Aussies are not into the big giant fruit bombs per se..but their view on what is big and what isn't is definitely skewed. Trying to blame RP about the problems of the Australian wine industry is a cop out. He didn't force them to think, if big is good, bigger is better. He didn't make them move away from wines they loved, the money did. How odd is it that there is a significant winemaker (Mollydooker) that most Australians haven't even heard of?
And there is definitely a change in a lot of the wineries in Australia..a lot more emphasis on terroir, balance and making wines with their own personality rather than what they feel will be best suited to the market.
Where should real wine lovers (from other countries) be looking in Australia? Victoria, Margaret River and the Hunter Valley in general. Dry Rieslings from Clare and Eden Valley, Semillon from the Hunter would fill a gap in the market that definitely exists.
In my opinion, Australia needs to stop charging excess taxes on wine sales that protects their smaller producers..they need to introduce REAL competition into their market to force winemakers to compete at a proper level. Some places will go out of business and some will not. I don't see how they can expect their wine to compete overseas when they end up protecting their industry locally.
Don't have any Aussies left after numerous disappointments, namely an evening with family with 6 bottles of supposedly top tier Barossa and McLaren Shiraz. Everyone was drinking Martinis before too long.
Best Aussie I have had was a '93 Henschke Cyril Cab in 2003.
Haven't purchased a 'newer' Aussie wine in 6-8 years, however, there is still a decent supply of mid-late 90's wine bargains on the secondary market. I'm waiting on a shipment of eight '99 Henry's Drive Reserve Shiraz, and I'm still holding a couple of older Greenock Creek shiraz's and a Shirvington CS from 2003. IMHO these wines are nowhere near the over-the-top that Miller and Parker cut their sweet teeth on. I was a big fan of the Leasingham Classic Clare CS and Shiraz bottlings; sad to see that winery cease operations.
"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear. "
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787
I think they just stopped exporting wine awhile back...then the brand got stopped in 2009...and the brand got bought recent but not sure what happened w/ the vineyards they were using...This message has been edited. Last edited by: Polymer,
Aussie - It was really great to have you post.
Paul Romero (tlily)- Owner, Winemaker, Tour Guide
+1. Good to see Australians posting on this board again if only rarely. A bit OT but where in heck has TORB gone? I know he had health issues but his website has been inactive for years and now it says CLOSED and only retained for "historical reference" whatever that means.
Hunter Valley Semillon is always picked early before the rains. That's why it's so high in acidity and is only around 12.5% It's one of the world's most under rated white wines with huge aging potential.
There are terrific and committed wineries in Australia making great white and red wines, trouble is that we all see too many of the huge conglomerates pushing discounted wines while lack terroir or individuality.
If you take Grosset, Mount Horrocks, Balnaves, Charles Melton, Katnook, John Duval, Jim Barry, Cape Mentelle and Stella Bella to name just a few you can find great red and white wines which won't break the bank at $20-$45.
I actually drank 2 Australian wines in Oct == a 2006 Tatiarra Shiraz Cambrian and a 2003 Yarra Yering Dry Red No. 1. Neither was over the top and both were enjoyable and good QPRs. I'm actually going to be drinking one next Friday too -- a 1999 Yalumba Octavius. I hope it isn't as oaky as many say. That being said, I don't have much in my cellar -- 1 more each of the first 2 wines mentioned, 2 bottles of Yalumba Signature (I think 2003s), and 2 1999 Moss Wood Cabernets are all I can think of off the top of my head. After having a couple of over-the-top Aussies, I became very selective in what I buy from that area and really haven't been disappointed much.
My experience with Spanish wines in some ways mimics my experience with Australian wines in that when I first got into wines I really enjoyed Rioja made in the traditional style (just as I enjoyed more restrained Shiraz from Australia). I then went through a stretch of modern style Rioja and other relatively cheap Spanish wines ($10-$25) that were being touted in the press and on the boards that I found very disappointing. I don't doubt there are some (many?) outstanding wines from Spain being made today and that I'm missing out, but I just don't buy many -- choosing to concentrate more on countries/regions where I have found less disappointments. I will say I've been looking at exploring Spain more, but as of right now I think the only ones I own right now are a couple of bottles of Pintia.
“Appreciating old wine is like making love to a very old lady. It is possible. It can even be enjoyable. But it requires a bit of imagination.”
Not sure how TORB is fairing. Last I heard years ago he was quite unwell, and has been MIA on the internet since. I fear the worst. He was an excellent source of info and had a wonderfully dry sense of humour - dry, like the Australian wine I drink!
Wine tastes better upside down.
Well glad to hear that Hunter Valley Semillion with a remainder of acidity still exists, but i did not find any of those during my trip to Australia, once a huge fan of Hunter Semillon, i was very disappointed by the wines i tasted during the trip. Something bad did happen to the region, over the last 20 years, it's so obvious when you're comparing the wines then and now.
I was impressed by Tasmania though, allthough a problematic region for producing wine (nature conservation).
There surely exist some heroic producers in the older regions (Coldstream Hills) that produce some fantastically blanced wines, such as if climate change did not exist, but the mass production clearly suffers from climate change.
Nothing happened to the Hunter in the last 20 years. I'm not sure which Semillons you tried last time but they all have a ton of acid...and they age fantastically well..still.
When was the last time you were there and what did you try?
While I haven't been buying much Aussie wine recently, I had 3 on Friday night which were outstanding. 10 year old bottles of Dead Arm and Elderton Command. The 2003 Penfolds RWT was no slouch either, but it has become very pricey in that past few vintages.
