News & Events

What's going on in the world of wine?

New, events, features. Read about some of the goings on wine-wise.

Cabernet Franc wins Bragato Trophy

(Sept 5 2017)  - A Cabernet Franc from Canterbury has come out on top at this year’s Bragato Wine Awards. Grown by Lindsay Hill, in the Waipara West vineyard located in Canterbury, The Boneline Cabernet Franc 2016 won the coveted Bragato Trophy for Champion Wine of the Show. The wine also picked up the New Zealand trophy for Champion Emerging Red Wine. "This Cabernet Franc was a pleasure to judge, but equally an absolute joy to taste, savour and discuss," said Chair of Judges Ben Glover. "This wine is certainly all about a single site… a real treat". Fourteen trophies in total were awarded and the geographical spread was diverse, with four going to Marlborough; three each going to Hawke’s Bay, Canterbury and Otago; and one going to Nelson. The Bragato Awards are for NZ wine-growing excellence and for the first time all the wines had to be single vineyard. top

Young Drinkers Going Off Chardonnay

(Sept 1 2017)  - A Wine Intelligence Report, Australian Landscapes 2017, has found that young drinkers are shifting from Chardonnay to more aromatic styles of white wine. 43% of 25­34 year old regular wine drinkers in Australia have drunk Chardonnay in the past 6 months, compared with 61% of 55­64 year old wine drinkers. For those who started drinking during the 1980s Chardonnay boom, Chardonnay is still the go-to varietal," said Lulie Halstead, CEO of Wine Intelligence."For those living in wine producing regions, their first instinct is to reach for familiar, local wines. And for the younger, well-travelled generation, their exposure to European varietals is reflected in a much wider and varied varietal repertoire.”60% of Australian regular wine drinkers have drunk Sauvignon Blanc in the last six months, while Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris and Moscato have also grown in popularity at Chardonnay’s expense.The report reveals that 25­34 years olds are also the most adventurous regular wine drinkers in Australia, with 51% agreeing that they "enjoy trying new and different styles of wine on a regular basis." They are also the most likely group to have consumed niche white varietals such as Gewürztraminer (10%) and Grüner Veltliner (12%). This is in stark contrast to the older generation of 55­64 year olds, of whom just 5% have sampled Gewürztraminer and 2% Grüner Veltliner in the last 6 months. The trend towards European varietals is echoed in red varietals. Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Zinfandel and Pinotage are now consumed by more regular wine drinkers in Australia, particularly by the younger cohort. The report also finds that the dominant impact that regional location has on consumption. In Western Australia, home to Margaret River and a substantial producer of Semillon/Sauvignon blends, Semillon/Sauvignon is the most likely white wine to be consumed. In contrast, the highest proportion of Riesling drinkers is found in South Australia ­ where wineries in Clare and Eden Valley produce award-winning dry Riesling. top

Ashton Hills sold

(April 23 2015)  - Wirra Wirra (McLaren Vale) has taken over Ashton Hills in the Adelaide Hills. The will allow Wirra Wirra to take the next step in developing cool climate white varieties, Pinot Noir and sparklings. Former Ashton Hills owner, Stephen George will stay on as a consultant for the Pinot Noir. At the moment the Aston Hills label will remain as a distinct part of the Wirra Wirra portfolio. top

Smoke Taint Detected In Adelaide Hills

(April 2 2015)  - Some growers in the northern Adelaide Hills are facing more bad news in the wake of the bushfires that hit Sampson Flat in January. Smoke taint is often not evident when the grapes are picked but the ashtray-like taint becomes evident after ferment and bottling. Testing by the Australian Wine Research Institute of the 2015 vintage has shown the presence of smoke taint in growers vineyards (such a the grower for the Protero label) meaning a write-off of the entire crop. However, the testing has shown that the smoke taint has been confined to the far northern end of region so many of the more famous Adelaide Hills producers appear to be unaffected. top

