The Artisan Drinks Co., a Brit-based operation, comes into its own, serving up a smart line-up of tonics to suit your tipple of choice.

Nuts for Nebbiolo

Five of Australia’s leading premium Italian wine importers – Ethereal Wines, Giorgio De Maria Fun Wines, Trembath & Taylor, Quelvino and La Carta wines – have banded together to form Alto Nebbiolo, a project designed to help promote the virtues of fine Northern Italian wine in Australia. While the obvious focus is on the outstanding red wines of Piedmont, including Barolo and Barbaresco, the group will also be placing attention on some of Northern Italy’s lesser-known nebbiolo-producing regions, including Alto Piemonte, Valtellina and Carema, at across a series of consumer tasting events in Melbourne and Sydney.

For more information, visit www.alto-nebbiolo.com

A Toast to Australia

Adelaide’s Tasting Australia Festival is back in 2020 with GT WINE’s very own Nick Stock bringing all the drinks to the party as festival Beverage Director.

Stock has curated a huge wine, beer and spirits offering – you’ll find everything from a deliciously drinkable $10 glass of wine or can of beer to unicorn bottles that run to four-figure price tags and everything in between.

“I’m always looking to build a real story around the drinks offering, taking South Australia's finest, gathering the best of the rest of the country and bringing iconic makers to the festival from the other side of the world to share bottles, experiences and stories,” says Stock.

Indulge in a day of nebbiolo with special guest producers from Piedmont, journey deep into the world of shiraz with Penfolds’ Peter Gago and Clonakilla’s Tim Kirk, toast to Champagne Pol Roger and many, many more.  

Head to
tastingaustralia.com.au for bookings and all the details.  
Nick Stock at East End Cellars for  Tasting Australia.
Nick Stock at East End Cellars for Tasting Australia.

Just Write

The standard of stories and articles submitted for this year’s GT WINE/WCA New Wine Writer Award had the judges rubbing their hands with glee. “This is the best crop of entries that I can recall reading for this award to date,” enthused wine writer Huon Hooke. His fellow judges, including Dig and Fish MD Angie Bradbury, GT WINE’s Deputy Editor Julian Rifkin and Editor Judy Sarris, couldn’t help but agree.

Stephanie Eyles, one of the three finalists, impressed us with In Her Rhone World, an account of her work experience on Hermitage Hill. “[It has] a human touch and plenty of colour,” commented Hooke. Unsung Sunbury by Angharad Davies was a firm favourite of Bradbury’s, who thoroughly enjoyed the storytelling.

However, Stuart Smith’s evocative tale The Four Seasons about the different stages in the vineyard throughout the year won the day. Smith is a winemaker and vigneron with his own business Vinelea Wines based in Beechworth. You can read his winning entry here.

Big in Japan

The inaugural collaboration between Japanese whisky brand Mars Shinshu and Margaret River’s Voyager Estate has culminated in the release of Mars Komagatake Single Malt Wine Cask Finish (A$345).

The 2014 distillation marks the beginning of the first wine-cask finished whisky for the Hombo family, who operate Japan’s highest altitude whisky distillery. After maturing in bourbon casks for over three years, the limited-edition release was finished in a single oak cask – initially used to age Voyager Estate’s 2014 MJW Cabernet Sauvignon, the winery’s flagship red. The fruity notes showcased in the complex whisky are a testament to this final ageing and are complemented by a velvety smooth yet warmly spiced palate.
Mars Shinshu’s collaboration with Voyager Estate.
Mars Shinshu’s collaboration with Voyager Estate.

Dolan Does Good

The Yarra Valley’s Rob Dolan recently launched his new flagship range, the Rob Dolan Signature Series, in an effort to deliver a detailed insight into the region’s most exceptional vineyards.

“The Signature Series is a culmination of 35 years in the wine industry, and a result of utilising carefully selected vineyard sites and soils,” said Dolan.

The range, which includes a chardonnay, pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon (each A$80), will only be made in top vintages.

“These are the styles I like to drink,” explained Dolan. “But they’re also the ultimate expression of the winemaking community here in the Yarra.”

The Signature Series wines are available now, in very limited quantities, at robdolanwines.com.au

Posh Tonic

Top-notch gins deserve equally distinguished mixers to match. This is where The Artisan Drinks Co., a Brit-based operation, comes into its own, serving up a smart line-up of tonics to suit your tipple of choice.

Among the choice of mixers are a Classic London Tonic full of natural citrus with botanical notes that team up well with drier premium gins, while the Violet Blossom Tonic and Pink Citrus Tonic are designed to enhance the array of botanicals in craft gins.

The range is made with natural ingredients including natural quinine – avoiding the unpleasant burning sensation given by artificial quinine. UK artist Alan Walsh was commissioned to design the labels inspired by everything from dapper gents to a London guard in a great pair of heels.

Visit artisandrinks.com

Not Your Usual Pinot

Pinot noir and the Barossa aren’t typically heard in the same sentence, but it’s a whole other story when discussing the high altitude, rocky soils of the Eden Valley in Barossa’s high country. The Brockenchack family vineyards sit between 450 and 480 metres above sea level and are perfect for elegant riesling, shiraz and pinot noir. The 2017 Hare Hunter Pinot Noir (A$35) is a uniquely delicious take on the variety, loaded with bright red fruits and savoury spice.

Visit brockenchack.com.au for more info.

Correction

In the Green Gauge column of our Oct/Nov 2019 issue, it was incorrectly stated that the Minimum wine label was made by Tahbilk. The label is a collaboration between Matt Purbrick and Alister Purbrick.

Coravin & Canberra

In our Aug/Sept 2019 issue we asked new subscribers why they would like to win a Coravin Model Two Wine System and six wines from the Canberra District.

Rosie Davenport in NSW had the office in stitches: “To demonstrate that it's not only a botox needle that can keep things looking young and fresh.”

See our subscriptions page for this issue's prize.