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Australia Day Tasting


Lindley Hall, Elverton Street, London, SW1P 2QW


The Australia Day tasting was held at the Lindley Hall on Tuesday 26th January 2016 to coincide with the Australia Day national holiday.


Lindley Hall was built in 1904 as an exhibition hall and is often used for conferences, weddings and other events.  Edwardian in design, it provided a spacious, light and elegant venue for the tasting.


There were more than 1000 wines available to taste, together with a number of exporters, suppliers and of course winemakers.  The aim of the tasting was to showcase the diversity of Australian wines and my focus was on the cool climate regions, including Tasmania, Clare and the Adelaide Hills.  I also found a few gems in Western Australia.


Below are some of the new faces I met:


Marine Brasset, Sales Manager of Single Vineyard Sellers

Single Vineyard Sellers is a wholesaler and distributor of premium wine.  They source wines from a number of countries, including Australia, New Zealand and Argentina, and focus on single vineyard producers.  A number of their wines come from cool climate regions.


Nik Darlington, Managing Director of Red Squirrel Wine

Red Squirrel Wine is an online retailer which specialises in sourcing rare and unusual wines.  They had a selection of wines from Vinteloper and were joined by the young and very tall winemaker, David Bowley. 


Nick James-Martin, Export Sales Manager of Stella Bella

Stella Bella means “Beautiful Star” and is a modern winery from the Margaret River in Western Australia.  They focus on crafting wines with varietal expression and intense flavours.


Below are some memorable wines I tasted:


Jansz Tasmania Premium NV Rosé, Pipers River, Tasmania – extremely pale salmon-pink in colour, with ripe red cherries and strawberries on the nose and palate, a delicate mousse, medium (+) acidity and a medium length.  This was a very elegant and well-made non-vintage rose.


Jansz Tasmania Vintage Cuvée 2010, Pipers River, Tasmania ­– ripe camembert cheese on the nose, very rich, full bodied and fruit forward wine with medium (+) acidity and a long silky finish. 


UK distributor: Negociants UK


Tamar Ridge Devil’s Corner Sparkling Pinot Noir, Chardonnay NV, Tasmania – a fresh, fruity non-vintage sparkler with a medium (+) body and a long finish.


Tamar Ridge Devil’s Corner Riesling 2015, Tasmania – the nose was bursting with petrol, green pear and green apples, which all followed through on the palate, enhanced with an abundance of lemons and limes.  This wine had great typicity and was a really good example of a cool climate Riesling.


UK distributor: Awin Barratt Siegel Wine Agencies


Arras “E.J. Carr” Late Disgorged 2002, Tasmania – a very powerful nose and delicate mousse, full bodied with ripe citrus, honey and toast, medium (+) acidity and an extremely long finish.  Absolutely stunning!


Arras Rosé Vintage 2005, Tasmania – a delicate salmon-pink colour, with ripe red fruits and a hint of camembert on the nose, very elegant, well integrated, with a silky smooth finish.  Amazing!


L.A.S. Vino Chardonnay 2013, Margaret River, WA – a big oaky New World Chardonnay packed full of ripe citrus, white peaches, tropical fruits and excellent acidity.  All elements of this wine were exceptionally well integrated, with a good structure and a long finish.


L.A.S. Vino “CDBD” Chenin Blanc Dynamic Blend 2013, Margaret River, WA – this wine was fresh and vibrant, with excellent acidity and ripe green apples.


L.A.S. Vino “Portuguese Pirate Blend” Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cão, Souzão 2013, Margaret River, WA – a very light and intriguing blend of Portuguese grapes, which was extremely fruity with complementing acidity.


UK distributor: Liberty Wines


Josef Chromy Sparkling NV, Tasmania – this was a light and refreshing non-vintage sparkler with excellent acidity and a good length.


UK distributor: Bibendum Wine Ltd.


Rococo Yarra Valley Premium NV Cuvée – a very elegant wine made with cool climate Chardonnay, with a delicate mousse, medium (+) acidity, ripe green apples and fresh lemons.


UK distributor: De Bortoli Wines


The Lane Beginning Chardonnay 2012, Adelaide Hills, SA – this was another elegant wine with ripe stone and tropical fruit, subtle hints of oak and good acidity.


The Lane RG Chardonnay 2010, Adelaide Hills, SA – this wine had a very powerful toasty oaky nose and was packed full of peaches, ripe mango and fresh pineapples.  It had a good supporting structure of new French oak and a long lingering finish.


