Sipping history

There were plenty of eager punters ready to have a taste of Penfolds Grange last night at the Taste…For the Love of Cooking ‘A Taste of Grange’ evening organised by Jodie Macaulay

Hosted by wine identity, Darren Davis from Purple Palate, guests enjoyed tasting their way through Australian wine history with an amazing flight of six iconic Australian wines, including a legendary vintage of Penfolds Grange.

Darren told us that many the wines were specially released museum wines that had been perfectly matured – not the sort of thing you get to taste every night!

Darren started us with a 07 Glen Eden Riesling and a lecture on how we undervalue Riesling. It’s a great buy at the moment because it’s so not sexy. The Glen Eden 2007 shows classic Barossa classic style and Darren recommended drinking it with a dozen oysters. Its zesty lime character is the hallmark of good Aussie Riesling, but you could put it down for another 5 -15 years to develop another layer of flavour.

The 05 Cirillo 1850s Grenache is, according to Darren, ‘out of this world’ and arguably the best Barossa Grenache available. Evidently Australia has some of oldest vines in the world courtesy of a vine root eating louse that ripped through Europe. The older the vine the more exceptional the fruit giving the wine intense flavours. This Grenache is full of spice dried fruits, almost a Christmas cake.

We moved onto a 05 Rockford BP Shiraz - a well balanced wine. Evidently some people buy this wine straight from the winemaker and send it to auction and get two to three times the price. However, it only happens once and then they are off the winemaker’s list.

Next the 96 Wynns John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon, a variety that grows well in the Margaret River area. Drink it with rosemary lamb.

At last the Grange. We shared tasted two bottles - 81 & 89. I learnt that the name Grange came from the cottage where the Penfolds family lived, a 1951 Grange is undrinkable but now worth $60,000 and the starting price for this year’s vintage is $650.

All this was followed by a David Franz Old Redemption Very Old Barossa Tawny. It's sticky date pudding in a bottle.

Darren likes to focus wines you can take to a dinner party and tell their story, something he’s very good at! Keep your eyes open for Bar Barossa, opening soon in inner city Brisbane. Also - wondering what needs drinking in your cellar? Darren will come and check it out and let you know

It was a great way to spend the evening!

Pictured: Chris, Jodie and Darren from Purple Palate.

Find Taste at 3 Montpelier Road, Fortitude Valley. p 3252 1022