TODAY our Tipple Trivia Wine's Arcane from A to Z moves down to G and H and a focus on South African former intensive care doctor Larry Jacobs and ex-journalist and advertising copywriter Marc Dobson. On migrating to Australia in 1996, they had no plans to involve themselves in wine. Larry had given up medicine in 1988 to establish the Mulderbosch vineyards at Stellenbosch and Marc worked as a journalist and "ad man" in Cape Town and met Larry when he did Mulderbosch promotional work.
With Mulderbosch built into a global brand, Larry sold the operation and he and Marc moved to Australia - with Larry aiming to become an author and Marc set on a career as a psychologist. Before long, however, both felt the lure of a wine comeback and began scouring Australian areas looking for a place that mirrored the familiar Mulderbosch terroir. In 2002 they found South Australia's Adelaide Hills fit the bill and bought the Hahndorf Hill vineyard, deciding to plant gruner veltliner vines.
G FOR GRUNER VELTLINER:(grooner felt-lih-ner) As proprietors of the Hahndorf Hill vineyard and winery, Larry and Marc have been prime movers in Adelaide Hills, gaining the largest concentration of gruner veltliner vines in Australia. They overcame quarantine hurdles to import Austrian cuttings from three different gruner veltliner clones, paving the way for the debut vintage of gruner in 2010. It was the first wine of the variety produced in South Australia and the second in Australia and they have made clonal material available to other growers. The $29-a-bottle Hahndorf Hill 2019 Gru Gruner Veltliner is reviewed below. Others to try are the Nepenthe 2019 Altitude and the Adelaide pubs and liquor stores-owning Saturno family's $25 Longview 2018 KUHL Gruner Veltliner, available at longviewvineyard.com.au, and Macclesfield winery.
H FOR HARSLEVELU: (harsh-leh-veh-loo) Here's a Hungarian grape that is a minor component with the furmint variety to make that country's famous sweet Tokay (toe-kay) dessert wines, which derive the name from the Tokaj district of north-eastern Hungary. Harslevelu means "lime leaf" and the grapes also produce perfumed, viscous, spicy white table wines in Hungary and Austria. There are few plantings in Australia and ones I know of are in Western Australia's Perth Hills area and the NSW Southern Highlands. They may have been removed now, but there were small plots of harslevelu and furmint on McWilliam's Barwang vineyard, near Young. Former owner Peter Robertson had planned to make his own Tokay-style wines.
Gru Gruner zings
THIS aromatic Hahndorf Hill 2019 Gru Gruner Veltliner shines green-tinted straw and features ginger blossom scents and zingy ruby grapefruit front-palate flavour. The middle palate has peach, cumquat, spice and mineral elements and a slatey acid finish. At hahndorfhillwinery.com.au and the 38 Pains Road, Hahndorf, cellar door. PRICE: $29. DRINK WITH: salt and pepper squid. AGEING: six years.
Spain to McLaren Vale
FROM Spain's most-planted grape, the Hastwell and Lightfoot McLaren ValeTempranillo (tem-pra-nee-yo) has 14% alcohol and bright garnet hues, ju-jube scents and brisk blackberry front-palate flavour. The middle palate shows Maraschino cherry, capers, black olive and savoury oak and the finish ferric tannins. At hastwellandlightfoot.com.au. PRICE: $25. DRINK WITH: tapas. AGEING: three years.
Adelaide Hills spice
WITH 13.5% alcohol and ruby hues, the Longview 2017 Saturnus Adelaide Hills Nebbiolo (neb-e-ol-oh) shows gamey aromas and spicy raspberry front-palate flavour. The middle palate has cranberry, briar, licorice and cedary oak and dusty tannins at the finish. Get it at longviewvineyard.com.au, Macclesfield winery and bottle shops. PRICE: $50. DRINK WITH: chicken cacciatore. AGEING: five years.