Tuesday 27 March 2012

Tickets Now on Sale for Cumulus Estate Wines’ LIMITED TABLE

Media Release

LT_LogoOnBlack     Cumulus_Estate_Wines_Logo     Australian%20Wine2  

The Cumulus Estate Wines’ LIMITED TABLE event is set to be one of the highlights of the inaugural Sydney A+ Australian Wine Celebration calendar (.12-29 April 2012). Held on the penultimate day of the celebrations (Saturday 28th April 2- 5pm) it will be an exciting ‘making and matching’ wine and food adventure.

Limited Table, Sydney’s most exclusive provider of rare food experiences, has joined forces with Cumulus Estate Wines’ winemaker Debbie Lauritz to offer guests a unique wine making masterclass.

Debbie says, “I’m often asked if Australia has produced its finest Merlot yet. No - but when it does I bet it will come from the wine region of Orange, NSW! Merlot is a sometimes over-looked grape variety but it holds amazing potential and I’ve been so inspired and impressed by the quality of fruit from our 2011 vintage that I am considering making a new Merlot to enter our flagship range of wines. Join me to taste our current Merlots and discuss what makes a good Merlot. Then learn about the art of blending a great wine and help me decide which batches of our new Merlot work well together to create the perfect 2011 Cumulus Merlot.”

The wine making masterclass will be run in small groups to enable a friendly competition between guests, with a People's Choice Award and Debbie's Choice Award for the best blends. The lucky winners will not only get a prize on the night but when the wine is released later in the year, they will be able to tell their friends and family that they were part of the winemaking team that created the wine.

It’s not all about Merlot though, and alongside the ‘making’ comes the ‘matching’! Cumulus Estate Wines will showcase a range of their new wines at the event, which will be matched to some of NSW’s best local produce.

Learn how to expertly shuck an oyster with a leading oyster specialist, then enjoy them with the award-winning Rolling Sparkling, the Mediterranean inspired Luna Rosa and the new release 2011 Climbing Pinot Gris.

Then, explore the art of wine and cheese matching when you meet Claudia Bowman, a leading cheesemonger and educationalist, who has regularly been invited to represent Australia in International cheese challenges. Savour some of the great artisan cheeses with Climbing Merlot and the two current flagship wines from Cumulus Estate Wines, the Cumulus Shiraz and Cumulus Chardonnay.

All of these exciting experiences will take place at The Design Bar - Surry Hill’s hottest new wine bar. Where else can you design a wine on designer furniture? Finish your afternoon relaxing, drinking and chatting with the event’s experts surrounded by the latest in vogue interior design.

Event Summary:

What: Cumulus Estate Wines’ LIMITED TABLE
Where: Design Bar, 423 - 425 Bourke Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010
When: Saturday 28th April 2:00 - 5:00pm
Book: $99 per person Phone: 0414 867 347 Email: anneliese@limitedtable.com.au

A+ Australian Wine Celebration is a national celebration of Australian wine and the people & places that create it. One of the largest collections of wine events to take place in Australia, it is a unique occasion to celebrate the great wine created in their own backyard, with close to 100 events taking place across the country during April 2012. www.apluswines.com 

Monday 26 March 2012


CREATED to enjoy with a good steak
and a dab of Hot English Mustard.


David Ellis

HAMISH MacGowan likes his wine and he likes his steak, and for ten years he's been partnering that steak with a Cabernet Sauvignon he says he created as the first single varietal Australian red to specifically enjoy with steak – and which he appropriately labelled Angus the Bull.

Hamish says red meat is quite subtle in flavour, and therefore needs a wine that's not overpowering. "Which is why," he says, "I make Angus the Bull from Cabernet Sauvignon: it retains tannins and fine fruit acid, the characteristics that cut through the fattiness of meat." And while he adds that his winemaking philosophy has remained unchanged over that decade, The Bull over the same period has "evolved rather than changed" to meet a shifting market place

As a result he's slowly increased the amount of cold climate Central Victorian fruit to give greater elegance to the wine (the remainder is from South Australia,) with his latest 2010 release elegant, yet still hearty and generously tasty. Pay $19.95 and enjoy with that next steak – and as Hamish does, with Spitfire brand Hot English Mustard from Victoria's The Regimental Condiment Company.
FRENCH connection from McLaren Vale:
something different with seafood and salads.

ONE FOR LUNCH: McLAREN Vale's Kangarilla Road is one of our few makers to produce a blend of Savagnin Blanc and Chardonnay – yes Savagnin Blanc, a variety mostly grown in the L'Etoile and Cotes du Jura regions of France.

