Argentina’s Zuccardi Valle de Uco, took out the top spot in the World's Best Vineyards list.

Wineslinger Top 50

The team behind the annual Young Gun of Wine awards recently introduced a new initiative, Wineslinger Top 50, aimed at recognising Australia’s best wine-related venues. The Top 50 was shortlisted by a panel of 100 wine and hospitality experts and includes favourites such as Africola (SA), Embla (Vic), the Summertown Aristologist (SA) and Mary’s Underground (NSW).

“These are places defined by fun, not formality,” said founder Rory Kent. “It’s the wine concept; the food; the staff; the setting, and that something special.” As with the hugely popular Young Gun of Wine, the public will have the opportunity to vote on the People’s Choice Award – voting closes on October 28, the same day the winners will be revealed.

Visit younggunofwine.com/wineslinger for more info.
Victoria's Neighbourhood Wine.
Melbourne's Neighbourhood Wine.

New Challenges

The inaugural Australia International Wine Challenge took place in August at Adelaide’s National Wine Centre, judged by a highly respected panel including Bill Hardy, Jeremy Oliver, Nick Ryan, Amanda Yallop, and chair Count John Salvi MW – the world’s longest-serving Master of Wine – with the top prize going to the 2014 Two Rivers Stones Throw Semillon.

“Hopefully this competition will continue to expand, allowing the premium wines of Australia to benchmark against their international counterparts,” said Salvi MW, “while at the same time furthering the awareness and demand for international premium wines in the Australian market.”

For the full results, visit australiawinechallenge.com

Kings of the Barossa

When thinking of the Barossa Valley, Seppeltsfield is always a name that jumps to mind for its premium wine experiences and iconic birth-year tawny. But this southern star now has another feather in its cap, recently becoming the largest luxury vineyard owner in the region.

It comes with the purchase of 323 hectares of Tanunda Hill vineyards, which sees Seppeltsfield with a total of 1,618 hectares of Barossa Valley vineyards – the largest number held by a single producer since European settlement in the region.

“All of the fruit from our new acquisition will be made into luxury wine,” said Executive Chairman, Warren Randall. “It puts us in a strong position to consistently supply 12 million-plus bottles of wine to the world.”

Discover more at seppeltsfield.com.au
Warren Randall  of Seppeltsfield.
Warren Randall of Seppeltsfield.
Rose sake on pour at Ishizuka.
Rose sake on pour at Ishizuka.

Wine List of the Year Update

Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards has wrapped up for 2019, but it has come to the attention of the judges that there has been a discrepancy in the results for Best Small List (50) – originally won by two glass-rated Congress. Congress’ rating has been updated to three glasses, and it has been announced as joint winner with Melbourne restaurant Ishizuka (ishizuka.com.au), which also received three glasses. “We believe that Congress and Ishizuka have produced exemplary lists which are very different yet of outstanding quality,” said Peter Forrestal, Chair of Judges.

Discover all the winners at gourmettravellerwine.com

Wine Australia has released the yield estimate for the 2019 vintage. At 1.73 million tonnes, it’s only 1% below the 10-year average, better than predicted.

Ben Turns 10

You’ll likely be familiar with the handiwork of Ben Haines from when he was Chief Winemaker at Mount Langi Ghiran until 2018, but you may be less acquainted with his own label, Ben Haines Wines. Haines established the label in 2009, and selects fruit from some of Victoria’s top vineyards. He took the leap to independence after vintage 2018 to focus his efforts entirely on his craft. “I want to make wines that have meaning and for me that involves working with vineyards that excite me,” said Haines. To celebrate the label’s 10th birthday, he’s raided his cellar and re-released his 2009 Syrah (A$100), which will be followed by a dedicated museum release program, showcasing the label’s evolution across the last decade.

Go to
benhaineswine.com

Whiskey Business

Looking for that special occasion tipple? Westward Whiskey has joined forces with The Whisky Club to launch the exclusive Westward American Single Malt Whiskey Oregon Pinot Noir Cask. The limited release is made from Westward’s signature whiskey which is additionally rested for eight months in Oregon pinot noir casks from Willamette Valley winery Remy Wines.

Head to thewhiskyclub.com.au
Penfold’s Magill Estate ranked highly in the Top 50 World’s Best Vineyards.
Penfold’s Magill Estate ranked highly in the Top 50 World’s Best Vineyards.

World’s Best Vineyards

The votes are in and the inaugural World’s Best Vineyards list has been revealed. Judged by nearly 500 wine experts, the list features 50 estates that have been selected not only for their wines, but also the experiences on offer. Australia’s Penfolds Magill Estate rated top in the country at number 13, followed by d’Arenberg at 29 and Seppeltsfield at 47. New Zealand outshone Oz, with Rippon reaching number eight and Craggy Range at 11. Top of the list, though, was Argentina’s Zuccardi Valle de Uco, acknowledged for its architecture, views of the Andes and wines.

See the full list at worldsbestvineyards.com

Sydney Sake

Your favourite quirky Sydney brewery is taking its creative flair to a new level with the launch of its brand-new sake range. As expected, they hold all the eccentric personality of the Yulli’s Brews team combined with traditional Japanese brewing methods that offer a sake experience you won’t soon forget.

The Thylacine Seishu is the brewery’s take on a traditional Japanese pure rice sake, while the Diprotodon Nigorizake (both A$75/500ml) is a cloudy style with a refreshing fizz. You can try the new sakes at the Yulli’s Brewery in Alexandria and at selected venues across Sydney and the Northern Rivers.

Find out more at yullisbrews.com.au

Spring Fever

With almost 20 years of winemaking under their belt, the Margaret River-based Haunold family has shaken things up a little at Wills Domain, with a string of new brands, new winemaking styles, and a new winemaker, Richard Rowe. The first cab off the rank is the new entry-level label Mystic Spring (from A$23) which focuses on immediately approachable interpretations of Margaret River sauvignon blanc, semillon, cabernet and shiraz, without compromising on quality or complexity.

For more info, check out willsdomain.com.au

Award Winning

GT WINE is proud to have been acknowledged, along with the Vintage Cellars team, for our work on the drinks retailer’s publication Cellar Press. At the recent 2019 Real Media Awards, Cellar Press took out the top gong, Brand of the Year.

Box of Burgundy

In our June/July 2019 issue we asked new subscribers why they would like to win a dozen wines from Burgundy. David Blythe in WA won us over with his response, “Isak Dinesen said: ‘There are many ways to the recognition of truth, and Burgundy is one of them’. My cellar badly needs some truth.”

See our subscriptions page for this issue’s subscriptions prize.