A new era is dawning for everyone involved in classrooms and events. Using modern technology, we can enjoy learning about our favourite wines (and gin) from the comfort and safety of our own homes. This has the added advantage that nobody needs to be the “designated driver”.
Using Zoom video conferencing is just like being in the room with Gary, who will, as ever educate, inform and entertain you for about an hour.
All sessions will be recorded and if you can't attend at the last minute just let us know so you can go through the event at your convenience later.
Why not invite your friends to make it a truly social experience?
If your experience with Australian wines is restricted to the “big brands” sold in the supermarkets you don’t know the full story. Dedicated winemakers in smaller wineries, mostly family owned, are making superb individualistic wines that demonstrate their varietal qualities and the terroir from which they come. Yes, place does matter. Hunter Valley does make outstanding Semillon and Shiraz, Barossa Valley does make outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz etc.
The Aussies keep many of these “boutique” wines to themselves, however we’ve uncovered some gems for you to enjoy.
7th April: Hunter Valley
We start our four weeks “down under” in one of the oldest and most well-known wine producing regions; The Hunter Valley.
The closest wine producing region to Sydney, the Hunter Valley’s unique climate gives its wines an individuality unmatched in Australia (or anywhere else), epitomised by its’ sublimely delicate and ageworthy Semillon wines. It also produces outstanding Shiraz, but in a very different style to South Australia. Still quintessentially Australian, Hunter Valley Shiraz has more elegance and slightly less raw power than its’ Barossa cousins. We sample both varieties from top Hunter Valley winemaker Keith Tulloch.
- Keith Tulloch “Latara” Semillon 2018
- Keith Tulloch “McKelvey Vineyard” Shiraz, Hunter Valley 2017
14th April: Eden Valley, Barossa Valley
Riesling is associated with cool climates such as Germany, but in certain (relatively) cooler Australian areas, for example Eden Valley, it has carved out a well-deserved reputation for producing Riesling’s of real quality that emphasise the fruit flavours of this wonderful variety.
Barossa Valley is probably the most well-known wine producing area in Australia. Many of the famous Australian wine companies have their headquarters here. It is synonymous with big, burly red wines made from Shiraz and/or Cabernet Sauvignon. Both of our wines tonight come from Smalltown Vineyards.
- Smalltown Vineyards Rag & Bone Riesling, Eden Valley 2020
- Smalltown Vineyards The Good Luck Club Cabernet Sauvignon, Barossa Valley 2018
21st April: McLaren Vale: Rhône Varieties
Another very well stablished South Australian wine region is McLaren Vale, home to some very old vines indeed. Australia has quietly built its reputation with Rhône varieties and its Grenache and Shiraz are rightly well known. However, less well-known are its excellent white wines made from Marsanne and/or Roussanne.
Roussanne’s home is the northern Rhône Valley in France where it is almost always blended with Marsanne. Here we see what it can do on its own and in the warm conditions of McLaren Vale – this wine is superb!
Old, low-yielding Grenache vines are the variety behind such old-world wines as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Priorat. Here we have old, low-yielding Grenache in McLaren Vale. The vines are not irrigated as the grower wants them to “struggle”, like they do in France and Spain. A concentrated explosion of fruit and spices awaits your senses.
Both of our wines tonight are from Rhône variety specialists Yangarra Estate. All their wines are from organically and biodynamically grown grapes and fermented using wild yeasts
- Yangarra Estate Roussanne, McLaren Vale 2018
- Yangarra Estate Grenache, McLaren Vale 2017
28th April: Italian Varieties
It is a truism that Italian varieties are only planted in Italy. However, Australian winemakers are no respecters of tradition so we have for you a real treat; Italy’s two greatest grape varieties planted “down under” from Italian variety specialists Alpha Box and Dice.
We start with “Blood of Jupiter” a reference to Chianti, the name on many bottles of Sangiovese-based wines from Tuscany. It’s also the grape behind the full-bodied and ageworthy Brunello di Montalcino, which is 100% Sangiovese with extended oak ageing.
Our Australian example is from McLaren Vale also 100% Sangiovese, full-bodied with 2 years in oak. Suggested food matches are Bistecca Fiorentina, porchetta or an aubergine parmigiana. Bellissima!
Finally, a wine called “Fog”; 100% Nebbiolo. Nebbiolo is derived from the Italian word for fog and the grape behind Italy’s best wine – Barolo, where the autumn fogs allow a slow ripening of the grapes. The climate in the Adelaide Hills is different from Piedmont though and Nebbiolo is a notoriously difficult grape to grow and vinify (which is why few outside of Piedmont even try). The variety displays high tannin that needs extended maturation to tame; our example has had two years in large oak foudres and then a year in small oak barriques – just like they do in Barolo.
The winemaker’s suggestion on food match: “Italian foods. All of them. And duck”
Do the Italians finally have some international competition using their indigenous grapes? Judge for yourself on this unique tasting.
- Alpha Box & Dice ‘Blood of Jupiter’, Sangiovese, McLaren Vale 2018
- Alpha Box & Dice ‘Fog’ Nebbiolo, Adelaide Hills 2016
£60 for all four sessions. The cost is per subscription, so this could be for 2 people (or more) as long as you are sharing a screen in the same household. Note: this does not include the cost of the wines (see below).
The wines are available to purchase from Momentum Wines in Oswestry at the discounted price of £139 including delivery (please allow 7 days for delivery).
We do not sell wine.
Places remaining: 2
Course Date/Time: Wed 7th Apr 2021 at 7.30pm
Duration: 4 x 1 hour
Venue: Online Via Zoom (Link sent by email)