News & Events

What's going on in the world of wine?

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

Royal Queensland Wine Show Results

(July 5 2015)  - The Royal Queensland Wine Show results are now out. The Champion Wine Trophy as gone to Hunter Valley's First Creek Winemakers Reserve Chardonnay 2014. I recently reviewed the 2013 and if the 2014 is as good it is a well deserved win. The Champion Red Trophy has gone westwards to the Houghton Bandit Shiraz 2014. The Trophy for the Best Queensland Wine has gone to Golden Grove Joven Tempranillo (96 points). Another Granite Belt stawart, Symphony Hills, got high Gold Medals for their Viognier 2014 and Petit Verdot 2013. I'm heading up to Qld in a few weeks so looking forward to sampling some of the state's current releases that we don't normally get to see down here in Melbourne. top

2015 Langhorne Creek Wine Show Results

(June 8 2015)  - South Australia's Langhorne Creek has recently held its second regional wine judging show. The judging panel was chaired by Iain Riggs. Sarah Andrews from Selador (who I have co-judged with in Victorian shows) was the associate judge and sent me through the results (thanks Sarah). No huge surpris in this red wine dominant region that the Champion Wine of the Show went to a powerful, ripe Shiraz, Gypsy Jack Shiraz 2013. The Best Alternative Variety gong went to the Bremerton Special Release Lagrein 2013. The Best Sparkling, White or Rose Trophy went to the Lake Breeze Reserve Chardonnay 2014. 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

GENXY 2014 Most Recommended Wines List Released

(Dec 22 2014)  - I have released the 2014 'GenXY Wines Most Recommended Wines' list and the December reviews slightly earlier this year as the IT host of the website is transferring this website to the 'cloud'. Hopefully there will be no issues for readers but I can't load new material until the process is complete. I tried 2,025 Australian and New Zealand wines in this period (Dec 2013 - Dec 2014). I have ranked 132 wines as Gold Medal standard, with 812 recommendations (ie Gold, Silver or Bronze Medal standard). The list is accessible from the home page link. Seasons greetings and see you back in 2015. top

National Wine Show 2014 Results

(Dec 6 2014)  - The National Wine Show was held recently in Canberra. To enter a wine must have already won a medal at a capital city wine show or a Gold or Silver at a recognised regional show. The Champion Wine (Len Evans Memorial Trophy winner) went to Mornington Peninsula's Yabby Lake Block 2 Pinot Noir 2013. The Dry White Trophy went to the Yarra Valley's De Bortoli Section A5 Chardonnay. In the Rose class the winer was McLaren Vale's Shingleback Haycutters Salmon Rose 2014. The Sweet White Trophy went to the vibrant Di Giorgio Lucindale Botrytis Semillon 2011 (Limestone Coast). The Fortified Trophy went to the Barossa's Grant Burge 20 year Old Tawny. The judges commented on the high standard of the 2014 Rieslings, Victorian and Tasmanian Pinot Noir from 2012 and 2013, the Yarra Valley, Margaret River, Adelaide Hills and Tasmanian Chardonnays. The 2012 and 2013 Shiraz, Cabernet and Cabernet Merlot from many regions were also standouts. The West Cape Howe Tempranillo 2013 took out the Other Red Varieties Trophy. top

  • Royal Queensland Wine Show Results read
  • 2015 Langhorne Creek Wine Show Results 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
  • GENXY 2014 Most Recommended Wines List Released read
  • National Wine Show 2014 Results read
  • >
  • Some Reflections On The Early 2015 Wine Festivalsread
  • Summer Dozen read

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

  • Sat 13 June 2015, Melbourne (Vic): Game of Rhones, Meat Market, 5 Blackwood St, North Melbourne, 1 - 6 , $50,
  • 20 June 2015, Hunter Valley (NSW): Hunter Valley Wine Festival, Crowne Plaza, Lovegrove, 11 - 5 ,
  • Sun 21 June 2015, Sydney (NSW): Game of Rhones, Carriage Works, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh, 1 - 6 , $50,
  • Sat 4 July 2015, Auckland (NZ): Game of Rhones, Stack 10, 89 Quay St, Auckland, 1 - 6 , $50,
  • Fri 10 July - Sun July 12 2015, Perth (WA): Good Food and Wine Show, Perth Covention and Exhibition Centre,
  • Sun 9 Aug 2015, Brisbane (Qld): Coonawarra Roadshow, Lightspace, Fortitude Valley,
  • Fri 7 Aug - Sun Aug 9 2015, Sydney (NSW): Good Food and Wine Show, Sydney Olympic Park,
  • Sun 9 Aug 2015, Brisbane (Qld): Coonawarra Roadshow, Lightspace, Fortitude Valley, 3 - 6 pm,
  • Tues 11 Aug 2015, Sydney (NSW): Coonawarra Roadshow, Sydney Town Hall, 5 - 8 pm,
  • Thurs 13 Aug 2015, Melbourne (Vic): Coonawarra Roadshow, Melborne Town Hall, 5 - 8 pm,
  • Fri 14 Aug 2015, Hobart (Tas): Coonawarra Roadshow, Hobart Fnction and Convention Centre, 5 - 8 pm,
  • Sun 16 Aug 2015, Adelaide (SA): Coonawarra Roadshow, National Wine Centre, North Terrace, 3 - 6 pm,
  • Sun Aug 16 2015, Melborne (Vic): Vin Diemen, Meat Market, North Melborne, 11 - 6, Tasmanian wine, cider, whisky and food,
  • Tues 18 Aug 2015, Perth (WA): Coonawarra Roadshow, Pan-Pacific Perth, 5 - 8 pm,
  • Thurs Aug 20 2015, Brisbane (Qld): Vin Diemen, Lightspace, Fortitude Valley, 5 - 10 pm, Tasmanian wine, cider, whisky and food,
  • Fri 28 Aug - Sun Aug 30 2015, Newcastle (NSW): Newcastle Food and Wine Expo, Newcastle Entertainment Centre,
  • Sat Sept 5 2015, Sydney (NSW): Vin Diemen, Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh, 11 - 6 pm, Tasmanian wine, cider, whisky and food,

