Growing up in the Hawkes Bay region of New Zealand it is not surprising that Michael John Corbett ended up working in the wine industry, even though he doesn’t come from a wine family. After studying winemaking he had the opportunity to work vintages in Europe, which was where he discovered a great love of the grenache variety. After originally meeting in Hawkes Bay, he joined forces with Burgundian Edouard Maurisset-Latour and his Australian wife Ali to launch Vanguardist Wines, producing incredible wines from the Adelaide Hills, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale.
This is the final in a three-part series looking at wines from Mitchell Winery in the Clare Valley. On previous editions I have looked at current release Mitchell wines compared with museum releases, but they also have a specific late release range under the McNicol branding. Here I look at the riesling and shiraz from this range. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
On a recent edition of Let’s Taste I looked at a few wines from the Vanguardist range, made by Michael John Corbett in South Australia. Sanglier is a different brand they make, slightly wilder in style, and he gave me a bottle of the 2016 Shiraz to taste. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
I recently bumped into Michael John Corbett in Melbourne as we happen to share some warehouse space. I’d seen the Vanguardist wines out and about in my travels as a wine rep, and had noticed them not far from mine tucked away in inner Melbourne ready for delivery. Michale mentioned that he would love to be involved with The Vincast, and generously offered me some wines to taste. Please let me know what you think in the comments below!
Many years ago when I was sourcing wine on the auction market, I was looking for iconic examples of Australian wines, and there are few more iconic rieslings in this country than the Petaluma Hanlin Hill Riesling from the Clare Valley. I’ve been holding onto this 2004 vintage for as long as I could, and today is the day. Have you had some memorable experiences drinking mature Clare Valley riesling?
On Sunday the 22nd of November 2015 from 6:30pm AEST, Mattia Cianca (3rd best young sommelier in the world) and I tasted six Australian riesling wines, talking about their provenance and how the style is evolving.
Wines tasted were as follows;
2014 Rieslingfreak No.2 Polish Hill River Riesling (Clare Valley, SA)
2015 Billy Button The Torment Riesling (Alpine Valleys, VIC)
Many thanks to Different Drop for providing the wines. If you would like to taste these wines, simply head here and remember to use the code IntrepidWino to secure your discount and let them know I sent you!
On part-two of this special episode of The Vincast, I chat with Damon Koerner. Damon’s family have been growing grapes in the Clare Valley in South Australia for many years, and have their own vineyard in Watervale. Damon and his younger brother have recently started to make wine under the Koerner brand, drawing on Damon’s extensive experience in vineyards & wineries all over the world, and his degree from the University of Adelaide. Make sure to listen to Part A of this episode to hear from Josh Cooper from Cobaw Ridge.
Winemakers Brendan & Laura Carter joined me LIVE on Let’s Taste with The Intrepid Wino, taking me through a range of their new release Unico Zelo white wines. Make sure to buy the wines at Different Drop while they still last. Listen back to the episode of The Vincast podcast with Brendan to hear the story of Unico Zelo.
Someone like Tom Barry is rare indeed, as he is probably one of only a few third-generation qualified winemakers in Australia. His grandfather Jim Brazill Barry was an early winemaking graduate of Roseworthy college in 1944, the first agricultural college in Australia, and the first qualified winemaker in the Clare Valley. Tom’s father Peter James also studied at Roseworthy, and Tom himself recently completed the course at the Waite campus of the University of Adelaide which Roseworthy merged with some years ago. Being based in the Clare Valley, one of the most important varieties for Jim Barry Wines and Clos Clare (which he and brother Sam took over a few years ago) is undoubtedly riesling. He joined me on this episode of The Vincast to talk about his background, the Clare Valley, and how important riesling is.
David Bowley gave up his day job. When you meet him you’ll understand what that was. Suffice to say he is very very tall. Whilst pursuing this career he worked for a number of years for Wine Australia in a technical role which meant he got the chance to see a lot of vineyards in regions around Adelaide, his home town. Back in 2009 he decided to start making his own wines from key varietals in four regions. The wines are made in multiple locations, including at the Waite campus of Adelaide University, and even an urban winery in Adelaide CBD. They are attempts to be limited-intervention expressions of variety site and vintage. With wines this good it’s exciting to think what they will be like in future vintages.
Watervale Riesling 2012
Bright tight lean and crisp. Really steely and focused, fresh pure, bright citrus acids. Mouth-puckeringly fresh.
Odeon Riesling 2010
A little more expressive but less vibrant. More mature structure and slightly earthy savoury complexity, building towards something.
Pinot Gris 2012
Tight focused crunchy quince. Quite a savoury edge to it, a nice structured palate, good weight without being fat or flabby.
Pinot Noir 2012
Very complex earthy Asian spice whole bunch character, mature fruit. Juicy and plump but light and fresh, a tad disjointed at the moment. Not all primary fruit.
Robust bold juicy warm but earthy dirty spice, not hot or heavy, well contained and excellent balance.
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