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wine of the week 05/10/2008

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  Trentham Estate (Australia) La Famiglia Nebbiolo 2005
The great grape of Barolo, Nebbiolo, isn't nearly so widely planted elsewhere in the world as some of the classic varieties. Indeed outside of Italy, only small pockets of Nebbiolo in California, Argentina and Australia fly the flag for Piedmont's finest grape, often planted by Barolo-crazy winemakers. This screwcapped example comes from Trentham Estate's vineyards in the Murray-Darling region of New South Wales. Matured in older French oak barrels for 18 months, it is very distinctive, with a high-toned character of leaf tea and bright, focused strawberry fruit with lovely floral nuances. The fruit is smooth and lusciously sweet. There's a great juiciness and energy to this, with those exotic, floral and herbal characters coming through against svelte, fresh tannins and good acidity. Unusual, and terrific. 8.99, Great Grog Company (free delivery in mainland UK via greatgrog.co.uk).