October 2020

Welcome to the CellarHand newsletter.

Midspring, and the first glimpses of a certain summeriness peaking through. The mind turns to those parklife picnicky things – Tassie fizz, racy Riesling, dry rosé, slurpable Beaujolais. And thankfully that ship has come in…

The biggest news comes from just outside Geelong, where newly crowned Winemaker of the Year 2020 Nick Farr is lapping up the accolade flowing from Gourmet Traveller WINE. You might want to lap up his Irrewarra Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to help him celebrate. Domestic releases are led by Tasmania’s Stefano Lubiana, and a pristine Blanc de Blancs to round out a four-strong fizz offering to knock your socks off. Also on the homefront comes a raft of vintage rolls from Coonawarra’s brilliant Balnaves family.

In import news, the secret’s out that 2019 was a cracker in Austria. Here’s a chance to dip your toe into some classics from Bründlmayer in the Kamptal and Emmerich Knoll in the Wachau. Lightish, juicy reds are also perfect for the warming weather, so it’s great to have 2019 Beaujolais from Dominique Piron and the new Rouillères Cabernet Franc from the Loire’s Frédéric Mabileau here now. A similar proposition is offered by Piedmont’s Vaira family, whose 2019 Monterustico Dogliani Dolcetto is a strikingly delicious debut (and comes with a Langhe Bianco sibling from Arneis).

And for all you dedicated Pinotphiles, Burgundy and Oregon are dishing up the treats this month with a spotlight on Jean Tardy‘s 2017s and Ernst Loosen’s J. Christopher project in the Willamette Valley.

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