Wine reviews – Hahndorf Hill, Twelve Signs, Parker Coonawarra Estate, Mount Langi Ghiran, Mitchell, McWilliams

Hahndorf Hill Winery “Gru” Gruner Veltliner 2015 Hahndorf Hill vineyard, Adelaide Hills, South Australia $28 Hahndorf Hill owners Larry Jacobs and Marc Dobson identified a fit between Austria’s late-ripening gruner veltliner and their elevated, continental-climate vineyard site in the Adelaide Hills. In Austria, they write, “vignerons all place huge emphasis on one crucial quality-defining factor […]

Wine review – Twelve Signs, De Bortoli, Tscharke

Twelve Signs Hilltops Chardonnay 2014 $10–$14 Enjoy it while you can. Moppity vineyards recently grafted its old chardonnay vines over to the Spanish red variety, tempranillo, with instant success. Owner Jason Brown now relies on his Coppabella vineyard, Tumbarumba, for chardonnay. The higher, cooler region simply suits the variety much better. While the days of […]

Honesty’s great, but stale beer sucks

US legal actions highlight beer paradox Two US beer suits in the latter half of 2015 underscore a paradox: deceptive as it may be to present US-brewed “imports” as German or Australian, offering the real thing could mean drinkers get an inferior product. In the first suit, Anheuser-Busch InBev agreed to refund cash to customers and […]

Wine review – McWilliams, De Bortoli, Jacob’s Creek, Penny’s Hill, Leo Buring, Bream Creek

McWilliams Appellation Series Syrah 2014 Canberra District, NSW $21.80–$25 Last year McWilliams launched their “appellation” range, devoted to wines from the southern NSW high country. But the company staked its first major claim in the region in the 1980s when it acquired Young’s (now Hilltops region) oldest vineyard, Barwang, from the Robertson family. The new […]

Inviting Beelzebub to Satan’s sugar party

Mount Horrocks Cordon Cut Clare Valley Riesling 2015 $26.90–$33 OK, dessert’s on. Should we go refreshing, dry and light, leaving the sweets on centre stage? Or we could pile sugar on sugar: kind of invite Beelzebub to Satan’s party, upping the voluptuous sweetness of the dessert with Stephanie Toole’s Mount Horrocks Cordon Cut Riesling. What […]

Byron Bay’s IPA fixation

Stone and Wood seizes IPA opportunity Spotting an opportunity to brew and sell a fresh US west-coast IPA style locally, Byron Bay’s Stone and Wood Brewery recently established a new company devoted entirely to IPA. The new venture, Fixation Brewing Company, rolled out the first kegs of its potent style  in December 2015 and says a packaged […]