Wine review – Clonakilla wines for release 1 May 2018

Clonakilla Canberra District Syrah 2016 $120 Clonakilla Syrah comes from T&L block, the warmest site on the Kirk family’s Murrumbateman vineyard. From its earliest vintages the block, planted in 1999, ripened early than its neighbours and produced a distinctive, comparatively robust shiraz, albeit within the medium-bodied Canberra District spectrum. On first opening the 2016 showed […]

Memories of a Christian Pol Roger visit and tasting Champagne Bruno Paillard

When I began wine retailing in 1976 Australians already drank impressive volumes of Champagne. Indeed for a time we were the only country buying more vintage than non-vintage product. Australia now imports around eight million bottles a year, though the mix favours non-vintage Champagne, a change driven partly by direct retailer imports and aggressive discounting […]

Tasting an Aussie blue-chip: Tyrrell’s Vat 47 Chardonnay 2004–2017

Tyrrell’s turns 160 this year. Marking the anniversary, Bruce Tyrrell, his son Chris, winemaker Andrew Spinaze and vineyard manager Andrew Pengilly held a tasting of Vat 47 Chardonnays, vintages 2004 to 2017. The 14-vintage sequence revealed Vat 47’s continuing style evolution and the profound impact of the screw cap – ‘Perhaps the greatest step forward…[it] […]

Canberra 2018 – another trouble-free vintage

Mount Majura vigneron Frank van de Loo welcomes another trouble-free Canberra vintage. Located about 100km inland with vineyard altitudes between about 550 metres and 860 metres, the volume of the district’s harvest varies widely across any given decade. Frost, wind, hail, and sustained cold weather have all at times reduced the region’s harvest and at times wine quality. […]

The Canberra wine region 2017 wrap

In 2017, Lonely Planet rated Canberra third best city in the world. But in keeping with a decidedly riesling mood enveloping the Capital’s winemakers, Gallagher Canberra Riesling 2017 topped 519 wines from seven countries in the Canberra International Riesling Challenge. Murrumbateman winemaker Ken Helm founded the challenge 17 years ago. At the time, Canberra riesling, […]

Wine review – Gundog Estate, Swinging Bridge, Freeman

Gundog Estate Canberra District Shiraz 2016 $40 Under winemaker Matt Burton, Hunter-based Gundog Estate makes wines from Canberra District fruit and also operates a cellar door in the Grazing complex, Gundaroo. Burton’s 2016 Canberra shiraz, from the Dahlberg vineyard Murrumbateman, shows the opulent fruit character of this early, warm vintage. It remains, however, a medium bodied […]