On Wednesday 28th of March 2012, I was lucky enough to be at the re-launch (as the label has existed for over twenty years) of the Windy Peak range by De Bortoli at Chiswick restaurant in Woollahra. The setting was fabulous with a delicious shared lunch at Chiswick and sampling the newly bottled wines from the various estates of De Bortoli. This year’s focus was on the regionality of the wines.
The four estates of De Bortoli wines are the Hunter, the Yarra Valley, the King Valley, and Griffith, where the winery first opened in 1928 with the hope that “everybody would be able to put a bottle on the table whether you are a prince or a pauper.” Each of the Windy Peak wines are specific about which particular estate the grapes came from, because as in food, where a grape is from can be as important as they way it is processed.
Arriving at Chiswick, I was greeted by the first of the wines I was to try for the day: starting with the Whites, the Windy Peak Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2011. Grapes from both the King Valley and the Yarra Valley were used to create the wonderful flavour I experienced and I was excited in anticipation for the other wines I would be tasting shortly.
Being seated, we were poured a glass of the Windy Peak King Valley Pinot Grigio 2011. The Pinot Grigio, quite possibly my favourite of the whites, was delicate, medium weight and full flavoured. To match this wonderfully drinkable wine we were served an assortment of shared dishes of pickled vegetables, olives, and rosemary flat bread.
Next to come was the Windy Peak Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2011, about which I was very surprised. Usually steering well clear of any Chardonnay on offer I was pleasantly surprised to find a quite delectable Chardonnay, not one that was merely drinkable, but one that I would actually want another glass of. Served with kingfish, pulled peal tortellini and a marinated cucumber, rosa radish, mint, goats curd and Yarra Valley Persian Feta salad, the Whites accompanied the dishes perfectly, but yet would be just as enjoyable on their own as well.
Onto the Reds! and it was now time for the Windy Peak Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2010 and the Windy Peak Yarra Valley Cabernet Merlot 2010, which were served with fish and prawn pie, chicken (wood roasted in spiced hay) and wood roasted lamb. Both reds were delicious, and very drinkable. I was amazed at the versatility of the wines, for the same Pinot Noir and Cabernet Merlot to be able to be paired with fish, chicken and meat, was a true testament of the drinkablility of these wines for any occaision.
The one wine that hadn’t been bottled yet was the Heathcote Shiraz, which I have been told is delicious, but I haven’t been able to try as yet. I was told that it should be being bottled shortly and I can’t wait to get my hands on a bottle to see how this wine compares to the others in the range that I have tried.
Of all the wines I tasted, I was surprised at just how drinkable they were. Leanne De Bortoli said that they wanted to produce wines that were “approachable, inexpensive and to be able to put something on the table that is a compelling wine”. Well I have to say they have certainly accomplished that, and then some! Perfect wines to share on the table with a few friends.