Sunday, July 1, 2012

Freeman 2008 Rondinella Corvina Secco

Rondinella and corvina may be extremely rare grape varieties in Australia, but Dr Brian Freeman has been growing them for several years with great success in the Hilltops region of New South Wales. The classic Amarone varieties from the Veneto in northern Italy are used in the traditional way with a portion of the grapes dried (in a prune dehydrator) and then added to the fresh grapes during fermentation. The wines is matured in old oak barrels for at least two years, ensuring the savoury fruit characters are the star turn, and then given a further two years in bottle. This is arguably the best release yet; intriguingly intense with sweet dark cherry fruit notes, earthiness, a hint of horse saddle and sous bois characters. Length? There is plenty of that, too. And great tannin structure. Give this a few minutes to breathe, then pair it with a rabbit casserole. $30.

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