Fresh mango dressed fish is paired with wine from some of the oldest known vines of Marsanne in the world that happen to be found in Victoria, Australia.
The largest single holding of Marsanne grapes is not in France but in the Victoria wine region of Australia.
While originally from the Rhone Valley of France, the grape first made itI s way to the Yarra Valley in Australia at St. Hubert's Vineyard. In 1860, Tahblik Winery sourced these cuttings which unfortunately did not survive.
As one of the oldest wineries in Australia, the winery started in 1860 but was bought by the Purbrik family in 1925. It has remained in their family ever since and over five generations.
In 1927, Tahblik started planting Marsanne again at the request of the new winemaker, Eric Stevens, Prubrik, and those vines are still maintained in the 1927 block.
Once bottled, all the magic happens over time as it evolves into a wonderful textural, mineral wine. It's a classic ugly duckling to beautiful swan story.
In addition to Marsanne, they also have some of the oldest known vines of Shiraz from 1860.
While not organically certified, they do have sustainable practices that include a commitment to reduction of carbon emission since 2012 and preservation of wetlands and wildlife to regenerate the Tahblik Eco trail area.
They are located 2 hours north of Melbourne in the Nagambie Lakes.
In France, Marsanne is typically blended with Rousanne, Grenache Blanc, and Viognier.
According to Wine Folly, its primary flavors are quince, mandarin orange, acacia, beeswax, and apricot. Recommended pairings include rich shellfish dishes with citrus, Thai, and Vietnamese food.
Alternatively, Wine Searcher recommends pairings with pan fried trout with almonds, soba noodles with salmon and sesame seeds, and baked eggplant with creme fraiche.
Since I had never tried Marsanne before, I decided to try it with a combination of the above ideas: Baked Salmon with Buttered Chile Shrimp and a fresh Mango Salsa.
2014 Tahblik "1927 Vines" Marsanne
100% Marsanne; 11% ABV; $25; Bottle 5520 of 8915
Per Bob Campbell "Light yellow colour, with a herbal, wet cement, straw-like, dried lemon-peel bouquet that is youthful for its years and yet to develop much toastiness. A hint of fresh quince. The palate is delicate, refined and intense, tightly wound and yet smooth and soft, with balanced acidity and lovely flavour, not austere as these wines can be but possessing plenty of drinkability. In typical form, it's very like a middle-aged Hunter semillon in the traditional early-picked style."
Per James Haliday: "It's still brimming with life thanks to its brisk acidity. It has a waft of toast and lemon curd with a sprinkling of ginger."
My Tasting Notes:
- Very distinctive nose! I can smell the honeysuckle, floral, honeydew, a little pine sol, and yes some waxiness like beeswax
- Bright, lemon yellow color, spring fresh, crystal clear
- Light and fresh on the palate. A little spiciness on the backend. Subtle minerality and tropical fruit.
- Not as rich and textural as I expected. It's almost delicate and muted without food to brighten it.
- Oh wow, the butter sauce really spreads some sunshine on this wine. Maybe too much sun though?
- Pairs best with lighter flavors. Jives with the mango salsa and really liked the plain green salad with vinaigrette.
- Salmon was too strong with this wine. Would pair better with a lighter white fish like snapper.
- Next time, no chili spice with this wine, it kills the flowers
- The second day, I found this wine really made a plain rice & bean dish a lot more interesting to eat, providing a pep of acidity with no competing flavors.
The Last Drop
I would serve this as an aperitif wine with a light, fresh appetizer of salad, oysters, or white fish. Its unique scent is a nice way to entice and engage the palate for the meal to come.
You can learn more about the white wines of Victoria, Australia from these posts from the World Wine Travel writers:
- Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm paired Peach Chicken and a Chardonnay from Fowles Farm
- Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares Steamed Mussels with a Citrus Drizzle + Punt Road Pinot Gris 2019
- Terri of Our Good Life is enjoying Summertime Charcuterie with Whipped Feta + Butterfly Effect Rose Grenach
- Jeff of Food Wine Click! serves up Frisk Prickly Riesling with Hoisin Pork
- Gwendolyn of Wine Predator says "Say Hey to Summer with Victoria’s Fowles Wines “Ginger Prince” Sparkling Rosé Paired with Smoked Egg Salad "
- Nicole of Somm's Table shares "Oakridge Chardonnay from Yarra Valley and an Orzo Salad Transformation"
Nicole Ruiz-Hudson says
I'm a little surprised that it didn't work as well as you'd hoped with the salmon dish -- I also would've thought that would work. But also interesting to see how it perked up the rice and beans!
It's so nice to see some wines made from something other than Shiraz, Chardonnay, etc... Marsanne is quite the find!
Wendy Klik says
Love those tasting notes Deanna. Made me feel I was right there with you.