Friendships are more colourful when shared around a dining table. Connections cultivate and expand when we eat and drink together. I had the pleasure of sharing a mighty fine Durif from Ballandean Estate with a mate who appreciates the good things in life. Sealed under cork and with sleek packaging — it presents as a premium product and it certainly delivers on its promise.
It is intense from the outset with a blast of aromas of blackberry, liquorice, Chinese ink, ground coffee and dark chocolate. The palate is compact and powerful. It certainly has some grip, yet this grower shows a deft touch, as the oak integration tames this hefty variety superbly.
In light of the richness of flavour, we matched the wine with jamon Serrano, prosciutto and pâté as well as Gorgonzola, cheddar and pecorino cheeses. With two hours of careful decanting, the wine was such a pleasure and deserving of in-depth analysis. The Durif interacted with the saltiness and oiliness of the cured meats and pâté, elevating its richness. This experience was emphasised further with the mouldy cheeses. My friend and I both agreed that the wine was intense and persistent. Yet with rich foods it was an ideal pairing. Decanting is a must to soften it up a little. Be ready for a flavoursome encounter.