I'm done with Australian wine

I'm actually hoping that with the demise of Miller we'll start to see a better variety and diversity of style of wines from Australia starting to get imported. The last 5+ years or so I felt like we were just getting the wines Miller liked in the US.

With the screw caps there should be no mold. Big Grin
quote:
http://www.stefaniawine.com

Just to let you know that Austrailian wine is still good for something:

Chocolate – Red Wine Bundt Cake

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups dry red wine
  • Confectioner's sugar, for dusting

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, 4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat for 2 minutes longer. Working in two batches, alternately fold in the dry ingredients and the wine, until just incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack; let cool completely. Dust the cake with confectioner's sugar and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
quote:
Originally posted by Stefania Wine:
I'm actually hoping that with the demise of Miller we'll start to see a better variety and diversity of style of wines from Australia starting to get imported. The last 5+ years or so I felt like we were just getting the wines Miller liked in the US.

With the screw caps there should be no mold. Big Grin

It will take a lot more than the demise of Jay Miller to resurrect Australian wine. Repositioning the Australia brand image is going to take a lot of investment and effort.

Australia has always had a knack for building one monolothic blockbuster image for itself and then wondering how to get out of it. Paul Hogan did a great job of building up tourism based on the Crocodile Dundee personna, but it turned into a blind alley and they had to live with it for many years before the world looked at them any other way.
New world Spain has been tanking as well, and may never come back. Parker/Miller/Ordonez/Solomon were really responsible for that rise and then subsequent fall.

I am not sure how Australia can recover in this country. So many folks paid lots of good money from about 1998-2006 for these wines that just do not age. They sat in the cellars, and still do. Each time a cork gets popped, another "potential" Australian wine buyer recalls that they will never buy these wines again.

There are many good wines made there, yet they are just impossible to sell.
quote:
Originally posted by on the wine:
quote:
Originally posted by Stefania Wine:
I'm actually hoping that with the demise of Miller we'll start to see a better variety and diversity of style of wines from Australia starting to get imported. The last 5+ years or so I felt like we were just getting the wines Miller liked in the US.

With the screw caps there should be no mold. Big Grin

It will take a lot more than the demise of Jay Miller to resurrect Australian wine. Repositioning the Australia brand image is going to take a lot of investment and effort.

Australia has always had a knack for building one monolothic blockbuster image for itself and then wondering how to get out of it. Paul Hogan did a great job of building up tourism based on the Crocodile Dundee personna, but it turned into a blind alley and they had to live with it for many years before the world looked at them any other way.


Some of the once renowned wine regions suffer from climatic change. Difficult to produce wines with good balance there today, eg: Hunter Valley Semillon is dead. Look out for the newer regions in "colder" climate, instead of the historic regions.
quote:
Originally posted by Stefania Wine:
I'm actually hoping that with the demise of Miller we'll start to see a better variety and diversity of style of wines from Australia starting to get imported. The last 5+ years or so I felt like we were just getting the wines Miller liked in the US.

With the screw caps there should be no mold. Big Grin


Oh, you mean like the wines the Aussies themselves enjoy? A certain person keeps sticking these into our blind tastings and they keep rating at or near the top, even with strictly traditional palates. A lot of these are wines that are not imported to the U.S.
quote:
Originally posted by MoselleLuxemburg:
eg: Hunter Valley Semillon is dead. Look out for the newer regions in "colder" climate, instead of the historic regions.


Not so sure about Hunter Valley Semillon being "dead". The Hunter has always been a warm climate region, and I enjoyed some great Semillons when I was there in April. You're absolutely right, though, that it is the cooler climate regions that are doing the most interesting things right now, IMO.
quote:
Originally posted by Rob_Sutherland:
quote:
Originally posted by spo:
Margaret River, I just want go on the record now.


+100

I would put a 2001 Moss Wood Cabernet against pretty much any other 2001 Cabernet world wide and a) it would more than hold its own and b) you wouldn't say "Aussie!"


Absolutely! Margaret River cabs age beautifully, and new vintages of Moss Wood and Cullen Diana Madeline are great value buys right now (relatively speaking), if you can find them.
quote:
Originally posted by yhn:

Oh, you mean like the wines the Aussies themselves enjoy? A certain person keeps sticking these into our blind tastings and they keep rating at or near the top, even with strictly traditional palates. A lot of these are wines that are not imported to the U.S.


