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Tolpuddle Chardonnay 2014

tolpuddle-chardFor lovers of great Chardonnay, this is a very fine example of the potential that lays in the vineyards in Tasmania. Australia’s ‘Big Apple’, the island state yields some of Australia’s finest produce – wine included. Particularly when in the experienced hands of Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith MW. Their Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay hailing from South Australia’s Adelaide Hills has long been one of the style leaders of modern Australian Chardonnay. Not unusually in the wine world, the story behind the Tolpuddle label started with a moment of compulsive insanity (click here) and the wines Read More

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Oliver’s Taranga Fiano 2015

olivers taranga fianoCorrina Wright is not only well respected and loved for her contribution to the Australian Wine Industry but also for her role in keeping the innovative spirit alive at Oliver’s Taranga. She does all this whilst paying homage to the rich McLaren Vale history of the family’s wine heritage.

Sitting amongst the more traditional McLaren Vale fare of Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet, you see her expert hand in the development of the winery’s Italian varietal wines such as this Fiano joined by vineyard companions, Vermentino and Sagrantino. Oliver’s Taranga also offer a couple of stylish Spaniards too with an elegant Tempranillo and more recently, they released a Mencia rose having planted the first Mencia vines in Australia. Read More

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Two ‘Great Whites’ from Central Victoria

Who said that in the Game of Rhones that the only colour was blood red…..

tahbilk-RMV-15 Read More

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Wines that dispel Marlborough Sauvignon Blah!!

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These five Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc’s offer something for everyone who thinks that there is nothing interesting coming out of Marlborough, with wines ranging from fresh and lean Matahiwi through to the extraordinariness of the Hans Herzog.

Just as other grape varieties before it (over ripe & over oaked Chardonnay and too sweet Riesling, anyone?) that slow tide is turning on Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Whereas, five years ago I would ask my students to indicate whether they would drink Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay with Sauvignon Blanc being almost unanimous, last week I put the question to my current class and not one indicated that they drank Sauvignon Blanc. Any Sauvignon Blanc… not just from the region that set Sauvignon Blanc drinkers on fire over a decade ago – Marlborough. Read More

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Why chardonnay is the new black!

The chardonnay grape is having its own brand of renaissance and we have not had to wait around for centuries to see the result.  In the eighties and nineties, wine drinkers in Australia and around the world could not get enough chardonnay. We loved the big flavours and aromas that were easy to recognise in a line up. The French chardonnay’s were not so easy to recognise on the shelf with confusing labelling and in the glass, the difference between the new and old world chardonnays were beginning to look more just just a world apart.

Then the flavours of the new world wines got bigger and bigger and increasingly buttery, overtly oaked and full bodied.  You can see where I am going here..

Enter the breath of fresh air … er… acid in the guise of Marlborough sauvignon blanc. The fruit was bright and clean compared to the buttery tropical fruit of the chardonnay available. The aromas of passionfruit when ripe or gooseberry or capsicum when not are unmistakable and again are reliably easy to recognise which is comforting. Incidentally, these wine can be so pronounced that the aromas can be identified from a good foot from the glass. Just like chardonnay, the tide is beginning to turn against the ‘passion fashion’ that is the flamboyant side of sauvignon blanc.

A noticeable drop in the levels of oak, butter and over ripe tropical fruit in Australian chardonnay started to appear mid 2000s. The chardonnays from the USA are still riper, bigger and bolder although they are getting fresher over time.  The elegance that was chardonnay was on the way back. However, it has taken this long to convince drinkers that chardonnay is again the Queen of the wine world.

Here are five reasons why Chardonnay is Queen:

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