door, and wine stock manager. Both Corrina and Brioni are part of the sixth generation at Olivers Taranga.

tip the bottle corrina.jpg

tip the bottle Brioni.jpg Top – Corrina Wright, Bottom – Brioni Oliver (Credit http://www.oliverstaranga.com)

Olivers Taranga was the feature winery at the last fabulous ladies wine society event in Melbourne at Lumé restaurant.

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Ladies getting fabulous at Lumé (Credit @fabulousladieswinesociety)

Olivers Taranga features a diverse range of wine varieties; varieties which are not all that common here in Australia just yet, like Vermentino, Fiano and a Rosé that’s made from Spanish grape variety Mencìa (pronounced “Men-thee-a”).

To kick start the evening we were treated to a unique sparkling wine  – A sparkling Fiano called ‘The Hunt for Mrs Oliver’.  I’ve never come across a sparkling Fiano before, as it’s traditionally made as a still white wine. ‘The Hunt for Mrs Oliver’ was fresh out of the barrel. So fresh in fact, that the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society were one of the first in the country to taste this amazing drop. It’s expected to be released later this year.

Fresh, light, bubbly, and acidic, its crisp finish made it a very easy drinking. Some may say too easy!

This sparkling wine is the first sparkling in the Olivers Taranga range. Corrina, being a lover of bubbly wine, had been wanting to introduce one in to the range for some time. She experimented by using the Fiano grape, turning it into a bubble using the Traditional Method. Voila! Success!

What’s the Traditional Method? It’s the Champagne wine making method of bottle fermenting, riddling and disgorging.

‘The Hunt for Mrs Oliver’ was born. The story behind the title and label came from their grandma, Marjorie Hunt. Marjorie was the matriarch of the family.  On the label you’ll see flowers and feathers, which symbolise the flowers and feathers she used to collect. It’s a wine that pays homage to the great lady herself.

Next on the tasting list was the Vermentino, an Italian variety. The Vermentino was light with loads of length, and a crisp finish – The perfect wine that can be paired with seafood.

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The wine lineup! (Credit @fabulousladieswinesociety)

Number three on the wine tasting list was the Fiano, the non-sparkling style. It was great to taste the Fiano without its bubbles, as it took on a different character; textured, nutty, with great acidity.

After we finished the whites, next came the pink! The Rosé.

This Rosé was made from Spanish grapes called Mencìa. I’d never heard of this variety before, so I was super keen to try it. In fact, Olivers Taranga are the first in Australia to be growing Mencìa grapes. After the vines were planted and the grapes were picked, Olivers Taranga decided to test it out by making a Rosé. Turns out it was a success, and it’s now into its 4th vintage!

What’s a vintage? Vintages are used to describe the year grapes are picked in from a vine.

The flavour of the Rosé was refreshing, just like munching into a watermelon on a hot summers day. After tasting the wine, it left me with a warming toffee-like finish in my mouth. Delicious!

tip the bottle wine night watermelon.gif

Those watermelon summer feels

Now it was time to move on to the reds! Here’s where the party is at! There is nothing better than sitting down with a glass of red, cosied up in front of a fire during Winter.

The Grenache was the first up on the red wine tasting list.

The Grenache, for Olivers Taranga, is more of a traditional variety. It’s one they feel works well with their philosophy of trying new things, but also sticking to well known structured wines like the Grenache. It had a slight oaky and pepperyiness to it, and was described as an easy pizza drinking wine. Hello! Any wine that’s teamed with pizza has my tick of approval.

 

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Wine – Tick!, Pizza – Tick! Happy Days

Next up there were two more traditional style of wines – the Shiraz variety. It was asked what would be the plural of Shiraz – which Jane, the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society host, aptly stated that it was ‘Shirazeses’. Try say that one!

A fun fact about Olivers Taranga: Their Shiraz grape also goes into making Penfolds Grange – a high quality red wine

To start off the Shiraz tastings we had the 2015 Olivers Taranga Shiraz, which was one of their newly released wines. Alongside the new released Shiraz was an older release; the 2013 Olivers Taranga HJ Reserve Shiraz. This wine took on a dark choc, rum and raisin flavour which was velvety and smooth – wow, sounds like I’ve just described a block of Cadbury rum and raisin. Yum!

And for the finalè, to cap off the night, we finished off with a 20 year old sticky fortified wine called The Banished.

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So much stickiness! The Banished

Again, a great story as to how this one came about – second generation brothers to the winery used to live the good life of drinking, smoking and gambling rather than working on the vineyard. As a result they were banished. Ruth Oliver, married to Archibald Oliver, took over the winery and was head winemaker. You go girl!

So there you have it, some fabulous ladies in wine, making great bottles for the rest of us all to enjoy. To all the ladies in wine out there, Cheers!

 

Until next time winos,

Cheers!

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On the second day of Christmas my wine rack gave to me an Olivier’s Taranga Fiano

Day 2 in the advent wine calendar and this calls for a bit of Friday fun, a Friday Fun Fiano

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Hello Friday Fun Fiano!

 

This here is Olivier’s Taranga 2016 Fiano

 

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I tasted this wine at the Flemington grazing trail a couple of years ago and it was love at first Fiano.

An Italian variety, this type is not a widely common one here in Australia, although it is gaining momentum. Hailing from McLaren Vale in South Australia, the Fiano is a really crisp and refreshing wine. Slightly floral with notes of pear and zest makes this wine for one fun Friday drink. A great alternative to the Pinot Grigio you may usually sip on for your Friday’s.

