Warming winters at Tallis

The cold weather is upon us. The vines have shed their autumn foliage and are are bedding down for the next few months to withstand the winter chill.

Up at the cellar door its a different story, the fires are burning, it's warm and cosy and mulled wine is now on offer! The newly planted crops are pushing their green heads through the Dookie dirt and the landscape is changing to a lush green. Every week the country side looks different and on a clear day you can even see the snow capped peaks of Mt Buller. It is a wonderful sight to watch a storm roll in over the hills through the windows of the cellar door or even better on a still winter's day to sit on our verandah wrapped in a blanket in front of the fire enjoying a regional platter and a glass of red.

We are open every Friday, Saturday & Sunday 11am to 5pm and remember the cellar door is also available for private bookings any night of the week all through winter. What's not to love about wine education and wine tasting at a business event or social gathering? Or you are welcome to just use the space and drink the wine, bring your own catering in or talk to us about our popular offerings. For more information contact our cellar door manager Susan on 0437 825 547

Cellar Releases for our Tallisman Members

At a staff tasting earlier this week we tasted a couple of wines from the Silent Showman range which have been cellaring in the Barrel Hall at the winery. These wines will be on tasting at the Tallisman Christmas Drinks Party as a sneak peak and available for purchase from the Cellar Door. 

The Silent Showman Shiraz Viognier 2003 has aged beautifully and retained excellent colour and primary fruit characters. Nearly 10 years of cellaring has mellowed the wine with the viognier integrating seamlessly with the shiraz. The Silent Showman Shiraz 2007 shows big bold dark berry fruits alongside smooth chocolatey oak and firm tannins.

A great black grape variety ..... Nebbiolo

Jancis Robinson, Master of Wine and acclaimed wine writer describes Nebbiolo as a “great black grape variety responsible for some of the finest and longest-lived wines in Italy.” Nebbiolo is native to the Piedmont region of North West Italy, where it makes the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wines of Barolo, Barbaresco, Gattinara and Ghemme. Nebbiolo is also now grown in the New World including Australia and Californian wine regions. Nebbiolo is a sensitive variety on the vine and requires sufficient warmth to develop the sugars and fruit flavors needed to balance the grape's naturally high acidity and tannins. Nebbiolo is one of the first varieties to bud and one of the last varieties to ripen with harvest taking place late in the vintage schedule. Rains that occur during ripening can have a detrimental effect on quality so the best Nebbiolo tends to come from vintages that had dry weather in the weeks before harvest. Malolactic (secondary) fermentation is encouraged in Nebbiolo to soften some of the variety's harsh acidity. The wine usually spends a couple years in oak to soften the tannic grip of the wines however oak use must be well judged to ensure the vanilla notes of new oak do not obscure the flavour and aromas subtleties of Nebbiolo. Nebbiolo wines can require years of aging to balance the tannins with other characteristics.

Nebbiolo is characterised by a distinctive autumnal colour in the glass, taking on a brick-orange hue at the rim of the glass as it ages. Primary aromas include black cherries, plums, raspberries, violets, rose petals and herbs. Secondary aromas give this wine its distinctiveness with scents of tar, truffles, licorice, prunes, bitter chocolate, coffee, tobacco and spice.

Wines made from Nebbiolo are characterised by ample acidity and tannin in their youth, with an ability to sustain years of bottle age where they age into wines with soft online casinos rich tannins. In fact some vintages require significant cellaring before they are ready for consumption. As Nebbiolo ages, the bouquet becomes more complex and appealing with aromas of tar and roses being the two most common notes.

Nebbiolo is truly a food wine, and any dishes that mirror the complexity and depth of the wine will be a suitable accompaniment. Italian dishes are an obvious choice but any food you could serve with mushrooms will marry well with Nebbiolo. Suggested other food matches are slow cooked winter casseroles and game, meat with red wine sauce, osso buco, pasta and sausage, risotto, spicy Italian meats and aged parmesan.

