Esoteric wine lists are very common in Sydney restaurants today. Indeed, I would venture that it has become the norm.
The UK-based market research organisation, Wine Intelligence, has released a summary of a report on a wine category they have labelled “Sustainable, Organic & Lower-alcohol” (SOLA) wine.
Seresin Estate recently released two new wines under their OSIP Organic label.
That was the headline on a recent article in a New Zealand newspaper. It grabbed my attention.
Rosnay Organic, which grows wine-grapes and makes organic wine at Canowindra, has received a NSW Landcare Award for innovation in sustainable farm practices.
Albariño is Spain’s most prestigious white grape variety. It also does pretty well in Portugal where they call it Alvarinho. Just because it performs with distinction in Spain and Portugal doesn’t mean that Albariño will cut the mustard in this part of the world. A lot of distinguished Italian grape varieties, for example, only perform on the home ground.
Something has gone very wrong with Australia’s top restaurant wine lists. From my viewpoint – and I’ve been on judging panels of wine list awards for 20 years – our top restaurant wine lists have lost their way.
Tony Ingle’s arrival at Angove Family Winemakers in 2003 has been pivotal in the rebirth of the venerable company as a quality wine producer. He has greatly improved its wines and driven the re-orientation away from bulk wine to smaller-lot high-quality table wines. He’s inspired the organic push, the creation of a boutique winery within the big Renmark winery, and the sourcing of grapes from other regions. He was deeply involved in the company’s move to expand into McLaren Vale and buy the Warboys Vineyard in 2008, which has resulted in some outstanding additions to the portfolio.
Riverland winegrowers Bruce and Val Bassham are going the full monty. Montepulciano, that is. The montepulciano grape, whose home is the Abbruzzi region in central eastern Italy, has taken enthusiastically to the Riverland and the Basshams reckon it’s one of their best wines. They sell it for $24 under their Bassham Wines label. The 2012 is a fine wine of deep colour and good intensity of flavour, structured and seamless, with modest alcohol (13.5 per cent) and more savouriness than some of the ultra-fruity Riverland wines.
This Thursday is World Malbec Day, a day nominated by Argentina’s winemakers, but surely a day to celebrate the wine, wherever the grapes were grown. It’s worth reflecting on Argentinian malbec, which is one of the great winemaking phenomena of our time – along with Marlborough sauvignon blanc and Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon. All three are wines which have turned the wine world on its head.