They’re no longer a Château, but the wine is still as good. I’ve loved Tahbilk’s Marsanne for years and years, and I’ve even laid down a few bottles over the years, to see how this inexpensive, well-made, original wine evolved over time. I had great fun drinking a 1994, two or three years ago, and found its nutty, candied orange flavors quite seductive. I still have an orangey 1995 and an pale gold 1997 in the cellar, which I’m waiting to be surprised by… someday.
With vines dating back to as far back as 1927, Tahbilk is a rare Australian producer of this lovely Rhône varietal, and I was amused to read on their web site that they recommend aging it – something I’d started doing well just out of curiosity.
The 2004, which is starting to turn to a lovely pale gold colour, displays rich and plentiful aromas, with notes of honey, star-fruit, apricot and a touch of toasted bread on the nose. On tasting, the bright acidity and light but smooth texture immediately strike you, before nutty, honeyed flavors emerge and roll around for a nice, long time around your mouth. At 13% alcohol, it is remarkably balanced and restrained – and here, the word restrained hardly means that you are missing out on anything. I found it lovely with some cheese, and would recommend it with salmon or poultry dishes.
The Marsanne’s great balance also means that the wine indeed has a good aging potential. At just over 15$, around these parts, I’m surely going out to get some more, and setting it in the cellar. If I can convince myself to wait.