Experience a Central Victorian Nebbiolo – the Tallis Nebbiolo 2008, a Signature Nebbiolo with its muted brick red colour. An attractive perfume of rose petals and spicy red fruits follow into a powerful savoury palate which belies the wines’ appearance. Orange peel, anise and floral characters are given complexity with a tarry, earthy palate. Nebbiolo is characterised by its distinctive acidity and firm tannins, and as the wine ages these characters soften to create a more generous mouthfeel. Your patience in allowing this Nebbiolo to age will be rewarded with greater complexity and smoother mouthfeel.

Spring clean your wine cellar

Nothing revitalises us more than the arrival of warm weather. Use your energy this Spring to focus on one area of our home that is often neglected, the wine cellar. Our wine cellar deserves attention as the contents are often of high monetary or sentimental value, and are not of an interminable quality. To open a bottle of prized wine only to discover it has been left to cellar for too long is at best frustrating. While not completely unavoidable, this can be minimised with a little effort and a few organisational skills. Then you can rest easy knowing your wine cellar is under control, and all you have to do is drink the stuff.

A wine inventory diary is an invaluable tool for those serious about looking after their wine cellar. While there are several software programs available for those with enviable wine cellars, for many of us a more simple record of what we have, how much we have and when we estimate we should drink it is enough.  Tallis Wine has done the hard work for you with a free downloadable wine inventory diary to help you keep track of your cellar. Tallisman members can use the wine inventory in conjunction with their Tallisman wine diary to have a more comprehensive record. Now lets get down to the nitty gritty on how to sort your wines.
Bearing in mind that wines being aged should be disturbed as little as possible, get down on your hands and knees and look through the racks to work out exactly what you have in your cellar. Record all the wines into your wine inventory diary, and keep an eye out for any leaking corks or screw caps. Leaking bottles should be isolated and flagged for early consumption as it is highly likely these wines will have been exposed to oxygen and may no longer be at their best.

Information derived from your wine diary and wine inventory notes will enable your wine cellar to be divided into a number of zones which could be:
1.    Drink now white wines
2.    Drink now red wines – this should include young reds intended for immediate consumption and aged reds ready for consumption.
3.    White wines to be aged
4.    Red wines to be aged
5.    Sparkling wines
6.    Fortified wines

With a few exceptions white wine generally is intended to be consumed while young and fresh. Riesling, Semillon and chardonnay are whites that can handle aging, and often improve as a consequence. Most other whites however start to lose their freshness within the first couple of years as the acidity and primary fruit characters start to fade. By flagging your white wines to be consumed within the first few years of their life, you will be rewarded. Your “drink now” holantinggame.net white wines should be stored together in an easily accessible area of your wine cellar. Storing by variety, for example, viognier on the first row, sauvignon blanc on the second and so on will make it easy putting your hand on the right type of wine in an instant.

For white wines capable of aging it is important to watch their progress to determine their optimum drinking time. For this reason purchasing multiple bottles of such wines is advantageous as the wine can be tried at varying times of its life cycle. With experience you will be able to estimate the best time to drink the wine based on how it changes. You may choose to store a portion of these whites with your drink now whites, particularly if you enjoy the variety both young and with some bottle age. The remaining whites that you wish to lay down for some time should be stored in a less accessible zone of your wine cellar.

Rosè wines should be treated in the same fashion as white wines in that they are intended to be consumed while young. Store your rosè in an easy to get to place in your cellar and remember to drink it at your earliest opportunity. Rosè is not intended for aging.
Now on to the reds in your cellar. While most of the wines produced in Australia today are ready for immediate consumption, many will benefit from some bottle age. Aging the right wine can be very rewarding. Primary fruit characters mellow as a wine ages, and secondary flavour compounds become apparent and add to the complexity of a wine. The acidity generally softens and the tannins become rounder.

Wine ages at different rates depending on variety, style and quality. Price is not necessarily a reliable factor. The structure of the wine will give many clues as to how well a wine will age. Good levels of tannin and acidity and intensity of primary fruit are some of the more important factors which give a wine longevity. Beware of aging sweet red wines where the sweetness is used to hide a lack of tannin or fruit character. These types of wines tend to age into sweet hollow wines of little character. It should be remembered however that not everyone likes aged wine. It is worth sampling a variety of wines with bottle age before subjecting the contents of your wine cellar to years of rest.
Don’t be afraid to discard the wines you know to be past their best. For interests sake, by all means try them, but if a wine is truly past it, there is not much point hanging onto the bottle, unless it is for sentimental purposes, and even then…..

