2020 Hither & Yon Petit Blanc
This has some classic floral and talc notes of the variety, but it’s uber-fresh and savoury, light-bodied, tangy and built for thirst-slaking refreshment.
Sourced from three sites, with vines from 55 to 90 years old, Pete Schell crafts the fruit into a democratically priced everyday wine that over delivers in a major way. Crushed red berries and cherries, spices and florals leading to a palate shot through with rocky and earthy minerality, the balance impeccable.
John Hughes’ mastery of the riesling grape has already been amply proven, but in the superb 2021 vintage that dial’s been turned up to new limits. This is an intense play of jasmine and lime, effusive but not overly exotic, with tension and effortless balance through a long finish underlining its pedigree.
A decade in barrel, first under flor yeast, then on ullage (an oxidative environment), it’s fair to say this is a unique wine for this country. This bristles with briny Sherry notes, roasted nuts and linseed, an explosion of orange-skinned citrus and spice riding the uber-dry and saline palate.
Built from mataro, grenache and cinsault, this illustrates what makes blends so compelling – each component pooling into the gaps left by the others, leaving a seamless whole, laced with ripe red fruits, spice and floral notes, the palate supple, with fine grip and natural freshness.
This rosé is an expression of all the red varieties in the Cullen vineyard viewed through a deep pink lens. Fragrant, spicy and herbal, with a plump of richness cleaned up with a gentle grip working in concert with the acidity.
The ‘Fresh Prince’ marshals a quartet of red varieties with decent crossover on a Venn diagram but are rarely all seen together, offering a fragrantly floral and spicy nose, with earthy notes, red and dark fruits and a palate of chewy, grapey tannins and fresh zip.
Subtle orchard fruits and dryly savoury. Light on its feet, with a fine, lightly textural and grippy feel.
Sweet, but cut through with salted nut and smoky notes, and alcohol spirit lending it shape and line. Crittenden Estate’s take on the Macvin of France’s Jura region, with flor-aged savagnin combined with unfermented new-vintage juice, then fortified.
A savoury, textured and mineral chardonnay from 2020’s Young Gun of Wine.
Such a new Australian perspective on Sicily’s most important red grape. Light, vibrant, cherry scented and detailed, pitched to take a chill, or not – this is required drinking.
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Shiraz is inarguably Australia’s key red variety, with a style built on fruit depth and concentration. The ‘brand shiraz’ monolith sparked a counter movement in the early 2000s that favoured elegance and perfume, and one that branded itself with the French name for the grape: syrah. Today, Australian syrah is a category in its own right, and an exciting one at that.
The top 50 finalists have been selected based on the pursuit of fruit and wine quality, vine health, innovation, and sustainability – encompassing environmental, social and economic sustainability.
“By focusing on the vineyards, on the places where wine comes from, and on the practices of sustainable grape growing, these awards can help recalibrate how we think about wine, shifting our perception of it from a liquid commodity in a glass to a cultural product of the country it’s from,” said awards panellist Max Allen.
“It was thrilling to visit each of these vineyards, albeit vicariously,” continued Allen, “and learn about all the hard work going into looking after the land, nurturing the health of the vines, and – most importantly – continually improving wine quality.”See the list here
Cullen is one of the five founding estates of Margaret River. But that doesn’t mean that Cullen Wines and its tireless steward, Vanya Cullen, are resting on their laurels. Quite the opposite. A ground breaker in so many ways, the estate has only entrenched its reputation amongst the more traditional drinker, while also pushing the boundaries in the vineyard and in the glass, galvanising a new following, too.
A new wave of producers marrying lo-fi winemaking with an environmentally friendly agenda is seeing the humble cask undergo a decidedly cool revival. In this edition of New Voices in Wine, James Vercoe talks through the cask renaissance with Marcus Radny of bag-in-the-box specialist Gonzo Vino.
Vinfluencers are a new kind of wine communicator putting themselves front and centre as they spread their wine gospel celebrating pleasure and fun. In this edition of New Voices in Wine, Anais Gschwind meets some of the smart, savvy and sexy women at the vanguard of this movement, and investigates why not everyone is as enthusiastic about them as they are about wine.
These awards are a celebration of viticulture, and it is through the championing of all the top vineyards and their growers, that we can elevate the awareness of the grower in the wines we love. This collective industry benefit is the great outcome of these awards, and the path forward is through participation. So, we’re calling all winegrowers to step forward.
Sustainability is a hot word right now. And one that is hard to pin down. It’s easy for people to talk about being sustainable; it’s another thing to actually live by such principles. Lieke van der Hulst takes us inside a community of winegrowers in McLaren Vale who are making changes from the ground up.
“If we went back 10 years, the relationship between sugar and acidity would be a lot more obvious – all over the shop. There’d be sugar here, acid there, and things would not be anywhere near as in balance as a lot of the wines we saw today.”