Orignially from Northern Italy, founded by Vittorio and Giuseppina De Bortoli in 1928, this third generation family wine company is, we understand one of the more successful wineries in Australia. The company owns wineries in three very diverse premium wine growing regions: the Riverina and Hunter Valley in New South Wales and the Yarra Valley in Victoria.

The De Bortoli wineries grow a wide variety of grapes including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Viognier and Cabernet Sauvignon in the cool climate vineyards in the Yarra Valley. Mediterranean varieties like Sangiovese, Tempranillo and Pinot Grigio grow well in the King Valley vineyards in north eastern Victoria’s ‘High Country’.

We tried the De Bortoli vat 12 Sangiovese recently and a very nice wine it is too. It has soft rich forest berry fruits and black cherry on the nose, which are very inviting in this glistening deep red wine. Those fruit flavours then follow through on the palate together with notes of blackcurrant and there are hints of acidity and sweetness to it with a slightly sharp, tingly, tannic dry finish. This medium bodied wine is beautifully soft on the palate with a mouth coating feel and is excellent just to sip on its own, or with food.

After drinking a glass on its own we tried it with some medium rare steak and salad, with the meat the slight dry finish disappeared, it was a very good pairing. The bottle’s notes suggest that the wine would be a great accompaniment to barbecued meats and from my tasting of it I agree that it almost certainly would. I am also sure that it would be a good supporting act to other rich flavours and cheeses. This is a very good wine that would work well with a variety of dishes and would be a great candidate to take along when invited to lunch, dinner or indeed, a barbecue.

You can find the De Bortoli vat 12 Sangiovese 2008 at Oddbins where it retails at £10.99 which is a good price for this lovely versatile little number. Why not get a bottle to take with you when next invited for a meal – or better yet, just to enjoy yourselves over a relaxed evening meal in front of the telly – as we did.