Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Buller Tawny

1306.  N.V. Buller - Victoria Tawny (Rutherglen - Victoria - Australia)

Having just enjoyed the Buller Fine Old Muscat during our Neighbours' Dine Around, I brought out the Victoria Tawny that I had on hand since we were serving up a cheese course of our own over the holidays.

Both wines are known for their rich flavours awash in raisin and spice.  The Rutherglen region is particularly famous for the long-continued production of these types of fortified wines.  The primary difference between our Tawny and the Fine Old Muscat is that the wines used in blending the latter have been aged in oak for longer periods of time than the wines for the Tawny.  For the Tawny, the winemakers utilize "younger material to produce consistency of style and quality."  Our current bottle is generally made from a five- to six-year solera system, whereas the Fine Old line will see close to, if not, twice the ageing.  Consequently, the Victoria Tawny isn't quite as complex as the Fine Old wines but, then again, it's generally found at half the price.  I didn't see any specific reference on the web site but the Muscat is likely made from that single varietal of grape.  Again, nothing formal at the winery site, but I did see one reference that the Tawny, on the other hand, is made from a number of different grapes, including Shiraz.

The Buller winery saw its start back in the 1920's and is now in its fourth generation of being a family-owned operation.  It has earned a reputation for its fortified wines over the years (hence the back to back fortifieds we've enjoyed); however, I see that it also produces table wines under the Buller name and under a few additional brand names.  With the introduction of more wine types and brands, the winery has seen a big increase in overall production over the last so many years. All that additional production may be leading to some major changes afoot though as current headlines in Australia are reporting that the winery has just seen company directors appoint financial administrators to survey operations and report to creditors.

I'll be interested to hear how the company fares in the months to come.  Hopefully, Buller and its fortified wines will still be found on local shelves for many more years. If it helps their financials, I could promise to buy another couple bottles.

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