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Sunday, September 23, 2007

TRADE EVENT: Preview of September 27/07 Australian Wine Show

The Time and Date: Wednesday, September 5, 2007 2 - 4:30 PM

The Event: Preview press tasting of Wine Australia show, to be held Sept 27.
The theme this year is "Regional Heroes", wines from regions that express
the character (terroir) of that region. There are 63 wine regions in
Australia, but not all regions will be repped in the main show. Thus far,
about 240 wines will be in the show, from LCBO General List through to
expensive private orders.

The Venue: Kultura Restaurant, King Street East.

The Target Audience: wine press.

The Availability/Catalogue: most wines here at the preview, about 42 of
them, were available now. Some will be here soon. But my fave wine (in terms
of price and value) won't be in Ontario Vintages until 2008!

The Quote: "Canadian enjoyed 40.3 million litres of Australian wine in 2006;
Canada is Australia's third-largest export market by value - about $305.5
million CDN."

The Wines: The wines were laid out in Regional Order. I especially enjoyed
the Hungerford Hill Chardonnay 2005 from New South Wales (+15479, $22.95
Vintages), with its very good oaking, broad follow through, full, ripe and
juicy tropical fruit (twist top too). The Margan Shiraz 2004 Hunter Valley
($21.65 from Small Winemakers Collection) was tight and tannic, but with
nice leather tones and a syrah hit, 13.5% ABV. The Skillogalee Basket
Pressed Shiraz 2004 Clare Valley (+990902, $24.95) showed a sweet spiciness
in its blackberry configuration, vying with vanilla oak on the finish, 14%
ABV. Cumulus Climbing Cabernet 2005 ($18.50 from Authentic) showed some mint
and off-sweet blackcurrant fruit, a glam wine. Nugan Estate Manuka Grove
Durif 2006 South Australia (+951938, $29.95 from PMA) had lots of extract
and Rhonish complexity, elderberries, very good oaking, 14.5% ABV
blockbuster. Tiers Clarence Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 McLaren Vale
(+43729, $19.95, from Vergina) had good cabby MVC, coconut on the finish,
and 14.5% ABV. My fave of the day was Parri Estate Shiraz Viognier 2005
Southern Fleurieu (+48488, $17.95 from Airen, in Vintages in 2008 sometime)
with its very, very French style, a hit of syrah, and a bit of brett
showing. Great price too, 14.5% ABV. Nepenthe The Rogue 2004 Adelaide Hills
(+998542, $19.99 Vintages) was almost as good, with its twist top, 64%
shiraz, 20% cabernet, and 16% merlot blend. 14.5% ABV, slightly off-dry
finish, and it will carry me through until the Parri Estate is landed - next

The Food: light finger foods and snacks, shrimp, beef, cheese at room
temperature, turnovers. All went well with the mainly red wines, but there
was too much shrimp to taste against the (only) three table wines.

The Downside: where were the whites? There was just a Jansz NV Sparkler from
Tasmania with its lemon minerality, only one Chardonnay, one Sauvignon
Blanc, and one Semillon blend.

The Upside: a quiet, relaxed time with just wine writers, all spaced out,
plenty of room.

The Contact Person:

The Effectiveness (numerical grade): 87.


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