Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Aussie Blast

Last night I finally got around to trying Molly Dooker "The Violinist" which is Verdelho grape grown in Australia and produced by Sparky and Sarah Marquis. This wine packs a punch at 15% alcohol, but it is not hot. You just have to watch yourself! It reminds me a little of a good Alsatian Gruener Veltliner with lots of peach and other stone fruits and good minerality. This wine has a stelvin screw cap and thus benefited from some air time like so many other screw cap wines I have tried recently. After some air it mellows to a rich full wine which paired well with the chicken in cream sauce we paired with it. Molly Dooker wines sell out quickly because of the Marquis mystique and the points and press that they attract, but if you can find this this fall when they are released it is worth it.
Finally a note about Sparky and Sarah. They used to be the Marquis in the Marquis Phillips wines, This was a partnership between importer Dan Phillips and Sparky and Sarah that flourished for many years until they had a falling out in 2004 and split. Sparky and Sarah went to court to stop Dan from using the Marquis Phillips label and they lost, so the label can be still found, with Chris Ringland as the new winemaker. He and Dan have set up a company called "R wines" and are releasing quite a few wines under this brand. They are also very good. Almost all of the "R" wines and the Molly Dooker wines are extremely high in alcohol, generally over 14.5%. This should not interfere with ones enjoyment of the wines after the alcohol blows off a little, but as mentioned above, be careful they pack a punch and will get you snockered quickly.

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