Claire Collins
Claire Collins

15.00 8 Nov 2019


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Tomas Clancy reviews Vins Auvigue, Macon Solutre 2018 and Peter Lehmann, Portrait Shiraz, Barossa 2016

 

Vins Auvigue, Macon Solutre 2018

Pricing :  €19.95

Available :  All good Independent Off Licences and Wine Shops nationwide

The Rock of Solutre has a mystical and intense hold on a part of the French imagination.  It is a vast souffle shaped rock of limestone that pushes up out of the already high surrounding landscape, like a souffle out of the top of a cooking pot.

The sheer and stretched wall of limestone that launches towards the sky glitters in the southern Burgundy summer sunshine and dazzles like a fiery white beacon in dark snowy winter.

It is as if France itself is holding up the flame of the statue of liberty from the very earth.

It has been an irresistible draw for human beings since our ancient stone age ancestors and today it is still magnetic.

Happily today it is even more alluring as it is swathed like a towel at a barbers around the neck by endless slopes covered in gorgeous green vineyards that tumble towards the nearby small villages of Pouilly, Fuisse and St. Veran.

We are deep in Chardonnay country in the southern Burgundy region of Macon.

Happily this region has been undervalued for the last century and today the source of Burgundy’s most undervalued and therefore well priced wines.

This example from the Solutre slopes is from the Auvigue Family’s extensive holdings across Macon. They have been making wine here since around 1629 , so they know the soils and the quirks. The clean etched citric waft of the nose, does not disappoint on the palate with amazing freshness and a lip-smacking rush, then a lime tinged, slightly baked apple touch of generosity and a bright finish. Delicious, very ambitious wine.

 

Peter Lehmann, Portrait Shiraz, Barossa 2016,

Pricing : €15

Available : All good Independent Off Licences and Wine Shops nationwide

This is a sort of tone poem in wine to the glory days of Australian Shiraz in the late 1980s and early 1990s long before the concepts of austerity and uber fashionable black olive tones became the most highly valued flavours.

This is a Shiraz that does not want to be a French, Rhone Syrah, it is a wine that embraces the sun, the spicy, cracked black pepper eye opening heat of Shiraz, the muscular beefy super ripeness the Barossa can be capable of and the generous even chocolate toned sweetness of the dark fruit notes.

Peter Lehmann was an Australian wine pioneer of the second wave in the 1960s, he was amongst the first to abandon the former staples of sweet port like wines in favour of looking to the European model of dry still wines.

He was not by any means a communist, but he was very much in favour of a co-operative approach to wine making and to sharing the benefits and rewards and acknowledging the work of the farmers who he bought supplemental grapes off from across Barossa.

In 1977, working for a large winery Saltram he ordered the usual grapes from his local family of suppliers and partners and the com-pany management saw a sales slump and told him to cancel the orders. Lehmann had given his word, knew the small farmers could not take the loss and refused to cancel the contacts. He took all the wine outside the company and made it as his own and Peter Lehmann wines was born along with incredible loyalty.

This Portrait Shiraz is a snapshot of all those sources and is a heroic everyday, joy orientated Shiraz aimed at earlier drinking, not storing or waiting. It is a taste of spicy warmth and sun a perfect riposte to our rain drenched dark and colder winter evenings.


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