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Winestate Magazine November December 2019

Launched in 1978, Winestate is one of the world’s longest running wine magazines, featuring over 140 pages on all things vinous from around the globe. Winestate tastes and rates over 10,000 wines a year, making Winestate the leading authority on Australian and New Zealand wines.

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7 Issues

in this issue

3 min

AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR we are enjoying all the new release 2019 white wines and this is reflected in the annual judgings of riesling, pinot gris/grigio, semillon and sauvignon blanc along with the usual New Release judging. What is evident across the board is that the 2019 wines are showing nice varietal character and as expected, freshness and vibrancy. Intensity of flavour seems to equate with price, with lighter wines at the lower end perhaps reflecting bigger crop yields and higher priced wines reflecting low crop yields usually from cool climate regions. Some wines in the middle have used phenolics (pressings) to build flavour with mixed results. Red wines are not forgotten in this issue where a line-up of around 350 cabernet sauvignon wines, including the so-called bordeaux blend…

43 min

MINIMUM INTERVENTION FOR MAXIMUM RETURN ALISTER Purbrick, who owns venerable Victorian winery Tahbilk, has teamed with his son and daughter-in-law, Matt and Lentil Purbrick, to launch a new natural wine label, Minimum. Minimum is designed to focus on minimum intervention wines, natural growing principles and sustainability from vineyard to the bottle. Its initial offering features three wines-a 2018 sangiovese syrah, a 2018 chardonnay and a 2019 sangiovese rosato. In preparation for launching Minimum, the Purbricks spent the past two years converting a 50ha vineyard on the Goulburn River to organic, with full certification expected in 2020. “Minimum is about enjoying the good life, but not at the expense of the environment,” says Matt Purbrick, who uses organic grapes, wild and cultivated biodynamic yeasts, and minimal sulphur. Visit minimumwines.com. CHINA DEMAND FUELS EXPANSION SEPPELTSFIELD Wines, one of…

5 min
nz briefs

LIFTING ORGANIC STANDARDS CENTRAL Otago Winegrowers Association (COWA) recently announced that an impressive 17 per cent (350ha) of the region’s vineyards are certified organic or biodynamic with another 6 per cent (115ha) within the three-year organic certification process (land must be managed to certified organic standards for three years before full status is granted by an organic certifying body). This puts it at the forefront of organic viticulture in NZ (the national average is 4 per cent of vineyards) as well as a regional leader globally. Aotearoa New Zealand Fine Wine Estates Estate Manager and COWA chairperson Nick Paulin says: “This is a credit to the hardworking growers, winemakers and owners whose passion and commitment has generated this result. Central Otago is a natural fit for organic viticulture. We are passionate…

5 min
traditionalists continue their crus conversations

THE “cru” concept continues to develop across traditional European wine regions. That specialness of site; specificity of place. In viticultural terms cru is a special sort of vineyard status. Arguably the most famous usage is in left bank Bordeaux, where crus are ranked with numerical hierarchy-premier cru, deuxieme cru, etc. first growth, second growth, etc. The recent legal recognition of some 33 Soave crus in north-east Italy was explored last time in this section. Admirers of French wine, burgundy especially, will be familiar with the hundreds of years of experiential learning and monastic exploration that led to the modern appellation hierarchy of the region, where premier cru and grand cru are embedded within the appellation structure. More recently, this millennium, Beaujolais, right at the southern end of Burgundy, and made from…

5 min
facing up to the changing environment

IN most workplaces we are told that we must adapt and be comfortable in a “change environment”. The fast moving pace of life affects everything we do. And the same can also be said about the profession of growing grapes. Climate change, seen through challenging growing conditions, is forcing viticulturists to constantly question their approach to growing healthy grapes. Global warming is becoming one of the key factors that is driving what kind of wines we drink. South Australia is regarded, rightly so, as the “Wine State” and it is at the forefront of producing the volume that we will need to satisfy the booming Chinese market. In a speech at the 2019 Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference, wine industry heavyweight Warren Randall, chairman of the Randall Group, said the rise…

4 min
marseilles makes the most of its fishy past

MARSEILLES, France’s second largest city, has been trying to shake off its shady reputation for decades. The gritty city never acquired the moneyed glitz of the rest of the Cote d’Azur, but over the past few years the tide has truly turned. Ships are pulling into the huge cruise terminal again, tourism has risen 15 per cent and ambitious buildings designed by some of the world’s star architects are springing up everywhere. The foodie highlight of this year is Marseilles Gastronomy 2019, a blowout of 1000 events highlighting local produce, the record-breaking number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the region and farm to fork markets. The city’s culinary gift to the world is bouillabaisse, the fish stew/soup developed over the centuries by local fisherman who originally used seafood they couldn't sell. The…