Sometimes I can easily visualise the elements of a wine and a dish in my mind. On this occasion however, it took me three attempts to find just the right partner for Macadamia and Pistachio Encrusted Barramundi Fillets with Apple Mustard Salad. Tahbilk has a long history with Marsanne, perhaps like no other winery. Their skill is a reference in the world of wine. This wine is certainly rare by nature; picked early, oxidatively made, unoaked and cellared 6 years prior to release. The ‘1927 Vines’ Marsanne is vivacious, gingery, lemony and has a honeysuckle touch. Its linear shape and wonderful deep drive makes it a complex proposition.The melted parsley butter over the top of the barramundi fillets soaked through the fish and added a delicate oily texture. Due to its high acidity, the Marsanne was an ideal counterbalance and it brought out the best in the nutty toppings.
The pinnacle of the experience however, was the interaction between the Marsanne and the green apple salad, which also consisted of rocket, fennel, buttermilk, wholegrain mustard and chopped walnuts. The deep walnut edged finish on the back palate was driven by the acidity of the wine, carrying it through with grace, giving it a slippery texture as it interacted with the mustard. I was amazed by these complex interactions. They supplied an overall zestiness to the dining experience. I had high hopes that this aged Marsanne would do the trick and it certainly did not disappoint. A wine built for the long run, this indeed was an embryonic showing. Delightfully, it still has many more magical layers to unfold ahead.