(Lindy and Claudio Radenti among the Freycinet vines)
I paid a visit to old Roseworthy mateClaudio Radenti and his wife Lindy and family at Freycinet Vineyard recently.
Claudio is one of the most self-effacing and gentle people in the entire wine
world, and he makes great wine.
He married the boss’s daughter, Lindy Bull,
daughter of Geoff and Sue Bull, the founders, so he’s not likely to get the
sack any time soon – as long as he continues to make superb riesling,
chardonnay, pinot noir and – hopefully – bubbly.
Not much changes radically at Freycinet (tastings),
but recently they bought the neighbouring vineyard, Coombend, and this enabled
them to add a sauvignon blanc, a shiraz, more cabernet and merlot, as well as
an excellent cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil to their cellar door list. The
shiraz, incidentally, is spectacular and will add further to the Apple Isle’s
recent but growing fame with this grape.
As if running Freycinet winery wasn’t
enough, Claudio harvests and presses the olive oil himself and oversees the
brewing of the great Hazards Ale – named after a local range of mountains. He
is one busy man, especially as Lindy and family spend much of the time in
Hobart where the children’s schools are.
One thing almost brought a tear to my eye.
We started lunch with a bottle of the 2002 Radenti (tasting), which is the Freycinet
sparkling wine, made from pinot noir and chardonnay and aged for 10+ years on
lees. I’ve had this wine several times before, but this bottle was
transcendental. While I was rhapsodizing about it, Claudio told me it was the
last vintage: there would be no more till the 2011 was ready. And the ’11 and
later vintages will not be given as much time on lees.
Cost pressures, apparently. This is sorry
news. The Radenti en forme is the
equal of the best House of Arras sparkling wines (tastings), and that is no faint praise.
It would be tragic if the Australian sparkling wine lover failed to see the
merit in this great wine and pay the measly $55 asked for it.