Launched in 1978, Winestate is one of the world’s longest running wine magazines, featuring over 140 pages on all things vinous from around the globe. Winestate tastes and rates over 10,000 wines a year, making Winestate the leading authority on Australian and New Zealand wines.
Winestate Magazine • NO.298 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019
nz briefs • what’s happening in the NZ wine scene
TRADITIONALISTS CONTINUE THEIR CRUS CONVERSATIONS
FACING UP TO THE CHANGING ENVIRONMENT
MARSEILLES MAKES THE MOST OF ITS FISHY PAST
A Loire unto themselves • From the outside, France’s Loire Valley is ruled by a complex range of regulations.
STEPPING INTO THE SPOTLIGHT • WINESTATE TURNS THE FOCUS ON EMERGING VARIETALS WITH ITS ANNUAL AWARDS.
PAYING BACK • A decades old favour from another generation, repaid a few years ago, has allowed Morris Wines to reach its 160-year milestone.
GIN CITIES • MICHAEL HICKINBOTHAM IS DRAWING ON A FAMILY HISTORY DATING BACK THREE GENERATIONS TO DISTILL AN AWARD-WINNING RANGE OF AUSTRALIAN GINS.
hong kong grapevine
WHAT’S IT WORTH? • WINESTATE’S AUCTION PRICE GUIDE
CLARE VALLEY & SURROUNDING REGIONS • Generally regarded as Australia's premium riesling region, or certainly one regarded as the yardstick. Clare continues to delight as it did in this judging. Also of note are the Clare shiraz wines with the aged versions a special feature.
CABERNET SAUVIGNON & BORDEAUX BLENDS • An excellent line-up of cabernet varietals and blends. Here we include the so-called bordeaux (note lower case "b") blending varietals of merlot, cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot. At their best these can stand alone and produce great wines also. (Petrus anyone?) Of course the spotlight always falls on the star which is cabernet sauvignon, some say the king of red wines and certainly provides the backbone for any of the these blends. In this judging we had a very high strike rate of quality wines, especially at the pricing end.
RIESLING • Are we having the 5th riesling revival yet? I never understand why this varietal doesn't have a bigger following with its refreshing citrus lemon and lime acidity, perfect for spring and summer drinking. It is also a white wine that has great aging possibilities. Overall the best here had intensity and balance of sugar and acid. Fruit sugar is great but added sugar for cool climate crops is also ok but only if it is balanced and not overdone!
SAUVIGNON BLANC & BLENDS • Many believe that this varietal wine is the most distinctive of all the whites, with its herbacious, grassy or pungent sweaty characteristics. It is loved by many and loathed by a few. In this judging it is interesting to see the range of wines covering all these characteristics, showing that whatever your preference there is a wine here for you. Two additional comments; don't believe that the best of this variety can't age; it can! Secondly for some sceptics give them a glass but don't tell them what it is. The best can be superb wines!
PINOT GRIS/PINOT GRIGIO • "You say gris, I say grigio"?! We continue to be confused by the difference although there seems a friend in Australia and New Zealand for fuller flavours for the former and lighter zesty acidity for the latter. Of course in Italy you have wines labelled "grigio" that cover both territories. These are not wines that win major trophies but are great sipping lunch wines or in summer with salads and light fish or meat dishes.
EMERGING VARIETALS • Is this the new future for red and white wines? Just as on-line has dominated print, is this the new direction for wine? Only time will tell. What we...