Angle Vale? Who on earth buys wine at Angle Vale?
Well… It turns out that Dominic Versace makes wine at Angle Vale, under the name (surprise) Dominic Versace Wines. Again, a name I had never heard of. Some googling tonight shows that in the right circles they are quite well known for making a top-notch product. Every review I found tonight is flattering.
From not knowing what to expect – EVERYTHING WAS EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD!
They make small amounts of wine the simplest possible way – no big factory here, just a shed with some barrels in and everything hand made.
We started with an unwooded Chardonnay , served lightly chilled – too cold and there is no flavour. I’m not a huge fan of Chardy any more but this was exceptionally good.
Then, a Sangiovese – a common grape for making wine in Italy. Sometimes it is used here, often making a fairly ordinary wine. This, like the Chardonnay, was damn good.
But there was more – a Sparkling Red, a Sangiovese / Shiraz / Grenache blend, a Rose, a straight Shiraz. The Sparkling Red in particular was big, rich, smoky – one of the best examples of the type ever. At least as good as Rockfords Black Shiraz (and that’s a big statement).
The winemaker (that’s Dominic) was stoking the pizza oven and we spent the next couple of hours eating real pizza, pickles, cheeses, and a fantastic pear and rocket salad. Pizzas were simple – prawn, or tomato and salami, or roast capsicum. All with a little cheese of course, and I suspect some herbs. But not covered in huge amounts of stuff, just a few simple ingredients done really, really well.
All this was laid on because one of the group knows Dominic, and used to go there pruning the vines at one time.
I feel very privileged, we got Rolls Royce treatment from a small family winemaker, drank some of the best wines I have ever come across, ate extremely well, and even got to try some of a special reserve straight from the barrel.
I’ll be back – probably this weekend, they are less than 20 minutes drive away!!! My wallet will suffer but who cares when there is wine of this quality to be bought!
**** EDIT Saturday pm: Just come back with a few bottles. That sparkling Shiraz is a mere $20 a bottle – a steal. You’d pay twice this for some others of comparable quality. I cannot recommend this place enough. With a clean palate, everything was simply stunning. As good as it seemed yesterday, if not better.
After the last buy-up I swore I would not buy any more wine for 2 years. That resolution lasted a month. Pathetic isn’t it.