Controversial Italian winemaker Fulvio Bressan hasn’t been invited back for February’s Rootstock wine festival, but an American writer famous for championing ‘natural’ wines, Alice Feiring, has.
The Rootstock Sustainable and Artisan Wine and Food Festival will take place in Sydney for its second year, on February 8-9. Last year’s event at Leichhardt’s Italian Forum was a runaway success, necessitating a larger venue: the new venue is Carriageworks.
There will be more exhibitors, over 50, pouring more than 200 wines, plus a sake bar and “an exciting music installation”. There’ll be more of pretty well everything, but one person who hasn’t been invited back is renegade Italian winemaker Fulvio Bressan.
Bressan impressed many last February with his wines, from his family’s vineyard in Friuli’s Isonzo region, established in 1726. I enjoyed his schioppettino and pignolo. But Bressan messed in the nest big-time mid-year when he made racist and sexist remarks (Forbes article) on Facebook about Italy’s Integration Minister, a black African woman named Cecile Kyenge. Fierce reaction from the wine trade, with sommeliers around the world de-listing his wines from their restaurants, did not deter Bressan.
Far from being put in his place by the reaction, he continued to rage against Kyenge, Italy’s immigration laws, gypsies, and many other things. The intimidating, flak-jacketed, cigar-chomping winemaker made good copy when he visited Australia last February - mainly for dissing everyone and everything that differed from his own views. But there will still be plenty of compelling wines and colourful winemakers at Rootstock 2014. To keep up with Rootstock, visit www.rootstocksydney.com
Kooyong Farrago Chardonnay, Mornington Peninsula 2011 $60
A wonderful chardonnay which combines complexity and power with mouth-watering acidity and refreshing qualities. The bouquet frames roast hazelnut, passionfruit and tropical aromas. It’s intense and focused in the mouth, with impressive depth and impact. Delicious and complex, with great drive and length. Now to 2020. 13 per cent alcohol. 96/100 (Huon’s Wine 360)
Food: grilled crayfish
Stockists: Sixty Darling Street; Northbridge Cellars
Angove Nine Vines Rose, South Australia 2013 $15
Angove’s rose is consistent in style and quality. It has a deep, bright purple-pink colour with intense, bright raspberry aromas. The palate is full and ample, not subtle, but loaded with fruit, a tinge of sweetness, some alcohol warmth and tannin grip. Lots of bang for your buck, but don’t expect a delicate style. 12.5 per cent alcohol. 89/100 (Huon’s Wine 360)
Food: cold meats and salad
The real thing is affordable, it’s better than ever and it’s perfect for the festive season.
It’s tempting to observe that champagne has never been so affordable for Australians. When we look at the deals that are being done by retailers, especially the major supermarkets, there seem to be some great bargains. Aldi is the cheapest I’ve seen, with its exclusive brand Monsigny non-vintage white and rose advertised at $29.99 and occasionally $24.99.
Azienda Agricola Cogno Mandorlo Dolcetto d’Alba, Piedmont 2012 $35.50
This has an excellent deep purple-red colour, lovely clean, ripe cherry/plum aromas, spotless and fresh and deliciously dolcetto. The tannins are firm and precise, the flavours bright and intense, clean and ripe and refreshing. A beautifully made dolcetto. Best now to 2022. 14 per cent alcohol. 93/100 (Huon’s Wine 360)
Food: barbecued quail