Houghton Wines. Wine. White. Red.

Tags: Houghton Wines. Wine. White. Red.

The Bribie Winelander

At the recent Beefsteak and Burgundy Club dinner held at The Kai Restaurant the main theme of the night was a presentation of Houghtons Wines from Western Australia. On arrival the canapes of tomato with mozzarella and a corn fritter with smoked salmon and a dill creme fraiche was served with a Pol Gessner Champagne.

The first Houghton was the current release 2016 Houghton White Classic which cost the absurd price of $5.70 from Dan Murphy’s, I can only think this was an opportunity to clear the tanks for this year’s vintage and the resultant sale was many thousands of cases, whatever the reason it made for a great night!

As a surprise and as a comparison I managed to secure some of the 2005 Museum Houghton White Classic and everyone was surprised at how wonderfully well this wine has developed with perfect cellaring from Houghton themselves and supplied especially for our evening, a wine that money can’t buy.

Served with the wines were seasoned chicken skewers and a sweet potato and roast beetroot salad with a lime aioli sauce. Being St. Patricks Day Cameron presented Guiness braised brisket on a chump mash with green beans and stout jus for the main course which was accompanied by The Houghton Frankland River “The Bandit” 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. This is an excellent wine which cost around $20 per bottle, said to commemorate the capture “Moondyne Joe” Western Australia’s version of Ned Kelly at the Houghton Homestead.

As we had worked well under budget for the evening I was able to put on a great Houghton Margaret River 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon the “Gladstone”. This wine recognises Dr. John Gladstone who saw the potential of The Margaret River Region and the similarities to Bordeaux in France in the regions soils, climate and proximity to the sea. Although the region only produces around 8% of Australia’s wine it contributes 28% of the countries premium wine production.

To finish a blueberry frangipane and vanilla ice cream served with a delightful Blandy’s 5 Y.O. Malmsey Madeira wine which hails from The Island of Madeira. At this stage I think the next Beefsteak and Burgundy Club Dinner will be sometime towards the end of April as several of our members will be jetting away in May, if you are interested in an evening of fine food and very good wine please drop me a line on arlidge@bigpond.com

We shall be having a look at a range of Yalumba Wines which may throw up a few surprises. An important winery in The Australian portfolio that has escaped our attention is Yalumba which today stands as the oldest surviving family winery and is located near the town of Angaston in South Australia in The Barossa Valley wine region and was founded by a British Brewer, Samuel Smith, who emigrated to Australia with his family from Wareham Dorset in 1847 aboard the ship “China”.

Upon arriving in Australia they lived for a year in Adelaide on the banks of The River Torrens, before purchasing a 30-acre block of land in Angaston. He named the property Yalumba after the indigenous word for “all land around” and in 1849 he and his son Sidney planted Yalumba’s first vineyard, beginning the Yalumba dynasty.

Through all manners of ups and downs and takeovers the industry has had to weather over the last 180 years they have done much for the industry apart from simply selling cases of good wine. Their training programme is held across the nation every two years for aspiring experts and they are a part of The Australian wine alliance with Australia’s First Families of Wine, a multimillion-dollar venture which highlights the quality and diversity of Australian wine. Today the company is run by Robert Hill-Smith and whilst they have always produced outstanding wines in all categories they were lacking a standalone super wine in the same vein as Grange or Hill of Grace.

A new wine shrouded in secrecy will shortly be released being a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz grapes from The Coonawarra and Barossa, and it carries the name,”The Caley” a 2012 vintage which will retail at around $350 and about 500 cases have been made. The wine spent two years in French barriques, which are coopered at Yalumba, then three more years in bottle and depending on vintage conditions will be an annual release the first being 2017 on May 12th.

They have a Rare and Fine range comprising of “The Reserve”, “The Octavius”, “The Signature”, The Tri-Centenary” made from Old Vine Grenache vines and a white wine “The Virgilius” made from Viognier grapes which Yalumba pioneered in Australia in the 1980’s. Other wines to look for are “The Scribbler” and “The Strapper” but for great value you can always rely on their “Oxford Landing” range.

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