Exactly. I hope some small importers will take a chance. I don't really give a rats ass what the big marketing machines do and if Aussie wine ever pours back into the country in volume, but it would be nice to have seom of the wines the Aussie themselves drink come into the country.

So the screw cap crack was both a joke, and serious. Almost all the wine consumed in Australia is under cap. The only thing they use cork on is/was wine intended for the US. I'm looking for that as a signal.

Cork = Miller/Goopy/Sweet Crap
Cap = Something the Aussie drink themselves.

It may not be that simple of course bit it is simple to eliminate anything under cork from Australia as something not worth taking a risk on.
It is unfortunate what the Australian wine industry has done to itself. It is going to take a long time for them to reposition themselves in a better light...The problem is so many places follow a trend rather than try to be themselves....

At least some Margaret River stuff gets imported...Hopefully they make a good name for themselves. Hunter Shiraz would really appeal to wine geeks but you basically see none of it in the US and people will automatically put it in the same boat as SA Shiraz. Aged Hunter Semillon is also really fantastic but there just isn't a good market for it....

Out of everything, I see Australian Riesling as one thing that might do well in the US. They prefer a bone dry style with very high acidity...ages very well and is priced right. It would fill a gap that exists in the US market.
Some relevant replies from an interview with Andrew Caillard MW.

"With such profound depth of history, compelling stories and
beautiful wines, I find it bizarre that negative sentiment about Australian wine pervades the international media.
It is true that trade is being knocked about and there are vicissitudes within the Australian wine industry, but I am surprised at the level of spite, exaggeration and disingenuous debate that is currently doing the rounds."

"At the top end, where should real wine lovers be looking in Australia?

The cult wine scene – which was really driven by Robert Parker and his ilk – did much to skew the impression of Australian wine.
Australians are really not into overly powerful, high alcohol wines, yet the strength of Parker's opinions opened up export markets. As predicted by many observers on the local scene these wines have lost cachet in the American because many just haven't aged very well.
The big joke is that the American critics who lionised these overly concentrated wine solids are now the same people putting the boot in."
quote:
Originally posted by Aussie:
Some relevant replies from an interview with Andrew Caillard MW.

"With such profound depth of history, compelling stories and
beautiful wines, I find it bizarre that negative sentiment about Australian wine pervades the international media.
It is true that trade is being knocked about and there are vicissitudes within the Australian wine industry, but I am surprised at the level of spite, exaggeration and disingenuous debate that is currently doing the rounds."

"At the top end, where should real wine lovers be looking in Australia?

The cult wine scene – which was really driven by Robert Parker and his ilk – did much to skew the impression of Australian wine.
Australians are really not into overly powerful, high alcohol wines, yet the strength of Parker's opinions opened up export markets. As predicted by many observers on the local scene these wines have lost cachet in the American because many just haven't aged very well.
The big joke is that the American critics who lionised these overly concentrated wine solids are now the same people putting the boot in."


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.
quote:
Originally posted by Stefania Wine:
Aussie - It was really great to have you post.


+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.
quote:
Originally posted by MoselleLuxemburg:
Some of the once renowned wine regions suffer from climatic change. Difficult to produce wines with good balance there today, eg: Hunter Valley Semillon is dead. Look out for the newer regions in "colder" climate, instead of the historic regions.


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.
quote:
Originally posted by Stefania Wine:
Aussie - It was really great to have you post.


Cheers Paul.

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!
quote:
Originally posted by ilb013:
quote:
Originally posted by MoselleLuxemburg:
Some of the once renowned wine regions suffer from climatic change. Difficult to produce wines with good balance there today, eg: Hunter Valley Semillon is dead. Look out for the newer regions in "colder" climate, instead of the historic regions.


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.


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.
quote:
Originally posted by MoselleLuxemburg:
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.
quote:
Originally posted by Polymer:
quote:
Originally posted by MoselleLuxemburg:
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?


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.
quote:
Originally posted by MoselleLuxemburg:
quote:
Originally posted by ilb013:
quote:
Originally posted by MoselleLuxemburg:
Some of the once renowned wine regions suffer from climatic change. Difficult to produce wines with good balance there today, eg: Hunter Valley Semillon is dead. Look out for the newer regions in "colder" climate, instead of the historic regions.


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.


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.


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.

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