A winter's tale
The first chills of winter seemed a long way off on 1 June, at the Wine and Food Society's presentation of Kevin McCarthy and Kathleen Quealy's T'Gallant wines, from Main Ridge on the Mornington Peninsula.
In-coming President Mary Gyles introduced Astrid Adamson, T'Gallant's Sales and Marketing Manager, who led her enthusiastic audience through a tasting of some distinctly summer wines.
Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder provided the cheeses for the evening, beginning with a Piave from Gorizia near Venice, and, cheese blended from goat and ewe's milk, a Roy de Vallees from the Pyrenees in the Basque district of France.
Although not a great fan of unwooded Chardonnay, the first wine tasted was exactly that style. A 1999 unwooded Chardonnay, blended from grapes supplied by fifteen local growers, had a lean and elegant style with an acid backbone.
Then followed a single vineyard Chardonnay, made in the classic style and named after Peter Wallos, whose vines, just down the road from T'Gallant, supplied the grapes. This 1997 wine, wooded in French oak, has strong fruit and rich, butterscotch notes.
The third and fourth wines were variations on the same theme. The lean, savoury 1999 Pinot Grigio was grown on the lower, warmer slopes of Balnarring and Mooroduc, was picked early, to be drunk young. Its close cousin, the heavier 1998 Tribute Pinot Gris was grown in the rich, red, higher-level soils of Main Ridge and Red Hill. It was picked late, developing honey character and should keep well, growing in flavour and colour.
The only red wine presented was a 1999 Pinot Noir. Although a very light wine, it is ready to drink now. It has strong acid and spent nine months on French oak, being blended from 20% new wine, the remainder up to four years old.
Accompanying the final wine of the evening was a Bontazola Gorgonzola from Lombardy. Its lovely, creamy sweetness superbly complemented the 1999 Triumph Botrytis Pinot Gris with its full flavour and intense, long finish.
Further information about the Wine and Food Society may be obtained by telephoning Mary Gyles on 9509 5929.