It's 2011 Charlie's Blend Savagnin Blanc Chardonnay has lots of sweet tropical fruit and lychee flavours and a crisp acidity – and its certainly well worth paying the just-$15rrp for this enjoyably different drop with seafoods and salads.

Savagnin Blanc is also labelled in some parts of Europe as Traminer, and a few years back when Spain's Albarino was thought would be the new darling of white varieties in Australia, imported cuttings proved in fact to be Savagnin Blanc and the "Albarino" experiment literally withered on the vine. Hopefully with now-correct identification like Kangarilla Road's, there'll be a bright new future for it.

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


Friday 23 March 2012

Rymill Coonawarra Foodies

Media Release

mc² + sbs = Coonawarra foodies

Arriving in plenty of time for Tasting Australia (26 April to 3 May 2012) these wines are all about taste and their capacity to complement and enhance the myriad of different food flavours and styles available here in this country.

Senior winemaker at Rymill Coonawarra Sandrine Gimon says "A blended wine can be a very clever equation; bringing together the best attributes of each variety and resulting in a tasty, textured and full flavoured wine. The bonus, there is more than one variety to match your food choice."

The 2011 Rymill Coonawarra sbs has a new label this vintage to make sure it's the perfect companion to mc² on the outside as well as the inside of the bottle. Sandrine is as confident of its food matching ability and she is of its red sibling. "The classic equation of Sauvignon Blanc plus Semillon is an exceptional alliance that goes so incredibly well with many styles of food. The Sauvignon Blanc gives engaging aromas and a complexity of flavour. The Semillon contributes structure and imparts a long zesty lemon finish with a touch of flint. We partially ferment both varieties in carefully selected French oak to offer a little extra texture, sweet spiciness, and tight yet mouth filling tannins. It's the fusion of all these elements that make it the perfect partner for casual or fine dining."

The well-known 2010 Rymill Coonawarra mc² is our favourite red foodie and also a classic Bordeaux blend. In this wine the Cabernet Sauvignon provides structure, allowing all the flavours to fall into alignment, the Merlot gives softness and fruitiness, and finally, the Cabernet Franc contributes a delicate spiciness.

Sandrine explains "This is the same formula as our popular 2009 vintage but with a little extra 'Mmmm', as the quality of the 2010 Merlot was so good. It added an approachable juiciness and fleshiness to the wine. I could tell you the exact percentage break-down of varietals in these two wines but then of course I'd have to kill you. Only joking, but I do always say, you have to visit us at the winery to find out; you're always welcome to visit."

Both wine labels have a QR code to take you directly to www.mc2.com.au Where you will find more information on mc² and the other Coonawarra foodie, gt.

2010 Rymill Coonawarra mc² (RRP $19.95) & 2011 Rymill Coonawarra sbs (RRP $19.95)

Distributed nationally by Negociants Australia (08) 8112 4210 or purchase directly from www.rymill.com.au

Rymill Coonawarra

John Riddoch founded Coonawarra in 1890 when he had the foresight to plant the first grapevines in the district. Over a century later, John Rymill, his great-great-grandson is managing director of our family wine company.
Six generations on, the family's long and important connection with wine and horses is represented by of our stallions rampant in both the company logo and bronze sculpture that welcomes visitors to the winery.

Monday 19 March 2012


FROM vines whose history
can be traced back to 1088.


David Ellis

PROFESSOR Robert Lusby is a vascular surgeon with a love of winemaking on the side, and with winemaker son James comes up with some great – and rewarding – surprises from the family's small Tintilla Estate in the Hunter Valley.

One such is their just-released 2010 Tintilla Four Marys Pinot Noir, so-named after the four Marys in Bob Lusby's life: his mother, an aunt, his sister and his wife are all named Mary Lusby.

Bob and James' 2010 Pinot Noir was made from fruit off 180 year old vines – the variety having been introduced into the Hunter Valley way back in the 1830s, when cuttings were imported from the famous Clos du Vougeot vineyards that were founded in Burgundy in France in 1088.

Tintilla's vines are quite low-yielding, and thus this wine has nicely concentrated berry fruit flavours. Pay $30 and linger with it over a long and relaxing meal featuring duck or game as the main course.

SUCCESS story of three immigrant
German brothers in New Zealand.
ONE FOR LUNCH: IT'S just over 30 years since Theo, Alex and Marcel Giesen arrived in New Zealand from Germany, starry-eyed at the prospect of becoming successful winemakers and joining the small vanguard of pioneers planting Sauvignon Blanc vines in the Marlborough region of the South Island.

