Monday, 25 October 2010

PETER’S PITCH FOR HISTORY – ’OWZAT?


Wc25Oct10

David Ellis

WHEN lack of funds forced the sale of Coonawarra's historic old Penola Cricket Ground in 1996 just four years short of its 50th anniversary, Jim Barry Wines' Peter Barry bought the 12ha property to plant to Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

But he kept both the original pavilion and the pitch as important pieces of Coonawarra's sporting history, and has just released a Jim Barry "The Cover Drive" 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon to honour his vineyard's original owners.

Made from fruit from the Penola property and vineyards in the Clare Valley owned by the Barry family, this is a generously-flavoured wine with loads of blackberry and black cherry fruit to the fore, distinctive Coonawarra cassis characters, fine-grained tannin and oak.

It's value-for-money at $19 and will make an ideal accompaniment to a hearty Osso Bucco.

ONE FOR LUNCH: WITH Pinot Gris' fast-growing popularity in Australia, Logan Wines' Peter Logan believes the variety could soon be equalling – or even outselling – that other hugely-popular white, Sauvignon Blanc.

And his 2010 Logan Weemala Pinot Gris is good reason for his enthusiasm: a variety that responds well to nurturing in cold conditions such as those experienced by Logan at Orange in the NSW Central West, this one has lively fresh citrus flavours and nice white peach and honeysuckle aromas.

"Pinot Gris is often the 'plain Jane' sister," Peter says. "But this one shows how 'plain Jane' can have a hidden beauty shine through."

Pay $18 and enjoy with seafood dishes or curried sausages and mash.

(NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out  http://www.vintnews.com )




PHOTO CAPTIONS:

[] DRIVEN by history, a taste of history to enjoy with Osso Bucco.

[] PLANE Jane's hidden beauty shines through with this one; match it with seafood. 


NSW Wine Celebrates Record Sales Growth | $79.3 Million

NSW Wine Strategy Applauded ~ Tempus Two wins NSW Wine of the Year

Hot off the Press: NSW Wine retail bottled wine sales within NSW have grown a staggering 22% or $14.3 million on the previous year to reach a record $79.3 million outstripping the State's growth of only 0.8% in the same period, showing NSW Wine has taken 21% market share from the other state producers including Victoria, South Australia and West Australia. This is a phenomenal result indicating the positive impact of the NSW Wine Strategy, guests at the 2010 NSW Wine Awards Gala Dinner at Guillaume at Bennelong were told last night.

This previously unreleased Nielsen data MAT 31 August 2010 was revealed to the who's who of the NSW Wine industry, who also witnessed iconic Hunter Valley wine family McGuigan take out the 2010 NSW Wine of the Year with their 2003 Tempus Two Copper Zenith Hunter Valley Semillon ($55) and Doug McWilliam receive the Graham Gregory Award for his commitment to NSW Wine industry.

Tiffany Nugan, Chair of the NSW Wine Strategy, spoke at the Awards and confirmed how significant this growth is. "It is so exciting to see how NSW Wine's sales growth is continuing to increase each year. This time last year NSW Wines sales within NSW grew by 12.8%, now they're growing by 22% showing the NSW Wine Strategy has serious momentum in the consumer's mind, with ever increasing growth each year."

"Even more exciting is where the growth is happening. 60% of NSW Wine sales were in the $12-20 price point, growing by 23%. And even more impressively, the over $20 category showed a fantastic 56% growth. This proves our State's premium wines are really making an impact on the consumer, who is not only appreciating them but coming back for more!"

"Last year the NSW Wine Strategy set a vision to double NSW Wine's distribution in our State within 5 years, to reach a similar representation level to states such as Victoria. If we continue to grow at 22% we will easily achieve this vision and NSW will be a place where visitors and locals alike will be able to enjoy a good, diverse and interesting representation of local wines in bottle shops and restaurants throughout the State."

