Gamay focus 21, Bass Phillip Gamay 2014, Gippsland, Australia

There isn’t a lot of Gamay in Australia, but there are two or three examples that get written up very highly by the critics. This is one of them: the Gamay from Bass Phillip, better known for exceptional Pinot Noir. The plot this wine was made from is in the Leongatha vineyard in South Gippsland, [...]

Rootstock (Sydney), a natural wine fair, focuses more on the vineyard in 2016

Late last year I had a lovely time attending Rootsock Sydney. It’s a lovely not-for-profit wine fair focusing on natural wines. One of the very best.

I really enjoyed it, but I was a bit worried by the obsession with winemaking processes in defining ‘natural’, and in particular with the fixation on sulfur dioxide levels. In [...]

Wolf Blass Black Label Vertical, 1974-2012

Chris Hatcher, Wolf Blass winemaker

This is the 50th year of Wolf Blass as a wine company, and it’s also the 40th vintage of the Wolf Blass Black Label. So winemaker Chris Hatcher was in town to present a vertical of this wine back to 1974.

Wolf made his first wine in 1967, when he produced [...]

Fall From Grace: natural wines from McLaren Vale

Gill Gordon Smith is an ex Quantas flight attendant, who fell in love with wine. Now she has her own wine label, Fall From Grace, which she cells from a cellar door that doubles up as a wine bar/retail shop, based in Aldinga, McLaren Vale. The wine list here is quite brilliant, with a natural [...]

Dodgy Brothers wines, McLaren Vale, Australia

Wes Pearson at work in the sensory lab

Wes Pearson, an ex-pat Canadian is by day a sensory scientist working at the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI). He’s also the winemaker behind wine label Dodgy Brothers. He has two partners in the business: Peter Bolte, who’s a consultant viticulturist and who initiated the project, and [...]

New Releases from BK Wines in the Adelaide Hills

It was nice to be able to drink these new releases from Brendon and Kirstyn Keys of BK Wines. I’m really impressed by them, and they’re gaining quite a reputation in Australia, and lately abroad. Working quite naturally, but with very refined, clean wines.

BK Wines Petillant Naturel Chardonnay 2016 Adelaide Hills, Australia
This Pet Nat is [...]

An evening in Adelaide: Mothervine, Osteria Oggi and The Exeter

Had a lovely evening in Adelaide on Wednesday. We began at Mothervine, which is a really good wine bar. There’s just such a good list here, which spans Australian and European, with a nice mix of conventional and more natural. First up, a lovely 2014 Kabinett from Prum, which was so taut and fine, and [...]

Egon Müller Kanta Riesling, Adelaide Hills, Australia

The Adelaide Hills isn’t so well known for Riesling. Tonight I tried this pair of wines from Kanta, which is a collaboration between Egon Müller and Michael Andrewartha of East End Cellars in Adelaide that’s been going since the 2005 vintage. The Balhannah vineyard is owned by Shaw & Smith, and the soils are sandy [...]

Mac Forbes EB18 'P3' Pinot Gris/Pinot Noir/Pinot Meunier 2015

Mac Forbes is a bit of a legend. He’s been a pioneer of lighter, lower alcohol, naturally made wines from the Yarra Valley. As well as his regular wines, he makes small quantities of ‘EB’ (experimental batch) wines. This is one of those, and just 3000 bottles were made. It’s three Pinots together: Noir, Gris [...]

BK Wines One Ball Chardonnay 2015 Adelaide Hills, Australia

This is was my drinking on Sunday night. I arrived in Adelaide late Saturday, jet-lagged as hell, and promptly crashed, sleeping through until Sunday morning. Then I woke early, breakfasted, braved the gym, showered, and went out to wander the town, after first having registered for the technical conference that I’m attending this week.

On my [...]