Coming up roses
Hahndorf Hill blend impresses
They are a producer best known for their successful introduction of Gruner Veltliner to the Australian Wine Consumer and now the team at Hahndorf Hill are pioneering other Austrian styles like Blaufrankisch, Zweigelt and St Laurent and now, it seems, Trollinger as well. They may not be house hold names, but are varietals that are commercially successful in most of Europe, and can add a bit of spice to dinner table conversation.
When a friend recently returned from a trip to South Australia bubbling with enthusiastic praise for a blush wine he discovered in the Adelaide Hills, I was skeptical, if not dismissive. If I am going to drink pink, I told him, it had better hail from Provence or at the very least, be made on Grenache fruit!
But the bottle I was presented with was neither Provencál nor Grenache; but it was as good a Rosé as I’ve enjoyed in Australia. I may be a reluctant disciple to the Rosé cult, but there are worse ways to spend a Friday night!
Hahndorf Hill Rose 2016
The 2016 Hahndorf Hill Rosé is an unusual blend of Trollinger (another Austrian grape that seems to have originated in Italy), Pinot Noir and Merlot. It oozes rose petals from its nose to its close but is dry, rather than sweet in style. Perhaps it’s the Trollinger (39% of the blend) that delivers the rose and strawberry aromatics to the front, but once on the palate, hints of cherry, quince and even a lashing of persimmon, evolve and meet moderate acidity at the back end.
But for me, it is all about the clean lines, zippy finish and the liveliness of the fruit. Kerching! It is a style that performs the “cha-cha-cha” as it works its magic through your mouth and will have you refilling your glass faster than my ten year old chasing the recently departed ice cream truck!
If you enjoy the Trollinger compilation, you’re not alone as fans of the Hahndorf Hill Rosé are in good company as James Halliday has rated it at 96 points this year; which is impressive for any wine, let alone one made from an unusual blend like this.
I wouldn’t suggest cellaring or saving the Hahndorf Hill Rosé for a rainy day but at only $23 a bottle, you probably wouldn’t feel guilty about tearing the stelvin cap off when next you serve a spicy Asian dish or your best iteration of a chilly con carne. Or hang the food pairing, and just enjoy it on its own!