Tiffany Nugan was applauded for the achievements of the NSW Wine Strategy since its launch in February 2008 as Nugan announced she would be stepping down as Chair of the NSW Wine Strategy next month, with her successor to be announced shortly. Under Nugan's leadership the NSW Wine Strategy was conceived to increase the representation of NSW Wine's within our State and has seen the launch of the NSW Wine brand; NSW Wine Week, a major consumer event held in March each year, with the 'Sydney Cellar Door' event attracting 20,000 people to Hyde Park to taste NSW Wines; NSW Wine Uncovered Magazine published each August including James Halliday's Top 100 NSW Wines; the revamping of the NSW Wine Awards and a public relations campaign that each year attracts for the NSW Wine industry media coverage valued in excess of $8 million. The achievements of the Strategy, however, are best demonstrated by the sales growth. In February 2008 when the Strategy was launched NSW Wines sales within our home State were $52.4 million, today they are $79.3 million, showing sales growth of $26.9 million in less than 3 years.

But the Award of the night went to Neil McGuigan for a standout Hunter Valley Semillon, the 2003 Tempus Two Copper Zenith Hunter Valley Semillon ($55). Neil is no stranger to awards nights having collected the title of both the 2009 International Wine and Spirit Competition "Winemaker of the Year" and 2009 International Wine Challenge "White Winemaker of the Year", but he was particularly proud to collect one of his home-state's highest honours on behalf of the McGuigan family's Hunter Valley brand, Tempus Two.

The NSW Wine Awards Chief Judge Huon Hooke, one of Australia's most experienced palates who judges several competitions each year both within Australia and internationally, supported the quality of the Tempus Two Semillon and all the Trophy winning wines at the Awards. Whilst commenting on the calibre of this year's judges and the stringent tasting procedure used to reach the final decisions he said, "I confidently and proudly commend the wines here tonight. These winners can hold their own at any wine show in the world."

Merilba Estate | Belle of the Ball

Friday night was Merilba Estate's night of nights, taking home two of the three most coveted awards at the New England Wine Show, held each October in Glen Innes to recognise the new and emerging regions' winemaking prowess.

Winning the much sought after Trophy for White Wine of Show, the 2010 Merilba Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc RRP $20, also took home a gold medal for a wine that has been in bottle a little less than one week.

Also a shining star on the night, the 2010 Merilba Estate Shiraz RRP $20 also won the award for Best Young Red Wine of Show after topping the class and gaining a silver medal along the way.

Merilba Estate, owned by Shaun & Kassy Cassidy is a relatively new entrant to the New England scene, but has been earmarked as one to watch.

The Cassidy's have created one of the region's leading food and wine destinations at their property near Kingstown just west of Uralla, having recently opened a stunning restaurant and cellar door facility on their vineyard and cattle property.

Producing just over 3800 dozen bottles of wine in their 8th vintage, the 2010 vintage is sure to position Merilba Estate as a leader in the region. The property, of which approx 12 hectares was planted to vine in 1998, produces classic varieties of Chardonnay, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as some newer and emerging varieties to the region, Tempranillo and Gewurztraminer, which Shaun firmly believes are some of the most exciting styles coming out of the region.

Shaun Cassidy also makes wine for several other leading local wineries including Mihi Creek and Thunder Ridge who also took home a swag of medals on the night.

All three wineries are founding members of the New England Australia wine brand which is to announce its regional brand strategy at a celebration in Armidale on 26th October.

The NEW (New England Wine) regional brand has been created as a result of the New England Australia having recently been named as one of Australia's newest, largest, highest and coolest Geographical Indicators (GI) and designated by the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation as such.

A group of the regions enthusiastic grape growers and winemakers together with their active viticultural organisations, local industry, councils and Industry & Investment NSW have funded a comprehensive review of the regions wine and wine tourism industry, and a Sydney based wine marketing company, Winestream Communications has developed a new regional brand and strategy which will give the New England Wine region the ability to compete on the world wine stage for many years to come, and be recognised as a leading emerging wine region.