GenXY Recommended Summer Dozen

Here's a list of a dozen summer drinking wines that I rated as Gold or Silver in 2014. Enjoy responsibly and see you all again in 2015...  

White Sparklings: Mosquito Hill Blanc de Blancs 2010, (Southern Fleurieu, SA), the quality of this came as a total surprise for a small producer outside of Tasmania/Southern Victoria, deeply flavoured but elegant and linear showing lemon zest and melon with toasty brioche, honeysuckle and buttery complexity, good spine of lemony acidity with some sea spray nuances on the persistent finish ($27)

Dry Whites: Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (Marlborough, NZ), quintessential expression of the love it or hate it regional style, second earliest harvest in 30 years, highly perfumed, rich and intense passionfruit, lemon curd, cut grass and tangerine with fennel and basil notes, minerally with good palate length and crunchy pink grapefruit acidity (*****) $A32

Dandelion Vineyards Enchanted Garden of the Eden Valley Riesling 2014 (Eden Valley, SA), from vines planted in 1910, bone-dry, pure and vibrant lime and lemon with hints of apple, minerally  with fennel, rose petal and brown spice, taut and long structure, penetrating grapefruit acidity on the slaty finish ($28)

Tohu Mugwi Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (Marlborough, NZ), Pure Elite Gold at Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2014, flinty, leesy and barrel fermented style showing nectarine and guava with basil and tobacco notes, creamy with drying phenolics and toasty nuttiness from the oak, a complex wine that is a world away from the conventional regional style, will benefit with medium term cellaring ($30)

Chapman Grove Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (Margaret River, WA), , Gold Medals at Melbourne and Perth Royal Wine Shows 2013,  intensely perfumed, textured and creamy blackcurrant, cut grass, lime and guava with tobacco and flint notes, fairly full bodied and seamless leading to a minerally finish, massive step up from the sweaty 2010 release ($20)

Millton Te Arai Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2013 (Gisborne, NZ), partial ferment in large 600l demi-muids, not quite off-dry at 7.2 gms/ rs but shows concentrated ripe flavours such as limes, pear and cumquat, creamy textured palate with a touch of lanolin and emergent honey, crisp lemony acidity with some chalkiness on the finish but otherwise fine phenolics, held its own in terms of balance and complexity in a line-up with more expensive Vouvrays ($24)

Yabby Lake Block 1 Chardonnay 2012 (Mornington Peninsula, Vic), Mendoza clone, fairly intense and tightly wound nectarine and melon with white flower, nougat and gunflint notes, wrapped up in minerals and crunchy grapefruit acidity, some briny phenolics and balanced savoury oak ($95)

Rose: Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Rose 2014 (Hawke's Bay, NZ) , debut release, derived from 82% Merlot, 18% Syrah, 50% whole bunch ferment, wild yeast ferment in seasoned French oak puncheons pale salmon-pink colour, stylish blood orange and red berry with peppery spices and dried herbs, medium bodied glycerolly and creamy in a positive textural Provence-style, refreshing and lingering dry finish ($30)

Spinifex Rose 2014 (Barossa Valley, SA), blend of 40% Grenache, 19% Cinsault, 19% Shiraz, 16% Mataro and 6% Ugni Blanc, wild yeast ferment, 35% malo, 10% matured in wood, lower alcohol than usual (presumably early picked) with Shiraz component added to build fleshiness, dry, light-medium red cherry and cranberry with rose petal, orange blossom and pomegranate notes, slightly spicy with refreshing acidity and savoury phenolics, complex and vibrant style ($21)

Pinot Noir: Coldstream Hills The Esplanade Pinot Noir 2013 (Yarra Valley, Vic), Gold Medal at Royal Melbourne Wine Show 2014, named after St. Kilda’s legendary beachside rock pub (and my local), MV6 clone, from the Syme Vineyard, fragrant, powerful, foresty and expansive cherry, plum and blueberry with anise, sage and pot pourri floral notes, dusty and medium bodied with earthiness and substantial whole bunch aspect, the French oak is well balanced (*****) $50

GSM: Massena The Moonlight Run Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2012 (Barossa Valley, SA), perfumed blend of 57% Grenache, 31% Mataro, 7% Shiraz and 5% Cinsault, plush and juicy blackberry, blueberry and mulberry with lavender, rose petal, anise and asian spice notes, succulent, minerally and medium-full bodied with supple, savoury tannins, give it a slight chill if its a hot day ($25)

Sparkling Red: Peter Lehman Black Queen Sparking 2009 (Barossa Valley, SA), Trophy for Best Sparkling at Barossa Wine Show 2013, the extended lees contact gives this yeast savoury complexity missing from most examples of this style, plush blackberry, black cherry and cola with leather, pepper and cinnamon notes, dusty with a light touch of mocha/cedar, well handled dosage integration and acid balance ($42)

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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