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Unlike many wineries, the history of Starvedog Lane isnâ€™t linked to some long dead legendary winemaker who was the son of someone rich or famous
There are no tales of bravery and courage, and no triumph of the pioneering human spirit. Of suffering and loss, but ultimate victory in the face of adversity all in the interest of bringing you a great drop of wine. Nope. Just a name that comes from some old story about a hungry dog and some German settlers and a bunch of winemakers who are pretty fanatical about what they do. So what Starvedog Lane lack in a colourful and eventful history, they more than make up for with some sensational wines. And at the end of the day, thatâ€™s what itâ€™s all about, right?
As winemakers, it goes without saying grapes are pretty important. Starvedog Lane's come from a little place called the Adelaide Hills region. Itâ€™s called that because itâ€™s near Adelaide. And there are plenty of hills. So while itâ€™s not the most imaginatively named region, it has become highly regarded as one of Australiaâ€™s best cool climate grape growing regions.
The region itself stretches from Clarendon to McLaren Vale, up to Eden Valley and the start of the Barossa district so thereâ€™s a fair bit of it. More than enough, in fact, to give all the wonderful grapes needed to make equally wonderful wines. Some people get a bit nervous when you use a phrase like â€˜fresh cut grassâ€™ to describe the flavour of a wine. Unless youâ€™re a cow, terms like this are hardly likely to get your tail wagging. But honestly, donâ€™t let it put you off or else youâ€™ll be missing out on a real treat. If youâ€™ve got something to celebrate, Starvedog Lane is the puppy to do it with. If you havenâ€™t got anything to celebrate, donâ€™t worry, when youâ€™ve got one of these handy you can always celebrate having a damn fine wine to drink.
Starvedog Lane uses many grape types, but itâ€™s certainly no mongrel â€“ quite the opposite in fact. Itâ€™s the combination of styles that gives Starvedog Lane it's characteristics, but plenty of the kind of flavour that makes a wine really good. Starvedog Lane goes sensationally well with anything, as aperitifs, with seafood, pasta dishes and the word â€˜darlingâ€™.
Chardonnay is what many people refer to as The King of white grapes and is one of the most popular white wines going around. If you want a white, and youâ€™re not sure what to get, this is a pretty good way to go. Keep in mind itâ€™s no lightweight though â€“ as far as white go, itâ€™s got more body than most. Unlike their No Oak Chardonnay this oneâ€™s gotten rather friendly with French oak so has that classic hint of spicy oak in it. Itâ€™s a fine wine with real character, and if youâ€™re thinking of tucking into something like antipasto, scallops, creamy pasta, chicken or even a Thai laksa, this drop is definitely one to savour along with your meal.
Starvedog Lane also makes unwooded wine with the same style of grapes as their regular Chardonnay, but this oneâ€™s steered clear of the French connection. While itâ€™s never snuggled up to any French oak, itâ€™s in great company if thereâ€™s fish and chips or creamy pasta on the menu. Itâ€™s a little lighter than traditional Chardonnay and has plenty of spicy, fruity, flavour without being at all sweet. Paul, the winemaker behind this one, uses words like â€˜zestâ€™ and â€˜racyâ€™ when he talks about it and says itâ€™s particularly good sitting on ice â€“ we can only imagine he means the wine, not you.
The Starvedog Lane Pinot Grigio is a style of wine likely to be a lot less familiar with Australians. But donâ€™t let the unusual name scare you. Itâ€™s easy to pronounce (say it like this: pee-no gree-jee-oh) and even easier to drink. Itâ€™s dry, itâ€™s light and itâ€™s definitely funky. If you want to impress your friends with something a little different, look no further. If youâ€™re into fancy food, match it up with something like poached corn fed chicken breast encrusted with dukkah. But really, anything like salad, prawns and oysters would be lovely with this sexy little Italian pooch.
f youâ€™ve already read about Starvedog Lane Shiraz, youâ€™ll already know what that has in store. But the Starvedog Lane blend with Viognier is something quite unique. Not to mention quite delicious! Mixing a white grape like Viognier with a red might seem a little out of the ordinary, and thatâ€™s true because thereâ€™s nothing ordinary about this drop. Itâ€™s already picked up 4 bronze medals at wine shows and when you taste it, chances are itâ€™ll leave you begging for more as well.
OK, so letâ€™s not beat around the bush here. Merlot used to be a bit overshadowed by big dog Cabernet Sauvignon. But in recent times itâ€™s become super popular, especially here in Australia, for one very good reason â€“ itâ€™s very, very drinkable. That may not be a very refined thing to say, but hey, itâ€™s true. One sip of this Merlot and youâ€™ll know exactly what they mean. Itâ€™s not too heavy, but still has the body and flavour you want from a great red. Itâ€™ll go down a treat with just about any meat, but something like grilled gourmet sausages are pretty much a perfect match. A great choice, and you canâ€™t go wrong â€“ unless you pronounce the â€˜tâ€™ on the end. (Say â€˜mer-lowâ€™ and youâ€™ll be spot on!)
When it comes to red, Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the big dog. Itâ€™s got bark, itâ€™s got bite, and itâ€™s got almost universal appeal. This particular drop has the full body youâ€™d expect, but youâ€™ll be happy to know it isnâ€™t such a beast itâ€™s going to bite your head off. If you keep a bottle or two of this tucked away for a few years, itâ€™s only going to get better. But if like most of us, you tend to be a little impatient, grab some farmhouse cheese, cook up some lamb or beef and rip into a glass of Starvedog Lane Cabernet. You wonâ€™t be disappointed.
Like any good Shiraz, Starvedog Laneâ€™s not too heavy, and not too light. Itâ€™d go great with something like lamb, duck or even game. But thereâ€™s no reason you have to stop there â€“ feel free to experiment a bit. The flavour itself has hints of plum and dark cherry flavours and if you really think about it, thereâ€™s a bit of spice to it as well. A great safe choice for just about any occasion â€“ everyoneâ€™s heard of Shiraz and it should please most red drinkers, so you canâ€™t really go wrong with this one. Itâ€™s great to drink now, and if you cellar it for about 5 to 7 years itâ€™ll be even better.
Theyâ€™re all here in The Kennel, just waiting for you. Oh, and whether youâ€™re a wine loving beginner or a die-hard connoisseur, you wonâ€™t need to understand too many of those fancy wine terms or need a decoder ring to make sense of it all. Because enjoying a great wine shouldnâ€™t be hard work, right?
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