Canada & The Wine Spectator love Australian wine

The Telegram (Canada) 12 March, Steve Delaney (full article)

Plantings of vines in Victoria date back to the mid-19th Century and, at one time, the state produced more than half the wine in Australia. Today, it boasts nearly as many wineries as all of Canada, although other states have overtaken it in total production.

Victoria boasts a wide range of climatic conditions and wine styles. The Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Valley, and Henty are examples of cool-climate regions which specialize in single-varietal Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and similar wines. These areas have much more reliable wine production than other cool-climate regions like we have in Canada! Altitude, some cooling breezes and large swings between day and night temperatures provide the necessary influences for the cool-climate style.

Rutherglen and Glenrowan have warmer continental climates capable of producing full-bodied red wines from varieties such as Shiraz. These two regions are also famous for sweet fortified wines including “port” (although that label can no longer be used) and liqueur muscats made similarly to Madeira with raisined grapes and long-barrel aging in the hot climate.

The Coldstream Hills Deer Farm Vineyard Chardonnay 2010 showed me what the Yarra Valley is able to create. This was just a wonderful Chardonnay with citrus and mineral in the nose, beautifully balanced with and supported by the subtle use of oak.

Pfeiffer from Rutherglen produces a range of cool-climate varietals, as well as some delicious fortified sweets. I was able to sample a range of “Topaque” wines made from Muscadelle and aged an average of five years, 10 years (classic), 18 years (grand), and 25 years (rare) — simply amazing! And there is a similar range made from Muscat.

We can only hope to see more wines from Victoria in our local stores.


The Wine Spectator 11 March By MaryAnn Worobiec (full article)

I love the expression “like chalk and cheese,” but I’m not sure I’ve heard anyone use it as much as the Australians I’ve met while I’ve been here. It’s a colorful way of referencing two things that might appear to be similar, but beneath the surface are actually quite different.

It was on my mind after visiting Australia’s McLaren Vale. Sparky Marquis of Mollydooker and Chester Osborn of d’Arenberg work in the same neighborhood, practically across a dusty gravel road from one another. Both are talented winemakers whose wines I admire, but they’re like chalk and cheese.

Mollydooker is an impressive, well-oiled machine. The dozens of tidily uniformed workers energetically thrust out their left hand to shake mine when we met (“Mollydooker” is an Australian slang term for “left-handed person,” and the greeting appeared to be mandatory).

Another winemaker comfortable in his own shoes-in his case, worn-down flip-flops-is d’Arenberg’s Osborn. Operating out of a winery built in 1927, the fourth-generation winemaker took the reins from his father in 1983, and not much has changed here since. The old winery was full of the heady smell of fermenting wine, the open-top fermentors showing off countless shades of purple. Chalk markings on the wall indicated the contents of each bin-it seemed like about half d’Arenberg’s grapes had been harvested.

Good Food, 12 March, Chris Shanahan (full article)

  • Logan Weemala Orange Riesling 2015 $16–$20
  • Shaw Vineyard Estate Canberra Riesling 2015 $22.50–$25
  • Ad Hoc Middle of Everywhere Frankland River Shiraz 2014 $19–$21

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