Monday, May 30, 2011

A Taste of Things to Come

We've been hoping to travel Down Under again for years now. After a great deal of trepidation and continual checking on the internet, Boo and I have finally succeeded in booking tickets to Australia next Spring. Booking tickets on points can be hellish at the best of times, but trying to find flights half way around the world that weren't on a milk run and would still fit our schedule just made things that much more difficult. We'll still make more stops that I'd particularly care to, but the major bucks saved on the tickets will buy a whole lot of wine while we're down there.

Having handled that major hurdle, I thought a special bottle of Aussie wine and a couple of lamb chops would in order as a bit of a celebration.

817. 2008 Langmeil - The Fifth Wave Grenache (Barossa Valley - Australia)

Langmeil isn't a particularly well-known winery in the Vancouver market but I've been a fan ever since I encountered them at a Ronald MacDonald House fundraiser some years back. The event was being held at a fairly spectacular, waterfront home in West Van and the Langmeil wines weren't actually featured at the event's bar. Rather, the winery was taking its first stab at the local market and they simply arranged to set up a bit of a tasting station in the kitchen - where some cooking demonstrations and tastings were taking place.

We drank their Valley Floor Shiraz all night - and I've been buying it ever since.

You know it's one of the wineries that's going to the top of my "Must Visit" list for next year.

The Fifth Wave is one of the winery's premium bottlings. The grapes are grown at a single vineyard that features old bush vines that were planted back in 1953. They are dry farmed and, that combined with the age of the vines, pretty much guarantees low yields - between one and one & a half tonnes per acre. Yields like that don't tend to produce an awful lot of wine. They do, however, tend to produce intense flavours.

Actually, Boo and I were lucky enough to win this bottle (and a couple other premium Langmeil bottles) at a dinner hosted by the Australia Wine Appreciation Society. Winery principals were in town for the Vancouver Playhouse Wine Festival and AWAS pulled off a coup of a dinner. It sold out almost immediately and we were only able to get tickets when they fit in an extra table or two. I told you lucky, right?

As a taste of what's to come, I'm not sure that next Spring can come soon enough.

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