Well Im back from my first visit to the Australia Day tastings in London. My heads a bit foggy, my fingers are stained purple, and my guts are in a slight turmoil. I must have sampled about two hundred wines in all, some real belters and some fairly average ones too. I met up with a few familiar faces which was pleasant, and make some new contacts that I hope we can build into a new supplier.
I tried some great wines from small, boutiquey wineries - Gapsted Wines, based in the King Valley, Victoria. They had an interesting Petit Manseng, which you usually only find in Jurancon. It has a wonderfully aromatic flavour - think alsace gewurtz without the oilyness and its close. Their Touriga was very good as well, with a kind of violet, licorice root flavour and more than a hint of black tea. We met with a co-operative of small grower based in the Barossa whom market themselves as the Artisans of Barossa. There was a cracking chenin blanc from Rusden called Christian, after the winemaker Christian Canute. (www.rusdenwines.com.au). Beautiful banana, tropical fruit and papaya flavours. All their wines were well worth a swatch at, and will hopefully be making it onto our list after the buying embargo is lifted in the new year (fiscal - April 2, 2007). I also managed to taste some blockbuster reds - Brokenwoods Graveyard Shiraz 2004, now in screwcap - big dense red stone fruit, tons of depth and intensely tannic finish. Some of the Glaetzer wines - Godolphin being the biggest they were showing - another intensely rich shiraz dominated blend. Charlie Meltons Barossa Shiraz 2002, god I love his shiraz, layers of black fruit, tobacco, spicy tones, hints of licorice and chocolate.
By the time I left at closing time, my fingers were stained purple, my teeth probably likewise, and my head was spinning merrily as I made my way to the nearest boozer for a therapeutic pint of beer. Its a wonder I didnt fall asleep on my train and wake up in Inverness!!