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Sunday 24 July 2022

New direction for Victorian wine producer

When Narelle King and the late Don Lewis started their Nagambie-based Tar & Roses wine brand the focus was firmly on Mediterranean grape varieties.

The pair wanted to bring back a slice of their times in Priorat, Spain, to Central Victoria - and crafted wines that combined the best of both hemsipheres.

From tempranillo to the nebbiolo, the focus was on several different varieties.

Now, however, King has teamed up with Anthony Fikkers of Fikkers Wines (ex Giant Steps, Medhurst and Mac Forbes) to produce her take on two classic varieties from a renowned region of Victoria.

The two newcomers from the 2021 vintage on the Mornington Peninsula are a chardonnay and a pinot noir.

"After 15 vintages of focusing on Mediterranean varietals, in 2021 we took the opportunity to expand the range two include two iconic varieties from arguably one of the best regions in Australia," says King.

"Having never made pinot noir, and only a handful of chardonnays, Anthony Fikkers agreed to join us on this adventure."

King describes the vintage as "a rewarding and fun learning experience" - and the wines certainly shine.

The lean and very clean chardonnay was handpicked, whole-bunch pressed to mainly older oak and fermented and aged in hogsheads for 12 months before release. A wine with lovely balance that is very food friendly.

The pinot noir was sourced from high-altitude Mornington vineyards, partially whole-bunch with the rest destemmed whole barrels. French oak proves a worthy foil for some delightfully varietal sweet fruit that paired brilliantly with a mushroom pizza.

The prices are a very fair $40 for the chardonnay and $44 for the pinot noir.  

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