Drawing on the experience of seven generations of one family, how can this French burgundy be anything but noteworthy? A local family business has earned the right to boast about its signature shiraz; and why not mix up a Sazerac? It’s cool enough for Beyoncé.

By Finn Vedelsby

Domaine du Vieux Collège: 2012
Les Vignes Marie Marsannay Burgundy
This family domaine has been running for seven generations; Eric Guyard today oversees 25 hectares of vines over three appelations – Marsannay, Fixin and Gevery-Chambertin.  This historic family domaine makes red wine from pinot noir, white wine from Chardonnay, and Aligoté.
The Marsannay wine region is situated in the ‘Côte de Nuits’ subregion of northern Burgundy. It is the latest Appellation d’origine contrôlée awarded in 1987, predominately growing pinot noir. However, the 30 per cent of chardonnay they produce really punch above their weight.  The wine has a magnificent, cooler climate character due to the vineyard’s proximity to the north.  A medium golden hue with a pretty green tinge, the crystal clear wine in the glass invites you to drink.  The nose gives generous classic Burgundian white notes of citrus, luscious white peach and some perfume of white blossom. On the palate this wine is open with continuous stone fruit and a lovely balanced fruit, honey and butter on toast from oak and a little time on its side, fine linear acid structured backbone. It lingers on the palate enticing you to another sip.
Clever local wine gurus John Crow and Ian Leamon brought this into the country.
Go to  http://wine-connect.com.au to see what they are bringing in today.
You will be impressed with their selection; always outstanding and wines with affordability in mind.

2014 Ellis Wines Signature Label Heathcote Shiraz
Ellis Wines is a small, local family business which has had a huge success in delivering what it set out to do; create an outstanding wine. I have had a number of vintages of this wine at Rocks on Rosalind and in my opinion 2014 is the best thus far.
A Heathcote Shiraz is key to the successful entertaining of guests who are visiting our region. There are some truly iconic names that feature on famous wine lists around the world and the Ellis Wine certainly fits comfortably in this company.
Deep ruby with purple at the edges, this wine looks great. Pronounced intensity on the nose delivers classic black fruit and pepper. It also shows some integrated sweet spices – nutmeg and liquorice, dried fruit and cedar wood.
The Ellis Signature Shiraz is perfectly medium, plus bodied with silky tannins and great acid that together balance to a mouth filling smoothness with a long finish. I love this wine. It is good to drink today, but I think it would be great to put a few on their side in the cellar for a lamb shank dinner in winter 2022.

The Sazerac
I was introduced to the Sazerac a few years ago during a history lesson and it has been my go-to after-dinner drink since.
The Sazerac is so cool there is a whiskey company named after the drink; there is a main street in New Orleans named after the drink; and it is Beyoncé’s favourite after dinner drink. She went up to the top of my cool list when I learned this crumb of information.
It is argued that it was the first American cocktail getting its name from the importer of spirits home base ‘The Sazerac Coffee House’ in New Orleans where Aaron Bird made the house cocktail with a Cognac named Sazerac-de-Forge et Fils and allegedly with bitters being made by the local apothecary, Antoine Amedie Peychaud and Absinthe or Pastis.  The Sazerac Coffee House Changed hands a few times and then Thomas Handy became its proprietor.  It was around this time that the primary ingredient changed from Cognac to rye whiskey, due to the phylloxera epidemic in Europe that devastated the vineyards of France.  I love the Cognac version.

How To Sazerac:
60 ml Cognac, or 30ml /30ml Cognac Rye whiskey or 60 ml Rye Whiskey
3 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
Some simple sugar – start with 10ml for your first one and then adjust to taste.
Chill two old-fashioned glasses.  The first glass is swirled with a wash of absinthe (5 mls) for its flavour and strong scent.  The second glass is used to combine the remaining ingredients, which are stirred with ice. Stir for a while in order to chill the spirits and most importantly dilute with ice melt – 20ml. Then strain into the first glass and top with a lemon and/or orange twist.