Magda and I took along a dozen wines to September’s premium Australia tasting entitled ‘Australia Redefined’ which was organised by the team at Wine Australia UK. The concept being that all entrants on show must sell for upwards of £20 per bottle (retail price). The event was well attended by the press – Perhaps they were lured with the prerequisite of sampling premium Aussie wine. We thought we would offer a flavour of Tasmania with representation from Hughes & Hughes, Glaetzer-Dixon and Domaine Simha with a dash of the Margaret River and the Yarra Valley (courtesy of Hoddles Creek, Soumah & Nocturne). Without exception, an Australian wine tasting must have Shiraz and we took along some beauties including Craig Stansborough’s After Five Wine Co, the goliath that is 2016 Standish The Relic and one of the finds of the year(s), Hutton Vale Farm Shiraz.
The press were all positively charming, engaged, personable and thirsty for knowledge. Magda and I spent much of the day pouring and talking with the likes of Susie Barrie MW, Jancis Robinson MW, Matthew Jukes, Alistair Cooper MW, Richard Bampfield MW, Team Decanter, and Aussie favourite, Mike Bennie who works closely with our very own Dr Edge. I thoroughly enjoy listening to their reactions and thoughts on our offerings. Most are honest, and I find little, if any argument with their respective assessments. After all, these are some of the finest palates in the world.
Regardless of status, personal preference with styles, use of oak, alcohol levels etc, everyone is looking for balance and ideally, a wine that delivers in all areas. Succinct, neat & tidy, personality, and nothing OTT. Given the volume of wines in the room, some (if they formed part of a group) split their duties. Team Jancis MW divided their sampling between Shiraz and Chardonnay. Alistair Cooper MW taking the red option with Jancis MW taking Chardonnay. Matthew Jukes can motor his way through the entire room and sampled every wine on our table. Usually, Matthew is a non-talker – a head down sipper and scribbler which I would say does not show Matthew at his best.
I get it – You have little time to talk when you plan to sample the entire room however, and I am sure without consideration, it may appear rather elitist.