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Variety

Items 1 to 12 of 27 total

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  1. Grenache

    Grenache

    You might remember the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes - in which a couple of impoverished tailors convince a preening peacock of an Emperorthat they can make him the most fabulous set of threads in the universe.
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  2. Merlot – the ducks nuts or just plain old bollocks?

    Merlot – the ducks nuts or just plain old bollocks?

    Quite unlike like Miles Raymond in the awesome film ‘Sideways’ … if anyone orders Merlot, I’m staying. I am very happy to drink f%^&ing Merlot!

    Merlot doesn’t get much love here in Australia – variously accused of being thin and reedy (region too cold) or soft and fat (region too warm) but rarely awesome, refined, structured or fruit intense. Much of the blame for Aussie Merlot being ‘crap’ has been ascribed to our clonal selections of Merlot – the most widely planted being D3V14, sourced from UC Davis in California in the mid 60s. It can make superb wine but it needs to be planted in the right sites and requires a lot of work in the vineyard to produce quality fruit. Historically most Aussie producers simply haven’t treated Merlot with that level of care. ‘Proper’ varieties, like Pinot, Shiraz, Cabernet etc have more time and money spent on them in the vineyard and winery because they yield a better return

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  3. Lagrein

    Lagrein

    We are big fans of Lagrein here at WD and have been ever since we latched onto the magnificent Geoff Hardy 2013 Lagrein. It's taken us until now to find another one which we love as much – the 2016 Silhouette Lagrein…

    History

    Lagrein is one of those varieties which can produce exceptional wines in a wide variety of different climates. Its home is in the Alto Adige/ South Tyrol in Northern Italy, which is bordered by Austria, Lichtenstein and Switzerland… a properly cold place to grow grapes. In spite of this the fruit also gets some decent pulses of hear in the ripening period … and produces complex and long lived red wine with plenty of tannin and acid, low ph, minerality and huge flavours. They can tend toward rusticity with furry tannins.

    In Australia

    Lagrein can also excel in the Murray Darling and Riverland which are pretty much at the opposite end of the climate spectrum to the grapes' homeland. Australia’s
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  4. Chardonnay

    Chardonnay

    Chardonnay sits on the fence of many a wine enthusiast. Versatile, kind in nature and oh so compliant, however for most it's still dressed in attire that's so distinctly... 90s. Shoulder pads, overalls and bike shorts saw this particular version of white wine with such a wooded vengeance, we were practically asking the chefs to take the butter out of the meals to make way for it. Thankfully however, times are a changin'. Underneath all that 90s getup reveals elegance and sophistication and Australia is doing its bit to make Chardy interesting again.
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  5. Grenache - the oldest new world wine ever!

    Grenache - the oldest new world wine ever!

    You gotta love the classics - a true classic will be a true classic forever! It will ride the waves of trends and bide it’s time until the next generation discovers it in their Mum and Dad's record collection or cellar - who then go on to painfully tell their parents how they discovered it and how cool it is.

      Those who have been enjoying Spanish wines or Rhone blends for years will already know of the classic varietal I’m taking the long road around to. It, like so many classics, has been rediscovered over the last little while and is enjoying a resurgence in popularity that is seeing it bust out from cult hero status at the local pub open-mic night to front and centre in stadiums, thrusting and twerking on its own headline tour. The humble varietal Garnacha or Grenache as we know it.
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  6. Durif: A Warm Climate Variety with Legs

    Durif: A Warm Climate Variety with Legs

    Durif was originally something of a Rutherglen secret, with typically brilliant wines made by Morris, Stanton and Killeen, Campbells, Fairfield and others. Of late it has quickened its stride with plantings in the Barossa, Riverland and McLaren Vale. I love it and I reckon it’s got legs in the glass with it’s high alcohol and in the vineyard because of the stunning wines it so often produces.

    Durif is particularly well suited to warm climates as it is drought tolerant and seems to avoid shrivel, even in extreme conditions. It retains acidity and bright fruit even when very ripe, minimising the chance of dead or indistinct fruit finding its way into the glass. Handled well it makes massive, tannic wines with an inky core of bright fruits and a strong spine of acidity. Fruit tends to plum and blackberries. You might also find liquorice, blood plum, cinnamon and cloves. Andrew Seppelt from Murray Street likens it to Shiraz on steroids and says it is … ‘akin

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  7. Hot climates hot cultivar: An introduction to Vermentino

    Hot climates hot cultivar: An introduction to Vermentino

    The hot vintages of the 2008 and 2009 growing season definitely put South Aussie vineyards through their paces, especially in the hotter regions. For many vignerons these record heat conditions punished vines, stalling flavour development while sugar levels raced ahead.

