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New Releases & Highlights - December 10th

December 11, 2020 3 min read

New Releases & Highlights - December 10th

Germany & Austria 2019

Seems folks are starting to get a little excited about just how good these ‘Northern’ European whites might be for 2019. Our full range from both countries can be found here and here.

“Will 2019 be the breakthrough vintage for German wine? Could it persuade Riesling-phobes to abandon their prejudices?” That was the question posed by the world's foremost wine writer, Jancis Robinson, who then asked her readers to indulge her as she reeled off reasons why Germany’s signature variety is the greatest white grape in the world. “The wines it produces particularly precisely express where they were grown (like Pinot Noir),” she continues. “They last and continue to evolve interestingly forever (at least as long as Cabernet Sauvignon). They are generally particularly refreshing and relatively low in alcohol. And they go superbly – generally better than white burgundy and other Chardonnays – with food. Nowadays most Riesling is dry, not sweet. And German dry Riesling is one of the wine world’s undervalued treasures.”

“Still not convinced?” asks Jancis. “Do give the 2019s a whirl. They are exceptionally good – especially but not only in the Mosel and Nahe.” Well said Jancis!


New Varieties

Chalmers, Australia’s pioneering ‘alternative varieties’ vine stock provider, have again introduced unusual varieties into the Australian market with the release of a Falanghina and the very hard-to-find Pecorino, the latter originally hailing from Le Mache in Italy. The entire Chalmers range can be found here.

Shadowfax are also getting in on the ‘new stuff’ act with the inaugural release of a Caringan from the experimental ‘Minnow’ vineyard project in Werribee. This Southern France classic can now be found just outside of Melbourne – who would have thought?


Critics Favs        

WA Swan Valley’s Corymbia is creating a stir with recent releases, particularly the Chenin Blanc. WineFront’s Mike Bennie said this would be "the next big thing" and now the Americans are onboard with Wine Advocate naming the 2019 in its Top 100 Wine Discoveries 2020. Critic Joe Czerwinski admired the wine’s "fleshy, grainy texture" and "fine, silky finish".

Glaetzer’s ‘Amon-Ra’ Shiraz slipped under my radar this year but it shouldn’t have. The 2018 received 96pts from The Real Review and 98pts from Wine Advocate.

And how about Frankland Estate’s ‘Isolation Ridge’ Riesling from 2019……Wine of the Year - West Australian Good Food Guide Awards 2020, 94pts Halliday Wine Companion, 97pts Nick Stock, 96pts Gary Walsh….far out!


New Releases

I can’t help but think Balnaves is always a bit underrated, perhaps unfairly, but I guess the same could be said of Coonawarra as a whole these days. This winery very successfully spans a very wide price range starting with ultra-reliable Cabernet Merlot at just under $20 (“Really punches above its weight. So lovely! What easy charm! Insane value” – WineFront), all the way through to the uber-premium ‘Tally’ at $96 (2013 97pts Halliday, 96pts WineFront). Crazy to think the 2010 and the 2013 are the current releases!


What the ?????

I think it's fair to say we've stooped to new lows at Cloudwine with our first ever listing of a wine from the 'old country.' Yep......a sparkler from Hampshire in the UK!!

But to be fair this is proper stuff. Hattingley Valley was established in 2008. It released its first wine in August 2013, and a year later was declared to have made the world's finest vintage rosé in the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships. 

Jancis Robinson justifiably cites Hattingley Valley as one of the producers that “have really put English vineyards on the world wine map”. 

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