17 December 2009

Stella Bella 2009 Sauvignon Blanc

Apparently, there is something important happening in Copenhagen this week.

As far as I can make out, the unwashed and the bearded have gathered there for a friendly chat with the riot police and to sample the local tear-gas. The most successful have been detained overnight in a beer warehouse. Frankly, there are worse places to be incarcerated.

Apparently, it also has something to do with polar bears, missing Maldives, and Al Gore pushing hyperbole well above sea level.

Whatever. I happen to like it when it gets hot. Summer brings with it the happy crack of willow on leather, bikini’d bodies, and a non-negotiable obligation to splash down refreshing beverages.

And so it was that I found myself sitting in the sun on the Byron beachfront with a couple of plastic cups, a chilled bottle of the 2009 Stella Bella, and a box of the best seafood this side of J Sheekey. If you haven't taken away from Fishmongers in the laneway behind Strop's old pub, you really are just letting the best in life pass you by.

But I digress. Back to the booze.

Is there a label on the market that more effectively gives you a flavour of what is about to emerge from within? A stream of happy juice being hand-pressed from a floral fruitopia. It is perfect. And perfectly inviting.

Now, I'm not going to wank on about the wine, because it’s really not that sort of drop. It is just a very friendly, easy-drinking, tasty, and satisfying bottle of plonk that punches above its RRP. You should always have a bottle of it in your fridge for emergencies.

It smells great. A heady hit of freshly split passionfruit on vanilla bean icecream.

And it’s delicious from the first sip. No bite. No sting in the tail. It's as smooth as a freshly waxed lemon (the good kind!) and fills your mouth with a voluptuous coating of limey yumminess.

There’s enough acid to take on your seafood and a lovely clean finish that is longer than the legs on the Swedish backpackers prancing in the surf.

And best of all, it is cool when you are hot.

Climate change arguments are mostly lost on me because they've turned it into fashion. It's the new Live Aid and “Give Peace a Chance”.

Maybe it's getting hotter. Maybe it's not. Either way, I am going to place the blame squarely on the introduction of decimal currency and pour myself another of these stellar Stellas.

Ciao. Bella.

Rating: 8
Drink with: Seafood and summer

Price: $24 RRP (but under $20 virtually everywhere)


  1. Tim, if there is more CO2 and the earth is getting warmer, will the vines grow quicker and produce more fruit?

    What will that do to yield, and intensity of flavour? Is climate change going to turn our Aussie wines into European lookalikes?

    Am I right or wong?

  2. I think you may be "wong". In fact, you may actually be Penny Wong. In which case, you would be left, rather than right.

    It's a pretty general question, Penny - and, as I'm not a discredited IPCC scientist, you might not believe me. But I'll have a chop in any event.

    As I understand it, if it does get generally warmer, the biggest impact on Aussie sauv blancs would be a shorter ripening season (rather than increased yield). If that's not handled properly, there's risk of over-ripeness, increased alcohol, and loss of flavour. But nothing that winemakers couldn't deal with I should think. And, anyway, there are a lot of other non-climatic factors that also affect the final bottled result - and which make our wines different to their northern cousins.

    Oz Clarke has some interesting theories on all of this though if you want to read more.

    Thanks for stopping by Penny.