I'm done with Australian wine

quote:
Originally posted by g0wave:

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.


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.
quote:
Originally posted by MoselleLuxemburg:
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.


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)
McLeish

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


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)
McLeish

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.
quote:
Originally posted by steve8:
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.


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! Smile
quote:
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?


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.
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.
quote:
Originally posted by Rob_Sutherland:
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.


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.
I may be a major detractor here but I love the Aussie wines.

For Australia, I have found Shiraz from small producers (and I'm going to add Penfolds as a large producer to that list because I think they have managed great consistency year on year) to be fantastic. Just bought a case from Garagiste 6 months back and is fantastic. Can't remember the label off hand but will re-post. I will admit however I have my own interests to protect here. . . after investing in some 2008 Grange, I'm betting on this juice to stand the test of time

If we're including New Zealand as well, I've never been dissatisfied with a well-priced (<$20) Sauvignon Blanc
quote:
Originally posted by Parcival:
I may be a major detractor here but I love the Aussie wines.

For Australia, I have found Shiraz from small producers (and I'm going to add Penfolds as a large producer to that list because I think they have managed great consistency year on year) to be fantastic. Just bought a case from Garagiste 6 months back and is fantastic. Can't remember the label off hand but will re-post. I will admit however I have my own interests to protect here. . . after investing in some 2008 Grange, I'm betting on this juice to stand the test of time

If we're including New Zealand as well, I've never been dissatisfied with a well-priced (<$20) Sauvignon Blanc


So you like over-extracted wines and grapefruit juice. Helpful.
I have had some fantastic Aussie shiraz (especially with a little bottle age) as well as my share of over-extracted shit. I have had some sublime NZ Suav blancs and many that suck. I have also had mind blowing red Burgs and too many that were a complete waste of money. Same with Napa, Bordeaux and Piedmont. Despite the Russian roulette, I guess that is why we continue to pull corks and learn from our experiences. Smile
quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
LOL

Well, I'm not throwing out what I have left.


In case you change your mind over the next few months ..... watch out for the 2011 Best's Grampians Bin No. 1 Shiraz to appear on the November 9, 2013 Vintages Release at $24.95. This wine has won the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy and the award for wine of the year. Best's did not produce any 2011 vintage of their Thompson Family Reserve or any of their Bin No. 0 -- which was declassified and poured into the 2011 Bin No. 1. This wine may be the exception for you.
CHEERS
quote:
Originally posted by Red guy in a blue state:
I have had some fantastic Aussie shiraz (especially with a little bottle age) as well as my share of over-extracted shit. I have had some sublime NZ Suav blancs and many that suck. I have also had mind blowing red Burgs and too many that were a complete waste of money. Same with Napa, Bordeaux and Piedmont. Despite the Russian roulette, I guess that is why we continue to pull corks and learn from our experiences. Smile


Agree with your sentiments Red Guy . . .

But, to Board O's point, I have to admit I do enjoy some grapefruit juice, but generally with my eggs and toast!
quote:
Originally posted by nicos:
quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
LOL

Well, I'm not throwing out what I have left.


In case you change your mind over the next few months ..... watch out for the 2011 Best's Grampians Bin No. 1 Shiraz to appear on the November 9, 2013 Vintages Release at $24.95. This wine has won the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy and the award for wine of the year. Best's did not produce any 2011 vintage of their Thompson Family Reserve or any of their Bin No. 0 -- which was declassified and poured into the 2011 Bin No. 1. This wine may be the exception for you.
CHEERS


I might be wrong, but didn't Board-O start this thread as a joke? I seem to remember a run of "I'm done with...." threads.
Treasury Wines problems are not really, really relevant to what we've been talking about. Although it is fun to hit Miller with a stick whenever you can.

It's a company with serious brand issues that we really should think of like Pepsi or Coke (they are like RC). They're fighting for shelf space at the super market and loosing. Their brands and branding are stale and products are not keeping up. Little Penguin was the last Aussie critter wine to market, just in time for the critter market to go belly up.

They've missed the Pinot Grigio/Moscoto craze and my read in industry rags is a lot of what is getting dumped is White Zin. A proud California product not Aussie. Take a look at their label portfolio. Nothing wrong with it if it's your market, it all has a classic look, but 'barefoot', 'naked' 'party girl' in pastel labels with mid century art is what's moving onto the supermarket shelf. $18 Merlot that looks like a Bordeaux label is loosing that shelf space.

It's a weird industry. Coming from high tech and knowing people who founded, run, work at high performing companies, and then knowing many of you who are leaders in your high performing industries, well I'll quote the founder of two highly successful high tech companies: "The low level of competency in the wine business is shocking". I suspect there are probably 40-50 people on this board who are more qualified to run a company of Treasury's size than the people running it.
Well said Paul. Thank you once again for your insiders insight- much better than the vast majority of published reports out there.

I have not yet given up on Aussie wines. Two Hands & Leeuwin hold me in firm commitment that great wine can and is being made there. I will continue to support although I dabble more in Spain now than AU.

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