Advancing or retarding wine, leave some mystery

The red flag

On Sunday the Coonawarra gang flew the red flag and showed its wares in Brisbane. The event was packed, at times too packed. There were many great wines on show. I made it there late, due to a pile-up on the Pacific Highway, but I did manage to taste several excellent straight cabernet sauvignons, mainly from the 2012-13 vintage.  The standard was extremely high, with my notes showing points in the 92 to 95 range.

Sniff this out

An article in the Wine Australia RD&E News, August 2016, starts:

“We all know aroma is vital at the start of a wine tasting experience, but it could be even more important at the end.

“Research at the AWRI [Australian Wine Research Institute] suggests the long, lingering aftertaste that makes you want another sip – and maybe another glass – of a good wine may in fact be due to retro-nasal perception of aromas released from molecules called glycosides, which occur naturally in grapes. We’ve always known they are there, but until now have not fully understood their potential.”

It’s an interesting article, and worth reading in full. Towards the end comes this:

“Winemakers may want to consider whether to release locked-up flavour earlier and produce a wine that has more upfront, quickly noticed flavour – or change winemaking techniques, such as avoiding certain enzyme preparations, and try to preserve that pool of precursors to give more lingering flavour in the finished wine.”

It seems rather Frankenstein. I’m far from a natural wine lover; most I have tasted (not many) have not convinced me of the worth of their existence, and are certainly not worth paying the money asked. But the question from myself to me is: do I want winemakers fiddling to the extent suggested above? It seems ethically wrong, but it’s only a personal opinion.

The other point is that I, and undoubtedly a host of others in the business, or interested in wine, have worked out for themselves how important the end aroma or perfume is. Let’s leave some mystery and romance in wine.

Private torment

Is Coles tormenting Aldi? What private companies hate the most is disclosing any information. Listed companies have no option. Under ASX rules they are forced to.

Recent newspaper articles say listed company Wesfarmers, the owner of Coles, is prompting privately owned Aldi to sign up to a new tax transparency code.

The Government is asking companies with a turnover of $100 million-plus to release more detail about how much tax they pay. There’s a lot of public discontent about how little tax companies get away with paying.

Aldi says it follow all the legal requirements, so there is no need to disclose more than it does. The Government is saying if not enough companies adopt the voluntary code this financial year, it will make it compulsory next year.

Wesfarmers is already in, and Woolworths says it will join.

When it comes to wine companies, those taking $100 million or more would be (my estimate):

  • Treasury Wine Estates
  • Accolade Wines
  • Pernod Ricard
  • Casella
  • Australian Vintage
  • De Bortoli
  • McWilliam’s

But there could be some surprises. Companies such as Yalumba could be in this bracket if all parts are included. But maybe the set-up means the parts are divorced enough from each other not to qualify. Another complex array of holdings belongs, at least in part, to Warren Randall, who, in various partnerships, has 2000 hectares of vineyard in Sunraysia, Seppeltsfield in the Barossa, several hundred hectares of prime McLaren Vale vineyard and more.

Whatever the week brings, let it be good for you.


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