Since then their's has been one of the great immigrant success stories, with their Giesen Estate Sauvignon Blanc now selling across the globe, and here in Australia becoming one of our top-selling New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs.

The latest release, the 2011, was made from no fewer than 32 parcels of fruit and displays typical Sauvignon Blanc citrus and tropical fruit flavours and notable acidity. Pay $19.99 and enjoy with Greek or Caesar salads, Thai dishes or Sushi.

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

Friday 16 March 2012

Moa Beer sends Moa Hunters over the ditch

Media Release

The country that gave Australia Russell Crowe, Keith Urban and Quade Cooper is offering up another export, except this time it’s a bit more palatable – New Zealand’s finest craft beer, Moa.

Award-winning Moa Beer is hand-crafted in Marlborough using locally produced hops and traditional brewing techniques and is now available in Australia[1].

Spearheading Moa’s Australian invasion are Justin Bade and Devon Tong. Bearing the proud name of Aussie Moa Hunters, the pair are no strangers to selling booze in foreign lands – Justin and Devon previously managed the UK market for 42 Below Vodka.

“When it comes to drinking habits, with age comes wisdom so it’s a natural progression to make the move into the premium beer category,” Devon says.

Devon, who has been Moa Hunting in Australia for the past five months, has been impressed by the response to date.

“Every day I’ve been meeting with beer enthusiasts who really know their stuff and to have them express their utmost respect for our beers after tasting them is a real buzz.

“I’m also relishing the ground swell of interest there seems to be growing around the craft beer category as a whole. And of course it’s a bonus to drink a little beer as part of the job,” he says.

Justin has more recently made the move to Australia and says he’s been pleasantly surprised by the “Aussie thirst for Kiwi hops”, which seems to turn its back on the traditional trans-Tasman rivalry.

“These knowledgeable Aussie drinkers just want to embrace the fine brews that are coming out of New Zealand and Moa is right up there on their radar,” he says.

Moa Beer General Manager Gareth Hughes is thrilled to have Justin and Devon to take care of the Moa Australian invasion.

“Australia is a key market for Moa’s growth and expansion, so it’s important we have experienced guys on the ground to present the full Moa Beer experience we all know and enjoy in New Zealand.

“No one knows more about selling Kiwi liquor around the world than Justin and Devon – we’re loving what they’re already achieving.”

To help introduce Australians to Moa Beer, Moa will be taking over the taps at The Local Taphouse in Melbourne and Sydney.

The Moa Tap Takeovers will take place on:
· Tues 20 March, The Local Taphouse, 184 Carlisle St, St Kilda, Melbourne, from 7pm
· Wed 21 March, The Local Taphouse, 122 Flinders St, Darlinghurst, Sydney, from 7pm

For more information, please see www.moabeer.com

Tuesday 13 March 2012

April Australian Wine Month @ glass brasserie

Celebrate Australian Wine Month this April at glass brasserie with our all Australian Wines by the Glass list. Enjoy a crisp, fresh Semillon from the Hunter Valley, a ripe, full-bodied Cabernet from the Coonawarra, or treat yourself to an Australian cheese and wine flight in our Wine Bar.


Monday 12 March 2012


AS Aussie as the Esky and the Hills Hoist,
and making a welcome come-back.

David Ellis

WAS a time back in the 1960s and '70s when Sparkling Shiraz was as much a part of the Australian scene as the Esky and the Hills Hoist, the oh-so-popular bubbly being most-usually labelled at the time as Sparkling Burgundy.

But fashions and tastes changed and these every-day drops that could range in taste and quality from superb to little more than overly-sweet pop (which probably furthered their demise,) dwindled in favour in the party room and at the table.

Thankfully several companies are resurrecting this inherently Aussie drink, with Blue Pyrenees in Western Victoria recently releasing a non-vintage Sparkling Shiraz that's a truly class act, and a world apart from some of the stuff of the '60s and 70s.

A GREAT "sticky" those who love
their puddings and rich fruit cakes
With climatic conditions generally ideal for producing premium Shiraz fruit in its region, Blue Pyrenees Senior Winemaker, Andrew Koerner created a bubbly he believes will turn any occasion into a special one, particularly with its nice berries and cherry flavours and a touch of spice. Pay $24 and enjoy chilled with a traditional roast lamb dinner, Asian dishes or after dinner with chocolate cake.

ONE FOR LUNCH: MIRANDA at Griffith in the NSW Riverina have released a wonderful 2008 Golden Botrytis Semillon that's a great drop for those of us who still enjoy our puddings and rich fruit cakes and a "sticky" to go with them.