Merilba Estate Wines are available from Cellar Door and various local retailers.

Merilba Estate is seeking distribution in other markets.

Chile and Argentina Rapidly Becoming the New Hotspots for Food and Wine Enthusiasts

Media Release

Melbourne-based Boutique Travel Agency Food and Wine Travel is Pioneering Food and Wine Based Travel to South-America.

Realising the vast potential of South-America for the food-minded traveller, Karen Ridge of Food and Wine Travel has taken a leading role in bringing the destination within Australia's reach. With the influx of award-winning South-American wine onto the Australian market, comes the realisation that these two countries harbour some world-class attractions for the devote 'foodie'. And it's not just the wineries that will get the gastronome excited; both countries have a rich food culture too.

Although a niche in a niche market, the amount of people who like to take their food and wine experience just that little bit further is steadily growing and now South-America is firmly on the radar. This is partly to do with the influx of award-winning Argentinean and Chilean wines onto the Australian market which has boosted awareness of what is on offer on the continent. Food and Wine Travel was quick to react to this interest and is already offering two itineraries into the region: Classic Wine Routes (Santiago & Mendoza) and Andes Wines & Easter Island.

"The sounds and sights in this part of the world are truly unique", says Food and Wine Travel's managing director Karen Ridge. The majestic Andes mountain range function as the anchor, cradling the various wine growing area's with its snow-capped mountains. "If you thought the Alps were scenic, think again" she continues. Although a developing wine growing area, some of the wineries are steeped in history and exude a distinctive European vibe due to the efforts of French viticulturalists in the past. Add to that a splash of Latin spirit and you have a unique destination. More importantly they produce fabulous wines which get better and better every year, plus it's backed up by a fantastic food culture of asados (barbecued meats) and fresh seafood.

With Argentina and Chile as the main destinations on the continent, Food and Wine Travel is steadily increasing its travel options. More itineraries will be released in the very near future. "I intend to be on the forefront of developing the continent as a gastronomic destination as I believe strongly in its' merits" concludes Karen Ridge.

About Food and Wine Travel

With 20 years of experience in the travel industry, Karen Ridge began Food and Wine Travel in 2008 in response to a need she saw in the travel market for unique, memorable, individually tailored holidays, based around food and wine experiences. Food and Wine Travel prefers to design tours to suit the client's personal preferences. Her customers appreciate the finer things of life, enjoy quality food and wine and they know that she will ensure they have the best possible experience on their gourmet holiday.

Food and wine travel is an innovator in the field and prides itself on its varied range of travel options.

http://foodandwinetravel.com.au/

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

RIESLING ONE OF THE BEST OF THE BEST’S

Wc18Oct10

David Ellis

BEST'S Wines in Victoria's Great Western have been producing outstanding Rieslings since 1866 when their original owners planted their pioneering young vineyards with cuttings they'd brought out from Germany.

And interestingly only two families have owned the Best's label since then: the Best's themselves to 1920, and the Thomson family who bought it then, and who in turn have owned it through five generations, the latest of whom are now the guardians of vines that are amongst the oldest in Australia.

Their 2010 Great Western Riesling is another stand-out wine from what winemaker Adam Wadewitz describes as "an outstanding growing season."

Early ripening meant the fruit could be picked at lower sugar levels, meaning wonderfully forward lemon and lime blossom flavours and nice acid balance.

With such a flavoursome front palate this is a wine that can be enjoyed with a range of dishes from spicy Asian through to crabmeat fritters, baked or barbecued pork, or even cold white-meat salads.

Certainly great value to enjoy at $25, and to reminisce on a taste of history.

ONE FOR LUNCH: THE Hunter Valley's Ballabourneen have released a Shiraz they've named after their rising-star winemaker, Dan "Buckets" Binet.

This 2007 Buckets of Hunter Shiraz is loaded with rich dark-fruitcake flavours of cooked plums, cedar oak, chocolate and hazelnuts.

