Curtis Rare 30 Year Old Tawny
McLaren Vale, SA
Curtis Family Vineyards
I love a good crème caramel and this version infused with orange, cardamom and cointreau is stunning, taking a simple dessert to a Class A level of wow factor. It’s neither particularly difficult nor expensive to throw together and more often than not, all the ingredients are ready and close to hand for a just-in-time dessert option. To up the ante on the wow factor, my serving suggestions include presenting it with thick farm cream, crème fraiche or Greek style yoghurt coupled with a smattering of either raspberries or blueberries.
The accompanying bevvy: Seppeltsfield’s Para DP90 Rare Tawny with its seductive plump, sticky mouthfeel and warm spice, honey and walnut notes is my choice for a blissful union.
For the crème:300ml milk (for a richer custard, replace half of the milk with pouring cream) 50ml orange juice tablespoon of Cointreau 100gm caster sugar zest of an orange 3 large eggs
Curtis have been making wine in McLaren Vale since 1973. The family history in winemaking stretches back to Italy, where in 1499 Paolo Curtis was charged by the Cardinal de Medici with looking after the papal lands around Cervaro, including the establishment of vineyards and olive groves. The family still farms in the area today. Part of the family moved to Australia and began making wine in McLaren Vale in the 1970’s. They draw on some serious old vine resources, with Shiraz plantings 60 years of age and Grenache vines a century old in the mix and forming the backbone of the wines we stock from them. We’re definitely overdue a feature on Curtis Family Vineyards as we’ve been stocking their wines for the last 5 years and have been seeing quality improve year on year. We started with
Less than 40km south of Adelaide, McLaren Vale is another one of South Australia's renowned Shiraz producers, accounting for roughly 50% of grapes crushed annually. The climate is markedly different from the Barossa, being much more Mediterranean with four clear seasons and higher rainfalls. McLaren Vale reds reflect this, showing deep complexity and power along with the ability to cellar for decades. While Shiraz grabs the most attention, chocolate-rich Cabernet Sauvignons, Chardonnays and Viogniers are worth sampling.
The climate is influenced by ocean breezes coming in from the Gulf of St. Vincent to the west and the altitude of the Sellicks Hill Range to the south. Soil type is varied, ranging from red-brown loam and sand to dark clay and the often-mentioned terra rosa. A misspell of the Italian phrase "terra rossa" (meaning "red soil"), this ruddy-red stuff is left behind when limestone breaks down, and any viticulturist will tell you it's great stuff to grow vines in due
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