In just a blink of an eye our world has changed. It’s impossible not to feel devastated about the impact of Covid-19, but our winemakers, distillers and brewers have nimbly conjured up ways to survive. Innovative take-away offerings and home deliveries have helped to conserve jobs, and winemakers, sommeliers and bar staff are playing starring roles in virtual tastings.
All members of the GT WINE team are working remotely and we have created most of this issue from our homes. Fortunately, our panel had conducted their massive tasting of Victoria’s Best Shiraz before lockdown, and so we’re able to share the results. Plus, our judges had, in the nick of time, met to debate the first set of finalists for our 2020 Winemaker of the Year Awards, once again generously supported by Perpetual.
With our focus firmly on winter reds, Dom Sweeney tastes a selection of the shiraz pinot noir blends that are beginning to come to the fore, Angus Hughson shines the spotlight on cabernet franc and in Wines to Watch, Mike Bennie connects with three small producers making waves.
For the first time in history the Bordeaux en primeurs failed to take place – not even a world war has deterred the resilient Bordelaise in the past. Nevertheless, we have managed to source a report on the 2019 vintage direct from local vignerons, while conversations with local winemakers reveal their wines of choice from both Australia and overseas during the winter months.
While travel is on hold, a trip to Victoria’s King Valley remains fresh in writer Daniel Honan’s mind. With any luck, we’ll be able to head out to our favourite regions again soon. In the meantime, visit GT WINE’s digital travel guides at app.gourmettravellerwine.com/travel to plan that next wine adventure when the time comes.
Stay safe and drink well.