Giaconda 3

Flirting with Perfection - Giaconda Chardonnay 2011-2021

featured, Australia, Argentina featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

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.

Embracing sustainable viticulture in coonawarra copy

Killer Cabernet from Coonawarra and Friends

featured, Australia

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.

The lake pinot noir block on the the mccutcheon vineyard at ten minutes by tractor copy

Eruptions on the Mornington Peninsula

featured, Australia

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.

Penfolds collection 2023 2

Penfolds Collection 2023

featured, Australia

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.

Barossa cover 2023

Changing Gears in Barossa

featured, Australia

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.

Henschke bottle shot

Henschke’s Hill of Grace - The Garden of Eden

featured, Australia, 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.

Cf feb212023 copy

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.

The deep sandy soils of blewitt springs copy %281%29

The Many Faces of McLaren Vale

featured, Australia

Angus Hughson, Feb 2023

For over 130 years, the idyllic seaside region of McLaren Vale has been a cornerstone for South Australia, particularly for powerful Shiraz. This report covers McLaren Vale’s recent evolution, defined by wines of increasing subtlety and finesse, seen across Shiraz, and the region’s emerging status as a hotspot for exceptional Grenache.

A minus 5 degree frost hits clonakilla%e2%80%99s eastern vineyard cover copy

Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 1994-2021

featured, Australia, Verticals & Retrospectives

Angus Hughson, Nov 2022

Rules are made to be broken. In the rich landscape of Australian Shiraz, Clonakilla was the original maverick, pioneering cool climate Shiraz Viognier blends in an unlikely new wine region. Serendipitous plantings of Viognier and travels to Domaine Guigal lit a spark that has grown into an unexpected, runaway success that has helped to redefine Australian Shiraz. This vertical tasting of the Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier celebrated the winery’s 50th birthday and showcased a wine with unique finesse and longevity.

Wynns historic gabled winery copy

The Power and the Passion: Wynns John Riddoch 1982-2019

featured, Australia, Verticals & Retrospectives

Angus Hughson, Sep 2022

The roots for Wynns Coonawarra Estate’s Cabernet Sauvignon John Riddoch were planted over a century ago in the 1890s. Today the wine is a modern Australian classic as illustrated by this full vertical tasting stretching back to the 1982 vintage. Fine, detailed and well structured, these long-lived Cabernet Sauvignons show more than just a passing resemblance to the best wines from the Left Bank and have their own, distinctive Coonawarra style.