French con­nec­tion

Country Style - - WINE -

An Al­bury cou­ple have an online store that’s ex­clu­sively Gal­lic.

ow we all laughed when that arch-snob Basil Fawlty de­liv­ered his clas­sic line, “The peo­ple who stay here, wouldn’t know Bordeaux from claret.” And yet how many of us have had the per­se­ver­ance to re­ally un­lock the mys­ter­ies and re­wards of French wine? Fac­tors as su­per­fi­cial as pro­nun­ci­a­tion and as es­o­teric as cru clas­si­fi­ca­tion have dis­cour­aged all but the most ded­i­cated wine wal­lies. But the ‘Eureka!’ mo­ment comes with the re­al­i­sa­tion that you can ben­e­fit from some­one else putting in the hard yards. Dis­cov­ervin is a wine im­porter headed by He­len and Craig Un­der­hill. It spe­cialises in wines from Bordeaux, Cham­pagne, Rhône, Provence and the south-west of France, and claims to be Aus­tralia’s premier source of top-value wines from these re­gions. “We’ve se­lected French wines that we know Aus­tralian wine drinkers will love,” Craig says.“we fo­cus on those that of­fer au­then­tic French flavour, and im­pres­sive qual­ity and value.”the cou­ple, who live in Al­bury, de­vel­oped their pas­sion for these wines — and a belief that there were some great drops not reach­ing our shores — af­ter an ex­tended stay in Bordeaux; they still travel to France regularly. Dis­cov­ervin stresses that its wines are not avail­able through other sup­pli­ers. Many of the wines are served in lead­ing Aus­tralian wine bars and restau­rants, and in Europe are served in Miche­lin-starred restau­rants.

HTop tip­ple

“We have ig­nored the hype ac­com­pa­ny­ing many clas­si­fied Bordeaux wines to seek out ex­cit­ing, qual­ity wines from this his­toric re­gion,” Craig says. “And we’ve sought some of the best and most typ­i­cal wines from ar­eas known pre­dom­i­nately to French con­nois­seurs, such as Ju­rançon, Madi­ran and Ca­hors.” While Aus­tralian con­sumers are gen­er­ally com­fort­able se­lect­ing wines made from pop­u­lar grape va­ri­eties, French pro­duc­ers rarely put the name of the grape on the la­bel, fo­cus­ing more on re­gional char­ac­ter­is­tics. Some of Dis­cov­ervin’s wines in­tro­duce va­ri­eties largely un­known to Aus­tralians, such as petit manseng, gros manseng, mal­bec and tan­nat. But they also show­case the blend­ing of the pre­mium va­ri­eties of caber­net sauvi­gnon, caber­net franc and mer­lot, plus an ac­claimed ‘grow­ers’ cham­pagne, Achille Princier. The most valu­able gift Dis­cov­ervin is likely to bring to the Aus­tralian con­sumer is the fa­mous Ca­hors mal­bec, which the Un­der­hills be­lieve has po­ten­tial for the greater com­plex­ity it shows over pop­u­lar Ar­gen­tinian mal­becs. The mal­bec grape’s heart­land is Ca­hors, where the ‘black wine of mal­bec’ draws on the fa­mous Dor­dogne soil to dis­play com­plex­ity and struc­ture with a full-bod­ied, tan­nin back­bone that prom­ises longevity. For more in­for­ma­tion, tele­phone (02) 6020 6016 or visit dis­cov­ervin.com.au This is a mod­ern ex­pres­sion of the clas­sic Ca­hors mal­bec, still as­sertive in terms of power and depth, but leaner and more com­plex. It dis­plays dark berry fruit, a whiff of cedar aroma, and a se­duc­tive silky tex­ture with a gen­tle savoury grip. Is this the be­gin­ning of a new Black Power move­ment?

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