Shaw & Smith
Shaw & Smith winery, Australia

The Quintessential Modern Artisanal Australian Winery

The Adelaide Hills vigneron Shaw & Smith celebrate their 20th vintage this year, a significant milestone in the relativity of establishing a vineyard and winery in the new world. This may seem a mere blip to some of the venerable generations-old wineries of Europe.

However, the wine-world is a very different place now and the pioneering spirit and determination to succeed in the extremely competitive and demanding wine industry, establishing a brand from scratch and attaining an enviable international reputation shows both extraordinary creative talent and business acumen. I applaud this family-run partnership between Brothers Mathew and Michael Hill-Smith (M.W.) and Cousin Martin Shaw. Bravo!

Read More >

Profiled Wineries | Related to: , , , | 3 comments
Beaujolais Nouveau 2009 – The Sunshine Vintage
Beaujolais 2009 Peace and Love label, France

Georges Duboeuf sends over 10 different cuvees of Beaujolais Nouveau to Asia brand ambassador Nicolas Olivry at Red and White, who treats us to a sneak preview over lunch on the Eve of the release.

Georges Duboeuf describes the 2009 vintage in the Beaujolais region as “Very good, perhaps too good!” He opines, “It is more of a generous wine in which the grapes have been picked at outstanding level of ripeness producing some hearty, superbly well-balanced wines full of rich, smooth flavours. They have charm and class, smooth and succulent in dark berry flavours; blackcurrants, bilberries and black cherries.”

Read More >

Profiled Wineries | Related to: , , | 6 comments
In Tuscan “heaven”
Andrea Costanti of Conti Costanti

Discovering a special vineyard during a recent trip to Italy still has an excited Curtis Marsh salivating.

Having just returned from Tuscany, the current issue of Wine Spectator caught my immediate attention. Its front cover – emblazoned with the words “Brunello di Montalcino, best wines, restaurants, hotels” – had an evocative picture of the medieval hill-top village that brought back a spontaneous flood of experiences and gastronomic elation.

Read More >

Bordeaux En Primeur
The Chateau La Lagune, France

Red Bordeaux en primeur 2007, an underappreciated, early drinking, mid-term cellaring vintage for devotees, not investors.

En Primeur or wine futures has its logic, after all we are dealing with the most collectable wine in the world, the consumer pays upfront, supposedly at a discount to the projected market price, taking title of an unfinished wine that they will receive in two or three year’s time, the Bordelaise château proprietors achieve a contingent source of finance in an industry that is inordinately capital intensive.

Read More >

Blanc check

Within the steep slopes and valleys of Sancerre, Sauvignon Blanc reflects the individual soils and microclimates of its terroirs, and is a world apart from the popular New Zealand wines of the Marlborough region.

The entire world seems to be producing Sauvignon Blanc and the whole world willingly drink it. But wine consumers tend to identify Sauvignon Blanc with the New World rather than the time-honored names of Sancerre or Pouilly Fume in France.

Read More >

Wine, Tar & Roses
Italy Carabinieri sampling Barolo Wines

Curtis Marsh confesses he cannot get enough Nebbiolo, indeed more than just a passing phase, it is becoming an obsession.

It is not often that I have a preoccupation for a single variety; after all, I do purport to have a ‘wandering palate’. I was for a period last year, fixated with Sangiovese or Chianti Classico to be more precise, having been to Tuscany twice in three months and totally besotted in the idyllic countryside and indigenous produce. Although I remain an advocate, this infatuation has diminished somewhat with the passage of time.

Read More >

Profiled Wineries | Related to: , , , | 18 comments
Another Brilliant Chardonnay!

Australia’s Benchmark Chardonnay Producers

I have to admit this piece has been work-in-progress for over a year now, originally titled “Australian chardonnay on the comeback trail”. Inspired at the time by tasting in succession, the then new releases of TarraWarra Reserve Chardonnay, Grosset Piccadilly Chardonnay and Shaw & Smith M3 Chardonnay, all consummates wines that define the calibre of Australian chardonnay at the present time.

Read More >

Profiled Wineries | Related to: , | 7 comments
First Among Equals

Great wines are hopefully always enigmatic and there are some real gems to be discovered among the 2006 German Rieslings.

While there is a preoccupation with debating the merits of dry or sweet Rieslings, the international consumer has predominantly maintained an orthodox view of German Riesling with a preference for the richer lateharvest styles, particularly the exceptional and unique qualities of Auslese, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese.

Read More >

Neudorf crew toast Tim and Judy’s 30 vintage

Congratulations to Tim and Judy Finn and their team in reaching this significant milestone.

Thirty years is a lifetimes work and when you have started a vineyard from scratch in a region that has had no viticultural history, realizing the vision takes an unyielding resolve to overcome the many challenges of nature and human-nature in an uncharted path of discovery and evolution. Tim Finn says it was about 1991 that they started to realise the full potential of the Neudorf vineyard which in some ways you could attribute to vine age and selection (that is the right grapes for the site) although I suspect considerable hands-on experience was starting to really show results.

Read More >

Stephanie Toole, Mount Horrocks

A remarkable evolution has created one of the most modern and stylish producers in the Clare Valley.

Stephanie Toole’s commitment is apparent in everything she does: in winemaking she is uncompromising and intuitive, in business she is dedicated and conscientious. In the 14 years since buying Mount Horrocks, Toole has cultivated improvement after improvement. Where there was once just a label, there is a now a winery, cellar door and, more recently, her own vineyards. Over time, her resolution has provided Mount Horrocks with a reputation as one of the most modern and stylish producers in the Clare Valley.

Read More >

Profiled Wineries | Related to: , | 1 comment