We’ve kept in scratchy contact with The Tigger, and why not? She’s lively and vibrant, really ‘out there’ as few people really are. New things, especially wine perk her interest, and that’s a bonus for all her friends who she is affiliated and associated with. And we count ourselves among them. The Tigger came back to this country after an extended sabbatical, and we promised ourselves a spot of lunch. She has a special bottle, hard to get hold of, so we put something up to match it.
Visiting the Hahndorf Hill Winery in the Adelaide Hills, The Tigger was smitten by the idea of their Blaufrankisch, but it was sold out, as it does, very quickly on release. A frantic search unearthed a bottle of the 2011 in a retail store, and The Tigger snaffled it and dutifully brought it back home. What to match it with? SWMBO had a bottle of a 2011 Spade Oak St Laurent. So two Austrian red varieties associated by origin and affiliated by their Pinot Noir-esque nature!
Onto tasting, firstly the 2011 Hahndorf Hill Winery ‘Blueblood’ Adelaide Hills Blaufrankisch. Lightish in colour and a little tight on nose and palate. Somewhat lean and sinewy, with crisp, firm acid and firm, fine grip. That European dryness and acidity that needed some food. Not quite hard and harsh. But beguiling red fruits with a border of herbs and earth. In the glass developing greater depth and body to become reasonably substantial. This is a wine you could nurse a glass and your interest would grow. No wonder it’s popular.
Then the 2011 Spade Oak ‘Heart of Gold’ Gisborne St Laurent. A little darker in colour. Immediately aromatic and lifted with bright fruit. Seemingly riper, and certainly sweeter and more fleshy and juicy in the mouth. Supple, rounded tannins and fresh with light acidity. This has mellowed out over the last year. Maybe a little softer and plumper now too, making it delicious on its own. Nice liquorice notes at the heart of it all. On first impressions, this was the better wine, but in the glass more static, allowing its affiliate grow to match it. What a wonderful pairing of Austrian red varietals in Australasia.