Dan's Blog


Friday, November 01, 2019

As we approach the Christmas festive season, as usual the whole world “goes bananas” in one way or another. So here are a few snippets of what is happening in the world of wine.

FRANCE:  The end of the world must be nigh, the omens are there – I recently read that a winery in Bordeaux, Château Petit Val, will be producing a Riesling wine this vintage. The first EVER produced in the world’s best wine region (according to the Bordelaise). It is shocking enough that somebody had the audacity to plant 0.3 hectares of Riesling from which they plan to produce around 600 bottles of this non-approved interloper. BUT, what is worse still, and an indication that the world is coming to an end, is the fact that the good, law-abiding, god fearing citizens of Bordeaux did not over the last three years, since the planting, rip out these evil noxious (non-approved) vines and then burn the heathen Château owners at the stake. Is this the start of the end of the French wine industry?

There are other signs that the French wine industry has “gone loco” with changes – this from the mob who are still using an 1855 classification to rank their best Bordeaux wines.

For example, Champagne House Bollinger has decided that they will add four “forgotten” varieties to their Champagne – Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Arbane and Petit Meslier, in an attempt to maintain the acidity levels in future years. Whereas, Champagne Drappier will be releasing their new Quattuor Blanc de Quatre Blancs, made from Chardonnay, Arbane, Pinot Blanc and Petit Meslier.

The only varietal Petit Meslier sparkling wines in the world are produced in South Australia. The vines were initially planted by “Merlot Magician”, Jim Irvine, much to the bemusement of various pundits. Today, the standout sparkling Meslier is the Lévrier by Jo Irvine Sparkling Meslier, a cracking bubbles that will live/keep for eons.

Oh, and on the quiet, the French are doing research into crossing the three main Champagne grape varieties Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meuniere with hybrid varieties which preserve/maintain their acidity in warming climates. This means that sometime in the future Champagne could be made from completely different varieties to what it has been made for the last 100+ years – Sacré Bleu!!

UK: With Christmas rushing up on us, everybody is looking for something/a gimmick to celebrate the festive season with. Well, UK based Broadland Wineries have hit the nail on the head. They have launched in the USA a wine, “Advent Calendar”, with 24 x 187mL bottles in a festively decorated box. One for each of the 24 days until Christmas, similar to the ones we had as children with chocolates in them, only so much better.

They have put together a global selection with wines from Australia, France, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, Chile, South Africa and America. Some of the wines in the calendar are from their own brand range, and are also available in 750mL size for those who really enjoy them in their advent calendar. This is the second year that they have done this, as last year’s wine advent calendar sold out in the first few days.

Score one for creative marketing!!

Well that’s it for another week, I hope you have a great week and enjoy some superb Aussie wines along the way. Cheers!


This week rather than reviewing a single wine, I am talking about some of the excellent wines made by the family owned Michelini Wines from Myrtleford in the Victorian Alpine Valley.

The story starts with, Emo Michelini, arriving in Sydney with his young family in 1949. Within two years, Rovereto (northern Italy) born Emo moved his family to Myrtleford Victoria and joined the profitable tobacco growing industry. In 1982, well before tobacco became anti-social Emo along with sons Ilario and Dino planted their first vineyard, making them the pioneers of grape growing in the Bright region.

Along the way they have focused on a number of Italian varieties which were either non-existent or vary rare here in Australia.

Of the wines in their “Italian Selection” the following stand out:

MICHELINI 2019 PINOT GRIGIO: It has lovely ripe pear aromas with a delightful hint of lime, lashings of richly textured flavour, great depth and superb balance. VERY MOREISH!

MICHELINI 2017 SANGIOVESE: Bright, medium depth, cherry red colour, attractive plum and cherry aromas with a hint of forest floor. It has a smooth, rich palate with great structure and has tight but not OTT acidity on the finish. A DELIGHTFUL FOOD WINE!

MICHELINI 2016 MARZEMINO: They are one of only three wineries in Australia growing this Northern Italian red variety (all in the Alpine Valleys). This wine is bright purple in colour, has appealing, complex aromas with a hint of violets. It has a silky smooth, uber tasty palate with layers of flavours, great structure and balance, with a tight, food friendly finish. There should be more wineries growing this excellent variety. WELL WORTH TRACKING DOWN TO TRY!

MICHELINI 2016 TEROLDEGO: Another Italian native red variety, slightly better known with eight wineries producing it. Massively bright purple in colour, heaps of blackberry and dark cherry aromas with a hint of vanillin oak added. A big, powerful, rich palate which packs a punch! And has a tight, grippy, lingering finish. Perfect for Italian food.

Each and every wine tasted was a cracker both the Marzemino and Teroldego amply demonstrate why there should be more people growing them here.

Do your palate a favour and seek out these excellent Italian emerging wines from the gang at Michelini. Check them out at  It is well worth the effort. Cheers!