Some Young Punks hanging around Imbibe

I love kitsch. I should have been a teenager in the 1950’s, although then it would have been high culture. I would have been an avid reader of anything pulp fiction. “Spicy Adventure Stories”,  “Unwilling Sinner”, “Sin on Wheels”, I would have collected them all! So when I spotted Passion has Red Lips by Some Young Punks, South Australian winemakers, at the Imbibe show recently, I had to stop. Like a moth drawn to a flame, I couldn’t stop myself from trying the wine. I know I shouldn’t have been suckered in by the label but I was…. So what are Some Young Punks up to? A trio of winemakers causing havoc in South Australia, the grapes come from Clare Valley, Langhorne Creek, the Barrosa, Adelaide Hills and any other appellation I may have missed from that part of the world. The punks credo is to make “charismatic wines that are true to what we think ‘wine’ should be about. If someone doesn’t like the way we do it then they had better put the bottle down because there’s already not enough to go around.” Although they may seem like they’re kidding around, these winemakers, Col McBryde, Jen Gardner and Nic Bourke make some serious wine. These wines are seriously Australian as well. There is no mistaking the ethnicity of these wines. Heaps of fruit, full on, in your face, don’t mess with me reds. Subtle is not a word often heard around these wines. The 2009 Passion has Red Lips certainly lives up to it’s name. A blend of McLaren Vale cabernet and Clare Valley shiraz, passionately berry, extremely perfumed, I took a step back after taking a sip. Juicy plums, blackberries, blackcurrants and a smoky edge to it all on a lush, full body. Phew! I still don’t get the name of the next wine, The Squid’s Fist 2009. Do squids even have hands? No? How do they have fists then? Anyway, I suppose that’s something to ponder while you down this...

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Penfolds – Peter Gago,the most laid back winemaker I’ve met so far…

The most laid back winemaker I’ve met so far has to be Australian Peter Gago, Chief Winemaker of Penfolds Wines. I was at the launch of Penfold’s Luxury Icon wines recently and  sat down with Peter for a brief chat about his Kalimna 1998 Shiraz Bin 28 and what he thought were it’s finest qualities. We tasted through the range which included icon wines 2005 Penfolds Grange and 2007 Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay as well as the Luxury range which included 2006 St. Henri Shiraz, 2007 Bin 707 Cab Sauv., 2007 RWT Shiraz, 2007 Magill Estate Shiraz and the 2008 Reserve Bin 08A Chardonnay. All just babies but showing their potential.  After tasting the young’uns, we went on to the oldsters and what a pleasure they were. The winemakers of Penfolds have definitely mastered the art of making wines that will age. But don’t take my word for it, watch the video and see what me and Peter thought of the ’98 Kalmina Shiraz. … Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Neil McGuigan and his semillon at the 2010 LIWF

I ran into Australian wine maker Neil McGuigan at the 2010 International Wine Fair here in London not long ago and this time, rather then talk about his Handmade shiraz, Neil wanted to tell me all about his latest vintage of semillon. Neil is very proud of his semillon and even though we were drinking his latest vintage, he believes that it can live on for many years. As a matter of fact, the last time he was in town, we did try one of his older semillons from the ’90’s and it was tasting still quite fresh. I asked him to tell me a bit more about what he is trying to achieve with his 2010 semillon. Watch the video to find out more. In the meantime, his wines are widely available in the UK from Majestic, Winesdirect and Laithwaites. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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What a year it’s been! So long 2009, Hello 2010…

I’m not really one to look back, I’m either daydreaming about the future or looking forward to tonight’s wine – more or less the same thing. But I saw one of Niamh’s tweets about her year-end round-up and it got me to reminiscing about my vinous adventures this past  year. The great thing about a blog – I’ve got a record of many of my favourite drinking adventures. Not all of them mind you, because many I just never got around to blogging about but I did manage to put up almost 120 blog posts this year! I would have done more but I was computer-less over the summer after my laptop was stolen in June. This was definitely the year that The Winesleuth embraced video in all it’s gory messiness. Whether the videos made any sense, well, I’ll let you decide but I sure did have a lot of fun making them. I’d like to get a bit more creative in 2010 and maybe even, dare I say it, a bit more professional. My favourites of the year include ones I made with my good friend and fellow wineblogger Wine90 – she just cracks me up. Here we’re reviewing the Balfour Brut Rose…. But Bibendum Dan was another excellent foil, here we are talking about hairy armpit wines… Fun events, as when Catavino came to town and their winetasting at Vinoteca… [viddler id=74e84e69&w=437&h=333] or the Naked Wines Argentine wine auction….. [viddler id=f70e4865&w=437&h=392] and then there’s just amusing and charming winemakers…Etienne Hugel of the Alsatian winemaker Hugel & Fils… [viddler id=9fe1ae3d&w=437&h=392] and Neil McGuigan of the Australian McGuigan Vineyards, to name a few… [viddler id=49575c47&w=437&h=392] And, of course, the vids of my wine reviews, my favourite has to be one I did in S. Carolina while I was on holiday – every time I see it, it reminds me of what a great holiday I had… Of course there was Twitter as well and the Foodies, most especially Eatlikeagirl with whom I did the...

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Neil McGuigan and his Handmade Shiraz at Roussillon

I’ve come to realize that I’ve got a love/hate relationship with Australian wine. Hate the cheap, supermarket stuff, love the premium vino. Well, can you blame me? Why couldn’t it be the other way around, love the cheap stuff, hate the expensive stuff – if only. I was at the fashionable French restaurant, Roussillon for a food and winematching  lunch the other day with the winemakers of McGuigan Vineyards, Neil McGuigan and Peter Hall and had a chance to chat with them about their super-premium wine, the 2008 Handmade Shiraz. McGuigan Vineyards started out in the Hunter Valley but they now source their grapes from some of Australia’s most famous wine regions, including, Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, Eden Valley and Langhorne Creek, which is where this particular shiraz hailed from, click on the video to find out more about this super-premium… [viddler id=49575c47&w=437&h=392] I was invited to lunch by Cube Communications. Thanks, guys! Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Hardy’s Nottage Hill Freshcase – new packaging concept

From the press release: “Ever opened a bottle of delicious, premium wine one evening and gone back for a second glass a week later, only to find that the wine is past its best?” No, that’s never happened to me (wine doesn’t have a fighting chance in my house) but I do know people who don’t finish off a bottle in one sitting, they may even save it for (gasp!) a week ( Hi, Mom!).  Hardy’s, the Australian producer, has come up with a nifty new bag in a box  (Freshcase) which I received the other day to help those poor souls out. The big brands seem to lead the way in innovation, always willing to try something new, so here is the next big thing… Hardy’s is calling  their new brand the Hardy’s Nottage Hill Freshcase and it’s big innovation is not only the volume, it holds 2.25 litres (equivalent of 3 bottles) but is 70% lighter then 3 conventional wine bottles, takes up much less space in the fridge and they say it will keep the wine for up to 6 weeks! That’s gotta be some willpower on the consumers part for it to last 3 weeks. But I digress. The new packaging is pretty slick and sturdy looking but surprisingly light. They’ve thought of everything, the white wine box even has a little stand which lets the bottle sit at a downward angle in the fridge so you’ll be sure to get every last drop. The best part is that it’s 100% recyclable and made from sustainable stocks. The case box comes apart very easily for you to recycle. There is even a video on youtube to show you how easy it is to pull apart, which is a good thing because I was debating whether or not to just finish off the wine and rip open the box! At the moment, there are two wines being produced, a chardonnay and a cabernet/shiraz blend. I opened the cabernet/shiraz a week ago and have been periodically having a glass in the...

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