Flash News!

Friday, August 13, 2021

This week we have a bit of flash news from Germany, Greece, France, USA and here in Australia.

GERMANY:  Where flash flooding in mid-July submerged much of the Ahr wine growing region of Western Germany, when the Ahr River reached levels of six metres above its normal level.

Winemakers from other regions have started a “relief drive” for their affected colleagues. They have called for volunteers to come and help with the clean-up and in addition they have banded together in donating wine, so as to create a special aid six pack of wines where all of the income goes towards helping their affected colleagues.

GREECE:  During renovation works on Tatoi Palace, the summer residence of the former Greek Royal Family, engineers have discovered a cache of around 4,000 bottles, mainly of wine but also including some bottles of Chivas Regal, produced to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Whilst they are still categorising this treasure trove, they have revealed that it includes Château Mouton Rothschild and Château Margaux. Wine experts have been called in to catalogue and assess these wines. So I guess that sometime in the near future there will be an auction at which the ubber rich will be able to acquire a piece of vinous history.

Note: The former palace is in the process of being transformed into a luxury hotel.

FRANCE:  The world’s most recognised Cabernet Franc producer, Château Cheval Blanc, along with fellow Premier Grand Cru Classe ‘A’ Château Ausone, have renounced the Saint-Émilion classification system which has ranked the region’s winemakers since 1954.

There have been controversies in the past as various Château have been demoted or elevated, but this time two of the region’s most respected and admired Château have walked away. The question is can the classification survive by struggling on, or will other high profile Château also renounce this troubled classification system?

As with all French high drama it will evolve slowly (very slowly) over time.

AUSTRALIA:  In what some pundits have described as a “unicorn vintage”, Australia has had a sensational vintage 2021 with what is being described as superlative quality – which certainly bears out in the 2021 white wines sampled so far.

However whilst this is welcomed, it comes on top of significant volumes of back vintages still in stock as a result of losing almost all sales to China because of the Communist Government’s punitive measure against Australia.

The end result could well be that the “vintage of the decade” ends up being largely unheralded, unnoticed and underappreciated amidst the sea of oversupply and massive discounts. Whereas at the same time there are a growing number of ‘specials’ and discounted wines. Sadly I think that this is naught compared to what will happen in the lead up to Christmas when winemakers will need to move/quit stocks in order to start emptying tanks ready for the 2022 intake.

USA:  As the temperature records keep tumbling across the USA, with new records being set regularly, their wine industry will suffer the consequences in a reduced/dehydrated 2021 vintage as the heat forces vines to shut down and/or shrivels up the grapes on the vine.

It would be fair to say that consumers will need to pick their wines with extra caution from vintage 2021 in order to avoid over extracted and ‘porty’ wines.

Well after that mainly ‘cheery’ news, let us hope that it is better news in the world of wine next week – Lord knows we need good news in these difficult times.

Cheers! Have a great week, stay safe and enjoy great Aussie wines – #chooseaustralianwine and when possible drink #emergingvarieties.

This Week's Wine Review:

This week I am reviewing an old favourite of mine, the gorgeous, TURKEY FLAT VINEYARDS BAROSSA VALLEY SHIRAZ – in this case the new 2019 vintage.

TURKEY FLAT have always produced excellent to exceptional wines as amply demonstrated by their, 2016 Turkey Flat Grenache, winning the 2017 Jimmy Watson Trophy. An outstanding feat made even more so by being the first Grenache to win in the sixty year history of this most prestigious of red wine trophies.

This is the thirtieth vintage of this exceptional SHIRAZ, which is made using in part from some of the oldest Shiraz vines in the world – dating back to 1847.

So, the 2019 TURKEY FLAT BAROSSA VALLEY SHIRAZ has an inky, deep purple colour, with a gorgeous, deep bouquet of plums, red berries, a modicum of dried herbs and a splash of vanillin oak. The flavours explode onto the palate which is rich, complex with fabulous depth, yet tight and hitherto restrained with a lingering, grippy finish. This magnificent wine needs to be double decanted well before being served with rich food or better still tuck it away for a while and allow it to evolve naturally and it will reward you by becoming – DROP-DEAD-GORGEOUS!!

While waiting for this magnificent Shiraz to open up and round out, always remember to #chooseaustralianwine

Winery Link: www.turkeyflat.com.au