Chicago, Plymouth, Tennessee, Kuala Lumpur & Grafton

Grape Expectations 1 July 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)

Angullong Orange Chardonnay 2016, $20. If there was more chardonnay like this, there’d be less chardonnay like this and more empties in the recycle bin. 8.9/10

Angullong Orange Shiraz 2015, $20. Orange is on the Aussie Monopoly board now apparently so if you land on it, go directly to the fridge/cellar, do not pass, GO and grab one of these. 8.7/10.

Peter Lehmann 8 Songs Limited Release Barossa Shiraz 2013, $45. This is as Barossan as Mettwurst and Tanunda, HG Nelson and Nuriootpa, sheep and shiraz, and who doesn’t like all the above? Apart from vegans. 9/10.

Peter Lehmann Barossa ‘Portrait’ Shiraz 2015, $19. The only discernible difference (to me) between this and its expensive brethren above is the oak, and gee sometimes you’d rather have two paintings on the wall than one in the gallery. 8.8/10.

Tahbilk Eric Steven Purbrick Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, $65.  Every now and then you come across a wine that reminds you of the good old days. 2010 qualifies, doesn’t it? Lovely year, lovely stuff. 9.3/10.

Tahbilk 1927 Vines Marsanne 2004, $46.50. It’s an anniversary of the planting of these vines, 90 years, so what better to celebrate with? Well, as old as 2004 is, a bottle from 1927 would be better, possibly. 9.1/10.

Grape Expectations 8 July

Mount Avoca (Pyrenees Victoria) Old Vine Shiraz 2013, $46. Perfect wine for Tour de France nights in front of the fire with a few cycling mates…leave the lycra in the cupboard though. 9.1/10.

Mount Avoca (Pyrenees) Estate Range Viognier 2015, $34. What? A viognier that I like? Pigs might fly, Google pay tax and Tony Abbott buy a Tesla? Hang on, Tony denies Elon Musk even exists, but this is a delicious wine. 8.9/10.

Gardners Ground Canowindra (Organic Wine) Shiraz 2013, $20. You don’t see Canowindra on a label very much, however you pronounce it, and you don’t see too many lovely, soft organic reds for $20. 8.8/10.

Zinga Single Vineyard Reserve chardonnay 2015, $38. Now that Shaun Micallef is back, so is the “Zinger(a)”, and what better wine to watch it with? 9/10.

Rolf Binder Eden Valley Riesling 2014, $22. The creeks are paved with gold in the Eden Valley and the roads streams of golden riesling, or something like that. Eden riesling is just such lovely, inviting, versatile, drinkable stuff, how can one resist? 8.8/10.

(Rolf Binder) JJ Hahn ‘Stelzer Road’ Merlot 2015, $25. This is so soft you would think it was made of kittens. Smells better though and isn’t as bad to the environment either. 8.7/10.

Chicago Tribune, 5 July, Michael Austin

The country is well known as the home of several giant, dependable budget-conscious brands — Hardy’s, Jacob’s Creek — that line grocery store shelves. So, mass-market appeal is still alive and well, but Australia is also home to thousands of less-visible wineries that make their way here, focusing more on quality than quantity: Henschke, Hewitson, Leeuwin Estate and Tyrrell’s, to name a few. And then you have Penfolds, which is one of the largest wineries the country has ever known, turning out affordable, ubiquitous bottlings, along with one of the finest and most-coveted wines in the world: Penfolds Grange. Full article

Plymouth Herald, (UK) 6 July, Stephen Barrett

One pioneer of this system was Robert Hill Smith and his winemaking team from Yalumba in South Australia who planted the White Rhone grape Viognier on selected vineyards. Some 20 or more years later this so called experiment has produced some wonderful examples of this rather funky grape creating fine apricot and citrus scented wines. It was therefore a pleasure to reply Yes to Wines of Australia’s kind invitation to taste 120 wines made with different grape varietals sourced from around the world.

Held at the wonderful Australia House in the Strand I eagerly signed in and met Laura Jewell, Master of Wine who, as head of UK wine operations for Wines of Australia, had curated this extraordinary tasting, assembling such an intriguing and frankly breathtaking selection of wines made with some grapes I had never tasted. Full article

The Tennessean, (USA) 7 July, Steve Prati

Another carnivore-friendly label is Max’s shiraz cabernet from well-known Australian producer, Penfolds (US$25.) (Max’s is also available as a straight shiraz.) Named for the late/great Penfolds winemaker, Max Schubert, the rich, dark fruit character and silky tannins of this label makes me think Max would be proud.

The Star, (Kuala Lumpur) 7 July, Esther Chandran

THE birth of Yalumba’s The Caley Coonawarra & Barossa Cabernet Shiraz 2012 is about vision and aspiration.

This head-turning red is the result of calculated and careful blending of grapes from two wine regions – Australia’s Coonawarra and Barossa Valley.

The Caley’s story is one of history, oenology and viticulture as well as passion and dedication in winemaking but most importantly, patience in the quest for an unforgettable drink. Full article

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