Sassafrass Fiano 2015
Adelaide Hills - South Australia
Paul Starr and Tammy Braybrook of Sassafras wines don’t have a background in winemaking, don’t come from a great dynasty of respected vintners, and didn’t inherit a chateau to work from. In fact, they came out of IT jobs in Canberra a decade or so ago, and make wines for the best possible reason: because they love the product, and they believe in what they do. Indeed, they decided to start making the kind of wines they wanted to see on the shelves of their local wine stores, but rarely ever did.
WIthin a few years, they were hitting the headlines of the wine world, thanks to their determination to communicate to the public their passion for wines made with the ‘ancestral method’ - a technique which allows a sparkling wine to finish its primary fermentation in the bottle. While this might sound complicated, it’s actually a far more homely, rustic and old fashioned way of making bubbly than the dominant Champagne method, which Paul and Tammy feel is overrated, and which they claim removes much of the character of the grape.
Using a range of traditional, rustic techniques, their wines have been hailed as a fantastic resurrection of a forgotten wine style. Paul and Tammy are determined to continue experimenting, and are also dedicated to keeping their bottles affordable, as a way of ‘inviting’ the public to explore ancestral sparking wines.
Banjo says: Paul Starr and Tammy Braebrook set up Sassafras in 2014 and are shaking things up with their finely crafted wines from less-commonly seen grape varieties. This wine, made from central Italian grape Fiano, has its origins in the highly-rated Ricca Terra Farms project in the Riverland. The fruit is picked by hand and delivers a wine full of white peach, ripe lemon and a faint almond character. Beautifully balanced with a savoury but full texture, this is super stuff.
Fiano originally hails from Campania in the south of Italy but is gaining momentum here in Australia. It offers a wide spectrum of delicious flavours including almond, pear, white apricot, candied lemon and beeswax!
Fiano is a great wine to match with many different dishes, and works beautifully with fresh, Italian salads like Caprese. It also pairs very well with fish-based or creamy pasta dishes, as the relatively high acidity in the grape allows it to cut through dairy and cleanse the palate.
We’ve teamed up with talented team at Smudge Eatsto match all our wines to their delicious recipes, which they’ve compiled from the country’s top and emerging chefs.
Season matching: It’s not going to last long, so forget about waiting for the right season
Taste matching: Tangy