Another vote for Rieslings and Margaret River. The Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay from the latter is an excellent wine.
I've tried some chards from the Mornington Peninsula region which I really enjoyed.
That was in 2008, didn't take extensive notes about which wines tried, the most prominent was from Brokenwood during diner. Wineries visited included Iron Gate and Audrey Wilkinson. Whatever Semillon i tried, it was like 14% vol+ , low acidity and very monolithic. The ones from the wineries above were quite ok, but certainly not the most interesting wines tasted at the wineries. Maybe my expectations were too high. When visting Hunter Valley, i expected Semillon to be the outstanding product, which it wasn't.This message has been edited. Last edited by: MoselleLuxemburg,
Add me to disagree that Hunter Valley is dead. I was over there back in March for 2 weeks and thoroughly enjoyed a variety of wines. That being said, it's been a tough couple of years of weather in the Hunter Valley region and crops have certainly suffered. While there were a long list of enjoyable wineries, a few that I particularly enjoyed inclue Audrey Wilkinson, Petersons, and for a bit of variety Piggs Peake.
I've been enjoying the 2007 Torbreck The Steading GSM and at $30 is a nice wine.
First i never said that Hunter Valley was dead, but Hunter Valley Semillon. I enjoyed their reds and some other of their whites. Eg. at Audrey Wilkinson i liked their Chardonnays, Verdelho and Traminer more than the Semillon. Second it seems i'll have to go back to retry those Semillons, great reason travelling to Australia again.This message has been edited. Last edited by: MoselleLuxemburg,
14% Hunter Semillon? I don't know if I've seen that before...but in any case..Next time you're there..
For Semillon go to:
Meerea Park (Alexander Munro, Terracotta)
Tyrrells (Vat 1, HVD, Belford, Johnno's Stevens)
There are of course many others but those are pretty safe. If Thomas has a cellar door you can go there or Small Winemaker's Centre...You can go to McWilliams for the Lovedale Semillon but not sure it is worth going over that way just for that..
I've tried more than a fair amount of Hunter Semillon the last 5 years and I don't recall any with 14% and low acidity...although you might've found that odd one that was. In any case, Hunter Semillon definitely isn't dead..but in terms of globally, not sure it was ever alive to begin with. It is definitely a wine geeks wine..it is just too hard to find and needs to be aged...
The 14%vol was more an impression of monolithic wines, i did not take notes of the real alc content.
Thanks for the recommendations.
since this originally went up I've actually followed through and bought a few Aussie wine under screw cap that I've found.
Paul Romero (tlily)- Owner, Winemaker, Tour Guide
What Steve said. Aussie wine is like any other wine - some like it, some not, it's all good. I don't see things being so different now that previously - lots of good juice and lots that is not OTT. Let your shirazes age 5-10 years and they will be fine.
Also happy to see Aussie back - met him years ago and he is good people. If and when I ever get to Oz, we will offline!
1) Mollydooker is not a significant winemaker in Australia. It is an export wine and it is exactly what is wrong with Australian wine.
2) The locals did not necessarily move away from the wines they loved. Australia was infested with American importers, making garbage wines, that Robert Parker loved. You can blame Parker for that, if you would like. I am not saying it is his fault that he gave high scores to crap wines. The worst part is that he still defends his scores of those crap wines.
3) Many really great producers are no longer imported into the US because of these issues. Rockford and Grosset come to mind.
"But is anyone speaking for consumers' best interest? One liquor store owner, Daniel Posner of Grapes the Wine Company..."-Wine Spectator
"One of the most important retailers in the country"-Wall Street Journal, November 2010
"(T)hese are the kind of posts we've come to expect from NY Retailer."-Board-O
"You're not here to help us. You're here to help yourself..."-Board-O
"You a liar and your motives here are clear to all. Let me repeat- you are a liar."-Board-O
Yeap...Places like Mollydooker are really relatively unknown in Australia..
To be fair though, a lot of Aussies DO love big wines. They consider them very serious wines. But to be just as far, a lot of Americans (and others) love big wines as well...Most non wine geeks love fruit bombs..
Greenock Creek also has a fairly big following within Australia....
But that said..There is a lot of wine in Australia that would appeal to a lot of people and are nothing like the Parkerized big shiraz....It is just unfortunate people don't see more of it.
I don't know exactly what happened to Rockford or Grosset, but it is really unfortunate they don't get sent to the US...I'm not sure Rockford's decision has anything to do w/ the market in the US...but more of, there is more than enough demand for it in Australia and they could really care less if anyone else globally drinks it.
I had a 2004 Two Hands Bella's Garden last week and it hit the spot for what I was looking for, big and nuanced. It was a great bottle of wine.
I'm not a fan of over the top, monolithic fruit bombs but when you're in the mood for big, powerful, velvety shiraz with layers and layers of flavour and nuance it's hard to beat Australia. Just don't give me a mollydocker. Yuck.
In Canada? Really? Duties in?
Agree. Met with otw and friends Friday for a tasting followed by food and wine at Crush. otw brought a couple of Aussie Shiraz (Victoria and Barossa). We also had a couple of Amarone (1990 and mid 90s if I recall correctly). All showed well but I enjoyed the Barossa Shiraz most, followed by the Victoria Shiraz.
1998 Balthazar Ress Spatlese went well with oysters.
|Powered by Social Strata||Page 1 2|