Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tahbilk Marsanne 2008

An Aussie friend of mine (frequently mentioned on this blog - I keep trying to get him to guest blog about Australian wines, he knows a lot more about them than I do) brought this over the other day, and it was a very welcome surprise. It's not often I would choose a wine like this, not because I don't like them, but because I'm not aware of them.

The Tahblik vineyards, apparently, have quite possibly the oldest Marsanne vines in the world, dating from 1927 (old vines tend to produce good wine).

Marsanne is a white grape native to the Rhone valley in France, and is used in the white wines of that region. It has a unique character - a kind of oily, exotic aroma and flavour. I don't have a huge amount of experience with white Rhone wines, but from what I have tried this particular example was very reminiscent of them. I thought the nose was almost Riesling-like, having a sort of savoury character. It was also a good food match to what we were eating (chicken wraps). I was impressed, and I would very much like to try it again.

Marsanne is a white grape that can produce wines that can improve with bottle age. Perhaps one to put away for awhile? On that note, allow me to rant for a bit. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to walk into a shop and buy a 5 year old Tahbilk Marsanne? Why don't any of these places exist? Sure, I could go to Berry Bros. and fork out £30 for an aged Rhone white, but why not offer a cheaper Aussie one, that surely is just as good, if not better? There we go, a business idea:

Marsanne 2008
Nagambie Lakes, Victoria, Australia


  1. Tim,

    I've often wondered why you can't buy much bottle aged stuff in the regular outlets, so I asked Majestic. They answered that they would need too much storage space; it would tie up too much capital and not many modern wines are suitable for bottle aging.

    I've tried it a few times over the years, but with little success. One notable exception was a Pezenas vin de pays, which was brilliant after keeping it 7 years.

  2. Longshot,

    Thanks for the info. I think my question was prompted by a visit to a little wine shop in Cork, Ireland that had a shelf full of old, discounted wines. Some were past it, but some weren't and were fantastic (see my post for the Wakefield St. Andrews cabernet sauvignon). I was just thinking how great it would be if more wines like this were available. I guess like you say though, perhaps it's not the best idea from a business point of view.