Saturday snapshot – Yalumba Viognier Y series 2012

Feb 09, 13 Saturday snapshot – Yalumba Viognier Y series 2012

Posted by in Australia, Saturday Snapshot

The Queen of Australian Viognier, Louisa Rose was in town recently** to show off her wines and I was happy to be invited to a luncheon and tasting showcasing what she has been able to produce in the Australian  vineyards. Louisa has been working as Chief Winemaker for Yalumba winery, based in the Barossa, since 2006 but she first joined Yalumba in 1993 as, what we fondly refer to in the trade, a “cellar rat“. She has been with Yalumba ever since and has worked her way up through the ranks, learning from the legendary winemakers of Yalumba. Early on in the 1970s, Yalumba was captivated by the Viognier grape  (which originally hails from the Rhone region of France) and they planted what began as an experiment. Over the years they discovered that they vines did very well in  the cool climate Eden Valley region of the Barossa and it is from these vines that the majority of their Viognier is cultivated. They also source fruit from a number of additional sites in South Australia. The Viognier that Louisa and Yalumba are producing is made to be drunk with food. A big difference that I found with Yalumba’s Viogniers were the fact that although aromatic, they were not as aromatic as some Rhone wines. This is a good thing in my book as French Viogniers can sometimes knock you over with their powerful aromatics. Another quality that I admired very much in their Viogniers was the freshness and the minerality that ran through the wine. The most consumer-friendly wine that Yalumba produces is the Y Series Viognier. We tasted the 2012 before lunch and it was a cracker of a wine. Fresh and attractive nose with hints of citrus, melon and papaya it had a medium body with good weight but none of the oiliness that is often found in Rhone Viogniers. It was what I would call a sprite of a wine, a friendly wine to start one on a discovery of the Viognier grape. Although it carried alcohol levels...

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Voyager Estate 2005 cabernet/merlot, a tasting note

Dec 06, 12 Voyager Estate 2005 cabernet/merlot, a tasting note

Posted by in Australia

Voyager Estate cab/merlot 2005 Winesleuth note: I write wine reviews for redwine.co.uk and from time to time, I will re-post them here on ‘Sleuth. Here’s a post about a great Australian cab/merlot from Voyager Estate…. I was recently at a wine tasting of Voyager Estate Wines at Vinoteca here in London and it was a very interesting tasting indeed. I have a so-so track record when it comes to Australian red wines but lately I have been tasting some great stuff. Although Shiraz is the flagship wine of Australia, they are making some great wines from other red grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir and even the “wine of Argentina”, Malbec. Voyager Estate is situated in the Margaret River Valley in the South West corner of Western Australia. The region is renowned for its viticultural products and was identified back in the 1960s as a premium wine-growing region of Australia. The region has a range of microclimates and soils. The best vineyards are planted only in the most suitable soils so although the region is spread over 3000 square kilometres, only 54 kilometres are under vine. So I think it’s fair to say that Voyager have picked the best spots to make their wine. Voyager has a range of Estate wines which is their core focus.  They only produce 6 different wines but feel that they reflect best the terroir of the region. They are Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Chenin Blanc and the Girt by Sea Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot. At the tasting the stand-out for me was the 2005 Voyager Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot. Comprising 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 5% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot, all fruit coming from the Margaret River, it is a delicious Bordeaux-style blend coming from Australia. The wine had had enough time to age, something that is not common in Australia. James Stevens, the winemaker was at the dinner and he commented that one of the “problems” with Australian wine drinkers is that they drink their wines far...

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Podcast – Louisa Rose, Chief Winemaker of Yalumba, talks about their viognier and shiraz viognier blends

Oct 25, 12 Podcast – Louisa Rose, Chief Winemaker of Yalumba, talks about their viognier and shiraz viognier blends

Posted by in Australia, Podcast

Recently the “Queen of Australian Viognier”, Louisa Rose, was in town as part of a large contingent of Australian winemakers to hit our shores. Louisa is the Chief Winemaker of the Barossa Valley’s Yalumba Wines and has been deeply involved with the production of their viognier. She’s started out as a cellar rat 20 years ago and in 2006 was made Chief Winemaker. I met Louisa at a small tasting and luncheon at 2850 Wine Workshop and Kitchen  here in London which featured Yalumba’s viogniers and shiraz viognier blends. Before lunch, Louisa and I sat down for a quick chat about what makes their viognier so special. Click on the link below to hear the podcast: Louisa Rose, Chief Winemaker of Yalumba. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Neil McGuigan and Vines in the City – podcast

Sep 28, 12 Neil McGuigan and Vines in the City – podcast

Posted by in Australia, Podcast

I first met Australian winemaker Neil McGuigan of McGuigan Wines a few years ago when the winery first did the “Vines in the City” event in London. I thought it was a great way to get consumers literally closer to the vines without the hassle of having to actually travel to a vineyard. Neil and Brian McGuigan were back on this side of the world recently, this time to launch some new wines and also to introduce their “Vines in the City” to the good people of Dublin. Having attended the opening, I can say it was a smashing success, sometimes we in the wine trade take for granted the fact that we can visit vineyards and talk to winemakers on a regular basis. It was great to hear what consumers had to say about the whole experience, in general I’d say it made them very enthusiastic to learn more about wine. Before they opened the gates, I sat down with Neil to find out more about the new wines they are launching in the UK and why they brought it to Dublin. You can hear the podcast on the following link: Neil McGuigan and Vines in the City A big thanks to Neil McGuigan for taking the time to chat with me. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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One of the most expensive bottles of wine in the world? Penfold’s Ampoule

Aug 10, 12 One of the most expensive bottles of wine in the world? Penfold’s Ampoule

Posted by in Australia

One of the most expensive bottles of wine in the world will soon be on sale here in London. It’s from Penfold’s Winery and is called the Ampoule (rrp £120,000). Made from the oldest continuously producing cabernet vines in the world from Penfolds Block 42 Kalimna Cabernet Sauvignon, and only produced in the best years, the 2004 has been chosen to be bottled in the Ampoule. According to Penfold’s,  “…the wine is contained in a hand blown glass ampoule that provides an ideal wine environment and a bespoke glass plumb-bob that suspends the ampoule within a wooden Jarrah cabinet – all produced by South Australia’s finest craftsman…” The most eyebrow-raising aspect is that for that £120,000 price tag, “…a senior member of the Penfolds Winemaking team will personally attend a special opening ceremony for the owner (essentially your very own master-class). The winemaker will travel to the destination of choice, where the ampoule will be ceremoniously removed from its glass plumb-bob casing and opened using a specially designed, tungsten-tipped, sterling silver scribe-snap. The winemaker will then prepare the wine using a beautifully crafted sterling silver tastevin…” Sounds a bit over the top but you will be getting your money’s worth (I hope)! There’s only been 12 bottles produced and this will be the first one displayed in Europe. It will be at the new wine shop opening soon in Mayfair, Hedonism. R un by the aptly named Alistair Viner – formerly of Harrod’s wine department, where he spent 16 years including Chief Wine Buyer before leaving to start Hedonism. Who will buy this wine and is it worth it? Stay tuned…. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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