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Ironing Out The Kinks: Jim Barry The Armagh 1985-2021

Australia, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

Angus Hughson, Jun 2024

The tale of Jim Barry’s Armagh Shiraz has mirrored the national wine story over the last forty years. Terroirs with the highest aspirations from the outset have taken time to hit their straps, with occasional missteps along the way. Thanks to greater precision in the vineyard and winery, the last ten years have seen this Clare Valley Shiraz slip into a neat groove with a unique mix of sheer power and finesse. This was showcased in this complete vertical tasting stretching back to the inaugural 1985 vintage.

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The Yin and the Yang of Western Australia

Australia, featured

Angus Hughson, May 2024

Western Australia remains a beacon of hope and value in a world of stratospheric fine wine prices. This report shows that, pound for pound, few regions can match Margaret River for finely crafted Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. My first coverage of the emerging regions of Great Southern and Pemberton also showcases wines that are surprising for their subtlety and diversity.

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Victoria: Cutting Edge Meets Classic

Australia, featured

Angus Hughson, Mar 2024

In south-eastern Victoria, the regions of Yarra Valley and Gippsland are leaders in the emerging wave of modern Australian wines thanks to a mix of cool climates and cutting-edge winemaking. This report showcases how these diverse terroirs, coupled with recent mild vintages, have delivered refined Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and even Nebbiolo that challenge traditional perceptions of Australian wine styles and quality.

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Flirting with Perfection - Giaconda Chardonnay 2011-2021

Australia, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, Argentina featured

Angus Hughson, Jan 2024

There are more famous Chardonnays in Australia, but none are more keenly collected or tightly held than Rick Kinzbrunner’s enigmatic Giaconda. Originally conceived in California, Giaconda not only put the small outpost of Beechworth in Victoria on the international map, it also helped an entire nation to find its Chardonnay mojo. A rare chance to taste the last decade of vintages exceeded expectations and showcased a world-class wine that can compete with the very best.

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Killer Cabernet from Coonawarra and Friends

Australia, featured

Angus Hughson, Oct 2023

There is a widespread perception that Shiraz is far and away South Australia’s leading red grape variety. Yet scratch a little deeper, and the credentials of Cabernet Sauvignon loom large, from bold Barossan and Clare Valley styles through to more elegant and nuanced wines. This article explores the current state of South Australian Cabernet Sauvignon and blends from a range of regions while uncovering the breathtaking quality and value to be found in Coonawarra’s 2021 vintage.

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Eruptions on the Mornington Peninsula

Australia, featured

Angus Hughson, Sep 2023

Thanks to the never-ending march of international wine prices, “bargain” is a word seldom used to describe quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. However, hidden south of Melbourne, in Victoria, is a post-stamp-sized oasis where unicorns can still be uncovered. Forget what you think you know about Australian Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The best wines from one of Australia’s leading regions of these varieties are also truly world-class.

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Penfolds Collection 2023

Australia, featured

Angus Hughson, Jul 2023

It’s easy to judge a book by its cover. There is little doubt that the headline act - the 2019 Grange and Shiraz wines in general - will receive the most attention in this range of new releases from Penfolds. But that would be a mistake in 2023 where there is plenty more worth exploring. The 2021 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon shines brightly in lockstep with the 2023 Eden Valley Riesling.

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Changing Gears in Barossa

Australia, featured

Angus Hughson, Jun 2023

Think you know Barossa? Think again. Australia’s most famous wine region is re-inventing itself while honoring its terroirs and traditions. It’s thrown off the sometimes-heavy-handed use of oak and heady levels of ripeness in a quest to craft stylish wines that prize nuance and refinement in addition to classic generosity of fruit.

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Henschke’s Hill of Grace - The Garden of Eden

Australia, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

Angus Hughson, Apr 2023

Henschke’s iconic single vineyard Hill of Grace Shiraz, based on plantings that trace back over 160 years, is a wine built on intergenerational blood, sweat and tears. A rare vertical celebrating 60 years since the first vintage, including the inaugural 1958, showcased a wine building in confidence and stature to become one of Australia’s finest.

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Cellar Favorite: 1923 Seppeltsfield Para Vintage Tawny

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, Australia

Angus Hughson, Feb 2023

In 1878, Oscar Benno Seppelt started a long tradition for Seppeltsfield Para Tawny Ports when he put down his first fortified barrel destined for a century in the cellar before release. It is rare and one-of-a-kind, which explains the astronomical pricing, making it the most expensive wine in the country by volume.