Vickery 2016 Riesling: Wine Review

John Vickery is the accepted doyen of Riesling in Australia, with an illustrious career covering fifty years and innumerable awards. The Vickery Rieslings he has crafted from Watervale and Eden Valley in South Australia are the epitome of this variety.

Vickery Rieslings are made in partnership with talented winemaker and family friend Phil Lehmann, so that John’s winemaking methods and knowledge will be preserved and passed on for generations to come, for the benefit of all lovers of classic Australian Riesling.

Vickery Eden Valley 2016 Riesling

Vickery Eden Valley Riesling

The Vickery Riesling from Eden Valley has lovely aromas of lime zest, and some floral prettiness. Palate is fresh and lively with lemon citrus, with a slately edge.

Flavours last and the mouthwatering acidity suggests some great cellaring potential for those who adore aged Rieslings.

Alcohol: 12.5%
Price: $23
Region: Eden Valley (Barossa), SA
Source: Trade tasting

 

Vickery Watervale Riesling

Vickery Watervale 2016 Riesling

The Vickery Riesling from Watervale shows the typical freshness on the nose, with some aromatic white floral characters.

The palate is similarly lively like the Eden Valley, and also with a steely component. Possibly a little fuller in the mouthfeel. Pure and delicious.

Alcohol: 12.5%
Price: $23
Region: Watervale (Clare Valley), SA
Source: Trade tasting

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Wirra Wirra 2014 Woodhenge Shiraz: Wine Review

McLaren Vale doesn’t have a Stonehenge, but it does have a Woodhenge.  Wirra Wirra’s late owner, Greg Trott, wanted to build a post and rail fence of herculean proportions. It uses massive red gum timber sourced from the Flinders Ranges, with some of the pieces weighing over three tonnes!  But slightly less colossal is the Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz.

The Wirra Wirra 2014 Woodhenge Shiraz shows great regional style, and displays what McLaren Vale does so well. Lots of plush ripe fruit, but also showing moderation.

On the nose there are aromas of warm spices including cinnamon, milk chocolate, and dried fig. On the palate its luscious and warming. Fleshy ripe plums, ripe mulberries, and chocolate coated liquorice. A hint of sweet oak. Medium to full bodied, with flavours showing restraint but still lasting in the mouth and tempting you for more. Its all supported by powdery tannins adding more texture.

The Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz is sterotypical McLaren Vale Shiraz, and a great example of it.

Wirra Wirra Woodhenge

 

 

 

Alcohol: 14.5%
Price: $35
Region: McLaren Vale, SA
Source: Provided by producer

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Wine Investment: Ultimately Knowledge is the Key

The wine industry is such a broad and diverse beast, and many of our clients have very extensive and varied requirements.  Some readers are interested in new releases, others are looking for something interesting and to minimise the risk of purchasing an ‘unknown’ wine.  Some clients engage us to assist with developing their Australian wine lists or cellars for the own enjoyment.  Some clients also engage in wine investment, of both Australian wines and international wines.  One of the main channels and sources of information I have used for many years has been Langtons. Not only the ‘Langtons Classification of Australian Wine’ but also their market place for fine wine.

Wine investment, as with all forms of investment, expose you to many risks; market risks, currency risks, and producer risks.  Let alone the daily fluctuations of prices.  Any form of investment requires an understanding of these risks but ultimately knowledge is the key.

Good knowledge of the product, knowledge of the market, buying at the right price and also access to the product.  Many investment wines are sourced from a single vineyard and therefore in limited production, or they are in such demand that they sell out upon release.  Accessing these wines means you need to purchase as soon as they are available to ensure your allocation.

Wine investment

Some regions (especially Bordeaux and Burgundy) also sell their wines prior to release using the ‘en primeur’ approach. This offers the consumers the opportunity to invest before the wine is bottled and released.  Payment is made prior to the official release of a vintage. An advantage of buying wines ‘en primeur’ is that the wines may be cheaper during the ‘en primeur’ period than when they are released to the market.

The key to successfully investing in wines is to ensure that you are focusing on the right estates for both quality & value, at an appropriate discount.  Resources such as Langtons website not only help you understand the market and the value of currently traded wines (Australian and international), but also their fine wine specialists can provide guidance on the individual estates and vintage conditions.

This post has been sponsored by Langtons.com.au

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Royal Melbourne Wine Awards goes Organic

Reflecting the growing industry trend, production techniques and consumer interest, the renowned Royal Melbourne Wine Awards (RMWA), Australia’s most respected wine show, will for the first time recognise organic and biodynamic wines with the introduction of a new Best Organic or Biodynamic Trophy in 2016.

“It is our ongoing commitment to ensure the awards continue to be most relevant and valuable to the industry, identifying new classes and categories that will recognise the evolving nature of grape growing and winemaking,” said Tom Carson, Chair of Judges.

“Organic grape production increased by 120% from 2011-2014 with evidence the trend is continuing. The introduction of the new Best Organic or Biodynamic Wine Trophy is a nod to the increasing production of these types of wines in the country, and the outstanding quality we have on offer.”
Royal Melbourne Wine Show

Conducted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), the RMWA gives producers the opportunity to benchmark their wines against industry standards; seek advice from an independent panel of experts; and to promote and market award winning products using the RMWA’s seal of excellence.

