Movements from Wine Australia + some fine wines to match
This week marked our first big WCA committee meeting for 2011 (WCA – Wine Communicators of Australia, the national committee of which I’m a part of) and in amongst the usual discussions came an interesting presentation by a representative of Australia’s peak wine body, Wine Australia.
What made it interesting was just to hear about the changing focus of Wine Australia’s marketing activities, particularly on the domestic front. Previously, the perception has always been that Wine Australia’s focus has been on export markets, with the dollars spent on international marketing, promotion and information, often with minimal regard for what happens within Australia itself. Flash forward to 2011 however and domestic marketing seems important again, with the appointment of a newly created Domestic Marketing Manager position, backed by a board whom see Australian wine sales as of increased relevance.
Once official duties were largely sorted, the wines thankfully came out, and the WCA cellar has some very handy wines in it indeed (most of which have been winners at previous Sydney Wine Shows).
Annie’s Lane Coppertrail Riesling 2004 (Clare Valley, SA) 11%
Couldn’t be any more Clare Valley-esque if it tried. More in the Watervale mould that is, all toasty richness and a plump middle, in an upfront and open style. There is quite a deal of toast through the finish too, which not everyone is going to like, but the length is top shelf. It’s not going to get any better, but I rather liked this. 18/93
Tahbilk ‘1927 Vines’ Marsanne 2003 (Goulburn Valley, Vic) 10.5%
If the Coppertrail is the affable and upfront blonde, then this is the slightly more austere – but ultimately sexier – brunette. Lemon, lemon juice, even a hint of crab (yep, crab). Wonderful line and length, briny acidity and real intensity. Heavy, lightly creamy finish. Put me in the mind of a Tyrrells Stevens Sem actually (good thing) but more lemony, and with similar ageless qualities. Lovely drink (I drained more than one glass very easily). 18.5/94
Cape Mentelle Chardonnay 2007 (Margaret River, WA) 13%
A fraction too ripe? Which sounds shallow considering this is just 13% alcohol, but it just looks a little heady. Creamy, toasty, leesy nose in a rich vanillan style, followed up by a palate that is loaded with flavour (and plenty of spicy oak). I’m seeing good things in this wines future, it just needs some time to settle down. 17.5/91+
Shaw + Smith Chardonnay 2008 (Adelaide Hills, SA) 13.5%
Rough vintage in the Hills. Shocker even. But if ever there was a wine that could defy the vintage it’s this one. It starts off with a figgy nose, in that nicely layered, essence-of-modern-Chardy style. Ripe, though well contained. Quite restrained on the palate too, all things considered, with enough white peach fruit to carry it off. Palate is ultimately big boned and just a bit broad, but no questioning the class. Defies the vintage. 17.4/91
Home Hill Pinot Noir 2005 (Tasmania) 14%
Bedecked with bling. Bedazzled even. Suffice to say it’s won a medal or three. I can see why too. It’s just a big, no-guts-no-glory Pinot, which is a little surprising for Tassie. If anything I think it’s a bit stewed, with a caramel, treacly, stressed fruit edge (though it still smells proper Pinot-ish) Ultimately a little over the top and show wine-esque to be really drinkable (but others quite enjoyed it). 16.5/88