There's a hit of roast almonds as well, and nice fine tannins. At $21 it's made to enjoy with a rich lasagne, a home-made beef pie, or a sunset platter of Australian cheddars and crackers. If you can't find it in your bottle shop, order through www.ballabourneen.com.au

(NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out  http://www.vintnews.com )


PHOTO CAPTIONS:

[] A TASTE of history with spicy Asian dishes or crabmeat fritters.


[] BUCKETS of flavour in this one from a Hunter Valley "rising star."


2010 NSW Wine of the Year

The Coming of Age
International Winemaker of the Year
now 2010 NSW Wine of the Year!

 2010 NSW Wine Awards Gala Presentation Dinner, Guillaume at Bennelong, Sydney

Last year, McGuigan, one of New South Wales' (and Australia's) icon wine families brought the world's gaze back to our State's wines claiming in London the title of both the 2009 International Wine and Spirit Competition "Winemaker of the Year" and 2009 International Wine Challenge "White Winemaker of the Year". Tonight the McGuigan family is staking its claim as the State's best producer collecting the Trophy for the 2010 NSW Wine of the Year with its 2003 Tempus Two Copper Zenith Hunter Valley Semillon ($55).

Neil McGuigan was presented with the coveted 2010 NSW Wine of the Year Trophy before the who's who of the wine industry, including MC Simon Thomsen and Chair of Judges, Huon Hooke, at the NSW Wine Awards Gala Presentation Dinner at Guilliame, flanked by the other 8 Trophy winners of the 2010 NSW Wine Awards:

NSW Wine of the Year & Trophy Best Mature Dry White ~ Tempus Two 2003 Copper Zenith Semillon (Hunter Valley) $55

Trophy Best Young Riesling ~ Pokolbin Estate 2010 Riesling (Hunter Valley) $22

Trophy Best Young Sauvignon Blanc ~ Angullong Wines 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (Orange) $17

Trophy Best Young Semillon ~ First Creek Wines 2010 Winemakers Reserve Semillon (Hunter Valley) $29

Trophy Best Young Chardonnay ~ Hungerford Hill 2008 Epic Chardonnay (Tumbarumba) $45

Trophy Best Young White Other Varieties ~ Benwarin 2010 Verdelho (Hunter Valley) $18

Trophy Best Young Shiraz ~ Nick O'Leary Wines 2009 Shiraz (Canberra District) $28

Trophy Best Young Red Blend ~ Logan 2008 Cabernet Merlot Cabernet-Merlot (Orange) $25

Trophy Best Sweet White ~ McWilliams 2008 Morning Light Botrytis Semillon (Riverina) $30

The McGuigan's are one of Australia's best known wine families, with their roots firmly planted in the Hunter Valley. The family love affair with winemaking began with Owen McGuigan, a dairy farmer, who was born in the Hunter Valley in 1869, and laboured in the local vineyards in order to support his wife and six kids. Since then a further three generations of McGuigan's have made wine their life including household names, Brian & Fay McGuigan, Neil McGuigan and next generation Lisa McGuigan, who conceived Tempus Two.

Industry recognition for this great wine family has been immense. Perce McGuigan (Owen's son) is an inaugural Hunter Valley Living Legend for his part in shaping the Hunter Valley's prominence during his time working for Penfolds. Brian McGuigan (Perce's son) was responsible for launching McGuigan Wines and has been awarded the Australian Medal and Hunter Valley Living Legend status. Similarly, Brian's wife, Fay, who was responsible for McGuigan exports, has been honoured as a NSW Telstra Businesswoman of the Year and Australian Export Hero.

Neil McGuigan (Brian's brother) is now CEO of Australian Vintage (producers of both the McGuigan and Tempus Two brands among others) and under his reign McGuigan Wines has been recognized as one of Australia's best wine producers including "International Winemaker of the Year" at the 2009 International Wine & Spirit Competition in London.

