Matt Fowles wine match
All Saints Estate Marsanne — Family Cellar 2015.
Marsanne is native to France, but has been growing in Victoria since the 1860s.
While it is often blended with Roussanne, the All Saints Family Cellar Marsanne is a great example of what this variety can do all by itself.
From vines that are 50 years old, this wine has great intensity and structure, and is a natural fit with food.
The team at All Saints make a style which has more texture and richness through maturation in oak barrels and through contact with the yeast lees after fermentation. The wine even has a little ‘wild fermentation’ — instead of using commercial yeast as most wineries would, the winemakers take a walk on the wild side and let the yeast present in the winery run the ferment, without controlled inoculation.
The texture and richness that comes from utilising these techniques is important when pairing a wine with game as it offers more ‘roundness’ or ‘lusciousness’ which works well with the dense nature of game meat.
Another critical detail when matching to game is gentle or moderate use of oak barrels — the deft hands of the winemaker really come into play with this wine.
The preparation of this rabbit dish is really clever. While many of the ingredients are what you might expect in terms of a braised rabbit dish, the introduction of sultanas for sweetness and pine nuts for complexity and richness, gives rise to a broader spectrum of flavours to work with when food and wine matching.
In particular, the acid in this wine works well to ‘cut’ through the sweetness of the sultanas and the time in oak and on yeast lees adds a ‘nuttiness’ to the wine that ties in very well with the pine nuts in the dish. This Marsanne is truly rare and interesting wine, and I think one of the great examples of its kind. It would be well worth taking a Sunday afternoon to harvest some bunnies, cook this clever braised rabbit dish and settle back into a glass of this very special wine. A match made in heaven! For your chance to win three bottles of this fine wine, email your best traditional recipe to editor@ fieldandgame.com.au. It doesn’t have to be rabbit, it just has to be hearty and handed down through the generations.