We're Back

(March 31 2015)  - We're back in full swing here at genxywines after a bit of a holiday and solving a few 'shifting to the cloud technical issues' over the summer break. Vinous highlights over the break included Riesling Downunder at the Docklands with dozens of Australian producers alongside some of the best from New Zealand, German, Austria and the emerging Finger Lakes region around New York. Dr. Loosen, was there in person, pouring and master-classing. The other highlight was the international biodynamic 'Return To Terroir' expo at Melbourne Town Hall with the world's leading bio-dyamic practioners. Next I'm off to Castlemaine for the Bendigo Wine Festival on Easter Sunday. top

Charles Sturt University To Close Its Commercial Winery

(March 24 2015)  - Charles Sturt University established a commercial winery for its vineyards in Wagga Wagga and Orange in 2003 to provide commercial experience for its wine school students. The university hs decided to close its commercial operations in response to market pressures, the large distance education components of its current enrolments and uncertainty about future higher education funding arrangements. The cellar doors in Orange and Wagga Wagga will remain open for the rest of the year. The focus will shift to the national wine and grape industry centre at Wagga Wagga and also branching out into other alcohol products such as cider and mead. The university is seeking expressions of interest for the vineyards and wine-making facilities at Orange. top

  • Cabernet Franc wins Bragato Trophy read
  • Young Drinkers Going Off Chardonnay read
  • Ashton Hills sold read
  • Smoke Taint Detected In Adelaide Hills read
  • We're Back read
  • Charles Sturt University To Close Its Commercial Winery read
  • >
  • Some Reflections On The Early 2015 Wine Festivalsread
  • Summer Dozen read

Regional, National and International Wine Events Open to the General Public:

  • Sept 16 2017, Christchurch (NZ): Pinot Palooza, 3 Garland Rd, Woolaston,
  • Oct 7 2017, Melb (Vic): Pinot Palooza, Royal Exhibition Hall, Nicholson St, Carlton,>
  • Oct 7-8 2017, Heathcote (Vic): Heathcote Wine and Food Wine Show, Heathcote Showgrounds,
  • Oct 8 2017, Sydney (NSW): Pinot Palooza, Carriageworks, 245 Wilson St, Everleigh,
  • Oct 8 2017, Sydney (NSW): Hunter Valley Uncorked, Hotel, The Esplanade, Balmoral,
  • Oct 13 2017, Orange (NSW): Orange Wine Show public tasting, Hotel Canobalas Ballroom,
  • Oct 14 - 15 2017, Brisbane (Qld): Lightspace, 30 Light St, Fortitude Valley,
  • October 21 2017, Berri (SA): Riverland Wine and Food Festival, Banks of Murray River, Berri,
  • Oct 21 - 22 2017, Gisborne (NZ): Gisborne Wine and Food Festival, Gray's Bush Scenic Reserve, Back Ormond Road,
  • Oct 27 -29 2017, Brisbane (Qld): The Good Food and Wine Show, Brisban Convention and Exhibition Centre,

GenXY Recommended Spring Dozen

Here's a list of a dozen Spring drinking wines that I rated as Gold or Silver in 2017.  

Hahndorf Hill GRU Gruner Veltliner 2016, (Adelaide Hills, SA), Gold Medal at Royal Adelaide Wine Show 2016, with vine age now starting to show structure of age-worthy Gruner, green apple, nectarine and pear with white pepper and parsnip, good intensity and texture, persistent chalky phenolics, vibrant grapefruit acidity and a wet slate finish (*****) ($28)

Sinapius Home Block Chardonnay 2016 (North Tasmania, Tas),om the close planted estate vineyard with six clones, 100% malo, vibrant and moderately creamy yellow peach, tangerine, nectarine and lime with flint notes, long and linear palate with racy lemon rind acidity and spicy cashew French oak, fairly reserved (one third new)y (*****) $32

Pooley Cooinda Chardonnay 2016 (South Tasmania, Tas), pre-release tasting, the vineyard has previously been used as a source of the Penfolds Yattarna, tight and pristine white nectarine, melon and grapefruit, minerals with excellent line and length, well integrated almond oak and crunchy acidity, lets the fruit do the talking (*****) ($58)

Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2011 (Hunter Valley, NSW), has already racked up 8 gold medals on the wineshow circuit, the Hunter Valley was one of the few regions to miss the flooding rains on the 2011 summer, pale straw-green colour, initially delicate and buttery lemon grass and lime with citrus blossom florals,, lightly spritz with a more intense waxy and smoky mid-palate, a mineral backbone with firm grapefruit acidity and integrated vanilla oak, excellent persistence, long cellaring style (*****) ($70)

Mandurang Valley Monastrell 2014 (Bendigo, Vic), the stand alone Monastrell (Mourvdere) was my pick of the wines at this year's Bendigo Wine Festival, fully ripe blackberry and dark plums with liquorice, white pepper, sage and even a touch of iodine, supple and medium bodied with a touch of mid-palate rhubarb, dusty tannins and balanced cedar/vanilla French and American oak, excellent line and length (****1/2) ($22)

Millton Te Arai Chenin Blanc 2016 (Gisborne, NZ), inspired by Loire Valley Chenin Blanc, wild yeast fermented, partial barrel ferment in 600l demi-muids, taut and linear white nectarine, red apple, lime zest and pear with floral notes and a hint of honeysuckle, slightly creamy and waxy with a spine of chalky phenolics, fresh orange peel acidity and good persistence, verging on off-dry with 7 gm/l residual sugars (****1/2) ($30)

Some Reflections On Early 2015 Wine Festivals

Bendigo Winemakers Festival, Castlemaine Botanic Gardens (Entry $35)  - every Easter Sunday most of the region’s wineries assemble in the scenic Botanic Gardens with some music and food stalls.  Castlemaine is on the V-line train line so Melbourne and Bendigo commuters can partake without drink-driving.  This weather this year was typical of recent shows, dry and hovering in the early-mid 20s.  The only quibble this year is that the glasses have been replaced by plastic. Apparently last year there were some attendees who thought it would be a laugh to try and deliberately smash as many glasses as they could.  Didn’t see it myself last year and this year the atmosphere was relaxed and casual as you expect at regional shows. It is also pleasing to see more diverse varieties such as Grenache, Nebbiolo, Mourvedre (Monastrell) and Barbera in this heavily Shiraz-Cabernet dominated region.mendable, richly flavoured sparklings from the Adelaide Hills were an unexpected treat.  Rating (****)

Most Memorable Wines: Balgownie Estate White Label Chardonnay 2012, Blackjack Block 6 Shiraz 2012,  Glenwillow Barbera d’Yandoit 2013,  Mandurang Valley Grenache Shiraz Monastrell 2013, Newbridge Shiraz 2013, Sutton Grange Fairbank Rose 2014, Sutton Grange Fairbank Viognier 2013top

Gauchito Gil’s Malbec World Day, Ormond Hall, St. Kilda Rd, Melb (Entry $40)  - this single variety celebration (apart from single Argentinean Torrontes) was organised by Bottleshop Concepts who have been trying to make wine tastings more fun to younger audiences through events such as Pinot Palaooza and Game of Rhones.  Malbec, needs a fashion makeover as it is one of the largely neglected members of the Bordeaux family and is normally seen as blending variety outside of its new World epicentre in the higher reaches of Argentina such as Mendoza.   Langhorne Creek is the local region that has most embraced the variety as a stand-alone.  The 40 or so Australian, Argentinean and French (Cahors) Malbec producers were accompanied with tango dancers, empanadas and an address from the Argentinean ambassador.  The tasting confirmed for me that while there are some serious stand-alone Malbecs coming from producers such as Ferngrove and the Bleasdale that there is still a substantial gap in terms of purity and acid/tannin structure compared to the best premiums from Mendoza and Cahors.  Unfortunately Australia’s most serious and firmly structured Malbec from Clare Valley’s Wendouree wasn’t there.  Nevertheless it was fascinating to benchmark our local wines against the world’s best.  Rating (****)

Most Memorable Wines: Bleasdale Double Take Malbec 2012 (Langhorne Creek, SA), Bleasdale Generations Malbec 2012 (Langhorne Creek, SA), Ferngrove King Malbec  2012 (Great Southern, WA), Ferngrove Limited Release Malbec 2013 (Great Southern, WA) top

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