Great surprises from the Hunter Valley

Great surprises from the Hunter Valley

I get the pleasure of sampling and tastings some really great wines. I know someone has to do the dirty work! Many of these I have never had the opportunity to try so I do not know what to expect so keeping an open mind is really important. It is all too easy to stereotype wines as we do with people but pleasantly and thankfully I am constantly surprised but what we taste. Now I have to declare my hand as I am a great lover of Gewurztraminer and have been for many years, so when I was given the opportunity to try a great Australian example of this wine I jumped at it I was given a few bottles of The Hunter Vineyards 2012 Reserve Press Gewurztraminer to sample & taste. The Hunter Vineyards winery is located in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales just a few...

Humanizing Wine- in Defence of Wine Lists

Jonathan Nossietr in his recent book ” Liquid Memory- Why Wine Matters” reminded me the reason that we love wine and why wine evokes for many of us so many wonderful emotions, feelings and memories. He reminded me that to often we as wine drinkers are blinded by science. Take the following quote and see what I mean. “ A very grippy style, with lots of sweet tapenede, tobacco, hot stone & bruised chedtnut notes weaving through the core of a dark currant & fig fruit. There is a nice twinge of lavender on the structured finish. Best between 2010 through 2028″ Wine when described like this has become an ” intellectual justification” of what someone thinks that they see and smell in a given wine, no wonder we get a little...

The future of Small Australian Winemakers

Trends in the wine world are quite common, things falling in and out of fashion but for sometime now especially here in Australia  we have witnessed the development of a trend of ” bigness” & the creation of  mega wine brand organizations. Today 4 brands own more than 80% of all wine brands in Australia. We have at the same time witnessed  the growth of the big box liquor retailers who now represent more than 45% of all wines sold here in Australia, both of these factors have really changed the game and not so much for the better. Mark Watson from Wine and Grapegrower commented recently  “Like it or not, retail consolidation has changed the face of the Australian wine industry forever. Its impact has been far-reaching and varied. For...

Europe’s 2012 Vintage is in full swing

The 2012 Vintage is well under way in Europe and by all accounts despite a pretty damp and wet winter we are going to see some stunning examples of great European wines being made. I just received a number of great pictures of the harvest in full swing at one of our favourite wine makers and partners Weingut Ziereisen, where Hanspeter and his wife Edel (pictured below) have been in full swing with preparing their fruit from the harvest. What I love about Hanspeter and indeed many of our wine making partners is that the bulk if not all of their fruit is hand picked, which allows the wine maker to be ultra selective in the fruit that he finally crushes and converts into his wines. this attention to detail and care really does come through when you get to taste the...

Switzerland the Land of Vines & Wines

  Switzerland is usually associated with banks, watches, great skiing, resorts, cheeses, alpine walks, cows & chocolate. But for hundred of years local wine makers & farmers have been keeping their wines secret, often only sold locally within the village or occasionally making their way across the Italian, French and German borders …but not   that often I Iove the look I get when I  mention to people here in Australia that we import Swiss wines….” do the Swiss actually makes wines” they say, well yes they do & normally my stock standard answer is that there 4 good reasons why- they are called Italy, Germany, Austria & France, so why should the Swiss miss out becuase they are surrounded by these great wine growing...