De Bortoli appear to get new media. This BellaRiva wine, together with a white (my next review to be posted), were released accompanied by a live internet stream from De Bortoli on Ustream and allowed tasters to participate via a captive version of Twitter, including obviously on Twitter itself. The bottle also has one of those QR codes on the back that you can scan with your smart phone and take you to a website with some further information about the wine. It was all quite fun and novel. With the possible exception that Ustream turned out to be incompatible with my iPhone and so the video stream didn’t happen for me.
So, what then of the wine? The BellaRiva vineyard was planted in the King Valley in 1994 – a most scenic and very European looking part of Victoria. If only the region weren’t so darn far away … At $18, their 2009 sangiovese merlot is frankly very enjoyable. Expect a bright, cherry, vibrant, fresh fruit and jubey aroma. And tannins, some length, pepper and rusticity on the palate. There is a lot to like about this well made wine. It reminded me a little of the more lightly styled Toscana IGTs, and while it is more a wine to glug than to pontificate about, it’s certainly enjoyable. Drink over the next few years. 86 points.