Dan's Blog

Bulking Up & Some Stars

Friday, May 31, 2019

Good morning! As you read this I will be in Yantai China at the inaugural, World Bulk Wine Exhibition Asia (WBWEA), presenting a tasting of Australian wines. This event has developed out of the WBWE which is held in Amsterdam in late November each year for the last ten years. It is the major forum for global bulk wine trading.

Most Australians think of bulk wine as being cask wine. However, to the rest of the world, bulk wine means quality wine that is sold in bulk. A goodly portion of the world’s wine is made by co-operatives where there could be up to several hundred participants/owners involved. So, rather than undergo bun fights as to how they should brand and sell their wine, they sell it in bulk to other wineries, supermarket chains and importers in other countries. This also applies to some larger wine companies that find that they have made wine which does not fit in with its current marketing strategy.

With China becoming an ever increasing presence on the world wine stage (currently accounting for one-third of all bulk wine purchases), the WBWE organisers have established WBWEA.

A report on the event and the four Australian exhibitors will follow in due course.

As they say on the TV, “In other news”:

The UK has shone at this year’s International Wine Challenge (IWC), scoring 11 Gold medals, 50 Silver medals and 60 Bronze medals, thereby coming ninth in the medal tally and beating many, much larger wine producing countries along the way.

Sure, Australia came second only to France (One day we will beat even them!) and won more Gold medals than the total British tally, BUT the point is that given how small and new the British wine industry is, it is an amazing result. Just stop and think how many countries there are with much bigger and older wine industries than the Poms and the enormity of the result starts to sink in.

Ten of the eleven Gold medals were for sparkling wine as the quality of British sparkling wine continues to grow at almost exponential rates. The main star, as has been the case for several years in tastings against French champagne, was Nytimber, which won three Gold medals for their delectable bubblies. For me the 2003 Nytimber Blanc de Blanc still rates as one of the top 10 sparkling wines that I have ever tasted, alongside the likes of Krug, Pol Roger,  House of Arras, Dom Perrignon, Seppelts Sparkling Burgundy, etc.

Awesomely, the other Gold medal was for a Chardonnay, Chapel Down’s, Kit’s Coty 2016 Chardonnay, which scored 96/100. It wasn’t that long ago that the Poms were dreaming about making varietal table wines from some of the “classic” varieties rather than the cold resistant hybrids that they were working with, such as Seyval Blanc and Bacchus. Today it is a delicious reality.

So, watch out for the Poms as they are on the march towards sparkling wine nirvana, being ably supported by their ever improving varietal white wines.

Cheers and enjoy drinking great wines from around the world.


With the annual Winestate consumer focused EVAs (Emerging Varietal Awards) coming up in July, I thought it was time to have a little rave about a smashing emerging variety wine. So this week the wine is the TURKEY FLAT VINEYARDS 2018 BAROSSA VALLEY MATARO.

Not many winemakers call the variety Mataro. Most, for some bizarre reason call it by its French name, Mourvèdre, which is SO much harder for consumers to remember, let alone pronounce. Personally, if a winemaker does not want to call in by its traditional Australian name, then I would call it by it proper name, the Spanish (where it originates from) Monastrell.

The TURKEY FLAT 2018 MATARO is a smashing wine! Made from grapes grown on old, dry grown vines, thus has really concentrated flavours and aromas. This wine has vibrant, bright, colour with divine purple hues and beautiful concentrated aromas which are still quite elegant.

The palate has lashings of delightful, rich, smooth (for such a young wine) flavours that sate the palate and yet leave it pleading for more. The finish is tight with pleasant fine tannins. This is an OUTSTANDING wine and a great example of Australia’s mastery of the Monastrell/Mataro/Mourvèdre grape variety. Cheers!