Having recently visited Mandala Wines in the Yarra Valley and learning more about it from owner Charles Smedley, I eagerly anticipate samples of new vintages to look at on Let’s Taste. The varieties that made these wines are ubiquitous in Australia, but as always it’s exciting to see what certain regions have to say through the grape. Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below, as always many thanks for the samples Mandala.
I’ve been following the incredible work of Lucy Kendall and Alice L’Estrange recently, particularly their work importing some awesome and authentic wines from the South of Chile. I recently invited them each onto episodes of my wine podcast The Vincast, to chat about their backgrounds, and to talk about the launch of their own locally made wines under the George branding. Here are my pre-release impressions of 80% of the wines now available.
George ‘Lilac Wine’ Gently Sparkling Pinot Noir 2017 – RRP $30.00
George ‘Golden’ Sauvignon Blanc 2017 – RRP $30.00
George ‘Picnic Wine’ Merlot Cinsault 2017 – RRP $32.00
George Mouvedre Cinsault 2017 – RRP $32.00
Lucy Kendall has managed to fit in quite a bit of winemaking experience in a relatively short amount of time, both in Australia and overseas. Thanks to her BFF Alice she got the opportunity to not only make wine in Chile, but also import some to Australia via Cultivar Vinos and give trade and consumers the opportunity to see authentic traditional Chilean wines. More recently she and Alice have been making wine closer to home and are about to launch them under the George brand.
Though her parents are Australian, Nina Caplan was born and has been based in the United Kingdom her whole life. It was her father that first introduced her to wine, though writing was her first passion. She began writing about wine after tackling the arts for many years, but found a great affinity with the vinous particularly as it related to travel. Recently she has had her first book published, a personal perspective on the vines journey through Europe during the Roman Empire, mirrored by her own experiences several thousand years later. ‘The Wandering Vine: The Romans and Me’ is now available via the Bloomsbury website, where you can get a 30% discount on a copy until the end of May 2018, simply by entering the code ‘intrepidwino’ at checkout.
Late in 2017, in conjunction with Ear Buds, I held the first edition of The Vincast Live at Noisy Ritual in Brunswick East and on Facebook Live. Two former guests of The Vincast – Ben Ranken from Galli Estate (Episode 127) and Dan Buckle (Episode 67) from Chandon Australia – joined myself and co-host Nevena Spirovska (Quickie Podcast) to talk about grape varieties in Australia: what are they, why are they, where are they and what are the best ones? I hope you enjoy this chat, as much as the live audience did. Please provide us with some feedback and interest in a future edition.
There aren’t many people who call Steve Lubiana Stefano, and you merely need to spend a few minutes with him to understand why. He is one of the most affable and soft-spoken Australian vignerons you’ll find, very much a product of having grown up in the Riverland, the product of Italian migrants. In spite of his very generous and gregarious nature, he is a philosophical wine grower with a deep passion for not only biodynamic farming but the history of these practices. His imprint on the island state of Tasmania is immeasurable, and has been producing outstanding wines from the Derwent Valley for several decades.
The Pannell family is one of the most iconic in Australian wine, having not once but twice pioneered the vigneron model in Western Australia. After being one of the first commercial wine producers in the now legendary and substantial Margaret River region (Moss Wood), they had a complete shift East to the still somewhat unexplored Pemberton region, where they established Picardy Wines. Here they focused on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and invited their son Dan to be an important part of the future. With such an incredible wine pedigree and a passion for Burgundy, it’s easy to understand why Dan is regarded as one of the most incredible and honest winemakers in the state.
As a teenager, Fiona Donald sent a letter to Len Evans after reading an article he wrote, asking him how one might enter the wine industry. He encouraged her to study to be a winemaker at the best place in the country at the time; Roseworthy College. Since graduating in 1990 Fiona has worked for some of Australia’s most important wine companies in many of Australia’s finest regions. Her work since 2009 as the chief winemaker of Seppeltsfield has brought her the most joy and the most acclaim, and has revitalised one of the country’s most historic wineries.
I was so thrilled to recently find out that one of my former colleagues from my days in the cellar door at Domaine Chandon Australia, has launched a wine brand with their partner! Camille & Chris have managed to source some outstanding Yarra Valley fruit to craft their first Fetherston vintage from, and I was excited to taste the wines and share my impressions. Let me know what you think in the comments below, and be sure to like share and subscribe!
For the past few decades Campbell Mattinson has been carving his own path as a writer and journalist; he has maintained a fierce independence as a freelancer, focusing on the stories he has found most engaging; he grew his fledgling newsletter The Wine Front to become Australia’s foremost digital voice on wine; and he has written a number of thought-provoking books on wine, most recently the incredible biography of Maurice O’Shea titled The Wine Hunter. I was very humbled to be able to chat with Campbell about his story, and his philosophies on wine communication, on this episode of The Vincast.
The Vincast - a Wine Podcast with The Intrepid Wino
Wine - Wine People - Wine Culture
A podcast about wine, wine culture and wine people. Every week a different guest from the wine industry joins host The Intrepid Wino (aka James Scarcebrook) for a casual chat about the world of wine.
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