Wine reviews and articles from UK, & domestic

The Guardian, UK, 29 April, Fiona Beckett

If you’re a fan of classic Aussie shiraz, you’ll love Aldi’s grunty Tudor Shiraz (14.5% abv), from Victoria, which is ideal for a barbie and a heck of a lot of wine for £8.99. Mind you, it’s available only online, as per Aldi’s new policy, which is a bit annoying because that means you have to buy a case of six (for £53.94). Amazingly, Aldi describes the wine as medium-bodied. Well, not in my book, it’s not.

The Weekly Review, Melbourne, 5 May, Ben Thomas

Seville Estate Pinot Noir 2014 Score: 93/100 Seville Estate’s making some truly lovely wines at the moment. There’s a delightful, beguiling aroma to this – the cherry, plum and spice characters waft up like waves on a beach. It’s a fairly bold wine, but not a straightforward one. First up are complex flavours, energetic acid and fine, grippy tannins. It’s delicious to drink now, but I reckon it’s got a great future.

Sunshine Creek Pinot Noir 2012 Score: 92/100: It’s not a well-known label and is a relative newcomer to the local wine scene – much of its production goes to China – but Sunshine Creek’s vines are 35 years old. This pinot is in a fine spot. Silky smooth, with savoury elements creeping into its raspberry, plum, spice and strawberry flavours. There’s weight, elegance and soft tannins.

Punch Close Planted Pinot Noir 2013 Score: 95/100: From 2080 vines planted on a quarter of a hectare in St Andrews. Layered and complex, it’s loaded with perfumed raspberry, blood plum and cherry perfume and earthy flavours. With fine-grained tannins, this wine has serious drinkability. It’s a wine for just enjoying rather than thinking too much about – its class does the talking.

Hoddles Creek Estate Pinot Noir 2015 Score: 92/100: The price has gone up a dollar since last year and it’s still great value. Give this a decent decant to allow it to open up. You’ll find a delightful mix of cherry, plum, spice, strawberry and earth. The perfume carries through and there’s a delightful structure.

Grape Expectations 7 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) 

Rusden Vine Vale Vignerons Chookshed Zinfandel, 2014, $49. This is so sweet it would be banned by Australian dentists, except they’d love it too. 9/10.

Rusden Vine Vale Vignerons Christine’s Vineyard Grenache 2014, $40. Not as grenachey as one might expect if there is such a word, but grenachey enough. 8.6/10.

All Saints Estate Family Cellar Shiraz 2013, $62. This wine slips under the radar. Simple enough at first, but then you want another, and another and it never wears out its welcome. 8.9/10.

All Saints Estate Family Cellar Durif 2012, $62. I wonder if this really is the stuff All Saints pull out at family dinners? Altogether sweeter, bigger, rounder and ‘floraller’ than its shiraz brother. Have it on November 1. 9.1/10.

RockBare Coonawarra Cutie Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013, $33. Who could resist such a label on Valentines day? But who could wait that long? 8.6/10.

RockBare Tideway (Seaview McLaren Vale) Shiraz, 2010, $50. Is this where the venerable student drop, Seaview, came from? If so it has risen a notch or three, specially after some breathing space or cellar time. 9.2/10.

The Australian, 7 May, James Halliday

Phil Sexton is formidably intelligent and equally street smart. In poker terms, he has always known when to hold them and when to fold them. The game started more than 35 years ago, when Foster’s purchased the Matilda Bay/Redback microbrewery business Sexton had founded. This funded the establishment of Devil’s Lair in Margaret River in 1981, its growth over the next 15 years leading to an offer by Southcorp to purchase the business in 1996 that was too good to refuse. The following year he arrived in the Yarra Valley to create Giant Steps and thereafter Innocent Bystander… Full article

The Mercury, Tasmania, 7&10 May, Graeme Phillips




The Drinks Business, 10 May, Lucy Jenkins

Wine Australia toasted its producers’ continued success in China at its recent roadshow, which promoted “Brand Australia” to a wider range of potential Chinese buyers.

australian-wines-1The roadshow followed ‘Australia Week’ in China and highlighted more than 300 Australian wines from 70 brands and across 30 wine regions including the Yarra Valley, Rutherglen, Mornington Peninsula, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, Adelaide Hills, Margaret River, Great Southern, Hunter Valley and Tasmania. Full article

ABC Rural, 11 May, Kim Honan

A winery in northern New South Wales says it may cut jobs and ties with the domestic market if the Federal Government’s wine equalisation tax (WET) reforms go ahead.

The 2016 budget revealed the cap on the WET rebate will be lowered to $350,000 from July 1, 2017 and then to $290,000 from July 1, 2018.

The reforms will also see tougher eligibility criteria for the rebate which has been welcomed by John Cassegrain, managing director of Cassegrain Wines. Full story

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