News from Cambodia, China, Napa Valley & L. A.

Khmer Times (Cambodia), 16 June, Darren Gill

Vittoria De Bortoli left Italy fleeing the ravages and depression in Europe as a result of the First World War. The young Italian arrived in Australia with little to his name save the clothes on his back, a few shillings in his pocket and a head filled with the optimism that comes with youth and adventure. Full article

South China morning post, 18 June, Sarah Wong

Riesling and shine: Riesling is a celebrated grape, much beloved of wine writers. But Jeff Grosset, Australia’s “king of riesling”, believes drinkers overanalyse the grape, forgetting the most important thing: the taste. He believes drinkers should “talk about the flavours – the lime, the floral. Do not talk about the steely backbone – it is overdone”.

Grosset Wines is located in the Clare Valley, 100km from Adelaide. The vineyard has just celebrated its 40th vintage and, in addition to riesling, Grosset also makes top-quality chardonnay and pinot noir. Full article

The Napa Valley Register, 16 June, Allison Levine

I attended a dinner at Pebble Beach Food and Wine this past March that took us on an epicurean tour through South Australia, to the regions of Barossa, Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island.

With each course of food at the dinner, the meal was paired with an Australian wine, including Hentley Farm Rosé, D’Arenberg DADD Sparkling NV, Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier 2014, D’Arenberg The Feral Fox Pinot Noir 2012, St Hallett Blackwell Shiraz 2013 and Kalleske Clarry’s GSM 2014.

It was these wines that began to re-open my eyes to Australian wines. Full article

Los Angeles Times, 16 June, Patrick Comiskey

What to drink with Langer’s No. 19 pastrami sandwich? Try Australian Grenache, Full article 

Newcastle Herald, 17 June, Jim Kellar

It’s 9am on a sunny summer day, February 19, to be exact. In the back of the Margan’s winery complex just a stone’s throw west of Broke, a small team is busy unloading a four-tonne bin of just-picked shiraz grapes, guiding them through the chute where the grapes, skin and juice, are cooled and pumped into vast storage silos.

Andrew Margan – vigneron, winemaker, businessman – is in the middle of it all, pushing and prodding, talking and watching. Full article 

Grape Expectations 18 June 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) 

QnA with Malcolm or Malcolm in a muddle.

Do you have a favourite wine or a favourite grape or style?

Lucy and I do enjoy a rich red from time to time or a Chianti when we’re in Italy, or downing a Mad Abbot Tripel beer.

Do you ever buy wine and if so do you just pop down to the nearest bottlo to your harbourside mansion?

Heavens no, we have staff for that, thanks to lower penalty rates.

Any Grange left in the Lodge cellar after Tony’s farewell bash?

Yes, but I believe he smashed a few Penfolds along with the furniture.

What do you serve at all those Liberal Party fundraisers?

Did you say server? Is that a software issue? You’d have to ask Parakeelia, they look after that sort of thing.

Do you think parliamentarians ought to be breath/drug tested perhaps in order to set an example to footballers?

Rugger types taking drugs? Not at Eton old chap.

How would you feel about introducing a bill to link parliamentary salary increases to average wine prices? (They’ve risen less than 10 per cent since 1996).

Parliamentarians have only had a 100 per cent rise since then, which stimulated jobs and growth, leading to everyone else    enjoying a generous 10 per cent rise, it’s called the trickle down effect.

Minimum wage earners won’t get a brass razoo from the latest tax changes, while average Aussies on a meagre $87,000 per annum can afford an extra $10 bottle of wine each week with their windfall, whereas you could buy an extra 50 cartons of good stuff. What will you buy?

We’ve got to address the black hole Joe Hockey…er…Labor left us, somehow.

Being a bit of a modern chap, apart from NBN and climate change, do you prefer screw caps or cork?

It’s all about being innovative, so we’ve cut CSIRO because corks are as innovative as it gets.

What will you drink on election night?

Hmmm, a Henschke Abbott’s Prayer perhaps?

What if you win?

Any of those cigars left Mathias?

Incidentally Prime Minister, if I gave you a bottle of Grange, say from 1954…would you tell anyone?

That would be Arthur Sinodinos’s job to deny.

Now, what to drink on election night?

Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Riesling 2016, $22. How apt and fresh is 2016? Newer than the current PM, sharper, and more refreshing, so welcome after the previous one…riesling that is. 9/10.

Jim Barry 2016 Watervale Riesling is $19.  Altogether fruitier than The Lodge, again an apt description of the previous incumbent at the other Lodge. 8.8/10.

Allies Assemblage (Mornington Peninsula), Pinot Noir, 2015, $30. This is like the Democrats of Mornington, a blend of three posh peninsula pinots, Merricks, Tuerong and Balnarring, to keep the bastards honest. 8.9/10.

Allies (Mornington Peninsula) Balnarring Pinot Noir, 2015, $40. Just so drinkable you hardly even notice it’s wine! Soft and eminently digestible like something you’d want in your nursing home, so stock up. 9.1/10.

Wirra Wirra Church Block Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Merlot, 2014, $20. $17 in 1997, this has more history than Scientology, the Exclusive Brethren and Jedi put together, and you don’t get weird looks when you indulge. 8.6/10.

Wirra Wirra Hiding Champion Sauvignon Blanc 2015, $24. This would suit any political victory party. Smart if not sophisticated, which is a little bit like Anthony Albanese. 8.8/10.

Next Week : The opposition’s right of reply.


The Mercury (Tasmania), 18 and 21 June, Graeme Phillips



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