Matt Fowles wine match

All Saints Es­tate Marsanne — Fam­ily Cel­lar 2015.

Field and Game - - BUSH TO BANQUET -

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@ fiel­ It doesn’t have to be rab­bit, it just has to be hearty and handed down through the gen­er­a­tions.

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