Monday, September 28, 2009

Weekly Wine: Spring Seed Wine Co. Four O'Clock Chardonnay

A wise man once told me, when in doubt about which wine to choose, pick the one with the coolest label. I swear that's not what led me to choose an offering from the Spring Seed Wine Company as the first Weekly Wine feature, but I just can't begin this discussion without drawing attention to the absolutely beautiful bottle. Each wine features artwork from vintage seed packets - my 2008 Four O'Clock Chardonnay has a painstakingly detailed illustration of sunflowers doing their worshipful thing. The label indicates an attention to detail and appreciation for the slower way things used to be done, so before I've even taken a sip I'm partial to the drop.

Empty bottle of chardy, keeping company with my leeks.

It's made by the Bosworth family in McLaren Vale, South Australia, from certified organic, estate-grown grapes from low-yield vineyards. They are into traditional, minimalist winemaking, and, according to their website, aim to "ensure the purity, integrity and flavour of our vineyard" in their wines. Purity, integrity, and flavor: what more can one ask for in a wine? The winemaking techniques are pretty cool too: they picked the grapes in six batches over ten days, then fermented each batch separately to create complex flavors. After the ferment they left the wines on solids to protect against oxidation to decrease the amount of preservative needed. Cool fermentation temperature and the avoidance of malolactic fermentation retain the delicate chardonnay flavors and acidity. The results?

I'm not a wine expert, just an enthusiastic punter, so I'll describe what I tasted in my own language. A big, sweet opening - incredibly floral, a touch of stone fruit, a hint of citrus - but pretty short length giving way to a crisp, acidic finish. A strong mineral profile which clearly suggests to me a taste of the soil, a true sense of terroir. It's unoaked, but still maintains a pretty strong structure, with a touch of a vanilla aftertaste.

I knocked back a couple of glasses with my girl Kristina during a collaborate dinner making session. We munched on some crudites with two beautiful dips that I made using a recipe from The Kitchen Dispensary - beetroot and zucchini/avocado. The wine was well suited to the light, bright, clean flavors of Kelly's recipes, and went down pretty easily as we danced about the kitchen creating and nibbling. Suffice it to say Kristina and I finished the bottle.

Kelly's dips:

Zucchini & Avocado Dip

1 Large Zucchini

1 Medium Avocado

1 Tsp Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt

Juice of 1/2 a Lemon

1 Tsp Cumin

1 Tsp Tumeric

1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 Large Clove Garlic

Chop up the zucchini, avocado and garlic into smaller pieces.
Add with the remaining ingredients to your food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth.
You can add a little water if the dip seems too thick.

Beetroot Dip

1 large beetroot

20 soaked brazil nuts

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 Large Clove Garlic

1 Tsp Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt

Chop up the beetroot and garlic into smaller pieces.
Add with the remaining ingredients to your food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth.
You can add a little water if the dip seems too thick.

Both of these dips should keep for a week in an airtight container in the fridge.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, My girlfriend and I tried this one last night while having roll your own vietnamese rice paper rolls. It was the search to know more about it and more importantly where to get more of it as we had never seen it before that led me to your page. We were also drawn to the wine by its label.

Having just found this site, I will be sure to read almost everything you have written as I love your philosophy!

You might like to try the Tamburlaine Chardonnay from the Orange region that is also certified organic. We prefer the Gestalt variety.



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