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Monday, July 19, 2010

June 15, 2010: Tasting Australian Wines via a MasterClass

The Time and Date: Tuesday, June 15, 2010  2:30 PM to 5:30 PM
The Event: Trade Comparative MasterClass for Wine Australia
The Venue: Rosewater Room, Rosewater Lounge
The Target Audience: sommeliers, consultants, LCBO, media
The Availability/Catalogue: not all wines were available, but most
could be obtained.
The Quote/Background: the idea was to express some measure of
Australian terroir for the Margaret River, Mornington Peninsula,
Adelaide Hills, Tasmania, Frankland River, Yarra Valley, McLaren Vale,
Coonawarra, and other districts. We were presented with four BLIND
flights of five samples each for chardonnay, shiraz/syrah, pinot noir,
and cabernet sauvignon. Two or so wines in each flight were NOT
Australian. I at least was able to identify which wines were Australian
and which were not. As to the regions? I was just guessing. The
cabernet flight was the hardest because cabernet sauvignon is the most
"international" of all the wine grapes. After the tasting there were
another dozen wines to taste, all with labels on them.
The Wines: There were 32 wines in all, 20 in the masterclass. There was
an expert panel of James Gosper, RD of Wine Australia, Kevin O'Brien
(McLaren Vale specialist), and Jennifer Vranjes, a sommelier.
**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Shaw & Smith M3 Chardonnay 2008 Adelaide Hills, $40
-Grampians Shiraz Mt. Langi Ghirnan 2006 Victoria, $75
-Katnook Odyssey [cab sauv] Coonawarra 2005, $75
-Eileen Hardy Chardonnay 2008 Australia, $59.95
-Alkoomi Blackbutt 2005 Frankland River, $49.95
***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Xanadu Chardonnay Limited Release 2008 Margaret River, $90
-Domaine La Tour-Giraud 1er cru Les Narvaux Meursault 2007, $45
-Yabby Lake Chardonnay 2006 Kooyong Vineyard Victoria, $42
-Bouchard Pere et Fils Savigny Les Beaunes 2007 1er cru, $50
-Yabby Lake Pinot Noir Mornington Hills 2007, $42
-Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir Reserve 2007 Niagara, $40
-Bay of Fires Pinot Noir Tasmania 2008, $50
-Moorooroo Shiraz Shield Estate 2005 Barossa, $120
-MacRostie Syrah Sonoma, $50
-Vaisse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Margaret River, $39
-Chateau Lagrange 2006 St-Julien, $65
-Thomas Hardy Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 Margaret River, $90
-Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Napa Valley, $80
-Tamar Ridge Pinot Noir 2007 Tasmania, $28.90
-Mitolo GAM Shiraz 2007 McLaren Vale, $39.75
-Mitolo Reiver Shiraz 2007 McLaren Vale, $56.95
-Evans & Tate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Margaret River, $29.95
-Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir 2009 Victoria
-Jacobs Creek St. Hugo Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra 2005, $39.95
-Parker Coonawarra Estate First Growth Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, $89.95
*** Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Cakebread Cellars Reserve Chardonnay 2006 Napa, $85.
-Oakridge Pinot Noir 2008 Yarra Valley, $33
-Kangarilla Road Shiraz McLaren Vale 2007, $29
-Brokenwood Shiraz Hunter Valley 2007, $100
-Stella Bella Chardonnay 2008 Margaret River, $25.95
-Ferngrove Shiraz 2007 Frankland River, $19.95
-Chapel Hill McLaren Vale Shiraz 2007, $23.95.
The Food: sausages, cheeses, breads, biscuits, dips, grilled veggies,
prosciutto, melon and fruits, beef on canes, smoked salmon.
The Downside: they were slow in starting, so we had to wait in a
crowded holding pen. We were also short on spittoons.
The Upside: 75 people attended, a good turnout.
The Contact Person:
The Marketing Effectiveness (numerical grade): 93.

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