Remember the saying: Life’s too short to drink bad wine!

Serving wine - getting the temperature right

Getting the temperature right is important. The same wine will smell and taste very different depending on its serving temperature. The tradition of serving all whites straight from the fridge and reds at room temperature may lead to wines not being enjoyed to their full potential. Sparkling wines are best served very cold, around 6 to 8?C. This helps control the mousse while serving. Light table whites benefit from a cool serving temperature around 9?C Serving cooler than this may inhibit the delicate fruit characters in the wine. Fuller bodied whites such as chardonnay and viognier can be served slightly warmer at around 11?C as this allows the textural component of the wine to be appreciated. Making an ice bucket available when serving white wines during summer will enable the wine to be chilled if it warms too much. Reds should be treated quite differently to ensure the wine does not taste syrupy or too alcoholic. If the wine is cellared properly, it will likely be close to ideal serving temperature straight from the cellar. Light to medium bodied reds such as merlot and sangiovese should be served between 14 to 16?C while full bodied reds such as shiraz and cab sauv can be served at the upper end of the temperature scale at 16 to 18?C. If your cellaring conditions lead to your Casino Dkaplan reds being stored at higher than these temperatures, then a short burst in the fridge or ice bucket will bring them back down to a more enjoyable temperature.

Building a wine cellar

Straw - an effective insulator for our barrel hall Generally, if a wine is worthy of cellaring then it’s worth cellaring well. A great enjoyment of many wine enthusiasts is to share a bottle of an old interesting wine from the cellar with like minded friends. The quality of that wine (assuming it was good to begin with) will largely be determined by how it has spent its years since bottling. To preserve this quality while allowing the wine to carefully age it is important that the conditions in the cellar are spot on.

It is not unusual to see wines put out on display in the home, and stored in a range of weird and wonderful ways. Some of the basic principles of cellaring wine are well advocated such as lying bottles on their side in racks with the neck lower than the base of the bottle to keep the cork moist. But lets get down to the nitty gritty of what will really protect the wines you have spend time and money collecting.

Wine is susceptible to damage from a variety of sources, most importantly heat, light, dry air and vibration. A constant temperature is the greatest requirement of a wine cellar. Temperature fluctuations lead to the wine expanding and contracting inside the bottle and therefore drawing in and expelling air through the enclosure as it does so. This movement of air (wines greatest enemy) in and out of the bottle speeds up the process of oxidation, which results in premature aging. Temperature fluctuations greater than 2 degrees celsius on a daily basis will hasten the deterioration of a wine. Choosing a wine cellar location with good insulation will assist in maintaining a stable temperature.

The second most important element of a wine cellar is to aim for a temperature range between 12 and 18 degrees celsius, with the ideal temperature being around 15 degrees. This directly relates the chemical reactions that take place to a wine during aging. The higher the temperature, the more quickly these reactions occur, and the more quickly the wine will age.

Next most important is humidity, which specifically relates to wines bottled under cork, which many age worthy wines are. Low humidity or dry air can cause the cork to dry out and shrink away from the neck of the bottle allowing air to leak inside and oxidise the wine. This may happen even if the wine is correctly stored on its side, as the dryness begins from the outer exposed section of the cork. The recommended humidity range to prevent this occuring is between 65 and 75%. Humidity in excess of 80% can lead to mould developing on the bottles and labels peeling off.

Although it may be pleasing on the eye to have all of your treasured wine collection on display for all to see, it won’t do the wines themselves any favours. Like temperature, exposure to ultra violet light develops hydrogen sulphides and speeds up the chemical reactions associated with wine aging, thereby resulting in a prematurely advanced wine. White and sparkling wines are particularly susceptible, especially as many are bottled in clear or light glass.

Other factors in consider in your cellar include movement, human or otherwise around your cellar. Vibrations again speed up the reactions leading to aging, so it is best to cellar your wines in an area of your home or property where they will be undisturbed. Don’t forget the impact pests and insects can have on your wines. Aside from damaging corks and labels they can leave unpleasant aromas on your bottles which can be extremely difficult to remove.

