The Yarra Valley Wine Program is a two-day immersion for the wine trade and media hosted by local winemakers in the Yarra Valley every two years.
Like many of my generation (BB, that is) I’m transfixed by the recent fashion for retro wines. This is my term for wines made in old-fashioned ways, and I’m not talking of Whitehill beater crushers, hand-cranked basket presses, old oak and forked stalks, à la Rockford winery. I’m talking seriously old: clay amphorae and ceramic eggs for fermenters, white grapes fermented on their skins, reds fermented on their stalks, minimal or zero additions (such as yeast, bacteria, acid, tannin, yeast nutrients, sulfites, etc.), and sustainable viticulture – especially organic or biodynamic.
The world of riesling used to be simple. One wine per vintage, and for some producers, a late-picked or ‘spatlese’ as well. These days, it’s more complicated. Many riesling makers have several bottlings each year. These are usually single-vineyard or single sub-region or single region wines celebrating a specific terroir. Sometimes they are wines of multiple sweetness levels.
The top Australian wines are expensive. That’s the conclusion to draw from my top 25 new-release Australian wines of the year, as drawn from my tasting database. There are some exceptions, however: Yeringberg red at $70 ex-winery is great value when you compare it to most of the other high-scoring wines.
Riesling is the wine for summer – and the riesling celebration Summer of Riesling is back for its seventh year. In Sydney, it will be celebrated with the annual Riesling Festival on January 17. The venue will again be the historic Cell Block Theatre of the Old Sydney Gaol, on the corner of Burton and Forbes Streets, Darlinghurst.
Do you prefer your pinot noir dark, big and gutsy, or fine-boned, delicate and ethereal? Or somewhere between? Or perhaps you enjoy all styles. It’s a subject of endless debate among pinophiles.
This month’s tasting uploads include over 100 new-release pinot noirs, about 140 new shirazes, 55 rosés and various others – close to 500 wine reviews, which is the approximate monthly average for www.huonhooke.com. Three 2013 Oakridge (tastings) pinots are a special highlight: these are all superb,
What a great vintage 2012 is for Australian pinot noir! I’ve uploaded 98 pinot noir tasting notes, 63 of them for 2012 vintage wines, and there are some absolute crackers. The 2012 vintage has already made history, with the first Jimmy Watson Trophy winner and
Baptism Of Fire is the name given to a collection of 2013 vintage shiraz wines made from Mount Langi Ghiran Vineyard fruit by several groups of mainly young people – all winemaking virgins – as a learning experience. Importantly, you and I can buy the wines:
Mac Forbes EB03 One Tonne Woori Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley 2010 $80 An experimental pinot made from a tonne of grapes from Woori Yallock in the Upper Yarra. Excellent full red-purple colour; rich cherry aroma with savoury dusty/earthy and charcuterie overtones. Great elegance in the mouth: