Sunday, January 9, 2011

My day with Australian Barrossa and some fine tasty sausages

I was having something called a Metty sausage that I bought with some kangaroo burgers(which I bought in a specialty market) that I haven’t tried yet. The Metty sausage is full of meat – not fatty. almost none it seems!... and lots of flavor, smokey bacon, tangy brandy…

I paired it with The Barossa Peter Lehman 2007, Penfolds Bin 28 2007. Both wines which I like a lot; year in and year out.

All this made me reflect…

I think Syrah from the Barrossa are exceptional and diverse and often provide great value. In the early 2000’s Australian Barrossa was a revelation. Big black fruit jammy opulent wines, rich with pepper and smoke, which I like. But later in the decade became a little homogeneous from folks cashing in on the craze of this wine hitting its stride. But now appears to be back on track.

To dig a little deeper…Syrah style changes depending on the climate, region and of course the winemaker. The aromas and flavors from most Syrah include pepper, blackberry and leather or smoke. Australian Shiraz and Central or Southern California Syrah are usually more thick in fruit flavors, some quite jammy even chewy and in the warm environments leads to riper fruit. On the other hand, in France the Northern Rhone style of Syrah classically shows more pepper and leather notes, with a lot less upfront fruit. The other place that makes a knockout Syrah is Washington state .

Getting back to the Barrossa, I think one of the prominent reasons for it being one of the world's best wine regions is it's home to some of the oldest vineyards in the world and with this history, and the soil that is low in fertility, which makes for intense wine, and the age of these vines bring a lot to the table.

The region is renowned for its Shiraz, but the Barossa is much more than Shiraz. Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Mataro (also known as Mourvedre), Merlot and also Semillon are in ample supply and the wine styles include the well-known GSM Rhone style blends. They are marketed as such!

A lot to ponder, especially while having a snack of sausages…and now for that kangaroo!

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