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New Releases June 2018

New Release Wines

June 2018





Glorious Barossa Grenache Shines Again
Harem 'Rosita' Barossa Valley Grenache Vermentino 2017

Region: Barossa Valley, SA
Fabulous wine and the best rose we have offered since the miracle Rosita 2006 with its herbal, faintly bitter, finishing twist. You can make Rose in any wine region and really use any variety. If you are not serious you just add some red wine to colour white wine and-presto.

In my view the correct Barossa Rose is made from a base of Grenache with lesser amounts of varieties like Mataro or in this case Vermentino to heighten complexity. Grenache is a variety which takes a long time to ripen and accumulate colour and must be grown in a warm region, the Barossa being the perfect home.

I vividly recall Kaiser Stuhl Grenache Barossa Roses of the 1970s which were delicious though this correct style passed into mass produced sweeter wines. Only in the last 10 years has a serious attempt been resumed to create this authentic, classic warm climate rose.

Benjamin worked closely with another winemaker on this project and after many trials discovered the addition of Vermentino gave the back palate lift they were seeking. A brilliant wine of distinction and character.

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Barossa Explores Italy and it Works
Crayford Barossa Valley Montepulciano 2016

Region: Barossa Valley

Montepulciano has a future in our warmer regions as it is a late ripening variety and handles heat well which sits well in the Barossa Valley.

An interesting feature of the variety is that a long season softens out the tannins and deliver good colours, two features which will appeal to those who like Barossa Shiraz and Cabernet.

It is an indigenous variety to Italy and is widely grown and just maybe is even better suited to the warmer premium regions of Australia. I also like the soft, plummy-ness of the flavours and in the Italian manner these are held up by a good dose of refreshing acidity.

In summary a high quality useful addition to our range of varieties and thus recommended. Note that there is a town of Montepulciano in Italy but they do not grow the variety but rather the Sangiovese variety as used in Chianti.

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2018 June Sale Bargain No 10
Karrawirra Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Region: Barossa Valley, SA

The best of the best Cabernet Sauvignon fruit becomes the Karrawirra and this is fermented in open fermenters, the method we prefer, then aged in oak barrels. We were delighted a few years back to be offered the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from the Schwarz Family, Biscay Road property south of Tanunda-a locale we knew very well.

The first Karrawirra Cabernet was the 2008 and while the wines have been exceptional they have been sourced from different vineyards. With this second release the Karrawirra has found its home.

While Shiraz can rightly be said to have its spiritual home in the Barossa Valley, Cabernet is far more recent with plantings expanding from the 1980s to meet new consumer demand.

Shiraz and Cabernet are now the most favoured reds in most vineyard regions though of the two, Cabernet is normally better as the vineyards climb in elevation and become cooler. We have at times blended Barossa Shiraz and Cabernet and while our thoughts are still open I think they are better as single varieties.

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Highly Pointed Great Price
P.B. Burgoyne Barossa Valley Rose 2017

Region: Barossa, SA
This is the final blend created by Benjamin though we did purchase some components. I mention this as recently I noted a rose from this supplier was pointed 97/100, a very high score for a white or rose. Benjamin only deals in the best though I mention this to provide extra comfort that this is a very great Rose.

Oddly while white wines have the fresh taste we enjoy when grown in a cool climate Roses are far more interesting when from a warm climate when varieties like Grenache, Mataro and Cinsault provide depth of flavour and complexity. Thus in our view a Barossa rose has far more appeal than for example a rose made from cool climate Pinot Noir.

We are traditionalists at Glug and have reverted back to the Barossa styles of the 1950s and 1960s which were made from Grenache. Mateus taught Australians how to enjoy rose but it was ordinary and quite sweet. It is then satisfying to find a new interest in a bone dry advanced style.

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Source of Impeccable Breeding
P.B. Burgoyne Barossa Valley Semillon 2016

Region: Barossa Valley, SA
I rate Barossa Semillon highly as many wines achieve the gold medal level. Today in a sea of alternative whites such as New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, and cool climate whites from W.A. and the Adelaide Hills this variety now suffers from lack of attention.

Semillon is a curious variety as it also ripens in cool climates where it is often blended with Sauvignon Blanc. Sourced from a warmer region the volume of taste increases and since I like wines with flavour, well-made examples such as the Burgoyne appeal.

I like the wine for another reason as it explains well my thought that drinkers should concentrate on what is in the glass and not jump to conclusions about what they think the taste might be.

Follow that thought and you will drink better and save a lot. I have many memories of delicious examples from the Barossa and when this lot was offered from a source with impeccable breeding for making Semillon, Benjamin had no hesitation in saying, yes please.

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Recommended Bargain from Adelaide Hills
Darby Lane Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2016

Region: Adelaide Hills
Adelaide sprawls along a coastal plain with market gardens to the north while south are the coastal vineyard districts of Reynella-now housing - and McLaren Vale.

The eastern back drop to Adelaide is a rapidly rising fault scarp that lifts to 400 metres and further east peaks at 727 metres at Mount Lofty.

With some vineyards as high as 600 metres this provides a wonderful contrast in flavours to the vineyards of the warm coastal plain.

In general consumers favour whites from cooler regions which are crisper and lighter and retain natural acidity.