Fruit for this luscious wine was left on the vines after normal harvesting time to develop Botrytis Cinerea – the so-called Noble Rot – that concentrates the flavour, sugar and acidity of the grapes to impart a uniquely distinctive character.

At $19.99 for a 375ml bottle, the intense peach, apricot and wild honey flavours make this a perfect dessert wine with rich puddings, fruit cakes and most cheeses.

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

Monday 5 March 2012


FROM the Hunter Valley, but made in the style
they enjoy it in its home-country Portugal.

David Ellis

WHILE Verdelho is still somewhat of a niche wine in this country, it's a variety that deserves more attention for its ability to go so well with food – in its home country of Portugal it's a natural with seafoods, but you'll find it equally rewarding with dishes based on light meats such as pork, veal and chicken.

Mount Eyre in the NSW Hunter Valley produces a very-moreish Verdelho under its premium Three Ponds label, sourcing fruit from a vineyard on the sandy loam river flats along Monkey Place Creek at Broke, and first planted in the 1970s.

Its 2011 Three Ponds Verdelho came from an ideal vintage and is very much in the style of Portuguese Verdelho, with plenty of nice tropical and citrus aromas and flavours.

Enjoy it nicely cold but not too much so, pairing with a Sunday brunch seafood platter or barbecued pork, veal and chicken as its fans do back in homeland Portugal. The Three Ponds 2011 is well-priced at $19.95.

HERE'S just the drop to enjoy
with a good Bouillabaisse.
ONE FOR LUNCH: WEATHER patterns in the Awatere Valley of the Marlborough region of New Zealand's South Island can most probably be best described as "harsh:" rainfall is low, sunshine rates are high, the nights are cool and the area can be almost constantly hammered by high winds.

But 2011 delivered a surprise, with the vintage enjoying warmer than usual days and still-cool nights that played right into the hands of local winemakers, delivering them fruit that brimmed with varietal flavours, structure and intensity.

At Yealands Estate their 2011 Pinot Noir proved particularly exciting and a 2011 Pinot Noir Rosé that's just been released is a lovely drop with luscious ripe strawberry and raspberry flavours and mouth watering acidity. Pay $24.95 and enjoy on its own – or team it up, as we did, with a good Bouillabaisse.

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

Thursday 1 March 2012

Two days of wine-filled events at 2012 Canberra District Wine Harvest Festival

Two days of wine-filled events at the 2012 Canberra District Wine Harvest Festival

Canberra District Wineries are counting down to the annual harvest and with it the 2012 Canberra District Wine Harvest Festival, to be held this year on the weekend of 14-15 April.

24 of the region's wineries are participating in what is sure to be a great two days for visitors to the region.

"The festival offers plenty of cool climate wines our region is renowned for, as well as food, live music and some fabulous harvest events all set within the surrounds of our region's best wineries," said Canberra wines
spokesperson and owner of Barton Estate, Julie Chitty.

"This is one of the two major annual events on our Canberra District Wineries calendar. The festival offers visitors to the region two jam-packed days of wine themed activities, the chance to taste our local wines and meet
many of our talented winemakers," Julie continued.

Some of the experiences on offer as part of this year's festival include master winemaking classes and a harvest degustation lunch at Lark Hill; a grape crushing competition, local art display and live music at Shaw
Vineyard Estate; a vertical tasting of Petit Verdot, live jazz and harvest platters at Barton Estate; bottling your own wine and wine appreciation sessions at Dionysus Winery; watching the fruit being processed, tasting
fermenting wine from tanks and plunging the reds at Jeir Creek Wines;  market stalls, soulful music and Pétanque lessons at Shepherds Run Wines; and tasting the rare 2011 Auslese Riesling at Clonakilla.*

"This year we also have the Festival Passport available. Visitors can grab their own passport at any of the participating wineries, get it stamped at three different wineries and go into the draw to win one of three cases of
Canberra's finest wines," Julie concluded.

*For the full line up of festival activities go to http://www.canberrawines.com.au/pdfs/2012-Harvest-Festival-Broch.pdf

For more information on Canberra wines visit www.canberrawines.com.au or call 1300 554 114.


What:              2012 Canberra District Wine Harvest Festival  

Where:            24 Canberra District Wineries, various locations

When:             14-15 April 2012

Cost:                Various depending on festival event

Events:            Brochure with the full line up of events can downloaded at http://www.canberrawines.com.au/pdfs/2012-Harvest-Festival-Broch.pdf

Web:               www.canberrawines.com.au