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Semillon & Blends
Shiraz & Blends
Cabernet Sauvignon & Blends 12
Sweet & Fortified Wines
The future or just a phase?
Top Wines of 2009
What s the
alternative? wish for, so maybe we just haven t found
the right spots for the right varieties yet?
Whatever the answer, we ve got to keep
trying. These Mediterranean varieties are
so suited to Australia s hot, dry climate that
they ve got to be the future. Society will fall
out of love with Sauvignon Blanc one day.
The fresh and tangy flavours that many of
these varieties offer give them the perfect
light flavour profile for quaffing, while their
proven ability to handle a bit of oak play
and winemaking trickery often sees them
crafted into knock-out food wines.
I remain firmly optimistic about the
Alternative Whites category. I have to,
even I can only drink so much Riesling.
But not everyone shares my rose-tinted
outlook. Tyson Stelzer is more depressingly
realistic about the current state of play
with these grapes:
"Too many makers at the moment are
creating alternative whites with a simplistic
fruit emphasis: too much overt flavour and
too much sweetness. The top wines in my
list this month instead focus on subtlety,
harmony, texture and poise," he said.
Our 1 in 100 wine this month, the
Sutton Grange Estate Viognier 2008 is the
perfect example of alternative elegance.
Balancing a grape as potentially heavy
as Viognier, while also retaining full fruit
character and adding in a little winery
cleverness, is no mean feat.
Penny Boothman --- Editor, WINE100
Y ou d be surprised by the overall
percentage of European white
wines made from Chardonnay
and Sauvignon Blanc: it s pretty
tiny. Travelling around the wine regions
of Europe you re unlikely even to see the
variety on the bottle in most cases, but
you ll be drinking everything from Arneis
to Albariño and Viognier to Vermentino.
Why don t we have the same breadth of
varieties in Australia? The wine fridges in
most bottle shops may be bursting with
101 different labels, but when it comes
to the variety in the bottle, it s a bit of an
either / or situation.
Some Australian growers have been
experimenting with alternative varieties for
years, some are just starting to now, but
why has it never taken off? Are we just too
set in our Chardonnay ways? I would have
to level a certain amount of criticism at
varietal labelling---consumers who shop
by variety just aren t going to buy wines
that they haven t previously heard of and
can t pronounce.
If I m being honest, the results are a bit
variable. These grapes can make wines of
unique varietal character with individual
interest, so why is this so hard to hit the high
notes in Australia? Winemakers certainly
have the skill (most have even worked at
least one vintage in Europe to see how
these wily creatures are tamed first-hand)
and we have as wide a range of climates
and terroirs in Australia as any grower could
January 2010 1
is the author and
publisher of ten wine
books. He was the
winner of the Award
for Best Food and Wine
Writing in the Australian
Food Media Awards
2008 and a finalist for the International
Wine and Spirit Competition s
Communicator of the Year 2006. Tyson
is a contributor to Wine Spectator,
Decanter, The Oxford Companion to
Wine and many Australian publications
Wines are reviewed independently of
WINE100 by Nick Stock and Tyson Stelzer.
You can submit your wines for review to:
Nick Stock: Level 1, 811 High Street,
Armadale, VIC 3143
Tyson Stelzer: 14 Andrea Street,
Tarragindi, Qld 4121
Please include RRP and distributor contact.
There is no guarantee that wines submitted will
be reviewed in WINE100. Wines sent directly to
WINE100 will not be reviewed.
Nick Stock is one of
Australia s most prolific
wine writers. He was
awarded Best Drinks
Journalist at the 2007
Le Cordon Bleu World
Food Media Awards.
With a background
as a sommelier, he was twice awarded
Sommelier of the Year. Nick is also the
author of the Penguin Good Australian
EDITORIAL: Penny Boothman
Phone 08 8362 3122 Fax 08 8363 6822 Email
CONTRIBUTORS: Nick Stock, Tyson Stelzer
ADVERTISING: Sales Manager Margot Tisher
Phone 0407 790 360
PRODUCTION: Kimbra Drzal
PRINT: Lane Print & Post
GENERAL ENQUIRIES: Postal Address 37
Fullarton Road, Kent Town, South Australia 5067
Phone (08) 8362 3122 Fax (08) 8363 6822
WINE100 is published by WBM - Australia s Wine Business Magazine.
WBM is owned by Free Run Press Pty Ltd. ISSN 1835-8144.
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