Savour columnist Daniel Jonberger, and Rockliffe Hall’s head sommelier, talks wine for spring.
I have often been told that I have the most perfect profession. Tasting wine for a living – with the occasional vineyard visit. There is truth in those comments, but I see it more as a calling or hobby, to be honest. It is a hobby that never stops surprising me, with the added bonus that I work with guests most nights to (hopefully) inform them about and let them taste good wines.
I am always on the hunt for new discoveries and flavours that I can put on show, especially since our palate changes with the seasons. There is always something interesting. The wines I’ve chosen here are ones I sampled in September last year, and at that time found them quite interesting, but they didn’t have the ‘wow’ factor.
Then I recently went back to these bottles and found their palate and nuances very different. Even my tasting notes were quite different. Now, these wines most definitely have the ‘wow’ factor.
Feudo Arancio Grillo, Sicily, Italy, 2017
It has a distinctively tropical nose that comes from the grillo grape. A touch of jasmine and mango comes to mind on the palate– and it has a delicate acidity at the end. Perfect to enjoy with pasta dishes, seafood or just in front of the TV.
Wente Vineyards, Morning Fog Chardonnay, Livermore Valley, California, USA, 2016
A creamy nose with a faint touch of lemon at the back. Big floral flavours that go over to a buttery, nutty mouthful with a soft oak balance. A beautiful wine for conversations, grilled fish or a nice pork dish.
Las Mercedes, Singular Cabernet Sauvignon, Valle de Maul, Chile, 2016
This is a truly different Cabernet Sauvignon. A fine concentration of cassis on the nose, but it is the mouthful that is fabulous. Silky with low tannins and a bucket full of soft berries. No posh oak or jammy tendencies in sight. A second glass is inevitable with this wine. Lovely to have with any meat dishes and even with grilled salmon. Salud!
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