From Adelaide to Toronto and back again

Toronto Sun, 1 September, Christopher Waters

Lindeman’s legacy of good quality wine for the masses

During the Six Nations Wine Challenge in Australia, judges from the participating countries were invited to speak about older vintages of Penfolds Grange at a fundraising dinner. As the Canadian representative, my task was to introduce the 1985 vintage of the iconic Australian red wine.

I’ve been lucky enough to taste Grange a number of times over the past two decades, but the 1985 vintage was a bit of blind spot. I’d never tasted it before that night.

I was 20 years old when that Grange was released in 1990. At that time I had greater interest in Australian musical acts like the Go-Betweens and Midnight Oil than its wine. The only Australian wine I would have tasted in 1990 would have been Lindeman’s Bin 65 Chardonnay, a label originally created for the Canadian market and ranked as one of the country’s best-selling white wine exports…Full article

Wines of the Week:

*** Lindeman’s 2015 Bin 50 Shiraz South Eastern Australia
This affordable red will show its best in the largest bowl wine glass you have or if it’s decanted before serving. Exposure to air will help coax out the ripe fruit and chocolate aromas and flavours. Soft, supple texture and sweet fruit flavours make this a crowd-pleasing style that’ll be right at home at your end of summer barbecue.

***1/2 Lindeman’s 2015 Bin 95 Sauvignon Blanc South Eastern Australia
Sauvignon Blanc isn’t a grape traditionally associated with Australia or the Lindeman’s label, but there’s a lot to like about this fresh, crisp and clean white wine. It hits the classic citrus and herbal notes, but with an easy-going character that many will appreciate.

The Adelaide Advertiser, 6 September, Tony Love

How to squeeze more than 100 grape varieties into one bottle of Barossa rose
This has got to be Australia’s craziest wine. And no — it’s not picked by naked maidens under a blue moon. It’s not even foot-stomped by unicorns. And it’s certainly not some unpronounceable grape variety imported from Outer Mongolia.

In fact it is made from an astounding 108 different grape varieties, grown in the Barossa Valley and mashed together into an extraordinary rose blend that defies all winemaking conventions. Full article

The Australian, 6 September, Max Allen

Photographers, here’s a tip. When you’re taking a picture of a winemaker, never get them to pose by holding a wine glass up to the light and squinting. It looks dumb because this is something winemakers never do. Max Dupain broke this rule once, back in the 1950s, in a shot of legendary Hunter winemaker Maurice O’Shea. But he got away with it because he was Dupain. You’re not. So don’t.

Barossa photographer Bernadette Kaeding knows this all too well. As well as being a professional snapper, with her partner Sam Kurtz she has a small vineyard and winery called Rojomoma. Full article

The Straits Times, 4 September, Kenneth Goh

Iconic Australian wine label Penfolds is synonymous with its flagship red wine, the Grange, a full-bodied shiraz and cabernet sauvignon blend that connoisseurs have no qualms shelling out top dollar for. It costs $750 for a 750ml bottle here.

The 172-year-old wine-maker, which is based in the Barossa Valley in Adelaide, Australia, makes more than 40 types of wines, including its Bin series, named according to cellar bins, and fortified wines.

Most of the wines are made for long-term cellaring – up to 30 years – for the flavours to develop. Full article

The Express (UK), 4 September, Jamie Goode

Yalumba The Y Series Viognier 2015, South Australia £10, Morrisons, 13.5% alcohol

Here’s a beautiful bottle of viognier from a producer with a good deal of expertise in this grape variety. Fabulous floral, grapey, peachy pear fruit dominates here with a pleasant texture. There’s also some melon in this broad and tasty white.

Money Week, 2 September, Matthew Jukes

Wine of the week: a red to impress fastidious wine bores

Wirra Wirra, Full article

The Australian, 3 September, James Halliday

Let there be no bones about it: I have a personal interest in the inception and evolution of this story’s subject. First, the late Tony Albert, John Beeston and I were the founders of Brokenwood in the Hunter Valley in 1970. Second, I was a prime mover in appointing Iain Riggs as Brokenwood’s first qualified winemaker after the 1982 vintage. Full article

Grape Expectations 3 September Max Crus (Simon Hughes)

At some point in the week these reviews and article will appear in The Daily Examiner (Grafton), Border Mail (Albury), Rotary Down Under (National) and Australian Petroleum Marketer News (National) 

Let them eat cake he said, and drink these:

Alkoomi Frankland River Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014, $24. 20 years ago this wine was $18. That should have made it a relatively posh drop, but even $18 wasn’t then, and $20 isn’t now. Paradoxically it IS a posh drop…someone tell Sam. 8.8/10.

Alkoomi Frankland River Sauvignon Blanc, 2016, $24. I’ve always objected to the expression “you couldn’t fault it”, however unlike Sam, it’s hard to fault this wine. 8.8/10.

Chalk Hill McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014, $25. The label looks a million dollars, so you could still get one on a parliamentary allowance. 8.9/10.

Chalk Hill McLaren Vale Shiraz, 2014, $25. This is the sort of stuff they serve in first class, or should. Like chalk and cheese? Yes please, said Sam. 9/10.

Wine x Sam The Victorian Cabernet Merlot 2014, $20. I am offering a prize to the first person who can identify what the bloke on the label is doing. And another if you can make such a contraption. 8.7/10.

(Wine by Sam) The Butterfly Effect Central Victoria Rose 2015, $13. You will have to ask Sam about the name and label…no, that Sam. Very white-winey, very drinkable. 8.8/10.

 The Mercury (Tasmania), 3 & 6 September, Graeme Phillips




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