November 25, 2011

Part 3: Where wine is King!

Part 3 – Chrismont

The final destination in our King Valley adventure is Chrismont. That is not to say that there is only 3 wineries of note in the valley. In fact, there are many more that I could have written about. Producers such as the savvy & innovative Brown Brothers or John Gehrig or Dal Zotto. However, the aim of these blogs were to give you a feel, a taste of the King Valley.

In my Prosecco adventure, I have left til last the winemaker who first introduced me to the King Valley & Australian Prosecco – Arnie Pizzini from Chrismont.  Arnie & his father Arnold, like Arnold’s brother Alfred diversified from tobacco into wine, first planting grapes in the 70’s.

Like Pizzini, the Chrismont wines rate high on the ‘foodability’ scale. The Chrismont La Zona name is reserved for their Meditteranean varietals. Firstly, let’s talk about that Prosecco.

The Chrismont La Zona Prosecco is a riper style which offers up floral, green apple aromas with that slight almond on the palate.  It finishes crisp, dry & long. It certainly delivers big for $22. Did I also mention that the King Valley crowd have adopted a very distinctive & stylish bottle for their Proseccos as well? A very tactile curved bottle that would not look out of place on the streets of Milan or the beaches of the Italian Riviera with a big hat.

Chrismont La Zona 2009 Savagnin has plenty of lemon, pear, stonefruit & nuts to bear. It has flesh along its citrus backbone & is an excellent partner for a Salad Nicoise or a simple garlic pasta.

The La Zona 2009 Tempranillo is good fresh drinking now after just 8 months in oak with cherry & spice with a hint of savoury charcuterie but I also feel it could be even better in a few years.

If you are after something a little different then the La Zona 2005 Marzemino is your wine.  Fragrant with cherries, black fruit, cloves & dried herbs, it is a supple wine with a firm long length. Arnie also produces a sweeter Frizzante version.  Or maybe the sweet lightly frizzante La Zona 2010 Fragolino is more your style. Strawberries are what immediately come to mind in colour with the aromas are complemented by some musk.  Something to go with some cheese perhaps?

For more special occasions, I could not go past the traditionally made Chrismont Simpatico Cuvee Brut 2005. Very stylish, very creamy & generous.

This should definitely be on your list as a must-visit – you certainly will not regret it for the wines are good & the prices are more than reasonable. More than that though, from seeing the smiles on the faces in the tasting room, I think that there might be something for even the fussiest palate at this place.

Visit Arnie at

Need to catch up on Part 1 & 2 –

click here for Part 1

click here for Part 2


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