Aglianico anyone?

It’s my job to keep track of what people are saying about Tasmanian wines and here’s some quotes from the Decanter World Wine Awards 2012 magazine from October:

Last year we called Tasmania an up-and-coming region and it continued in that direction with Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, not to mention fizz, all showing the benefit of their maritime origins.” – Anthony Rose

Riesling was once again a standout, with delicious young wines from Eden Valley, Clare Valley and Tasmania….also impressive was so-called ‘new wave’ Chardonnay, primarily from cooler regions such as the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Adelaide Hills and Tasmania” – Michael Hill Smith MW

The Regional Trophy for Sparkling over GBP10 went to Jansz Premium NV Cuvee from Pipers River in Tasmania, and the Regional Trophy for Chardonnay over GBP10 went to 2008 Penfolds Yattarna. “Penfolds claims Yattarna is the cutting edge of cool-climate Australian Chardonnay. Given its sources, primarily Derwent Valley in Tasmania, with contributions often from Adelaide Hills and Henty in Victoria, the claim appears justified.


Are you into books? I mean real books, not e-books. The ones you can feel and not have to worry about the battery going flat. Well, I am into books and I’ve just purchased one that ticks all the wrong boxes for the e-readers amongst us. Firstly, it’s costly (around $200) and secondly, it’s heavy. Very heavy actually, coming in at 2.6 kilos which is about the weight I need to lose after being at the Bathurst 1000. It’s pretty scary when you see and feel what 2.6 kilos is like. The book is of course Wine Grapes, authored by Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and Jose Vouillamoz. If you’ve been reading any of the reviews, you’ll know by now that the Americans are aghast that their beloved Zinfadel, also begrudgingly acknowledged as Primitivo, are both actually Tribidrag from Croatia.  You’ll know that Cabernet Sauvignon is the offspring of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, but did you know that Australia has 5 unique varieties? Aha, I thought not!

They are Cienna, Cygne Blanc, Taminga, Tarrango and Tyrian.

Or that outside of Italy, Australia is one of the very few places to grow Aglianico?

FYI, Westend Estate Wines from Griffith have it at A$14.95 a bottle.


Reviewed wines offered by Crystal Wines, Eve Spirits, Le Vigne, The Local Nose, Wine Direction, Wine Exchange Asia

11 wines looked at today, 6 commented on – of those that are not here, some are 2012 releases not yet rated, and some are special export releases that are hard to pin down with certainty.

As usual, in ascending order of value:

2011 / Ata Rangi / Summer / Martinborough / Rose / $39.90 at Eve Spirits – Bob Campbell gives it 85 pts (“above average” category) and says that it’s “very attractive”. With a retail price of NZ$18, the offer here is OK without being startling.

2011 / Oyster Bay / Marlborough / Sauvignon Blanc / $39.90 at Eve Spirits – Wine Spectator gives it 85 pts which translates to “very good”. This is definitely a “drink now” buy. With a RRP of NZ$20, the pricing is spot on. It’s a tough world out there in Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc land though, as you can get (or you could if you were quick) 2012 Cloudy Bay for $44 from Wine Exchange Asia

2008 / Katnook / Coonawarra / Cabernet Sauvignon / $58 at The Local Nose and Crystal Wines – I belong to a wine group that has regular themed tastings. One theme that pops up from time to time is “when raters disagree” and note should be taken that this wine qualifies with bells on. Let’s look at the high end – James Halliday gives it 94 pts (“outstanding”), Wine Front gives it 94 pts (“excellent”), but Huon Hooke gives it only 85 pts (“below bronze”) and Wine Spectator only 83 (“good”). Your call, but the value is OK. Drinking for a while yet, say 2014 -2020.

2009 / Tarrawarra / Yarra Valley / Chardonnay / $38 at Wine Direction – The price on this goes down to $31 for more than a case. Wine Front reckons it’s OK with 92 pts (“excellent’) and Huon Hooke gives it a bronze equivalent. The RRP is A$22 so offer here is quite good. Drink by around 2014.

2005 / Shottesbrooke / Punch / McLaren Vale / Cabernet Sauvignon / $47 at Wine Direction – Halliday 95 pts, drinking to 2025, terrific value (RRP A$38) so what’s not to like?

2007 / Arlewood / Margaret River / Cabernet Sauvignon / $52.90 at Le Vigne – Here’s another one where raters disagree, although this time Huon Hooke seems to be on his own. He gives it 85 pts (just below bronze) but Lisa Perotti-Brown from Wine Advocate gives it 91 (“outstanding”) and Halliday gives it a “highly recommended “ rating. This wine was just written up in the November issue of Decanter where it achieved a solid 18.5 pts, the equivalent of 95 under their scoring system and an “outstanding” moniker.  I’ve put in my own order because according to Decanter “just 700 dozen bottles were produced of the final wine of this era for Arlewood” referring to the sale of part of Arlewood’s vineyards to Vasse Felix. RRP of A$40.

The Arlewood gets the gong today by a fine margin to the Shottesbrooke. I’m getting mine before it’s gone.


WINESPEAK 101 – How to waffle with the best of them – Today’s word/s LEMON PEEL

Fresh and juicy delivering an exuberant mouthful of lemon peel-accented pear, almond and apricot flavors”.

The wine is Viognier, not often drunk on its own, but next time I do, I’ll look for that lemon-peel flavour



At Tiger Wines, we’ve just brought in a limited supply of 2010 Dawson & James Tasmania Pinot Noir which we’re selling for $63 (inc gst). The wine comes from the Meadowbank vineyard near Hobart but Dawson & James are Peter Dawson and Tim James from South Australia who have a wealth of experience in the industry. As Gourmet Traveller Wine commented in its April/May edition on this wine “there’s no substitute for experience”. And to top it off, Halliday gives it 96 pts. Email for more info.


Wine Talk advocates the drinking of wine as you like it, not rigidly ruled by a set of standards if it doesn’t suit you. Ice the Sherry when you want it cold, put the red wine in the refrigerator for a little while if your room temperature means a Death Valley heatwave. Drink what you like best with the foods you like best. Too much has been written on how to drink wines, and not enough about how to relax and enjoy them.” – from about 1978, Wine Talk, by Mrs Rada Penfold Russell, Penfolds Advertising Director at the time.




1 Response to “Aglianico anyone?”

  1. 1 Clark, Chris October 19, 2012 at 5:01 am

    Agree – it’s a great book!
    You guys at Eildon in Jan?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 74 other followers

Wine quotations

"A good bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world" - Louis Pasteur

“The unexacting palates of the masses…are content to ask no question [on origin] so long as a florin or half-a-crown will purchase a roomy flagon of strong , full-bodied, fruity wine” – CE Hawker writing in 1907