Aussies make festival statement – March 7, 2015


prescriptiondrugslevitra By Anthony Gismondi

We take a final look back today at the 2015 Vancouver International Wine Festival and the week that was.

A few things stood out, beginning with the amazing Australian contingent. The notion of not becoming too big for your britches leads to a camaraderie among wineries that is unparalleled in the wine world.

Team Australia brought its newest and best and really made a statement about where the future of Down Under wine is headed. The combination of regionality (labelling wines from smaller and smaller origins or sub-regions) along with what can only be described as a brighter and fresher style, was driven home at countless tastings throughout the week, and it looks good on them.

It all began at Bacchanalia where the Jansz Sparkling Wine from Tasmania ($30) seemed to electrify the crowd. The classy sparkler turned plenty of heads throughout the reception and more than few attendees suggested it was more champagne than Champagne. Ita��s part of the new wave, and ita��s a bellwether of the type of cool climate wines we can expect to see much more of from Australia.

Mondavi on the Mountain drew a soldout crowd to The Observatory at Grouse Mountain on a spectacular clear Monday night. Winemaker Nova Cadamatre presented several Napa Valley wines, including two excellent chardonnays from 2012, the Napa Valley and the Reserve. The Mondavi style was never really overblown, especially in the last two decades, so it fits right in with brighter and fresher theme for modern chardonnay. Serving them with chef Dennis Peckhama��s stuffed maple chicken made us forget there was no snow on the mountain.

One of the youngest crowds ever appeared at the Savour Australia Lounge Party where we fed on mini truffle meat pies, Australiaa��s King Island blue cheese, kangaroo sliders, Australian Yellowtail Kingfish taco and morem, with music, food and wine all in one room. Sometimes you need to pinch yourself when you think of how far this province has come despite a succession of wine-illiterate governments at both the federal and provincial levels.

The show was in high gear by Wednesday for the trade and public, with specialist tastings all across the city. None perhaps was more entertaining than the opening plenary session Thursday morning, at which the Australians blew away the trade, pouring a selection of past, present and future bottles, including Fowles Wine Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Chardonnay 2013, Jacoba��s Creek Steingarten Riesling 2013, Shaw + Smith Tolpuddle Pinot Noir 2013, Wolf Blass White Label Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay 2013 and Wynns Coonawarra Estate John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon 2010.

More than 120 consumers attended the Barossaa��s Old Vine Heritage tasting on Friday night for a once-in-a-lifetime look at several legendary Barossa labels. With a history of winemaking that dates to 1842, Barossa is now the pre-eminent home of old vines with the largest known collection of pre-phylloxera old-vine material, across a number of varieties, in the world. We learned Barossa producers have stepped forward to protect these vines in perpetuity with their Old Vine Charter.

There were so many great wines at the tasting ita��s not really fair to point any out individual stars but the Jacoba��s Creek Centenary Hill 2010 and the Peter Lehmann Wines VSV 1885 2013 were off-the-charts good. Leta��s hope the energy brought to the tasting room translates into some new listing in a section in need of a regional transplant.

Over to you Italy; you have less than 12 months to bring it hard.

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