Tag: Tyson Stelzer

Nov 11 2013

Taittinger Champagne: Few can compete in terms of value and cachet!

Posted on November 11, 2013 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Taittinger’s Australian distributor, McWilliam’s Wines, recently hosted a dinner to showcase the Taittinger Champagne range in the splendid dining room of the Sydney’s Pullman Quay Grand overlooking the Harbour Bridge. Champagne expert Tyson Stelzer was on hand to talk about the historic Champagne House – the 6th largest in Champagne and one of the few remaining independent, family-owned and managed estates.

Apart from the excellent selection of Taittinger non-vintage and vintage Champagnes, matched beautifully to a four course menu, Stelzer’s superb commentary on Taittinger and Champagne, in general, made for a truly memorable evening.



Stelzer’s most recent edition of The Champagne Guide 2014 – 2015 has been winning rave reviews. The Sydney Morning Herald’s wine critic Huon Hooke described it as perhaps “the most useful book ever written on France’s prestige sparkling wine, Champagne.” (Champagne tour de force: The best guide to Champagne ever written turns out to be the work of an Aussie from Brissie, Good Food, SMH, 15 October 2013.)

Here are a few reasons why, according to Stelzer, Taittinger deserves to be considered one of the very best Champagne houses in the world:

  • Taittinger’s flagship wine, the Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs may not have the profile of illustrious peers like Moet et Chandon’s Dom Perignon or Veuve Cliquot’s La Grande Dame, but Champagne connoisseurs generally regard this 100% chardonnay wine as one of the best and most age worthy wines in Champagne. We were extremely fortunate to enjoy the spectacular 2002 vintage, sourced from the best grand crus vineyards in the Côte des Blanc and disgorged in February 2012 after more than a decade under lees in Taittinger’s vast cold Roman built chalk caves in Reims.
  • The excellent value Taittinger Brut Reserve NV is essentially a vintage wine, and is only made in years when the vintage is deemed to be of sufficient quality.
  • .. [Read More]

Aug 08 2012

Captain Barossa: A Winning Formula for Growers!

Posted on August 08, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

The winemaker with the acumen behind the Captain Barossa venture is a mystery man. As Tyson Stelzer reports in a very interesting article for the most recent edition of Gourmet Traveller Wine, Captain Barossa has deliberately decided to keep a low profile because he wants to focus attention away from the winemaker and onto the ‘real heroes’ – the Barossa growers and their vineyards. (Saluting the Captain by Tyson Stelzer, Gourmet Traveller Wine, August/September 2012)

Captain Barossa believes the growers have never received the recognition or financial compensation they deserve… [Read More]

May 05 2012

Mount Langi Ghiran Langi Shiraz: Still the Benchmark for Cool Climate Shiraz

Posted on May 05, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Today Mount Langi Ghiran, Seppelt Wines and Best’s Wines released a “Greats of the Grampians” Trio Pack.  The pack  includes a bottle of Best’s Bin O Great Western Shiraz 2010 (rrp $75), a bottle of the Mount Langi Ghiraz Langi Shiraz 2009 (rrp $95) and a bottle of the Seppelt St Peters Shiraz 2008 (rrp $75). It is available online for $199 from Best’s Wines.

Showcasing the distinctive character of cool climate shiraz from Victoria’s Grampians region,.. [Read More]

Sep 09 2011

Jansz Tasmania: The Poor Man’s Krug!

Posted on September 09, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

At the Tasmania Unbottled tasting I bumped into a friend who’s in charge of buying wine for his wine society. I really value his opinion, and he thought the pick of the show was the Jansz Tasmania Vintage Cuvée 2006. I also thought this sparkling was a standout. It was a deliciously textural wine with a finely beaded mousse and a vibrant complex nose of citrus, biscuits, honeysuckle and toasted almonds.

I’m always excited when my impression of a wine is confirmed by a seasoned critic… [Read More]

Dec 12 2010

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: Top Producers Create an Exciting Alternative Style!

Posted on December 12, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

A few years ago, I helped a friend, a superb amateur chef and wine connoisseur, prepare a gourmet charity dinner for ten. He chose the Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2007 to complement his signature dish of roasted garlic prawns with a slow roasted giant gourmet cherry tomato.

Last Friday night, different friends also chose a New Zealand sauvignon blanc to complement another wonderful roasted prawn dish. This time the wine of choice was the Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc 2004 and it was served with roasted prawns in a delicious chilli and sauvignon blanc sauce –.. [Read More]