Tag: Acqua Panna Global Wine Experience

Mar 03 2015

“The Not So Classics” Wine Masterclass: Orange wines spark lively debate!

Posted on March 03, 2015 | By merrill@cellarit.com

I’ve had the privilege of attending quite a few Acqua Panna Global Wine Experiences over the years. Organised as part of  the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, the wine masterclasses offer a unique opportunity to sample some terrific, often hard-to-find or unusual wines, and the guest panels often include international wine critics, renowned winemakers and sommeliers.

The Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW was one of four panelists on “The Not So Classics” masterclass moderated by wine journalist Mike Bennie at Melbourne’s Town Hall last Sunday. She was joined by Rollo Crittenden, winemaker at Mornington Peninsula’s Crittenden Estate, Sebastian Crowther MS, Head Sommelier of Rockpool est. 1989, and winemaker Kathleen Quealy of Mornington Peninsula’s Quealy.

As the name of the panel suggests, the 12 wines in four brackets were not your classic varieties. Two of the white wines were “orange” wines, the 2011 Tissot Amphorae Savignon from Jura in France and the 2010 Dario Princic Jakot, a fruliano from Friuli in Northeast Italy. Their inclusion in the lineups sparked much debate.

If you’re not familiar with orange wines, you would probably be a bit shocked by a white wine that is cloudy in appearance and has a definite orange or amber hue. This was certainly the reaction from an audience member to the 2011 Tissot Amphorae Savagnin. He wondered what was wrong with wine no. 2?

Perrotti-Brown suggested that the wine was faulty, showing unfavourable signs of oxidation (eg. flat on the palate and bitter in taste), but her opinion wasn’t shared by some other panel members.

Quealy explained that what makes orange wine so unusual, not only to look at but to smell and taste, is the novel technique of letting a white grape variety ferment on its own skin.

Tissot Amphorae SavagninSkin maceration is normally a … Read the rest

Mar 03 2013

Whose Pinot Reigns Supreme? Australia versus New Zealand

Posted on March 03, 2013 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Acqua Panna Global Wine Experience, Saturday, 9 March 2013

When New Zealand winemakers’ Blair Walter (Felton Road) and Nick Mills (Rippon) opened their address with a very loud and captivating rendition of the Maori Haku, the stage was set for a very lively debate about whose pinot reigns supreme? (Wished I taped it, but my photo of Nick Mills give you a bit of an idea!)

The audience was collapsing with laughter while the two Australian winemakers on the panel, Michael Dhillon (Bindi) and Nick Farr (By Farr and Farr Rising), looked on with bemusement! No, unfortunately, they hadn’t prepared an Aussie comeback! (C’mon Aussie c’mon perhaps?)

The subsequent discussion, led by wine critic Nick Stock, was fascinating so I thought I’d share a few of the highlights:

Clonal Variety vs Vine Age – New Zealand vs Australia

Farr noted that due to stricter Australian quarantine rules, New Zealand has had the edge when it comes to choice of clones.

But according to the Australian winemakers vine age can compensate for the effects of less clonal variety. The vines of the MP6 clone used for the Macedon Ranges’ Bindi Block 5, for example, are now 18 years old. Dhillon believes he has seen increasing complexity, minerality and balance with each subsequent vintage of his wine.

Terroir is Key

Of all the varieties pinot noir is probably the greatest communicator of terroir.  Not surprisingly, the winemakers said their greatest challenge is finding the right location!

Nick StockMills noted that for New Zealand winemakers achieving wines with good fruitiness is practically a given, as New Zealand’s dramatic diurnal variation is very good for sealing in flavour and colour. The right terroir is what gives the wines their coveted subtle flavours, complexity and structure.

Winemaker’s Influence Read the rest