Bot­tle Stop

Tony Love

The Advertiser - SA Weekend - - FOOD & WINE -

If ever there was a time to pull out a bot­tle of “Port” for a lit­tle tip­ple at the end of the night, this is it.

Mid-win­ter, the hearty din­ner braise has warmed you up, and a rich, dark pud­ding adds a sweet and sticky end to the din­ing pro­ceed­ings.

We’re not sup­posed to be call­ing it “Port” any­more. The is term de­rived from the north­ern Por­tuguese city of Oporto and, due to in­ter­na­tional trad­ing agree­ments, is now only al­lowed to re­fer

So we have Tawny. It’s a good time to get a lit­tle tawny, you might say.

The Barossa has forged a strong great re­sources of the grenache, shiraz and mataro va­ri­eties, as well as other sup­port­ive grapes such as touriga, this continues even though fewer people are buy­ing and en­joy such strong wines.

Grant Burge, based at his Il­la­parra Ta­nunda, has kept the tawny ball rolling for sev­eral decades now af­ter se­cur­ing a large stock of old ma­te­rial to kick off what is called a sol­era – where bar­rels of older and more com­plex wines are frac­tion­ally drawn off for blend­ing then topped up with fresher gear.

That way, wine­mak­ers can keep up a con­sis­tent style and of­fer a broad range of aged blends.

The Grant Burge collection in­cludes a sim­ply termed Grant Burge Aged Tawny ($17.95) that is the most youth­ful, a red­dish ma­hogany in colour with spicy notes from its pre­dom­i­nant grenache out front of more typ­i­cal wooded char­ac­ter.

It’s smooth, with de­cent power and rich­ness and a great start­ing point.

Then there’s Grant Burge 10 Year Old Tawny ($30), which ac­tu­ally means it’s an aver­age age of 10 years, and be­gins to show that more com­plex re­fer to as “ran­cio” char­ac­ter.

That doesn’t mean “ran­cid” by the way – it’s a mix of nuts, al­monds, caramels and tof­fee tastes all con­cen­trat­ing to cre­ate a mel­low ma­trix and unc­tu­ous palate.

The joy of such wines is that in the parcels that gen­uinely add sur­pris­ing fresh­ness and acid­ity amongst all that sweet­ness, which makes these tawnies much more ap­peal­ing than you might imag­ine.

The Grant Burge 20 Year Old Tawny ($85)

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