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Cool and Wet Heartland of the Hills
P.B. Burgoyne Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2016

Region: Barossa, SA
Unusually for us we have aged this wine in oak to add complexity and lengthen the palate. It was Brian Croser with his start up Petaluma, dating from 1976, who made the first Adelaide Hills whites to catch my attention. I am not sure when the first Chardonnay was released though I recall a succession of cleverly made wines being released over the 1990s.

Those early pioneers of the 1970s triggered off a wave of vineyard plantings which have multiplied across the Adelaide Hills with dozens of wineries now offering numerous white varieties. There is now ample supply so a small business, like Glug, can source from a great number of locations though we prefer the heartland which surrounds the original Petaluma vineyards and goes north and west for five to 10 kilometres.

The wetter, higher, cooler ground is the best for Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc as the fruit flavours change as you move east and south into slightly warmer areas. The Burgoyne sits comfortably with the ideal of Glug to balance quality with price and Benjamin Parker has done an exceptional job.

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Elegance from the Golden West
Cape Geographe Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2017

Region: Margaret River, WA
I know the wines of Margaret River very well and adore the blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The white wines from Margaret River have enriched our drinking and demonstrate very clearly the importance of sea-side locations to produce the sappy, vibrant, freshness we enjoy so much.

The oceans modify the climate, not too hot and not too cold, and when it’s right the results are startling. Like many of our wine regions Margaret River has a recent history starting tentatively in the late 1960s. By about 1973 they had begun blending Semillon with Sauvignon Blanc to express a Southern Hemisphere version of the Bordeaux, France white wine called Graves.

Steadily they mastered the art and I doubt that any of the 187 Margaret River wineries do not make a version. Now Margaret River is a very large region and some of it is far warmer than you might imagine. We wanted grapes that came from the southern half and those used in the Cape Geographe come from Karridale which is very cool. This is a great though delicate wine and it gives me pleasure to have it back on our list.

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Drinking Well At Little Cost
Borderland Estates 'Flocking Galloots' Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2016

Region: Adelaide Hills, SA
Benjamin on a recent buying trip discovered a cache of Adelaide Hills Chardonnay and purchased the lot. Time and time again our purchases of gold quality wines come about for the same reason. Wineries like to get rewarded for well-made wines and refuse offers which are too low. This may work to their advantage though as time ticks by the selling job gets a little harder.

When you have in stock the 2017 vintage and a bumper 2018 harvest the time has arrived to get what you can for the older vintages. Yet consider this; wines are stored in stainless steel tanks at low temperature and are held in suspended animation, with changes being very slow.

Thus in-effect Benjamin has purchased a collection of Chardonnays at one third the price of the 2018s. This is what wine merchants do. The wines are shipped to the winery, tested and bottled under stelvin caps which also slows ageing. This is how wonderful bargains are created.

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Wonderful Mix of Freshness and Complexity
Salem Valley Estates Barossa Valley Semillon Chardonnay 2016

Region: Barossa, SA
Semillon was planted in the Barossa Valley back in the 1880s and until recently was a part of any growers mix of varieties.

The variety makes interesting wines in cool and warm climates and has a claim to be called the white variety of the Barossa Valley For a time in the 1980s and 1990s Semillon was in great demand and growers were encouraged to plant more as brands such as Peter Lehmann were selling huge quantities.

It was not to be a good move as the growth of vineyards in other cooler regions and the rise of Marlborough, New Zealand, say sales plummet and they will never recover. For this reason vineyards across the valley are replanting with red varieties which will have an endless future. Still the wines are very good indeed and being hard to sell means prices are low.

At Glug we always buy good wine when it is offered on favourable terms and to this excellent base Benjamin has added a wonderful complex, delicate Chardonnay and the two complement each other well.

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Delicious Big Though Soft
Village Belle Barossa Valley Pinot Noir 2017

Region: Barossa Valley

Benjamin has come up trumps with this glorious, full flavoured, deeply coloured, though soft red, which reflects the variety. I preach to drink what is in the glass not a notion of what you think the maker, region, variety should taste like. This is not as simple as it seems and is on test with this Pinot Noir from a warm region, the Barossa Valley.

I told Benjamin to call it a Dry Red but he did not listen and it remains with its varietal name. I was surprised to find any Pinot was growing in the Barossa Valley and after tasting this the case grows to plant more so Benjamin has outsmarted me again.

Actually, I’m not a believer in the idea that each variety expresses itself best in some particular climate profile, and when grown outside that narrow range the wines have lesser flavours.

Different flavours yes, but in a business constantly swept by fashion there will never be a time to say what is right or wrong.

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2018 June Sale Bargain No 8
Langdorf Kaldukee Barossa Valley Semillon 2016

Region: Barossa Valley, SA
Some wines I can drink regularly, night after night. This Kaldukee is one of these and as such I find ‘it passes my case test’. Semillon makes interesting wines in cool climates but also in warm climates which is a not a common feature for white varieties. Those that depend on aromatic pungency, such as Sauvignon blanc lose much of this power or appeal in a warm region.

Semillon to me has always been a textural variety, it has ample flavour but also mouth-feel and palate weight. The crisp characters it shows in a cool climate means it blends well with sauvignon blanc which adds the unusual aroma and lifted pungency of that variety.

It may though be better from a warm region as shown by the characters of the Hunter Valley and the many Trophy and gold medal winners that have come from the Barossa Valley. A beautiful wine, balanced, with ample favourite though no need to rush as it will last for years.

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