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WINE: 23 OCTOBER 2014

By JOHN ROZENTALS

Ben joins Dominique and takes family to ten generations of winemakers

French-born Dominique Portet has long been one of my favourite winemakers.

I first met him quite a few years ago when he was the winemaker for Taltarni, near Avoca in central Victoria, and became closer on his many visits to Tasmania when Taltarni started to make stunning sparkling wines from its Clover Hill property at Pipers River.

In 2000, Dominique established his eponymously named winery in the Yarra Valley, just outside Melbourne, and he has been joined in the winemaking area by his son Ben, who is the tenth consecutive generation of vignerons in a family that began working with grapes in France’s Bordeaux district in 1720.

Physically, Dominique has always reminded me a little of film director Roman Polanski, especially in The Fearless Vampire Killers. But his wines are much more serious than that, especially the reds, some of which will live in the bottle for at least a decade, perhaps two or three, before they reach their peak.

That he has retained the deft touch with sparkling wines that he learnt from his Taltarni/Clover Hill days is clearly shown in the just-released Dominique Portet NV Brut Rosé, made from a blend of the classic Champagne varieties of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier, grown on elevated sites in the upper Yarra Valley.

It shows a fine, persistent bead in the glass, an aroma of freshly baked bread and strawberries, and a palate that has great length of flavour and a creamy complexity. Expect to pay about $28 and enjoy as an aperitif or with light seafood dishes.

Visit dominiqueportet.com.

Some friendly competition ... Ben and Dominique Portet.

DETAILS

Dominique Portet
870 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream
Phone (03) 5962 5760
dominiqueportet.com

REVIEWS

Dominique Portet 2014 Fontaine Rosé