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The Many Faces of McLaren Vale

Australia, featured

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.

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Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 1994-2021

Australia, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

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

Australia, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

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.

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The Not So Wild West: Margaret River in the Groove

Australia, featured

Angus Hughson, Sep 2022

It is hard to believe that in a little over fifty years Margaret River has risen from a home of counterculture to be one of Australia’s most sophisticated wine regions. A tasting of new releases again showed that, pound for pound, there are few premium wine zones that can match the sheer value from this incredibly remote corner of the world.

Penfolds lineup

Penfolds Collection 2022

Australia, featured

Angus Hughson, Jul 2022

The annual release of the Penfolds collection is unusual in that it does not have a single vintage focus and spans a number of years thanks to the different aging requirements for the wines. This year’s key releases range from 2018 to 2021, each vintage with their own impactful conditions. The bookends are both marvelous, yet very different vintages. The only-recently bottled 2022 Riesling provides a first look at this generally milder vintage.