Dan's Blog


Friday, December 08, 2017

This week we look at some of the amazing achievements from a few of our “Local Heroes” in the Australian wine industry.

ROJOMOMA RED ART: Is a small “two wo/man” Barossa (Ebenezer) based winery that has been thumping out some great wines for the last few years. Bernadette Kaeding and Sam Kurtz have consistently turned out quality wine since they first kicked off in 2004.

Recently, at the National Wine Show of Australia (the biggie of Aussie wine shows, held in Canberra and only open to wines which have already won a gold medal at another wine show) the Rojomoma Red Art Single Vineyard Shiraz won the “Red Wine of Provenance Trophy” with their 2016, 2010 and 2006 vintage wines. The trophy is awarded to excellent wines which demonstrated consistency of quality and style over ten years. It’s a Biggie – for the consistent best of the best!

Congratulations Bernadette and Sam on this great reward for all your efforts and hard work. OUTSTANDING!

I have reviewed some of their wines over the last couple of years, and each one has been a delightful and exciting wine.

LONGVIEW WINES: Has won the “Best Rosé Trophy” for its 2017 Longview Nebbiolo Rosato, at both the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards and the ubber prestigious, National Wine Show of Australia. Proof positive, that Nebbiolo (an Emerging variety) is definitely a great variety to make Rosé from.

PATRITTI WINES: You can’t get much more local than Patritti’s which is located in Dover Gardens just down the road from Marion Shopping Centre, in suburban Adelaide.

Seventeen years ago, as the General Manager of Yaldara Wines, I visited them for the first time in relation to grape supply. Since then I have seen them grow from a commercial winery, being all things to all people, to a producer of super premium wines and an advocate of Emerging varieties.

In a recent tasting of their current releases (two of which made Halliday’s Top 100 Wines of the year, for their first time) I was blown away that eight out of the 13 wines I tasted were rated at 94 or higher by Halliday. Of the other five I tasted, the 2017 Vermentino hasn’t been bottled yet, but I’m confident will score well with Halliday next time around. The Patritti 2014 Saperavi, which is one of the best Saperavi I have ever tasted, hasn’t been shown to Halliday and neither has the Patritti 2015 Trincadeira, which recently won the “Stewart’s Choice Award” at the recent AAVWS, in Mildura. Their flagship wine, Patritti JPB Shiraz 2015, is sublime and is the fourth consecutive vintage to score 97 from Halliday.

The six wines in their newly released “Merchant Series” are all excellent! The Patritti 2016 Merchant Series Cabernet Sauvignon was included in James Halliday’s 2017 Top 100 Wines and was the only Cabernet listed in the ‘Red’s Under $25’ category. An outstanding series of delicious wines at affordable prices!

However, on another note, I personally find it very difficult to tell one wine from another by just looking at the front label. Unfortunately the labels are too similar to each other and unclear unless you turn the bottle around. Having said that, the wines Patritti are producing these days are outstanding and their Emerging variety wines are some of the best being made in Australia.

ORGANIC & BIODYNAMIC WINE PRODUCERS:  In February 2018, Winestate Magazine will be conducting its annual judging of Certified Organic and Biodynamic Wines. All recommended wines will be featured in its Annual Organic feature. The winning wines will receive a trophy and a marketing package in Winestate Magazine valued at $10,000.

As a bonus, all the recommended wines will be presented to importers/buyers from Scandinavia at Vinitaly 2018 (this includes free shipping).

For further details please contact Peter Jackson directly at Winestate Magazine. Email:  or by Telephone: 08 8357 9277.


This week I am talking about Grüner Veltliner, the native Austrian “wunderkind” variety that is taking the white wine world by storm. Yes, it is that good!

Two years ago I got to taste a couple of hundred Grüner in Austria, going all the way back to vintage 1983, and most were superb. I like to describe Grüner as Riesling with more depth of bodyweight. 

Anyhow, Grüner is spreading like wild fire here in Australia. In 2010 Hahndorf Hill Wines (Adelaide Hills) and Lark Hill Biodynamic Wines (Canberra) were the only two growers in Australia. Seven years later there are at least 35 growers, most of which are in the Adelaide Hills. In fact the Adelaide Hills has become the “Southern Hemisphere’s Grüner Capital”. The Hills Grüner growers have started a “Grüner Group” where they all get together and discuss the variety, give each other a hand with any issues and talk about how best to market this exciting Emerging variety. How cool is that?? 

Today’s two beautiful wines are the 2017s from CRFT Wines. 

CRFT 2017 ADELAIDE HILLS GRüNER VELTLINER (Longview Vineyard, Macclesfield):  This wine has powerful citrus aromas with just a tiny hint of spice. On the palate, it has lovely peach and stonefruit flavours, which are rich and textural with appealing, crisp, zingy acidity. 

CRFT- 2017 ADELAIDE HILLS GRüNER VELTLINER (K1 Vineyard, Kuitpo):  Interesting complex bouquet with some floral aromas, nuttiness and smidge of spice. On the palate, it has plenty of green apple and pear flavours with a degree of minerality and is fabulously structured giving a great mouthfeel and a zippy refreshing finish. 

Both of these young Grüners are really suited to accompany seafood, salads or lighter style chicken dishes, as well as being delicious on their own. Over time they will evolve and round out to become brilliant, stand alone wines, if you can try waiting two to three years and see the difference as they gracefully mature.

What a brilliant opportunity to see the impact of location on this outstanding grape variety. It is a bit like comparing the Grüner styles between Wagram and Kempstal in Austria (but please don’t ask me which is which). 

So if you haven’t tried a Grüner Veltliner yet, do yourself a favour and race out and find an Austrian one as well as an Australian one, because this is a variety that you are going to hear a lot more about in the coming years. Every single Aussie Grüner I have tasted so far has been a good to brilliant expression of Austria’s “wunderkind” and is the perfect wine to go brilliantly with your Christmas seafood. Prost!!