Arrogant Frog is one of the shining success stories of modern wine marketing. And there is more to come from Jean Claude Mas.
Chateau Tanunda’s winemaker Neville Rowe was in Sydney recently showing off the lovely Barossa ‘Big Reds’ that this company does so well.
Yangarra Estate is an interesting blend of influences. They make some quite conventional wines as well as more risqué, cutting-edge styles such as skin-contacted whites and stalk-inclusion reds, and increasingly ferment in ceramic eggs. After sitting down to chat with chief winemaker Peter Fraser last week, things became clearer. Eighty percent of their sales are on-premise (restaurants and bars), and restaurant wine buyers love these avant-garde kinds of wines. They also trade on their food-friendliness.
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.
Chapel Hill – it’s not church altar wine, it’s a winery in McLaren Vale. But it is almost kind of holy water. The tasting room is a cute, old, deconsecrated church. Its labels feature churchy names such as The Vicar (tastings), The Parson’s Nose (tastings),
I’m writing this column in the sunny south of France, or to be more precise, in the tiny hilltop village of St Maximin on the fringe of the southern Rhone. The purpose of my visit is to research a wine tour that I hope to lead in July next year. I’m carefully working my way through a list of favoured wineries some of which will be revisited when I return next year.
Grenache and so-called Rhone blends (GSMs) are arguably the most underrated red wines of Australia. They’re certainly among the best value-for-money. We’re talking reds based on the Southern Rhone Valley varietals grenache, mourvedre (mataro) and shiraz. Grenache, often dubbed the pinot noir of the Rhone,
Winemakers call it The Pox. It is the dreaded social disease of wine. It is shared around unwittingly – passed by those who usually don’t know they’ve got it, to those who are unaware they’re running a risk of contracting it. If a winemaker buys or borrows someone else’s used barrels, they may find their wine is infected – usually too late to do anything about it.