Friday, April 30, 2021

This week’s positive wine news is from FAR OUT in space and we also cover a raft of less positive world news from those that were, FOUND OUT…

FAR OUT:  Recently I read an article about how 320 “snippets” of French Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines had just landed back on earth after spending ten months in the International Space Station (ISS). The snippets were said to be cuttings/small rootlings that they were “individually wrapped in small bundles of soil and carefully placed in containers, each vine nestled inside its own beehive-like cell”.

Anyhow, the French company behind this experiment, Space Cargo Unlimited, said that by sending the vines up to the ISS for ten months, to grow in the harsh, gravity-less conditions, they hoped to create vines that are hardy enough to survive the harshest conditions here on earth. This would be the start of “future proofing” vines against the changes to growing conditions that will be caused by global warming into the future.

The aim is that by exposing the plants to “microgravity” and the high radiation levels of outer space, it will trigger them to evolve into more resilient strains and thus make them much more suited to the harsher terrestrial conditions that are being created by global warming. We must hope and pray that they do not evolve into Triffids!!

FOUND OUT:  We have all read about counterfeit wine in China, and recently I reported on fake Yellow Tail in the UK, well here are a few other recent busts of illegal alcohol.

Irish Customs have uncovered a cache of fake wine worth €300,000 being smuggled into the country in a container via the city of Cork. The wine had been shipped from The Netherlands. According to the local press there were 1,808 seizures of alcohol last year by Irish Customs, which boils down to around five seizures a day!! The total volume involved in these seizures was just over 750,000 litres.

In Italy, late last year police rumbled a ring of fraudsters in the process of selling €2 million worth of Italy’s famous, Tenuta San Guido’s Sassicaia.

Authorities in Mexico have recently destroyed 200,000 litres of fake Tequila – the equivalent to around 6.8 million drinks of phoney Tequila, which could have harmed the health of unwitting drinkers.

In China, the authorities have broken up a inter province ring in nine separate locations that has been making and peddling fake Penfolds wines. They estimate that the ring was responsible for the sale of around AU$25 million worth of fake Penfolds wines (personally I find that figure a little hard to believe – it would have to be 25,000 bottles of counterfeit Grange).

In Spain, authorities arrested 14 people in a ring that was selling imitations of a well-known and respected whisky brand. The fake whisky was produced in Rioja and shipped to Cuidad Real where the gang led by an Asian businessman, bottled it and added phony labels and tax stamps that had been printed in China.  The bust netted authorities just under 300,000 bottles of the fake whisky.

Finally, back in China a Guangdong Province man was sentenced to 15 years in jail for producing fake Hennessy Cognac. The gang operated during 2017-2018 and it is estimated that they sold CN¥3.4 million worth of the fake Cognac. Apart from being jailed, the man was also fined CN¥1.8 million – thereby proving that in this particular case, “crime doesn’t pay!”

Normal services will be resumed next week with more positive news from wine around the world. In the meantime have a great week, enjoy delightful wines and always #chooseaustralianwine and when possible drink #emergingvarieties


This Week's Wine Review:

Over the last decade I have written a raft of articles on exciting emerging varieties – varieties that are either new to, or just starting to emerge here in Australia. One variety that I have not written about is TEMPRANILLO, as whilst it is still fairly new here, there are around 400 wineries now producing wines from this variety. Hence in my opinion it is no longer emerging as it has made the mainstream.

TEMPRANILLO is still a bit “hit and miss” here as there are still a number of producers making their wine in the same way they make Shiraz or Cabernet rather than treating it as the variety demands/needs to be treated.

However, I recently came across a TEMPRANILLO that is spot on in the groove, and uber delicious.

The RUSTY MUTT 2019 ‘CONEJO JOVEN’ (young rabbit) McLAREN VALE TEMPRANILLO is divine. It has a vibrant purple colour, enchanting bouquet of red berries and just a hint of spice. The palate is gorgeous, mouth-filling with stacks of flavour, a dollop of savouriness and a nice, tight, slightly crispy finish.

This TEMPRANILLO is really attractive, with the style leaning more towards the Spanish “Crianza” than their “Joven” style.

No need to wait, it’s RARING TO GO!

Cheers, have a great week, enjoy great wines remembering to #chooseaustralianwine and #emergingvarieties.

Winery Link:  www.rustymutt.com.au