“Pears and nutty aromas, almost like cashew, some honey and white peach skin. More time reveals some citrus flower and leaf. In the mouth and poached pears drive the bus followed by a subdued ginger and cinnamon like spice. Flavours are long and mouth filling – some delicious textural interest. I’d happily have a couple of glasses.” http://www.oliverstaranga.com

Until next time winos

Cheers

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Gruner Veltliner – an Australian take on an Austrian wine

Wine menus at bars and pubs are becoming more diverse in varieties, thanks to more Aussies jumping on board the wine wagon, drinking and learning more about the drop they’re drinking.

It was just last week I was having a few sunny Saturday afternoon wines along the Yarra at Boatbuilders saturday_afternoonYard.

With wine being the drink of choice, there was one particular white on the menu that caught my eye. It was a Domaine Wachau Gruner Veltliner – An Austrian wine. It was positioned on the menu between a Riesling and a few Spanish wines followed by new beloved favourite, Fiano.
Intrigued to try, I asked the barman if he could tell me what it was like – “it’s quite mineral-ly… like licking a wet rock”.

Wow! What a description. I’m always fascinated by the way people describe wines. Some list off every tasting note under the sun, while others keep it simple, and interesting.

Based on this gentleman’s description, I just had to try it.

Verdict – while his description was certainly unique and quirky, my take on it would be ‘Riesling’s not so sweet sister’. It was very refreshing, light in colour, slightly fruity with a subtle sweetness.

Official tasting note –
“Bright greenish yellow; Offering enticing aromas of white pepper, delicate herbal notes, tropical fruits and hints of ripe yellow apple; Medium bodied with a crisp acidity, very harmonious, juicy fruits and spicy in the finish. A characteristic Federspiel, balanced and very typical.”

If you’re in the area, I highly recommend stopping off at Boatbuilders Yard, and giving this drop a try. At $10 a glass, or $48 for a bottle, I’d recommend you go for the bottle..

austrian wine
Would love to hear your quirkiest wine description that you’ve seen or heard.

Until next time winos,

Cheers!

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Shiraz, Shiraz, Shiraz – it’s the Heathcote Wine & Food Festival

So it’s been a few weeks since my last post. I guess you could say I was busily researching wine…

Now that we are in full spring mode, wine tasting events are popping up everywhere. One festival that I went to heathcote wine festival - wine barrellrecently was the Heathcote Wine & Food Festival, or as I call it ‘The Heathcote WINE Festival’.

Heathcote is a small rural town, nestled in central Victoria (90 minutes North of Melbourne). The wineries based in and around Heathcote proud themselves on magnificent reds. With hot-dry summers, cool-wet winters, and sitting on rich Cambrian soil, this wine region is a Shiraz’s paradise. If you’re ever hard pressed when it comes to choosing a red, one from the Heathcote region will certainly satisfy.

The festival is plonked on the grounds of the Heathcote Showground’s, with over 40 wineries on site. While no Bertie Beatle showbags were anywhere to be seen, there was certainly the opportunity to create my own little showbag of goodies to take home with me; which is exactly what I did.

heathcote wine festival sunny day

Not a cloud in the sky

Upon entry, I was handed a glass with the festival name etched on it for keeps. Woo-hoo! Gotta love a free wine glass.

Going against the words of advice from Beyonce ‘to the left-to the left’, I took a right and started off with tasting at Tellurian Wines – which had a mixture of reds, whites and a rose on offer. One particular variety up for tasting, that I had never tasted before, was called ‘Fiano’ – A light, slightly sweet Italian variety with lemon and pineapple notes. Perfect chilled on a warm summer’s day.

With the overwhelming amount of wineries, and only one day to taste (the festival goes over two days!), I had to be choosy where to tip my glass.

Glass tipping time!

Glass tipping time!

Tips on choosing where to tip your glass:

Fewer people at the tent, the better.

    • As deceiving as it looks, a tent with fewer people can look like the wine is no good. Don’t be taken by this, in fact this is where I found some of the best wine was located. Not only does it give you more time to taste and discover, but it also gives you a chance to have a proper chat to the wine sellers/owners. Here is where you can find out some little gems of information, such as the best year for wine in the Heathcote region – just between you and I it was 2010. You’re welcome.

While they say don’t judge a wine by its label, do it.

    • I chose places that had either interesting names, or labels attached to them – makes for an interesting wine tasting experience.

Tar and RosesTry something different

    • Try wines not stocked in mainstream stores like Dan Murphys. This is a chance to spread your taste buds. Enjoy it.
    • Taste different varieties. You never know what you might come across – just like my new found love of Fiano.
Something was really really funny

Something was obviously really really funny

Throughout the day I was making like Santa, and making a list and checking it twice. At the end of the day, I went back to the wineries I ranked ‘top tasting’, to make my purchases, and created my very own Bertie Beatle showbag.

My purchases for the day:

Downing Estate

2011 Shiraz

This winery was crowned ‘Best Red Wine of Show’!

Downing Estate

Tellurian

2014 Fiano

tellurian wines

Tar and Roses

2010 Nebbiolo

Tar and Roses Nebbiolo

Trust Wines

2011 Trust Shiraz

Trust Shiraz

Peregrine Ridge

2005 Winemakers Reserve Sparkling Shiraz

Peregrine Shiraz

While the next Heathcote Wine Festival may be another 12 months away, do yourself a favour and go treat yourself to a drop of that Heathcote goodness. Better still, go pour yourself a glass of Fiano. You wont regret it.

Leaving the grounds with my showbags

Leaving the grounds with my showbags

Until next time winos,

Cheers

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