Tag: Langton’s 2010 Classification of Australian Wine

Jun 06 2012

Bass Phillip Pinot Noir: “Pushing the boundaries of Australian Pinot Noir Greatness.”

Posted on June 06, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

In light of one of my earlier posts, Cellaring Australian Pinot Noir: How long do they last? I was interested to read that Bass Phillip’s proprietor Phillip Jones is most emphatic that good pinot noirs can last a very long time. On his recently launched website, Jones states that the commonly held view that pinot noir cannot be cellared for more than five to six years is “absolute nonsense!”

He goes on to say: “Our most enjoyable wine experience ever were the 1908 Cos de Tart Burgundy and the 1949 Rousseau Le Chambertin, both drunk in about 1990. We are still drinking some Bass Phillips from the late 1980s, and the Premium and Reserves from the early to mid 1990s are looking fresh and complex today.”

Jones, of course, is someone who knows a great deal about pinot noir. His Bass Phillip Reserve Pinot Noir and Premium Pinot Noir have been pivotal in gaining serious international recognition for Australian pinot noir. Jones was an early pioneer of high quality pinot noir production in Victoria and, as the Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown observes, he “is still leader of the Pinot pack in Australia.” (eRobertParker.com #195 June 2011)

The Bass Phillip Reserve Pinot Noir is among only 17 wines rated “Exceptional” in Langton’s 2010 Classification of Australian Wine. Langton’s Andrew Caillard MW writes that “It is a madly rare, profoundly intense and exquisitely balanced wine which reflects the nuances of an exceptional vineyard site.”

The exceptional vineyard site of which Caillard refers to is in Leongatha, South Gippsland Victoria. After first experimenting with Bordeaux varieties in 1979, Jones closely planted (9,000 vines per hectare) the vineyard to pinot noir, releasing the first 1989 vintages of the Reserve, Premium and Estate bottlings in 1991. Today the vineyard is … Read the rest

Nov 11 2010

Showcasing the Margaret River in Sydney

Posted on November 11, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com wine critic, recently said, “Margaret River has already achieved great things, but not as great as what will follow.” (Final Thoughts on Margaret River, June 2010).

In less than 45 years the Margaret River, one of the most geographically isolated wine making regions in the world, has garnered an extraordinary level of recognition both in Australia and overseas.

And as a recent showcase of 25 labels from the region at the MCA in Sydney last week attests, the Margaret River is still an extremely dynamic and emerging wine region. In addition to the icon wineries, which include Vasse Felix, Moss Wood, Leeuwin Estate and Cullen,  a growing number of small, family-run wineries are making wines of distinction, and many new and long-established wineries are successfully experimenting with a range of different varieties and blends.

Margaret River has long been synonymous with Bordeaux style cabernet sauvignon and cabernet blends. Indeed, at the Showcase I overheard a number of guests say that they were restricting their tastings just to the reds. But Margaret River also makes outstanding chardonnay (Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay and Pierro Chardonnay are rated ‘Exceptional’ and ‘Outstanding’ respectively in Langton’s 2010 Classification of Australian Wine), and many of the wineries make excellent sauvignon blanc/semillon and semillon/sauvignon blanc blends.

For such a young wine region Margaret River has an enviable number of celebrated wineries.  Xanadu, Woodlands, Voyager Estate, Fraser Gallop Estate, Lenton Brae, Wise Wine, Cape Mentelle, Brookland Valley, Celestial Bay, Fermoy Estate, Flametree Wines, Juniper Estate were some of the stand-outs from a long list of acclaimed wineries which were represented at the showcase. Yalumba, the famous brand more commonly associated with the Barossa and Coonawarra, showcased its … Read the rest

Oct 10 2010

Wine of the Week: McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2005

Posted on October 10, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Wine of the Week profiles a wine that has recently been making news!

In Monday’s post, The Hunter Valley: Worth a Closer Look!, I talked about how The Hunter Valley has a long established reputation for making semillon in a style that is unique to Australia. Well, the last few weeks have proven big in the recognition stakes for Hunter Valley semillon, and especially for McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2005, rrp $65.

On Monday night, the Tempus Two Copper Zenith Semillon (Hunter Valley) 2003 rrp $55 was named 2010 NSW Wine of the Year. A few weeks ago McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2005 picked up the trophies for Best White Wine of Show and Best Other White at the Tri Nations Wine Challenge, an invitation-only show contested by Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. (See Huon Hooke’s interesting article on the competition, of which he was also one of the judges, Matches made in heaven, Sydney Morning Herald 28 September 2010)

The Lovedale Semillon 2005 has also just been awarded the Principal Trophy for Single Estate White Wine at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) in London.

Both of these highly regarded wine shows set  international benchmarks for quality. Wines in the IWSC, for example, are blind-tasted by a specialist international judging panel and then a detailed technical (chemical and microbiological) analysis of the wine is made before any of the medal or trophy winners are announced.

Here’s what the IWCA judges had to say about the Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2005: “Watery pale lemon green colour. Light yet piercing aromas, florals, citrus and melon. The initial taste is almost tart yet dances on your tongue. Light bodied, insanely intense with a rock fall of minerality giving so much to the … Read the rest