The Courier-Mail - QWeekend

Party toasts vintage 50th

- Desmondhou­ghton1@gmail.com

A swish dinner party to mark the official release of Ballandean Estate’s 50th shiraz vintage turned into a celebratio­n of the lives of Angelo and Mary Puglisi and their daughters Robyn and Leeanne.

And it provided an opportunit­y to taste some rare back vintages and the new Ballandean Estate Sylvaner 2019 ($42), an acidulous pale-yellow dessert wine with a persistent finish.

Sylvaner is a temperamen­tal strange bird. This was the first release by winemaker Dylan Rhymer in six years. It has lovely beeswax, honey, green apple and citrus aromas and flavours – and an enigmatic granitic mineral note. This Queensland­er is one of the Australian wine industry’s unsung heroes. Drink it as an aperitif or with figs, asparagus, white meats and, of course, cheese.

The Ballandean Estate 2018 50th Anniversar­y Opera Block Shiraz ($65) is a keeper that will reward cellaring. It’s a textural wine with attractive dark fruit flavours and silken tannins. Ian Henderson, Angelo and Mary’s son-inlaw, told guests shiraz produced in Australia was all different – like Australian­s themselves.

“Shiraz is one of those varieties that wears its heart on its sleeve,” he said.

“It reflects so plainly the way it was grown, where it is grown and by who it was made. Australian shiraz can be cool, spicy and peppery in cold climates and warm and ripe in warmer regions.’’

Master of Wine Peter Scudamore Smith also spoke about the identities and glories of shiraz and introduced the old timers from 1996 and 2011.

The 25 year old displayed a range of tertiary fruit flavours with hints of meaty earth, Bonox and damp soil. Here I might throw in leather. The 10 year old had appealing secondary fruit flavours and aromas like stewed currants, clove and cinnamon.

 ??  ?? Ballandean Estate Opera Block Shiraz “a keeper”
Ballandean Estate Opera Block Shiraz “a keeper”

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