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Bordeaux 2015 in bottle tasting in Napa

February seems both long ago, yet only recent, with both the rhythm of seasons and life partly frozen and confused by lockdowns. This tasting took place in Napa in February 2020. Writing in September 2020, in Melbourne, we remain in lockdown. In our city, this means being permitted only to travel up to 5 kilometres…Continue readingBordeaux 2015 in bottle tasting in Napa

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An extraordinary Wynns Coonawarra cabernet tasting

This was a wonderful tasting of a selection of Wynns Black Label and John Riddoch Coonawarra cabernet sauvignon wines from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, with some quite interesting conclusions.   Those conclusions were that the Black Label, for most vintages, served blind and side-by-side with the John Riddoch, provided the more compelling current…Continue readingAn extraordinary Wynns Coonawarra cabernet tasting

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Langtons Classification VII – trends, promotions and demotions

The new Langtons classification (classification VII) of Australian wine was released last week.  It is stated to measure the performance of wines in an open market, with the condition of entry being 10 vintages and a track record in the secondary market.  The list has been prepared for many years now, and is prepared by…Continue readingLangtons Classification VII – trends, promotions and demotions

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IMW Annual Bordeaux tasting – 2013 vintage

Held in Sydney by the Institute of Masters of Wine on the weekend, this was a first close local look at the 2013 vintage of Bordeaux. The 2013 vintage in Bordeaux was, of course, rather dire. It saw a dismal spring, an early summer and catastrophic flowering. The vintage culminated with tropical weather at the…Continue readingIMW Annual Bordeaux tasting – 2013 vintage

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Rutherglen fortified muscat; from bottom to top

Here’s the second of my promised posts on the Rutherglen wine region.  The first post was on  Rutherglen’s renaissance and can be found here.  This post is all about what Rutherglen is famous for: fortified muscat (grape: muscat à petits grains) and fortified topaque (grape: muscadelle). Viticulture and winemaking Rather than recite facts from the…Continue readingRutherglen fortified muscat; from bottom to top

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An outstanding Burgundy tasting of pre-2003s

I attended this amazing tasting back in April.  It was almost a case study in outstanding premier cru and grand cru red Burgundy with 15 or more years of age on the wines.  Only two wines missed the mark – one due to cork taint, the other presenting as simplistic (for a grand cru) due to suspected…Continue readingAn outstanding Burgundy tasting of pre-2003s

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The Rutherglen renaissance

Rutherglen vines in the morning mist. Rutherglen as a tourist destination provides a vision of a rural idyll surrounded by Victorian buildings, vineyards, sheep and intertwined family history.  To borrow a concept from Bernard Salt, at around 300 kilometres from Melbourne and further still from Sydney, it is comfortably out of the orbit of the…Continue readingThe Rutherglen renaissance

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Bordeaux en primeur 2015 underway; some Australian price comparatives

Prices are starting to trickle out from Bordeaux’s 2015 campaign.  Sitting in Australia, there is always an interesting exercise to be done looking at the release prices in Europe as against the selling prices proposed in Australia.  The tyrannies of distance and Australian wine taxes continue to play their role in ensuring that this comparison…Continue readingBordeaux en primeur 2015 underway; some Australian price comparatives

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Tasmanian vineyards map

I have been slowly reading through Tony Walker’s new book Vintage Tasmania: The Complete Book of Tasmanian Wine (Providore Island Tasmania, 2014).  I won’t talk about the book now, other than to note that it has an interesting cross reference in it to a Wine Tasmania website.  Hitherto undiscovered (by me that is), Wine Tasmania has…Continue readingTasmanian vineyards map

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Notes from a Barolo and Barbaresco (and Brunello) tasting

I am not very good at posting notes from wine tastings.  I usually pick out one or two that I really liked and write those up immediately, whilst the others remain tucked away somewhere, probably to resurface in the washing.  And, yes, that includes those typed into my phone.  So to break the cycle (and…Continue readingNotes from a Barolo and Barbaresco (and Brunello) tasting

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Last stop: Beaujolais

I couldn’t help but like the vignerons that I met in Beaujolais.  The region immediately appeared more accessible and the level of enthusiasm for this mostly unloved region more palpable.  Here, we visited the Cave du Château de Chénas, Cave du Château des Loges and the Vignerons des Pierres Dorées. A view from Mt Brouilly.…Continue readingLast stop: Beaujolais

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The Mâconnais to Beaujolais

The second last instalment of my tour de Burgundy, covers the Mâcon through to Beaujolais.  These two regions are perhaps unquestionably the most beautiful to visit as a tourist.  Mâcon for its hills and escarpments, Beaujolais for the vines that cloak its hills as far as the eye can see.  The food increased in elaboration…Continue readingThe Mâconnais to Beaujolais