All posts by Ted

Business Class Shiraz

Seppelt Shiraz 2012
Seppelt Shiraz 2012

As part of my travels, I get to sample wines that are considered best of breed by the airlines. This particular week at the Canberra Qantas Business lounge, a Shiraz from Seppelt features young Australian wine is a limited release from the famous South Australian winery Wynns.

Shiraz with Pork
Shiraz with Pork

As this was a whirlwind trip through the business lounge, so is this a whirlwind tasting session. I had a number of other wines to choose from but the main reason for choosing the Seppelt is that is was being matched with their dinner.

Initially on smelling this release, I’m reminded of freshly cut grass, a hint of mint and exotic spices. It’s a very unique nose that leads an acidic palate from this young Shiraz. Earth and chocolate come to mind on tasting – probably influenced by the accompanying white chocolate dessert!

The Shiraz was presented as a matching wine with the Ploughman platter offered in the business lounge. An antipasto platter with some dry crackers. A good match, and shows what you can do with this wine. Friends, fine snacks and a fine Australian shiraz.

The Seppelt Victorian Website has details on this range of wines.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Cappella Sant’ Andrea 2011

Entrance to the Sala Vini Bianchi
Entrance to the Sala Vini Bianchi

My degustation of the Tuscan wines at Le Cantine began with the white wine tasting room, the “Sala Vini Bianchi”. Upon entry, the main tasting machine presents eight tuscan whites.

My eyes were drawn to the unique label on one particular bottle, and this lead me to the first tasting of this Italian series. The Cappella Sant’Andrea Vernaccia di San Gimignano. The name of this wine comes from the grape variety, Vernaccia.

Vineyards as seen from San Gimignano city walls
Vineyards as seen from San Gimignano city walls

Cappella Sant’Andrea is a small family run farm near to the medieval city of San Gimignano. Their vineyard is organically cultivated and they harvest all their grapes manually.

Having visited San Gimignano a few days earlier, it was apt that I try a wine that tied to my experiences of visiting this medieval town. The town stands out when travelling through Tuscany due to the high walls and multitudes of tower houses that can be seen from miles afar.

When I stood at the city walls, I was able to see all of the surrounding farms and vineyards, and took some fantastic photos that give a feel for the terroir of San Gimignano.

This is truly a town with character and age, and some fantastic wine history. I also ate some of the best Gelati in Italy there, but that’s another story.

A panoramic from visit to San Gimignano
A panoramic from visit to San Gimignano

The 2011 Vernaccia di San Gimignano is the first white wine from this small producer to receive the Denominazione di origine controllata (DOCG) mark of quality.

Much the same as the french appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) the DOCG has a notable difference in that labelled wines are analysed and tasted by government–licensed personnel before being bottled.

The bottles are also sealed with a numbered governmental seal across the cap or cork, which can be seen on the bottle in the tasting cabinet.

The 2011 Vernaccia di San Gimignano
The 2011 Vernaccia di San Gimignano

Getting down to the tasting, and I took a sample size of this white wine. The wine has a light yellow almost straw like colour, and as I started to smell this wine it first reminded me of a lot of young New Zealand white wines I’ve tried.

On the Nose was a large fruity bouquet conjuring up images of freshly cut melon and lemon zest. Leading into the tasting, I noted a highly acidic and young wine.

Tastes of kiwi fruit and fresh citrus were the main highlights. This was a perfect way to start out the Tuscan wine degustation experience in the heart of Chianti. For my degustation experience of the Vernaccia di San Gimignano I paid €0.50.

Notes from the vintner: Alcohol Content: 13% vol. Food and wine pairing: fish and shellfish. But it is also really good with white meat. Serve it at: 10° – 12° C.

Cappella Sant’ Andrea is online and has an english website with further details on their wines.