Welcome to the CellarHand newsletter.
Summer is here! And actually, it kind of feels like it. That steady flow of optimism that built through spring seems to have burst its banks. After the year we’ve all had, it’s such a welcome feeling.
On the domestic front, mainstream grape varieties have vacated the stage to make way for some alternative acts. From the Chalmers family we have Australia’s first commercial Falanghina and Pecorino release, and these wines are really making waves. Shadowfax has also ploughed a left-field furrow for years on its home vineyard. The estate’s spicy Minnow rosé has rolled onto the 2020, while the range also sports a 95-point Roussanne and a first-ever varietal Carignan. And Chenin Blanc from the Swan Valley is turning heads stateside, with Corymbia making the Wine Advocate’s Top 100 Wine Discoveries 2020. On a more conventional – but equally impressive – note, we’ve had a slew of vintage rolls from Balnaves, where new winemaker Jacinta Jenkins is settling in fabulously.
Burgenland, home of world-class Austrian reds (and much else that’s brilliant), lies at the heart of the import story. We have new wines from Rosi Schuster and Roland Velich of Moric – Blaufränkisch, Rotburger and Sankt Laurent in the mix, yes, but a couple of lovely whites, too. And from Gerhard Pittnauer we have an incredible range, including four zero-sulphur wines that span méthode ancestrale fizz, rosé and skin-contact whites. Across the border in Germany, we have the first wines from the stellar 2019 vintage: all affordable, super-refreshing wines for summer. G.D. Vajra’s Claré J.C. Langhe Nebbiolo is another summer slurper making waves in the U.S., while Champagne Labruyère has caught the eye of James Halliday right here at home
Last but not least, we’ve thrown together a few magnum ideas for those of you thinking big this yuletide. Jacquesson, Dr Loosen, Louis Michel, Dönnhoff and clos Clare are all featured – and it’s well worth having a browse across the site for more!
We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest and support throughout 2020. We really do wish you a very merry Christmas and happy New Year.
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