Once you’ve got your cellar conditions right you can’t just forget about the sleeping babies inside. Keeping and maintaining records of your wine cellar is important in ensuring each bottle is drunk as close to its optimum time as possible. Researching your wines, understanding the varieties and regions, keeping tasting notes are just a few techniques to keeping on top of where your wines are up to. Buying several bottles of an age worthy wine enables you to sample a bottle at progressive points throughout the cellaring time, watching the wine develop. When you sense a wine is nearing or at its peak, you are then able to plan to consume that wine before it begins its decline. We’ve all been in the position of opening a bottle of cellared wine with much anticipation only to discover it’s so far past its best that it’s undrinkable.

Following these cellaring tips will help you Casino Dkaplan keep your wines in tip top shape so you can relax and feel confident that the next time you pull a special wine from your collection, your patience (and hard work) will be rewarded.

Vee-on-yay or vee-on-yer ... whatever takes your fancy

Viognier is still a relatively new kid on the block with many people still grappling with how to pronounce it. Just to complicate the issue further, there are two accepted pronunciations. You can try "vee - on - yay" but if that isn't working for you, try "vee-on-yer" and you will more than likely get what you ask for in the bar or bottle shop. We will look at other wine variety pronunciations some other time, but for now lets focus on this complex and seductive white. Exotic ... sensual ... voluptuous ... are just a few of the words used to describe viognier. With such a reputation it's hard to believe this grape variety was nearing extinction as recently as 1986, with just 20 hectares of the grape planted in Condrieu, its place of origin in the Northern Rhone of France. Fortunately for wine enthusiasts, the increase in popularity of Rhone Valley wines during the 1990s brought this variety back into the spotlight again.

While Viognier is the only grape variety permitted to be grown in the Northern Rhône appellations of Condrieu and Château-Grillet, plantings of the variety are increasing in other appellations such as the Côte-Rôtie. Viognier is also now grown in the Southern Rhone Valley, other appellations of France, and several of the new world wine regions including Australia. Unlike its outgoing personality as a finished wine, the viognier grape can be quite shy in the vineyard. Difficult to grow, and low yielding the most challenging quality of viognier is the tiny window of opportunity the variety offers to be picked at optimum maturity. Top quality viognier relies on the skills and experience of the winemaker to ensure maximum flavour development is not achieved at the expense of excessive sugar or diminished acidity.

While viognier is still considered a relatively new variety in Australia, its popularity is on the rise. As a table wine, viognier presents as a rich, luscious, textural wine with an array of flavour and aroma compounds including stone fruits, particularly apricot, honeysuckle, orange blossom, grapefruit, muskiness, fruit pastille, spicy and exotic characters. Viognier is sometimes described as oily so acidity is essential to balance the medium to full bodied palate weight. Full or partial barrel fermentation, malo-lactic fermentation and barrel lees stirring are just some of the winemaking techniques used.

In Australia, viognier is increasingly blended with shiraz as the marriage of these varieties enhances the qualities of shiraz. This blend originated in Côte-Rôtie in the Northern Rhone Valleywhere shiraz and a small parcel of viognier are co-fermented. In Côte-Rôtie the percentage of viognier may be as high as 20% but in Australia it is usually between 3 and 7%. The inclusion of viognier in the blend adds vibrancy to the colour of the shiraz, adds floral notes to the aroma and creates a silky textural quality to the wine. Such is the enhancement that viognier offers to the shiraz that this particular blend is currently one of the most popular in Australia.

On a much smaller scale, viognier has been used to produce a sparkling wine with quite incredible results. Tallis Wine may in fact be the first Australian winery to produce and release such a wine. In our trials with viognier as a sparkling base we discovered that less than 12 months on bottle lees produced a wine retaining many of the varietal aromas and flavours of typical of viognier however additional time led to yeasty toasty characters dominating, with undertones of stone fruit and spice. With a preference for the complexity given by additional time on lees we have chosen to use the traditional method of sparkling wine production for our viognier. Our current release Traditional Method Sparkling Viognier 2007 displays these very characters.

To read more about this exciting variety visit www.vin-condrieu.fr