What better way to spend a cold winter’s evening than enjoying great food and wine? Sammy’s on the Marina recently teamed up with Hentley Farm Barossa Valley Wines to provide guests with a very special degustation experience. Founder Keith Hentschke shared some of his finest wines and the ethos behind them.
Sammy’s on the Marina’s upstairs ‘High Tide’ function room is the perfect location for a degustation dinner. Sammy’s is the crown jewel of Glenelg’s Marina Pier but it’s a savvy business owner who knows how to navigate their restaurant through the storms of winter at a beachside location.
Amit Ghai, the owner of Sammy’s on the Marina, clearly has sound marketing blood in his veins. His decision to collaborate with leading wineries to showcase their wines and share their stories is a strong drawcard for food and wine lovers. Amit and his wife fell in love with Sammy’s stunning seaside location when they bought the business almost three years ago. They quickly rose to the challenge of renovating and breathing new life into this iconic seafood restaurant.
Our degustation commences with a welcome aperitif, Hentley Farm’s Blanc de Noir Vintage 2018 Sparkling White. Perfectly balanced and elegant, Blanc de Noir is elevated by the unique addition of Grenache and Pinot Noir, hence its slight pink hue.
Hentley Farm has gone from strength to strength since 1997 when Keith Hentschke knocked on the door of a small farmhouse in Seppeltsfield, asking if its owner would be interested in selling. In search of the best land to grow grapes, Keith followed the soil map, which led him to this fertile area. Keith tells us, ‘Seppeltsfield produces, on average, the most concentrated wines in the Barossa – that’s our style – and Hentley Farm is renowned for making wines of flavour’. Fast forward two decades and not only are many of Hentley Farm’s wines highly awarded, their Hentley Farm Restaurant has also garnered a swag of awards.
Sammy’s on the Marina is renowned for its quality seafood. Plump, super fresh Coffin Bay Oysters deliver on this promise – they’re a delicious starter. Guests are spoiled with both Natural and Rockefeller Oysters. Sammy’s version of Rockefeller has spinach, watercress, Pernod, parmesan and breadcrumbs. Hentley Farm’s textured and full of flavour Eden Valley 2019 Riesling is the perfect accompaniment.
Our next pouring is Hentley Farm’s Poppy 2017 Field Blend, a ‘textured, aromatic wine’. This is a great match with our second course, a South Australian Lobster Bisque. Our silky lobster bisque tastes like heaven and is packed full of flavour. Crisp, Turkish pide bread, adorned with tiny pieces of lobster and caviar, adds to the luxury of this dish.
Poppy Field Blend is a carefully selected blend of Chardonnay, Riesling, Fiano, Viognier and White Frontignac. It’s intense yet well balanced. This is clever, artistic winemaking by Hentley Farm’s brilliant winemaker, Andrew Quin.
Keith Hentschke’s enthusiasm for wine and the Barossa is infectious. Although Keith’s ancestors originally settled in the western part of the Barossa, Keith grew up in a farming family at Lameroo. Keith’s passion for wine was ignited at the age of fifteen when his father asked him to manage a small vineyard on their property. A degree in agricultural science at Roseworthy Agricultural College followed, where mixing with the likes of well-known fellow student Peter Gago was the norm.
GSM is a well known red wine blend. The lesser known GSZ with the addition of Zinfandel (also known as Primitivo) ensures Hentley Farm is a stand out winery and highlights that Andrew Quin is a true master of his craft. Hentley Farm’s ‘The Stray Mongrel’ 2017 GSZ is a single estate wine and Keith shares that this wine is their most awarded in wine shows. Sammy’s Chef’s pairing of Pork Belly with apple sauce, sweet potatoes and asparagus is pretty as a picture and just as delicious.
Duck breast in an orange and fennel sauce is matched with Hentley Farm’s ‘The Old Legend’ 2017 Grenache. This is an amazingly good Grenache, and is now in my personal favourite category. Elegant and full of flavour, Keith tells us that allowing the grapes extended time on the skin, 60 – 90 days, enhances the wine’s flavour.
The Beauty and The Beast
Braised beef cheek with baby vegetables and a red wine jus accompany what we’ve all been waiting for … A very special 2016 shiraz tasting of ‘The Beauty’ and ‘The Beast’.
Keith Hentschke certainly did his homework before purchasing property in Seppeltsfield and planting his vines. Keith shares with us that this area’s Terra Rossa soil produces some of the world’s best reds. Hentley Farm’s The Beauty Shiraz and The Beast Shiraz are certainly a testament to this.
The Beauty Shiraz includes a small amount of wet Viognier skins during fermentation. This provides elegance and softness on the palate. The Beast Shiraz delivers what it promises – a rich, bold and fruity shiraz flavour profile.
Special thanks to the ever professional Brenton Ford, SA Sales Manager from Oatley Fine Wine Merchants for organising Hentley Farm to partner in this degustation and to Sammy’s on the Marina for inviting me to attend as their guest.
Where: Hentley Farm is on the corner of Gerald Roberts Road and Jenke Road, Seppeltsfield. Cellar door is open daily from 11 am to 5 pm. Phone +61 8 8562 8427 (& press option 1) or email [email protected]