Australia to London via Tasmania, New Mexico & Canada

Grape Expectations 10 December 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) 

Reviews for:

Deviation Road Altair Brut Rose NV $30. Some people call our street Deviation St, or something like that, so having this on the veranda overlooking same was just that little bit more satisfying. 9.1/10.

Deviation Road (Adelaide Hills) Sauvignon Blanc 2016, $??? Alfresco dining in summer is one of life’s lovely luxuries, except when the restaurant is near a bus stop. We prefer sav blanc to fume blanc. 8.9/10.

La Bise (The Kiss) Adelaide Hills Tempranillo 2014, $22. How romantic, although it could be a Glasgow Kiss. Mercifully the wine is more sophisticated than that. Beautifully fragrant in fact. 8.9/10.

La Bise (The Kiss) Adelaide Hills Whole Bunch Pressed Pinot Gris, 2016, $22. The kiss of ingratitude, I just don‘t like pinot gris much. Could be the best one in the world, and this may be, it’s characterful and colourful and smells like a girl in a nightclub, but… 8.6/10.

Gartelmann Phillip Alexander Orange (Merlot) & Clare Valley (Cabernet Sauvignon) 2014, $25 Noice combination that should have been blended somewhere between Hell, Hay and Booligal, but wasn’t. Some might get drunk there however…and consumed. 9/10.

Gartelmann Phillip Alexander Mudgee (Rylstone area, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot), 2013, $25. Nice to see Rylstone get a gong, one of the cutest towns in NSW with an amazing dumpling restaurant I’m told. 8.7/10.

The Mercury (Tasmania), 10 & 13 December, Graeme Phillips

Forbs, 8 December, Jeannie Cho Lee

Ms Cho recommends a selection of wines for Christmas, including

The Serious Academic:It remains a mystery how warm climate Hunter Valley is able to ripen Semillon in a way that produces one of the greatest white wines from Australia. This white variety that is native to Bordeaux is usually blended and oak aged but in Hunter Valley, it is a solo grape that is harvested early when the variety is still exuding herbal flavors rather than fruit. Mysteriously, this pale, light bodied white develops depth and intense floral, petrol and nutty flavors and ages for many decades, actually improving in bottle! I would highly recommend the 1991 Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Semillon ($49) or buy a younger vintage and age it in your cellar for at least ten years before opening.

Financial Times (UK), 9 December, Jancis Robinson

The other three most obvious sources of top-quality dry Riesling are the three As: Alsace, Austria and Australia. Grosset, Springvale Riesling 2015 Clare Valley from Australia’s king of Riesling is stunning, already accessible and fairly easy to find for under £20 a bottle,

Campbell River Mirror (Canada), 8 December, Doug Sloan

The Lost Block range of Australian wines was born when an impending storm forced the Tyrrell’s vineyard crew to abandon a prized block of Hunter Valley Semillon to pick less storm resilient grapes.

A soft and approachable Hunter Valley white wine, Lost Block Semillon (550178) $22.75 overflows with aromas of limes and refreshing citrus flavours. With a few years of bottle aging, this white will develop honeyed spice and apricot flavours.  Pairs wonderfully well with fresh-shucked oysters!

The Spectator, 10 December, Ben Canaider

I matured on Chateau Tahbilk – as the Central Victorian winery was then, in the late 1980s, known.

As an undergraduate luncheoning in quiet little BYOs in Carlton (with lecturers who should have known better), Tahbilk was the default wine. A marsanne to begin with, some shiraz or cabernet (or both) with Mario’s wife’s lasagna, after which we’d go to Jimmy Watson’s wine bar to forget our own names. Full article and reviews 

The Drinks Business, 12 December, Darren Smith

Interview with James Fryer beverage director for Portland, Clipstone restaurants London

Fryer: “I’m always a little bit of a tragic for Australian wines,” he adds. “I think people tend to forget that it’s a giant continent and that there’s a huge variety of wines coming out of it. There’s a lot of new, young producers that are really exciting and they tend to also be really good value – at times, depends how the pound is doing…

“I love the Chalmers Sisters Montevecchio Rosso (on tap at Clipstone) from their amazing Heathcote vineyard in Victoria. It’s made with Italian varieties so has a real point of difference and a great story to tell – the girls’ father is responsible for Chalmers nurseries, where most Italian cultivars were introduced to Australia. Full article

Taos News (New Mexico USA), 7 December, Molly Steinbach

The hot, dry climate of Barossa Valley has certainly influenced the 2014 Peter Lehmann Shiraz Barossa Valley ($22), with its notes of brown sugar, butter, blueberry jam, blackberry, candied violets and eucalyptus. There’s a touch of leather and cedar here, but little else to indicate this wine is made from the same grape as the Crozes-Hermitage.

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