Well here’s a thing! A new side to the Sizzle. Given you guys love learning stuff, we’ve branched out, literally, and added a Wine News and Views section. The incredible Ivan Brewer, a restaurant consultant now, has agreed to share his wisdom. Lucky us.
Ivan was the producer of the first ever all-Tassie wine list in Tasmania, at Mures in Hobart. He ran restaurants, big and small, did front of house, and loves wine. Now he calls himself a Restaurantologist, and seeks out the small and the great in the wine industry. For you wine lovers everywhere, sommeliers, and restaurateurs who find selecting the wines for your customers a difficult task, here’s Ivan. Enjoy his knowledge, and stories.
The story of Bob and Rita Richter meanders as much as their 4-hectare vineyard in the Tamar Valley undulates – professionals who set off on a journey to Europe before returning to Australia’s Gourmet Island to pursue not a dream, but a calling – to make remarkable wines using traditional methods and a singular focus of doing the right things well.
The Richters abide by an uncompromising approach to wine making; employing traditional techniques, emphasised by a choice to not irrigate their Grey Sands Vineyard, and an ardent belief that a job done well is a job done right, and once.
It’s a seemingly simple decision to not irrigate – resulting in wines of intense flavour by preference to maximising production.
But simple decisions rarely stand alone, and this one had big consequences; with Mattock swinging from dusk til dawn in excess of 30,000 vines were planted by hand because rootlings like it that way when they aren’t irrigated.
That alone is reason enough to try their wines.
And Bob and Rita’s wines are something special – from heady aromas upon cracking a bottle, or pulling a cork, to the mouth full of flavour, remorseless from sip to savour, the Richters leave finger prints upon each and every one of their carefully crafted and astonishingly good wines.
The Byzantine 2014
The Byzantine is almost overwhelming in its sophistication, like a story line in Game of Thrones; an exotic blend of Chardonnay and 2 other grapes you’ve probably never heard of before; Viognier and Malvasia.
It’s subtle, intriguing, complex, and blossoms upon the tongue; a mouth full of well balanced, rich flavour, with an aromatic finish.
The Byzantine is a stunning wine and a delightful surprise for red and white wine drinkers alike.
The choice for a winemaker to produce wines that are less familiar, such as the Mattock is courageous; consumers are notoriously conservative in their choices.
But the Mattock is about more than just making a wine, it pays homage to the ‘mattock’ swung by Bob’s father Ron from dawn to dusk to dig the holes for the 30,000 vines hand planted across their 4-hectare vineyard.
And whether inspired because of this providence, or simply as an extension of the stable of excellent wines, this wine is something special.
A blend of predominately Merlot with Malbec and Cabernet Franc, it is the Mattock’s playfulness, and complexity that delights. And surprises.
It starts with hints of sweet, and concludes with tannins, taking you upon an effortlessly seamless flavour journey in between.
It is an exceptional wine that you have to taste to believe just how good it really is.
There is a lot written about this wine, with one resounding theme; a must try!
It is delightful, will forever change what you think about Tasmanian wines, and is a must include for every wine list in the State.
Is Tasmanian Shiraz the next big thing? With all of the planting going on across the state you may think so, but Grey Sands isn’t late to this party; it has been producing superb, thought provoking Shiraz’s for some time.
The colder climate, and wine making sorcery from Bob, produces a wine that is intense, but contained, rich and full of flavour, yet restrained.
A glass full of elegance, rather than the over-powering ocean full of flavour that is more typical of the North Island Shiraz’s.
Pinot Gris 2013
This is a serious Pinot Gris; audacious, with the signature intense and lingering flavours of the entire Grey Sands stable; exuberant and exciting.
There is plenty of flavour and character to muscle through rich creamy sauces or take on spicy food.
This is a fabulous stand alone sip and savour wine, or accompaniment to food.
Thank you Ivan. I hope you all enjoyed the Grey Sands review. Let us know if you want more. And if you haven’t yet, make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a (free) morsel.