• Pfeiffer Wines Rutherglen
  • Pfeiffer Wines Rutherglen
  • Pfeiffer Wines Rutherglen
  • Pfeiffer Wines Rutherglen
  • Pfeiffer Wines Rutherglen

Cuttings - Chris Pfeiffer - July 2014

By Chris Pfeiffer


I am sitting next to the heater trying to keep warm, as the High Country celebrates the large amount of snow that was dumped on the weekend. The wind must be blowing straight off it! We start pruning tomorrow, long johns will be essential.


I have just refreshed my memory as to what is in the current Wine Club packs. Jen and I must have known that it was going to be cold when they were despatched. There is a great choice of full flavoured wines, both white and red. There is also a good representation of vintage 2012, which produced full flavour in the grapes, just ideal for cooler weather.


Chardonnay and Marsanne both produce fruit flavours that spread across the palate giving a fullness and, at times, a soft sensation in the mouth. We talk about peach and melon and fig when referring to Chardonnay, all succulent fruits. Marsanne attracts descriptors like honey suckle and grassy, again richer flavours. These are the flavours that are so inviting in the cooler weather, as they are just right when accompanying a pork or chicken dish with that winter warming sauce. In making both these whites, we build the sensation in the mouth through prolonged yeast contact. Following fermentation, when the yeast has done its job of converting sugar to alcohol, the dying cells settle to the bottom of the tank (in the case of the Marsanne) or the bottom of the barrel (the Chardonnay). Each week for at least six months, we stir the wine, which brings the yeast into suspension within the wine, building mouth feel (body). Once we build enough mouth feel, we then let the yeast settle and prepare the wine for bottling. In choosing this method of making these wines, we accentuate those succulent richer flavours, producing a wine that matches the fuller flavoured dishes.


Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo are two varieties that have some similarities, but then are different. Both varieties present with elegant fruit flavours and both are rich in tannins. Then, however, they separate. Cabernet Sauvignon loves to produce wines that are alive with cassis like flavours, very fresh and almost racy. The fruit is refined on the palate, with the tannins becoming evident as the wine finishes its journey across your palate, providing lovely length. Tempranillo produces wines that have elegant savoury flavours, almost like dark chocolate, that run across the palate as the tannins become obvious towards the finish, similarly contributing to the length of the wine. Both are lovely fine wines that call out for Roast Lamb from the wood stove.


Our Wine Club members who receive the 12 bottle pack, will be receiving some lovely wines from our museum. Our 2005 Pfeiffer Riesling is just beautiful. We served this wine at our 30th Anniversary Commemorative Dinner Party on the bridge in April and the wine looked so fresh with fine elegant citrus and toast like flavours, with a wonderful clean finish. Lovely flavours, that can continue to develop for another five years. Oh, I do enjoy Riesling that has been aged.


Adding to the diverse selection, we include Pinot Noir, Merlot, Shiraz, and Shiraz Cabernet. A great opportunity to taste the range of red wine that we make. Call this “putting your wine making journey on the line”.


Jen and I are pleased that we can showcase all these wines, we believe that with the 4 bottle pack you have two whites and two reds that you can compare, observing the differences  and similarities, adding to your understanding of the wines. It makes a great exercise and helps you develop your tasting skills. Take up the challenge.


On a sad note, on the Tuesday after the long weekend, we lost one of our pine trees. 100 years of growth came down overnight Apart from the wonderful shade that it provided; it is the loss of someone’s legacy, someone’s foresight that we feel most. We are now challenged to plant a tree that can provide a similar legacy in 50 to 100 years time. We could replant a pine, which would be an easy decision. Or we can choose a tree that leaves our legacy. We are still in discussion; however there is not a great hurry.


We are grateful that the tree came down overnight, as it was over 20 metres high and had a span of around 15 metres. It missed the building by a mere 15 centimetres. We were blessed that it did not come down during the Winery Walkabout long weekend with all the visitors on the property, particularly as it came down on the spot where the Rutherglen Cricket Club were preparing the food. It only took two days to clean it up through the chipping machine (4 truck loads), yet it took 100 years to grow. You will understand our sadness when we look out our cellar door. We did save some of the trunk and, after drying, we are hoping to have a piece of furniture made that can sit proudly within the property.


A small reminder, we are on the road again with dinners/lunches in a number of cities. Brisbane has been a great success, and Melbourne and Sydney are booked out. We still have places in Canberra (Fathers Day lunch on the 7th September) and, new to our calendar, Adelaide (dinner on the 23rd October) and Hobart (dinner on the 13th November). Our dinners are relaxed and "pfun", where we all enjoy “pfine” “pfood”, great company and “pfine” Pfeiffer wine.


Thank you all for supporting us over the past years and as you enjoy a Pfeiffer wine during the year, think that you have helped the Pfeiffer “Pfamily” achieve 30 years and that, is worth drinking to.


In vino veritas,

Chris Pfeiffer