November 11, 2011

Part 1: Where wine is King!

Sam Miranda

Earlier this year I travelled down the Prosecco Road, albeit just briefly. It is a valley of rolling hills & was lush and green after the mega dumps of rain the East coast of Australia experienced this year.  Of course, I am talking about the King Valley squeezed between Wangaratta & the Victorian Alps in the North East of Victoria. While I have always had a soft spot for the softly drinking wines from crowd pleasers Brown Brothers & have enjoyed the odd quaffer from John Gehrig, it was not until I came across Arnie Pizzini of Chrismont at a tasting that I had even a hint of what this valley was quietly achieving.

Having missed the excitement in 2009 of Sydney’s first pop-up wine event, the King’s Vault, I went in search of my own Prosecco adventure.  My first stop was the stylish cellar door of Sam Miranda.  Here I found Sam & his family getting ready for the lunch crowd on their terrace serving local produce with his food friendly wines – there is no escaping those Italian roots.  Sam is part of the Miranda family who were a major part of developing the wine region around Griffith. When they expanded to the King Valley, Sam decided to stay & focus on making his own mark.

Being on a search for the famed King Valley Prosecco, this wine was an obvious place to start.  The 2010 Prosecco was a crisp delicate style with plenty of lemon & apple offering welcome refreshment to a weary traveller this day but a style that could easily become your signal for the time to put your feet up.   One of my favourite of Sam’s wines was the Sam Miranda 2010 Rosata of which Sam only makes 300 cases. This dry rose is a mixture of Dolcetto, Sangiovese & Barbera & after 6 months on lees is a delicately pale salmon with ripe creamy strawberry with fruit purity at the core.

Then there was one of those light bulb moments when I met my first Saperavi. The Sam Miranda 2008 Saperavi comes from vines that were an experimental planting by Brown Bros. The end result is an inky black ruby gem with soft ripe blackcurrant pastille & beetroot. The vines may be teens themselves but not even the most sensitive emo could produce such intensity. Another gem to look for is the Sam Miranda 2009 Tempranillo topped up with 10% Tannat.  A wine that is made for food.

Visit Sam at

Need to catch up on Part 2 & 3? –

click here for Part 2 – Pizzini

click here for Part 3 – Chrismont


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