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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.

Margaret river cover

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.

Henschke's famed hill of grace vineyard  the source of one os australia's most iconic wines copy

South Australia, Victoria and a Bit Beyond

Australia, featured

Josh Raynolds, Sep 2022

The sheer diversity of wine styles in greater South Australia is nothing short of mind-bending. Name it, they make it. That makes generalizing about this vast swath of territory a fool’s errand. The attitude toward Australian wines seems to finally be shifting to what is and has been happening here, albeit slowly. Still, far too many wine lovers view Australia’s massive and far-flung vinous culture as simply about big, full-throttle reds, all day long. Stereotypes do tend to die hard.

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.

Wynns hermitage 1981

Cellar Favorite: 1981 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Hermitage

Australia, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Jun 2022

I always loved the good old days when Australian winemakers “borrowed” the names of classic French wine regions to brand their cuvées. Cheeky? An homage? Theft? Well, the EU bureaucrats soon put a stop to all those Chablis and Hermitages made “Down Under”, but that doesn’t imply that some of them were not genuinely worthy of such noble appellations or even surpassed them.

Tyrrells vat 1

Cellar Favorite: 2008 Tyrrell's Wines Semillon Vat 1 Hunter Valley

Australia, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Mar 2022

These days, as I am focusing on fewer regions, I taste less widely than when I started out. However, I feel it is important to take my palate out on “away days” and taste something different. I have always loved Sémillon from the Hunter Valley.

Torbreck laird 2010

Cellar Favorite: Torbreck Library Wines

Australia, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Mar 2022

Dave Powell is a legendary Barossa winemaker. I have not seen the former lumberjack for a long time but remember him as a force of nature with enough energy to supply the entire Barossa.

Many of the region's most renowned wineries as well as oldest vines can be found spread across the plains of tanunda  in the heart of the valley

The Barossa: An Ascent to Higher Quality

Australia, featured

Josh Raynolds, Dec 2021

The greater Barossa winegrowing area has the varied climate, altitudes and exposures needed to make pretty much all styles of wine, ranging from high-tension, dry Rieslings to some of the most decadent, high-octane red wines in the world. Lush, flamboyant and often head-spinning, high-alcohol wines have long defined the region for many wine lovers. Today, Barossa deserves a different reputation.

Penfolds cover

Penfolds Collection 2021

Australia, featured

Josh Raynolds, Jul 2021

This year’s Penfolds collection consists of all of their icon bottlings, including a few surprises. In 2017, the flagship Grange was made entirely from Shiraz, only the seventh time this has happened since the first Grange was produced in 1951.

Wacoast1.jpeg cover

Western Australia: Old World–Style Reds and Whites

Australia, featured

Josh Raynolds, Jul 2021

Western Australia is a virtual island unto itself within the country’s wine world. Its most famous viticultural region, Margaret River, is located almost 3,000 kilometers from the heart of the famed Barossa Valley, with precious little of anything except space in between. It’s a long way to the west, and the style of wines couldn’t be any more different.