Other accolades to be awarded, include the much coveted Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy for Best Young Red Wine, The James Halliday Trophy for Best Pinot Noir, The Douglas Seabrook Single Vineyard Trophy, The Kym Ludvigsen Trophy for Viticultural Excellence, The Victorian Trophy for Wines of Provenance, The Francois De Castella Trophy for Best Young White Wine, The Trevor Mast Trophy for Best Shiraz and The Bill Chambers Trophy for Best Fortified.

The winner of the 2016 Jimmy Watson Trophy will also secure the scholarship sponsored by RASV.  The scholarship includes a $15,000 bursary for the winner to embark on an international study tour, providing professional development opportunities and increasing knowledge of the global wine industry.

“As a previous winner of the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy I can attest that an award win at the RMWA is an honour of long-standing tradition, and is highly regarded amongst the national industry and around the world, leading to increased sales, greater export opportunities and significant growth,” said Mr Carson.

Entries for the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards open on Tuesday 28 June at www.rasv.com.au and will close on Friday 19 August, with early entry encouraged.

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Wirra Wirra 2015 12th Man Chardonnay: Wine Review

Oh the travels Chardonnay and I have been through over the years. Its been like globetrotting with a haut-couture model. There was the big oaky behemoths phase, then the skeletal stainless steel no-oak chardonnays, the natural-looking just a touch of oak phase.  No wonder the consumer still says ‘Oh, I dont drink Chardonnay’. They probably don’t know what to expect.

Wirra Wirra 12th Man Chardonnay

 

Just to keep it interesting, the 2015 Wirra Wirra 12th Man Chadonnay takes a step away from the style of the 2013 12th Man Chardonnay.

The aroma of the 2015 12th Man leaps from the glass with good intensity. There are complex aromas of dusty straw, mandarin and citrus zest, ripe peach, and a creaminess. With an interesting hint of lanolin. On the palate it a delicate balanced between crisp white peach and stonefruit, fresh acid, but also lots of texture. A riper style offering fullness in the mouth, but still finishing clean and lively.

Is this a classically-styled oakier Chardonnay? Possibly, and the perceived oak does play a greater role than previously. Is this showing that winemakers love to play and tweek styles in an ever changing marketplace? Probably.

What are your thoughts? Has this found a balance between austerity and fullness?

Alcohol: 13.5%
Price: $31.50
Region: Adelaide Hills, SA
Source: Provided by producer

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The Aroma Festival Rocks Sydney

The Rocks Aroma Festival brings together the very best in brewers, baristas and boutique roasters from around Australia for one magical day of caffeinated delight on Sunday 24 July, 2016.

Tantalise the taste buds with more than 60 coffee and gourmet food stallholders, food trucks, latte art competitions and demonstrations, pop-up bars, performers and amazing coffee inspired specials.

Brewing industry leaders are showcasing some incredible offerings at Aroma. Melbourne brand St Ali are popping up with their Sydney outlet, Sensory Lab, to deliver a fuss free speciality coffee experience that focuses on the minimalist magic behind the perfect brew. Rocks Aroma Festival

The Rocks Aroma Festival is about celebrating coffee from every corner of the globe. Malgudi Days bring their South Indian style filter coffee made with stretched milk to the festival.  Djebena Coffees will be brewing coffee the traditional Ethiopian way, in a clay pot called a ‘djebena’.

If hot drinks aren’t your cup of tea, the Aroma Brew Bar is a pop-up bar with a difference. For one day only, the bar is serving up Mr Black artisan cold press coffee liqueur cocktails. Along with a coffee infused beer, poured especially for Aroma by the team at Endeavour Vintage Beer Co.

There’s a whole host of activities planned for when you’re not savouring a warm drop. Breville’s Latte Art Smackdown is back and sees professional baristas battle each other in a knockout competition for who can pour the prettiest cup. Those who feel they’ve got what it takes can also join in – an amateur Latte Art competition. One lucky pouring punter taking home a Breville Oracle coffee machine. People who are new to Latte art, can visit the Breville Marquee for some tips.

Sydney-Rocks

After the excitement of watching Australia’s best battle it out for coffee glory, wind down over a latte and relax at the smoothfm Picnic Area. The soothing sounds of classic songs will mix with the scents of roasted beans and be carried on the air through the cobblestoned laneways of The Rocks.

The festival also offers an impressive array of workshops in the two weeks leading up to the big day. Curated by the Australian Speciality Coffee Association, coffee connoisseurs can unleash their inner barista and learn tips from industry experts on key flavour profiles, how to brew great coffee at home and impress with Latte art designs.

The Rocks is one of the most envied heritage destinations in the world. The Rocks’ unique heritage is preserved and celebrated in large scale and intimate quality events, outdoor markets, and educational tours. The Rocks is a perfect blend of culture, cuisine and a myriad of experiences worth savouring. The Rocks attracts over 14 million visitors each year as an extraordinary place in Sydney that the world talks about.

Visit the therocks.com for more information.

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