Happening News

Friday, August 27, 2021

This week is all about a few bits of news happening from around the world of wine, starting with a:

NEW KID on the BLOCK:  At last Australian Pecorino has arrived – no, not the cheese, the wine! Yes, there is an emerging Italian white variety called, Pecorino (like the cheese, to which it has no connection). It is believed to have originated in the Marche region of Italy, and in typical Italian style has nearly 50 different names across the country.

Here the first two wineries to produce a Pecorino wine (to the best of my knowledge) are The Little Wine Company (Broke Fordwich) and Brycefield Estate (Lovedale), both in the Hunter Valley, with 2021 being their first vintage.

I am looking forward to trying them, as I am sure that they will compare well with their Italian counterparts.

The addition of Pecorino makes it around 155 different grape varieties that are grown in Australia. Not bad for a country with no native grape varieties!!! The point being that sticking to just the ten or so main varieties makes vinous life rather boring, when there are so many other exciting emerging varieties to try.

SLIPPING AWAY:  Domaine Credoz in the AOC of Château-Chalon, in the Jura Region (located between Burgundy and Switzerland), suffered a significant landslide which destroyed one-ninth of their vineyard (almost one hectare). This was the result of significantly heavier than normal rainfall in May/June and two days of continuous rain in mid-July. The landslip also wiped out the road which ran through the middle of their hillside vineyard, making access to parts of the vineyard very challenging.

NABBED:  China customs has seized just over 4,000 bottles of wine being smuggled into Shenzhen China from Hong Kong. Hong Kong is duty free whereas China has up to 212% duty (on Australian wines). The haul included most of the First Growth Bordeaux wines as well as Penfolds Bin 707. The estimated value of the haul is US$2.3 million, which would give the bottles in the stash an average value of US$575 a bottle. The duty that would have been avoided was somewhere between US$750,000 and US$900,000. Instead they have now lost US$2.3 million worth of wine and will be facing a jail sentence. I wonder what will happen to the wine - Will government officials have a right old knees-up? Or will it be tipped down the sink? Which would you put your money on??

SWEPT AWAY:  A couple of weeks back I reported on the devastating floods in the Ahr wine growing region of Germany. Well, the response from the German people has been overwhelming. A few days after the flood, a shuttle bus service was organised to ferry volunteers to the area to help shovel out the mud that covered everything. On the first Saturday the buses transported 5,000 volunteers in the one day!!!

A group of winemakers from other regions donated wine to go into a relief six pack with all the funds going to the relief effort. They sold 10,000 packs in the first 48 hours, and have so far raised €1,000,000.

Luckily as most of the vineyards are on the surrounding steep slopes, they suffered little damage, but it will be a race to get the wineries back in some semblance of working order by the time the grapes are ripe in the next month or so. All the best to all the people of the Ahr region.

Well that’s it for another week, stay safe #chooseaustralianwine and when possible drink #emergingvarieties. Cheers!

This Week's Wine Review:

This week I am ranting on about another outstanding Barossa Shiraz. Sorry about that, but goddamn there are some sensational ones around at the moment – so rich, deep, complex and ever so bloody drinkable. Very different in style from the cooler climate Victorian and Rhône wines which are more elegant, svelte and cerebral, whilst the warmer Barossa wines are bigger, blowsier, significantly richer and oh, so bleeding drinkable. Perhaps there is a good argument for the cooler climate Shiraz to be labelled as, Syrah, and the bigger, richer style as Shiraz so as to help potential buyers to differentiate the style.

Well, here is a perfect example of the bigger style Shiraz that I am talking about, the sensational GUMPARA WINES 2019 BAROSSA ‘MADER RESERVE’ SHIRAZ.

Wow, what a wine! Massively deep in colour, almost inky black, a preponderance of pencil shavings (oak) and plums on the bouquet, with some spice and dried herbs in the background.

The rich palate has just an attractive hint of fruit sweetness on the front palate, leading to a mountain of rich, svelte, plum and red fruit flavours on the mid and after palates, layers of deep, concentrated flavours, perfectly balanced with a superb tight and lingering finish. While this wine is bloody brilliant right now, it will continue to blossom and evolve over the next 3-5 years to become Bloody Brilliant!!

If you like big, rich Shiraz wines, you must not miss out of this one. It is truly awesome, so visit their website and check it out.

Oh, and while you are there have a look at the rest of the range as they are “none too dusty” as well.

Well that’s it for this week, stay safe and remember to #chooseaustralianwine. Cheers!

Winery Link: www.gumparawines.net.au