The Lane Reunion Shiraz 2012 Adelaide Hills, SA – a very elegant and fruity, cool climate Shiraz, with hints of minerality and aromas and flavours of blueberry, black cherry and liquorice.  Beautiful!


The Lane JC Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Adelaide Hills, SA – a complex wine with silky smooth tannins, full of black forest fruits and a hint of tobacco.  This wine was a blend of specific parcels of old Shiraz and Cabernet vines and as such, extremely rich and concentrated.  Superb!


UK distributor: Corney & Barrow


Capel Vale Regional Series Shiraz 2012, Mount Barker, WA – a huge wine, and an excellent example of an Aussie Shiraz, packed full of jammy black and red fruit, medium (+) acidity, well integrated oak and a long finish.


Capel Vale Regional Series Riesling 2013, Mount Barker, WA – this wine had great typicity, with petrol and lime aromas and ripe citrus on the palate, with excellent acidity.


Capel Vale Regional Series Chardonnay 2014, Margaret River, WA – a very well made Chardonnay with ripe stone and tropical fruit combined with supporting oak.


Capel Vale Regional Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Margaret River, WA – this was another wine with great typicity, soft ripe tannins, blackcurrants, black cherries, well integrated oak and a long finish.


UK distributor: De-Burgh Wine


Larry Cherubino The Riddler NV, WA – a blend of 51% Chardonnay and 49% Pinot Noir.  This wine had a fine persistent mousse, a good concentration of ripe citrus fruit and a medium (+) length.  Very impressive! 


Apostrophe Stone’s Throw Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc 2015, WA – this was predominantly Riesling, with some added spice from the Gewürztraminer and just a hint of Pinot Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc.  Extremely aromatic and well integrated, it had good levels of minerality and a long finish.


Cherubino Chardonnay 2014, Margaret River, WA – a stunning wine with a good concentration of green apples and fresh peaches, subtle use of oak, hints of vanilla and toast, complementing acidity and a long lingering finish. 


UK distributor: Hallgarten Druitt


Holm Oak Vineyards The Wizard Pinot Noir 2013, Tamar Valley, Tasmania – a very complex and intense wine with a medium body, excellent acidity, good concentration of red cherries and redcurrants and subtle use of oak.


UK distributor: Single Vineyard Sellers


Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier Shiraz, Viognier 2013, VIC – a Côte-Rôtie blend with just 5% Viognier which adds a touch of freshness.  This was an elegant, smooth and full-bodied wine with red plums, black fruit and a hint of spice. 


Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier Lieu dit Malakoff 2013, Pyrenees, VIC – 100% Shiraz, deep ruby in colour with ripe black plums and blackcurrants.  This wine was incredibly smooth, with subtle oak and silky smooth tannins.


Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier L-Block 2012, Pyrenees VIC – a very complex wine with aromas and flavours of blueberries, blackcurrants, smoke and oak. Extremely full bodied, with smooth ripe tannins and a very long finish. 


UK distributor: Mentzendorff & Co. Ltd.


Taltarni Blanc de Blancs 2011, Pyrenees, VIC – this excellent Blanc de Blancs was made with Chardonnay from the cool Pyrenees range in Victoria.  It had a delicate mousse, excellent acidity, fresh peaches, ripe lemons and a very long finish.


Taltarni Brut Taché Sparkling Rosé 2011, Pyrenees, VIC – this was a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  It had a pale salmon-pink colour, a fine mousse, ripe redcurrants, strawberries and roses with complementing acidity and a long finish.


UK distributor: Boutinot Ltd.


Vinteloper OR/13 ‘ODEON’ Riesling 2013, Clare Valley, SA – medium gold in colour, this wine had aromas and flavours of ripe citrus, white flowers and honey together with hints of spice and a touch of minerality. 


Vinteloper OR/15 ‘ODEON’ Riesling 2015, Clare Valley, SA – not yet released and the tasting sample was unfined and unfiltered, however, this impressive young Riesling is already showing potential with good levels of minerality and fruit concentration.


Vinteloper OPN/12 ‘ODEON’ Pinot Noir 2012, Adelaide Hills, SA – this is from a single vineyard in Lenswood, Adelaide Hills.  It was a very stylish wine with pure fruit flavours of sweet red cherries, hints of leather and good potential for development.


UK distributor: Red Squirrel Wine


Copyright of - January 2016

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