Fog rising at yarra yering copy

Victoria: Cutting Edge Meets Classic

featured, Australia

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

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, Australia, 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.

Henschke 1971

Cellar Favorite: 1971 Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, Australia

Neal Martin, Nov 2023

There was a time a few years ago when I drank quite a number of mature Australian wines. Sadly, these have become much harder to find, especially since I have not visited Australia for over a decade. Therefore, it was a joy to drink a 52-year-old bottle from Henschke on a recent trip to the Far East.

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.

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Cellar Favorite: 1998 Wendouree Cabernet Sauvignon

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, Australia

Neal Martin, May 2023

If there is one Australian producer that sends a tingle down my spine more than any other, it is surely Wendouree. There…I just shuddered typing the name. Regrettably, my encounters are infrequent, yet bottles seem to have that ineffable je ne sais quoi whenever they do appear.

Henschke bottle shot

Henschke’s Hill of Grace - The Garden of Eden

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, Australia

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.

Penfolds kalimna

Cellar Favorite: 1986 Penfolds Shiraz Kalimna Bin 28

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, Australia

Neal Martin, Mar 2023

Back a few years ago, I was tasting a lot of Penfolds and was fortunate enough to participate in a few epic verticals of this iconic Australian producer. Sadly, commitments towards Bordeaux and Burgundy mean I taste bottles less frequently; however, I was reminded of their unerring longevity at a recent BYO at the Harwood Arms to celebrate my birthday.