Budget time, budget wine… and what better place to head to than the frosty hills of the Canberra District. Quality winemaking has been propping up the cultural reputation of this political town for decades, and it has been enhanced in recent years by a quietly spoken winemaker with a set attention demanding wines... Brian Martin at Ravensworth.
We first met Brian when we had an appointment with Tim Kirk at Clonakilla in 2014. Brian has been the assistant winemaker at the iconic Clonakilla for some years now and also makes his own Ravensworth wines here. The Ravenworth wines mainly come from the vineyard Bryan planted down the road in Murrumbatemen in 2001. It is a mixed bag of varieties, thoughtfully planted and farmed, that contribute to an unusual looking set of wines, that go against the grain. They have an energy that makes you recognize you're enjoying the fruits of a talented, forward thinking and in tune winemaker.
The labels depict a sort of medieval banquet preparation scene that leans in to one of Bryan’s other obsessions… food. Bryan is a talented chef, has written the food column for the Canberra Times for seven years, and has his own cookbook, Tongue & Cheek. He champions the paddock to plate movement and is passionate about the connection of knowing where the food that you eat comes from. If you want to see some of his entertaining musings, visit the Ravensworth site and see how he discusses his vineyard.
Bryan produces a killer Riesling, some unusual white and orange blends, a Nebbiolo, and an expressive Shiraz Viognier (some skills learnt at Clonakilla no doubt, we’re accessing a small amount for those interested). However, this week we are offering his 2019 Sangiovese, a favourite variety of ours at Press, and smashing value when handled by the right hands.
These wines are food wines, they should be enjoyed at the dinner table and the mid weight, high acid and grainy tannin work so well with charred meats and vegetables. This can be formal if you want it to be, or it can be delicious with a barbecue lunch, but it is best enjoyed at a table with some food and friends. The vintage was warm for Canberra, so the wine is dark cherry, plum, spice and dry florals. It is naturally fermented (no additions) and aged in five-year-old French oak barrels. We hope you enjoy it.