Usually, I’m too lazy to plan ahead when it comes to food and wine matching. Today, however, I was organised to a superhuman degree (for me, anyway) and actually thought about what I would drink with what I had planned to cook. So, a venison and beetroot pot roast is just finishing up in the oven, while I am enjoying my first sips of this Pinot Noir from Geelong.
Remarkably funky and characterful nose, the complexity of which seems fruit driven rather than forced through winemaking (who knows if this impression is accurate — kudos to Nick Farr if it’s all his doing). Riotous aromas of char siu, five spice, beetroot, minerality and hessian are neatly wrapped in a brightly expressive package. The aroma profile is truly interesting and seems full of the smells of childhood in a Chinese home (how I miss my mother’s cooking!).
A very flavoursome entry showing more markedly sweet fruit, red currant-like in character. It’s no simple fruit bomb, though. In fact, the flavours here are again complex, with spice and sour-edged rhubarb intruding in on the lusciousness of the fruit. It’s juicy without flab and savoury sans excess. Well balanced, in other words, though I would not call it delicate or elegant. In fact the flavour profile is a bit jingly jangly; it’s about contrast and glitter rather than harmony. The after palate shows some sappy oak and perhaps a bit of stalk action too, again well judged. Decent finish that seems to descend to the bass registers, slowly fading away with time.
Wish me luck with the food match.
I like Farr Rising pinot, though I have not had this one. Oh, and good Luck with the food match! (well, you asked…)
ps- Will have to ask you more about “childhood in a Chinese home”. From looking on at my chef friend in Melbourne, who has a Chinese/Malaysion background, these are the best homes to grow up in with regard to food. How I wish I wasn’t served Protestant over cooked steak and two veg repeatedly. Any faults I possess can surely be traced back to this horrendous upbringing in food!
Oh I could bore you to tears with opinions on growing up in a cross-cultural home. It has certainly left its mark in a variety of ways, food being one. Interestingly, steak and two veg is now one of my favourite meals!
Bore me any time you want, but never mention steak and two veg to me again, it still brings on trauma and bad flashbacks!
Fortunately I was brought up in a, for the time, enlightened culinary household. I love your website and your tasting notes but more importantly what was in the pot roast? Being from Sydney I might substitute some late season lamb for the venison and it should be interesting with a Stonier PN.
Thanks Bill! The pot roast wasn’t bad, though I was too lazy to thread lardons through the venison and it was a bit dry.
Very simple recipe, just venison topside seared until brown, six raw beetroot, a couple of onions, garlic, stock, some left over Bass Phillip pinot and seasoning. Cooked slowly until done, served with mashed potato. I think your suggestion of a Mornington Pinot would be great with a dish along these lines. It’s the beetroot that provides a (somewhat obvious, but effective) link here in addition to the gamey meat. Yum!
Glad you enjoyed the pairing! I wouldn’t usually pair a pinot with venison, for fear that the strong game flavor would overpower delicate wine flavors and aromas, but sometimes it just works. It would be fun to try this dish with lots of tannins; perhaps a robust barbaresco or chianti sometime!
I hear what you are saying with Pinot and strongly flavoured game meats; certainly, a feminine expression of the grape would not stand up to such a robust meal. I was lucky this Geelong wine is a pretty ballsy style, and I can also imagine a lighter, but funky and acidic, Pinot being an interesting match.
You are right on with a Chianti though and I will seek an opportunity to execute this pairing soon. There are some Australian Nebbiolos, one of which I tried last night, which would also be sensational.
Having done a little work on one of the vineyards which supplies fruit to this wine, I would have to say that the ‘greeness’ comes from large canopies – this producers methoxypyrozine; a green vegetal aroma which comes about by lack of direct sunlight on the fruit.
The wine however I believe is more than just a bit of green; I have had this a littled chilled in the past accompanied with carpaccio of beef and also with chacuterie.
Very cool insights, Tim; it’s great to understand more how the flavours in a particular wine emerged in the vineyard and winery. So perhaps the perceived whole bunch work was more fruit character.
It’s definitely a robust style and I’m interested to know you have enjoyed it with strongly flavoured meats too. I guess chilling it would bring the structure to the fore, which would help.
Nice blog too!