As CEO of Australian Vintage, Neil gets to work in some of the most technologically advanced wineries in the industry. However, Tempus Two remains a boutique winery in the Hunter Valley, specializing in small batch production, and the treatment, maturation and bottling of super-premium wines.

Responsible for the creation of the 2003 vintage was talented winemaker Sarah-Kate Dineen (now based in New Zealand) ably assisted by Liz Jackson (another Hunter Valley local, now at First Creek winery). Liz is a star to watch as she also made the 2009 & 2010 First Creek Winemakers Reserve Semillons, which both secured spots in the hotly contested NSW Top 40 Wines, with the later carrying home the Trophy for Best Young Semillon – a proud hat trick for a young winemaker.

The 2003 Tempus Two Copper Zenith Hunter Valley Semillon is no stranger to success recently collecting 3 Trophies at the 2010 Hunter Valley Wine Show. It is the pinnacle of classical aged Hunter Valley Semillon: vibrant lemon and lime notes with floral undertones and complex honeyed characters developing. Citrus fruit flavours with toasty characters, balanced by a lingering acid backbone.

NSW Wine "Best of the Best Top 40" Tasting @ MCA

Everyone can taste the NSW Wine Awards winning wines at the 'NSW Wine "Best of the Best Top 40" Tasting' on Thursday 21st October. A great way to be amongst the first to discover the finest new wines of NSW, including winemaker-hosted Top 40 wine tours.

When:  Thursday 21st October, Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney.

Trade & Media tasting : 2- 4pm, pre-registration compulsory.

Consumer tasting : 5- 9pm, $50pp including NSW Wine glass, winemaker-hosted Top 40 wine tours, wine and canapés.

Book: www.nswwine.com.au for more information and tickets.

Monday, 11 October 2010

WHAT CLARE VALLEY SEMILLON’S ALL ABOUT


Wc11Oct10
FISH favourite – or with a simple
roast chicken if you're not into fish

David Ellis

TIM Adams Wines have released a ripper 2009 Semillon from their Clare Valley heartland, a wine that's what Clare Semillon is all about.

Somewhat different to Semillons from such major growing areas as NSW's Hunter Valley,  Clare Valley Semillon can be "more robust" – as is the case with this one – and often with more concentrated fruit flavours. This wine's also got some nice notes to it from its oak maturation.

At $22 grab a bottle of this Tim Adams and put it on the table with your favourite pan-fried white-fleshed fish. You'll find the intense tropical fruit flavours go wonderfully with your fish choice – or if you're not into fish, enjoy it just as much with simple roast chicken and mashed potatoes infused with a handful of chopped parsley, or a baking pan of roast vegetables.

ONE FOR LUNCH: PENFOLDS first started making their now-famous Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz a half-century ago, at the time with fruit exclusively from the Barossa Valley's Kalimna Vineyard it had bought at war's end in 1945.

SPOIL yourself with this and
homemade boeuf en croute
Today Bin 28 is as popular as ever and a showcase of warm-climate Australian Shiraz, but is a multi-region, multi-vineyard blend embracing South Australia's Langhorne Creek, Upper Adelaide, McLaren Vale, Limestone Coast – and with the Barossa still very much to the fore.

The latest release, the 2007, is the product of a difficult vintage with low winter temperatures followed by an unusually hot summer, but through which winemaker Peter Gago and his team maintained the label's esteemed image.

This is a wine with generously concentrated red and black berry fruit flavours, some earthy notes, and aromas almost like uncorking a rich Christmas cake. At $33.99 it's just the drop to enjoy with something out of the ordinary like a homemade boeuf en croute, or a nice piece of chargrilled rare rib-eye.

(NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out  http://www.vintnews.com )





Wednesday, 6 October 2010

New Cool vs Establish | 2010 NSW Wine Awards Trophy Winners Announced

The nine Trophy Winners in the 2010 NSW Wine Awards have been revealed today in the closing battle to be the 2010 NSW Wine of the Year and it looks set to be a neck and neck fight, new vs. established wine regions, with only 12 days remaining until the 2010 NSW Wine of the Year is announced.

