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Champagne? Yes, please! It’s International Champagne DAY ….

Bored with the usual mainstream brands of Champagne?

champagne-sea-wmNow that is a phrase that I cannot ever, in any future breath, conceivably imagine myself ever saying. I can never imagine a time when I will have had too much Champagne of any kind…. That said, I can assure you that now, more than anytime in recent decades, there is plenty of choice when looking for your next bottle of Champagne.

The Champagne region has always worked very hard to be synonymous with celebrations, so much that the popping of a cork generally brings smiles all round. With more Champagne vineyards being planted to be able to keep up supply, there has been an increase in these grape growers producing their own Champagnes instead of just selling their grapes to the large Champagne houses.

You can identify a ‘grower’ Champagne by the code Read More

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Getting to know Gruner Veltliner! An Austrian and a few Aussies …..

Even five years ago, Australian Gruner Veltliner was unheard of outside the circle of the wine trade. Yes, that is correct, Australian …. not a typo at all.

 

paracombe-GVWhile there is the rare kangaroo on the loose in Austrian paddocks, the same can no longer be said about Gruner Veltliner, a grape traditionally at home in Austrian vineyards, being grown on Australian soil. It can be said that since posting ‘A Tale of 3 Gruners…..’ back in 2015, Australian wine drinkers are getting spoiled for choice.

Canberran pioneers of this grape, the Carpenter family released the first vintage of their Lark Hill Winery Gruner Veltliner in 2009 when their vines were just 7 years old. Each new vintage that I have tasted of this biodynamic wine, I am impressed by its polished nature and the faceted floral fruit that sits happily amongst the more savoury elements. The current vintage is 2017 (AUD49).

Hahndorf Hill Winery from Adelaide Hills released the first vintage of GRU in 2010. Recently, lovers of this wine will have noticed a new addition to the Hahndorf Hill Gruner Veltliner story. Fermented in stainless steel, Hahndorf Hill Winery White Mischief (AUD24) is all about pure fruit expression; zesty citrus and stonefruit. A fruity, fleshy dry wine that quickly makes friends. Read More

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Saltram No.1 Shiraz 2012

Saltram-no-1This is one Barossan for the cellar and it delivers some of that finesse that you might find in wines that carry a much higher price tag. Here amongst the coconut, chocolate oak offer up a spicy and smooth background to fresh cherry, cinnamon, mint, dark berry fruit. There are some mint and graphite facets on show too as the wine opens up and finishes on a mocha note. While oak makes its presence known, thanks to some larger format barrels it does not dominate or overwhelm.

While the tannins are shapely and will help keep this wine fresh for the years to come, if you cannot wait for it to mellow then you will find it better with food. Venison sausage, or a roast with all the trimmings.

Quickie review «A smooth, spicy, well cared for Barossan that shows much potential in its youth if you cannot wait for it to gain some maturity.»

Country of Origin: Australia  Date: May 2016 Price: AUD 80+ | £ | Drink: 10+ years Needs food: better with food in its youth Source: tasting

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d’Arenberg The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

darenberg-hightrellis

If you like generous and fruity Cabernet, this is really very hard to beat. The Osborn family are indefatigable when it comes to looking after the more traditional wines in their vast range, just as they are at trying something new. The High Trellis fruit comes from some very old vineyards in the McLaren Vale and as to its pedigree… the wine has won a Jimmy Watson trophy for the 1969 vintage.

As usual d’Arenberg are all about getting the best out of their fruit, old oak is key here, and this vintage was no different. The red currant fruit sits amongst sage, cedar and earth notes and there is a menthol edge here too. The tannins are fine and shapely in the mouth. As the elegantly bodied wine moves along the palate it finishes long, plush and is quite irresistible.

Quickie review «Flavourful, juicy, and definitely good company.»

Country of Origin: Australia  Date: May 2016    Price: AUD 18 | £ 11 | Drink: Now – 5+ years     Needs food: no   Source: tasting

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La Bohème Act Two Dry Pinot Noir Rosé 2016

labohemerose

When the De Bortoli family launched this wine in 2010, the Rosé Revolution was also born as a celebration of the dry rosés produced in Australia at a time when this type of rosé was barely on wine lovers radar. Now, when visiting a small local bottle shop in Australia, you have a much greater chance of finding a dry rosé, it may even be pale, in amongst the candy coloured, off dry pinks. There is even a good chance Read More

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