Bloomberg, 16 August, Elin McCoy
Sorry, France and Italy. The weather gods have cast their lot with Australia, New Zealand, and the Americas this year.
Overall, Australia had a sensational year, especially in South Australia and the Yarra Valley. From Yarra, try Giant Steps chardonnay (US$40), Luke Lambert Nebbiolo (US$70), and Mac Forbes pinot noir (US $35).
The Australian, 13 August, James Halliday
St Hallett is a very special place. Yes, it’s a winery in the Barossa Valley established in 1912, but it’s more than that. Its modern-day fabric has been woven by a succession of gifted individuals, commencing with Rocky O’Callaghan, who joined as winemaker in the early ’70s, remaining there until he established Rockford in 1983-84.
In 1988 Bob McLean arrived; a marketing genius with a booming voice and a ready chuckle, he took St Hallett Old Block Shiraz from a treasure known only to South Australians to a national icon. Stuart Blackwell joined in 1972, but in the late ’70s he flew to South Africa to broaden his experience, thence to Zimbabwe to build a winery for Mukuyu and develop its vineyards, returning to St Hallett in 1982, becoming senior winemaker in the wake of O’Callaghan’s departure. Full article
The Financial Review, 12 August, Tim White
For many including your correspondent, the news in June that Pernod-Ricard, owners of Jacob’s Creek, was to close and sell off the stocks of Morris of Rutherglen hurt more than the announcement from Treasury Wine Estates late last year that it was shutting the doors of Seppelt Great Western. The venerable wine producer, established in 1859, is of considerable cultural and vinicultural significance to both its region and the country. Full article
In Daily, 11 August, Philip White
A mix of wiser winemaking, better, more subtle oak and cooler vineyard locations has put an end to the rich old butterscotch and honeyed peach Chardonnays that clumsily launched the variety in Australia. By Bacchus they were awkward fat bastards. It’s amazing that the market put up with it. Full article
Khmer Times (Cambodia), 11 August, Darren Gall
At the Unique Vineyards wine store I met Seng Bun, the owner, to try a few of his personally selected and imported Australian wines. I was greeted by what I assumed to be Bun’s son, who was positively bursting with nervous excitement and wore a smile as wide as a farm gate.
Then, for a brief moment, my own mortality flashed into being and let out a fleeting but terrifying scream. It was a scream that only I could hear, as it slowly dawned on me that the enthusiastic 20-something-year-old lad in front of me was indeed Seng and this was his business. Full Article
Wales on Line, 11 August, Neil Cammies
And as the panel above references one of Australia’s finest labels, Penfolds, I took a look at the PENFOLDS BIN 8 CABERNET SHIRAZ (RRP £19.99, Waitrose).
This wine is all about balance, from the deep hedgerow fruits on the nose to the voluminous, perfumed notes across the palate.
This carries silky integrated tannins and a freshness throughout.
A cracking luxurious mouthfeel from the sweet oak and continues to throw light and shade across the tastebuds in yet another big, bounteous Oz red from the Penfolds stable.
The Daily Meal, 16 August, Roger Morris
In the United States, we tend to lump together the wines of New Zealand with those of Australia, putting them on adjacent shelves in wine stores and covering them as a single group in wine review articles such as this one.
But how much do they really have in common other than being approximate neighbors (a mere 2,500 miles or so apart)? Little, except that the winemakers from both countries are known for their spirited “statement” wines. Full article
The Mercury (Tasmania), 13 & 16 August, Graeme Phillips
Grape Expectations 10 August 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)
Mitolo The Nessus Malbec 2014, $15. Mitolo love mythical creatures and, well, who can resist a half man-half horse? Imagine one of them in the Olympics…just like the old days of Ancient Greece, eh? This wine is a bit out there too. 8.5/10.
Mitolo The Nessus Shiraz 2014, $15. Half horse, half shiraz. Hmm maybe and horse would be a good accompaniment. Pretty darn good stuff for less than a bag of feed. 9/10.
Risky Business King Valley Pinot Grigio 2016, $25. If it’s a bit risky spending $25 on a pinot grigio you haven’t tried, it might as well be this one. Anyway, what’s this review for? 8.6/10.
Risky Business Margaret River Shiraz Tempranillo Grenache, 2016, $25. Risky Business is stating the obvious when it comes to the wine industry so really they shouldn’t be able to put that on a label, it’s a bit like calling a betting agency ‘Losers’. Well, der. 8.7/10.
Howard Park Leston Margaret River Shiraz 2014, $46. This doesn’t jump out at you in any particular way. Not too much fruit, oak or alcohol which means it’s pretty much in balance and you can guzzle the lot without noticing except it seems to get better with each glass. 9/10.
Howard Park Chardonnay 2015, $54. Tres marzipan, which I thoroughly detest, but love this, go figure. Too classy for the Crus fridge by far so we drank it. 9.2/10.