So we’re planning on our client Christmas party at the Summit, the top floor revolving restaurant in Australia Square, formerly the tallest building in Australia. So it would be impolite not to sample the food and drink right? So we stay for lunch and after choosing oysters followed by Pork Belly for me and fish for my companion I chose a bottle of the 2009 Barwang Tumbarumba Pinot Gris.
Let me get the negatives out of the way first. The phrase daylight robbery comes to mind. Close to $50 for a bottle you can pick up for about $15 is a lot. But not when compared to the other items on the wine list. There was only one Sancerre for example ($99). But I understand why. For all of this mid week lunch session there were 7 diners. Not groups, not tables, but individuals. They’ve got to be doing it tough. Which is a shame because despite the average wine list (no vintage stock for example) the food was actually very good. The oysters were great with a delicate optional sauce, the pork belly was of generous proportions and well made with sufficient vegeatables not to need the nicely cooked side dish of beans and garlic. So for a quite place to have a business lunch you can’t do better, and as a tourist to Sydney what better way to see the sights than in a revolving restaurant, circling about once an hour. I just wish they did BYO!
Pinot Grigio is one of the world’s most popular wines. Also known under the French moniker “Pinot Gris”, and even the German “Ruländer” among others, Pinot Grigio is a chameleon of a grape. It is produced in a range of styles, from the light fruity Italian style that has gained popularity, to a more mineral, flinty rich wine favored by the French – particularly in Alsace – and emulated by many in the new world. (snooth.com.au)
Anyway, back to the wine. The wine pours with a medium straw colour, just right to accompany mains and there’s a mixed up complex palate of pears and apples (great for pork belly), some stone fruits even a touch of vanilla from the oak. It finishes rounded but clear.
Winemonthly.com.au says “Intense varietal characters of pear drops and almond dominate the palate. These flavours are textured on the mid palate and finish with a lingering, refreshing cleanliness. “Pretty wine with visual appeal, teffetta textures with colours and bosoms of melons and musk, figs and pears, snake beans and some funky dusty spice!” -RieslingRider.com, “Full points given to one of the areas founding estates, topical pinot gris, crisp and lively and built to drink now. A healthy tranche of vibrant fruit, oranges and peach, apricots and oil, a wee bit nutty at the fringe as well!”"
ANZwines.com.au says “McWilliam’s has long been a major player and staunch supporter of the emerging Hilltops, and today retains some of the region’s most well endowed Pinot Gris vines. “You’ll get nods of approval for serving this. It makes good sense to pick something that goes with most anything, and also appeals to most palates. Nicely perfumed, light florals, prominent fruit. Off-dry to the tongue, flavours of peach, typically crisp French styling, with bright hints of rose petal, quinces and cinammon around a solid core of cool climate fruit!” -Slosh.com.au
Farmer and RAAF fighter pilot Peter Robinson, planted his Barwang Vineyard to vine cuttings procured from McWilliams in 1969. Individual parcels of Pinot Gris are hand picked and treated separately to accentuate vineyard individuality, style and varietal expressions. Gently crushed with skins removed to minimize extraction of colour, the juice was chilled to below six degrees before transferring to tanks for fermentation. Specially selected yeasts are used to heighten the fruit characters whilst providing palate weight and texture. The wine then spent two months on yeast lees to add further complexity before stabilising and bottling early to retain vitality, fruit driven palate and heightened aromatics. ”
Aroma: An intense bouquet, consisting of beautiful, fresh pear, Granny Smith apple and intriguing floral notes, underlined with vanilla and musk stick aromas
Palate: The palate of this wine is concentrated with sweet pear and peach characters. While barrel fermentation creates texture and complexity, the fresh acidity gives focus, providing length and structure, with a clean and fresh finish.