These Trophy winners were chosen from the NSW Top 40 Wines, which were selected by a panel of 20 highly regarded wine judges, including Huon Hooke (Chair), Iain Riggs, Peter Bourne, Philip Shaw, Mike De Garis and Nick Bulleid MW. These expert palates whittled down over 800 wines to this impressive shortlist.

The Trophy winners reflect the NSW Top 40 well, being an almost even split between the new, emerging cool-climate NSW wine regions – such as Orange, Tumbarumba and Canberra - and the more established, well-known regions of the Hunter Valley and Riverina.

The 2010 Trophy Winners will be presented with their awards on Monday 18th October at the NSW Wine Awards Gala Presentation Dinner at Guillaume at Bennelong, where the coveted 2010 NSW Wine of the Year will be also be announced for the first time.

Can you pick the 2010 NSW Wine of the Year?

The 2010 NSW Wine Awards Trophy Winners and contenders for the 2010 NSW Wine of Year are:

Trophy Best Young Riesling ~ Pokolbin Estate 2010 Riesling (Hunter Valley) $22

Trophy Best Young Sauvignon Blanc ~ Angullong Wines 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (Orange) $17

Trophy Best Young Semillon ~ First Creek Wines 2010 Winemakers Reserve Semillon (Hunter Valley) $29

Trophy Best Young Chardonnay ~  Hungerford Hill 2008 Epic Chardonnay (Tumbarumba) $45

Trophy Best Young White Other Varieties ~ Benwarin 2010 Verdelho (Hunter Valley) $18

Trophy Best Mature Dry White ~ Tempus Two 2003 Copper Zenith Semillon (Hunter Valley) $55

Trophy Best Young Shiraz ~ Nick O'Leary Wines 2009 Shiraz (Canberra District) $28

Trophy Best Young Red Blend ~ Logan 2008 Cabernet Merlot (Orange) $25

Trophy Best Sweet White ~ McWilliams 2008 Morning Light Botrytis Semillon (Riverina) $30

Everyone will have the opportunity to taste the 2010 NSW Wine of the Year, Trophy Winners and Top 40 Wines at:

NSW Wine "Best of the Best Top 40" Tasting @ MCA

Taste the NSW Top 40 Wines at the 'NSW Wine "Best of the Best Top 40" Tasting' on Thursday 21st October. A great way to be amongst the first to discover the finest wines of NSW, including winemaker-hosted Top 40 wine tours.

When:                                    Thursday 21st October

Where:                                   Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney.

Trade & Media tasting        2- 4pm, pre-registration compulsory.

Consumer tasting                5- 9pm, $50pp including NSW Wine glass, winemaker-hosted Top 40 wine tours, wine and canapés.

Book: www.nswwine.com.au for more information and tickets.

 

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2011

Media Release

The original and best, Hugh Johnson s Pocket Wine Book 2011 successfully distills the world of wine into a handy, eloquent gem of a package.
The original and best, Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book is the ultimate compact guide. Now in its 34th edition, it is the UK's number one wine book appealing to wine-lovers and professionals alike. it is the key reference for enthusiasts, investors and collectors and this year's edition boasts up-to-date news on more than 6,000 wines, growers, and regions, plus invaluable vintage information from experts around the world. A new colour supplement focuses on the array of wines from Spain,while a new section offers the reader alternative wines to try based on those they already drink. More than 200 of Johnson's favourites for 2011 are also included. Hugh Johnson's winning formula of insight, critical appraisal of the world of wine, plus vintage news has never been bettered. During the past four decades he has written many books that have become landmark titles, including his classic the World Atlas of Wine, co-authored with Jancis Robinson and published this year in a new compact format as the Concise World Atlas of Wine, and his Wine Companion, which is fully updated for 2010.

# Mitchell Beazley
# 9781845335670
# $25.00
# Hardback
# October 2010
# 320 pages

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