My last wine review for Fable and Fizz featured a sparkling wine from Margaret River that razzle-dazzled me from the moment I laid eyes on its intricate label to the last drop poured from the bottle.
This time around, it’s not an overly blinged out label that caught my attention, but a restrained design featuring scrawled handwriting that allows the wine itself to do all the talking.
Enter the Fusée Pét Nat from Choutte Wine. Helmed by Tom Daniel, Chouette’s luscious drops are made on the family vineyard in Western Australia’s Swan Valley.
Tom learnt his trade from his dad John, but like any good winemaker, he knows how to take a little from here and a little from there. By that, I mean his old school learning is complemented by an injection of modern enthusiasm and a contemporary approach, so you’ll see similar vibes in his stellar line up of wines.
He touts his wines ‘are made to be bright, textural, vibrant and moreish’ and uses lo-fi, minimal intervention production techniques.
As if right on cue, this little Fusée number is a colour and flavour explosion that comes alive in the glass. In the manner of Chandler Bing, could this wine be any more fuschia? I mean if this doesn’t make Pantone’s colour of the year soon, I’ll be aghast.
Riding on the coattails of Swan Valley hero Chenin which is blended with Carbonic Tempranillo and some red frontignac muscat, Fusée dons a flavour profile that belies its pretty in pink appearance.
It’s awash with juicy, jube-like flavours that settle into a dry and ever-so-slight savoury finish. A fine-as-feathers fizz which you expect from the pét nat style tickles the tongue and pairs nicely with moreish, albeit gentle, tannins.
It’s a solid contender for a Mother’s Day brunch, a cheese and bikkies arvo or a ‘just because I’m reading’ moment, the kind I seem to encounter many a time.
And speaking of books, here’s one that is a perfect complement to Fusée.
When a winemaker is intent on reviving a heritage winemaking site like the Swan Valley, you need to enjoy it with a book that honours the Australian land as seen in All Our Shimmering Skiesby Trent Dalton. I really enjoyed reading this book, with its heady mix of magical realism that is woven through a story about one girl’s journey through a wild landscape and towards a man who can save her family.
Set in Darwin in 1942, amidst Japanese bombs raining down, Molly turns to the sky for guidance. She’s following a map to Longcoat Bob, a deep-country sorcerer who put a curse on her family. Joined by the Odd Couple of companions — an actress and a fallen Japanese fighter pilot — Molly traverses the top end of Australia to meet her match.
“All Our Shimmering Skies is a story about gifts that fall from the sky, curses we dig from the earth and the secrets we bury inside ourselves. It is an odyssey of true love and grave danger, of darkness and light, of bones and blue skies; a buoyant, beautiful and magical novel abrim with warmth, wit and wonder; and a love letter to Australia and the art of looking up.”
Fable and Fizz would like to acknowledge the Whadjuck Noongar people as the traditional owners and continual custodians on the lands and waters this content is primarily written on. I pay respects to their Elders — past and present. This always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.