News & reviews from around the world

Grape Expectations 28 May 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) 

But there has always been one rock solid, The Big Book of Wine, the Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Directory.

The pantheon of promise for people who pick grapes, grow them, stomp them, sell them, and drink them, this venerable tome has contained absolutely everything about the wine industry : producers, promoters, plonkers, parasites (wine writers), grapes, labels, wines, shows, awards, stuff.

Until the latest issue. I found a grape (trincadeira) that isn’t listed in the latest book.

Imagine my disappointment?

I thumbed through the Guide’s 600 pages looking for how many people grew this little red thing from Portugal, but they didn’t even list the one I’d found.

How disappointing is that?

Turns out that trincadeira is also called Tinta Amarella, and there are four other growers in Australia, all listed in the Big Book.

Faith is restored.  Now, there’s no hope for politicians, but maybe Santa and the Swans…

Patritti Barossa Valley Trincadeira 2012, $20. Yep, so rare it didn’t even get a mention in the Big Book, sort of, so if you’re into rarity and obscurity, this is gold. Peculiarly inviting. 8.6/10.

Patritti Barossa Valley Saperavi, 2012, $20. Make sure you’ve got this when Putin comes to visit, he’ll feel right at home. Just don’t mention the war (in Syria). Weirdly, but deliciously meaty and fruity at the same time. If purple had a smell, this would be it. 9/10.

St Hugo (Coonawarra/Barossa Valley) Cabernet Shiraz 2013, $55 (bottle No.11880). This is the opposite end of the scale, look how many bottles there are! To be fair this could be the last one off the production line. That’s a lot of lovely stuff. 8.9/10.

St Hugo (Coonawarra) Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, $55 (Bottle No.21775). Possibly even more bottles of this, in which case there should be just enough to go around those who can afford it.  8.9/10.

Chapel Hill The Parson Shiraz 2015, $18. This used to be the Parson’s Nose, which sounds a bit like the bees knees, and could well be for this price. 8.7/10.

Chapel Hill House Block Scarce Earth Shiraz 2013, $65. Scarce Earth is an initiative of McLaren Vale winemakers where the best of the individual ‘Vale’ vineyards each year get to wear the badge to promote their wares. So would you prefer a House Block or a Road Block? There’s one of those too. 9.2/10.

The Mercury, Tasmania, 24 & 29 May, Graeme Phillips



The New Zealand Listener, 24 May, Michael Cooper

Reviews for, Taylors

Taylors Clare Valley/Padthaway Chardonnay 2015 ••••½

Outstanding value, this finely balanced wine was grown in South Australia and mostly barrel-fermented. Pale lemon/green, it is full-bodied and vibrantly fruity, with strong, ripe peach and grapefruit flavours, lively acidity and mealy, toasty notes adding complexity. It’s already delicious.

Taylors Clare Valley Shiraz 2014 ••••½

Skilfully crafted for early enjoyment, this generous South Australian red was aged for a year in American oak casks. Deep and youthful in colour, it is sturdy and sweet-fruited, with strong, ripe plum and spice flavours, showing good complexity, and a slightly peppery, well-rounded, sustained finish. A great buy.

M2woman New Zealand, 27 May, Greg Sinclair

Langmeil Blacksmith Cabernet Sauvignon – Barossa Valley:

Cabernet Sauvignons are seeing a huge resurgence in the NZ market and this Cab Sav is a fantastic rendition of Barossa wine and has all the hallmarks of a big Aussie red.

The winery has been established on what was originally a blacksmith shop and hence where this wine draws its name.

The wine has been matured for almost two years delivering structure, depth and balance that you’d expect from this premium grape growing region.

The 2012 growing season delivered only half the average rain fall in the area creating a very stressful growing environment leading to low yielding vines and early ripening. As a result vintage kicked off two weeks early, with a mad rush to keep ahead of rapidly rising sugar levels according to Chief Winemaker, Paul Lindner.

With low yielding vines and a tough growing season they have managed to deliver an outstanding wine with intense colour and flavour.

The colour is medium to deep crimson with purple hues. The aroma is blueberries and blackcurrant, mint and black olives with cedar and hints of sweet spice adding to the complexity. Bright and juicy berries coat the palate and mingle with brambly spice, hints of black olive and anise. Medium to full body with velvety, fine, grape and oak tannins add to the structure and flow onto the long, fruitful and spicy finish.

A great wine for the winter months and the perfect accompaniment for a juicy red meat dish. 5-stars

Today Singapore, 2 June, Sarah Friggieri

South Australia is the wine capital of the country, responsible for more than half the production of all Australian wine. Its wine-growing regions — including the much-talked-about Barossa, McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills — have produced Jacob’s Creek, Wolf Blass and Penfolds, which have long been household names. But with over 200 cellar doors on Adelaide’s doorstep, it’s not just the big names in the spotlight. Family-owned wineries are starting to gain an unbeatable reputation.

If you’re looking for a good deal on great vino, get your hands on one of these lesser-known gems on your next vacation before the price tag catches up with their reputation.

Here, are five South Australian wineries that are taking the world by storm, by Tim Smith, Yalumba, Sidewood,  K1 by Geoff Hardy and Two Hands Wines

Yakima Herald Washington USA, 29 May, Mai Hoang

Australia’s Barossa Valley wine region is more than a century older than Yakima Valley’s wine region.

But when John Cooper, president of Yakima Valley Tourism, visited the Barossa Valley, he found similarities.

Like here, most visitors to the Barossa Valley travel from nearby, larger cities — such as Adelaide, a city of more than 1.2 million people on Australia’s south coast — for a day trip or a weekend getaway.

Both regions, Cooper said, are trying to figure out how to get visitors outside peak times and to attract new ones.

During his visit, Cooper learned about a major re-branding effort by the Australian wine region. Cooper was fascinated by the premise of branding around the region’s terroir — defined as the environment in which a particular wine is produced, including soil, climate and topography. Full story

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