    While there have been plenty of good and even exceptional wines made, many of these wines carry the double albatross of excessive alcohol and dead fruit even after reverse osmosis. In hotter regions particularly, many traditional varietals suffered, with low yields, excessive baume and loss of varietal flavour being just some of the side effects. Varieties commonly found in the warmer parts of Europe fared much better in terms of vine health during the heatwave and fruit quality when picked. I wondered to what extent these extreme vintages would influence the planting of warm climate cultivars like Vermentino and if Vermentino has a viable mainstream future. You may well ask why I wondered, well I’m a big fan
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  8. Chenin Blanc

    Chenin Blanc

    Chenin blanc (known also as Pineau de la Loire among other names), is a white wine grape variety from the Loire valley of France. Its high acidity means it can be used to make everything from sparkling wines to well-balanced dessert wines, although it can produce very bland, neutral wines if the vine's natural vigor is not controlled. Outside the Loire it is found in most of the New World wine regions; it is the most widely planted variety in South Africa, where it is also known as Steen.

    History

    The grape may have been one of the first to be grown in South Africa by Jan van Riebeeck in 1655, or it may have come to that country with Huguenots fleeing France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Chenin Blanc was often misidentified in Australia as well, so tracing its early history in the country is not easy. It may have been introduced in James Busby's collection of 1832, but C. Waterhouse was growing Steen at Highercombe in Houghton, South Australia by

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  9. Cortese

    Cortese

    Cortese is a white Italian wine grape variety predominantly grown in the southeastern regions of Piedmont in the provinces of Alessandria and Asti. It is the primary grape of the Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) wines of Cortese dell'Alto Monferrato and Colli Tortonesi as well as the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wine of Cortese di Gavi. Significant plantings of Cortese can also be found in the Lombardy region of Oltrepò Pavese and in the DOC white blends of the Veneto wine region of Bianco di Custoza.

    History

    Cortese has a long history in Italian viticulture with written documentation naming the grape among the plantings in a Piedmontese vineyard as early as 1659. The grape's moderate acidity and light flavors has made it a favorite for the restaurants in nearby Genoa as a wine pairing with the local seafood caught off the Ligurian coast.

    In Australia

    Cortese grown outside of its native region is unheard of,

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  10. Gewürztraminer

    Gewürztraminer

    Gewürztraminer [ɡəˈvʏɐtstʁaˈmiːnɐ] is an aromatic wine grape variety that performs best in cooler climates. It is sometimes referred to colloquially as Gewürz, and in French it is written Gewurztraminer (without the umlaut). Gewürztraminer is a variety with a pink to red skin colour, which makes it a "white wine grape" as opposed to the blue to black-skinned varieties commonly referred to as "red wine grapes". The variety has high natural sugar and the wines are white and usually off-dry, with a flamboyant bouquet of lychees. Indeed, Gewürztraminer and lychees share the same aroma compounds.

    In Australia

    Australian Gewürztraminer is more notable for its occasional use of old names like Traminer Musqué and Gentil Rose Aromatique than the actual quality of the wines. However those from the country's coolest regions can be fine examples. These include Gewürztraminers from the Adelaide Hills,

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  11. Marsanne

    Marsanne

    Marsanne is a white wine grape, most commonly found in the Northern Rhône region. It is often blended with Roussanne. In Savoie the grape is known as grosse roussette. Outside France it is also grown in Switzerland (where it is known as ermitage blanc or just ermitage), Spain (where it is known as Marsana), Australia and the United States.

    In Australia

    In Australia, the grape was first planted in Victoria in the 1860s. The Victorian vineyard of Tahbilk has Marsanne vines which date back to 1927 and are some of the oldest in the world.

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  12. Malbec

    Malbec

    Malbec is a variety of purple grape used in making red wine. The grapes tend to have an inky dark color and robust tannins. Long known as one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of red Bordeaux wine, the French plantations of Malbec are now found primarily in Cahors in the South West France region. It is increasingly celebrated as an Argentine varietal wine and is being grown around the world.

    In Australia

    The grapevine was introduced to Australia in the 19th century and was mostly a bulk wine producing grape. The particular clones planted in Australia were of poor quality and highly susceptible to coulure, frost and downy mildew. By the mid to late 20th century, many acres of Malbec were uprooted and planted with different varieties. By 2000, there were slightly over 1,235 acres (500 acres), with the Clare Valley having the most significant amount. As newer clones become available, plantings of Malbec in Australia have increased slightly.

    Characteristics

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Items 1 to 12 of 27 total

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