Champagne of the Week – Louis Roederer Cristal 2008

WORDS KEN GARGETT Don’t let anyone tell you differently. 2008 is a truly great vintage for Champagne. Some have claimed it is the best since 1996, or even 1990. It might even surpass those two and challenge the brilliant 1988. Like the great ’88, which snuck under the radar in its youth, this is a…

‘Champagne of the Week’ – Bollinger Grand Année 2008

WORDS KEN GARGETT The evidence has been building for some time. 2008 is one of the greatest vintages seen in Champagne for many years. Aficionados will argue over just where it fits in the overall scale of things, and which compare, but for me, it looks like it might be the best since the scintillating…

Wine of the Week – Shaw and Smith Sauvignon Blanc 2019

WORDS KEN GARGETT It seems like yesterday that the news of Michael Hill Smith and Martin Shaw, winemaker cousins, commencing their own operation in the Adelaide Hills hit the front page. Terrifyingly, it was 30 years ago and the wines to celebrate that milestone have just landed. Back in 1989, Michael had just become the…

Wine of the Week – Craggy Range ‘Le Sol’ Syrah 2016

Craggy Range, in the Gimblett Gravels region of Hawkes Bay on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, is one of that country’s premium wine producers. What is a little bit different about Craggy is that, although they make very fine examples of both, they have not built their reputation on the leading Kiwi varieties of Sauvignon Blanc…

Top Five You Need to Try – Chateau la Nerthe

WORDS KEN GARGETT Fans of fine Rhone wines will be delighted to learn that the highly respected Chateauneuf producer, Chateau Le Nerthe, has returned to our shores after several years absence. Commercial director, Christophe Bristiel, who took over the role from his father a decade ago, was in town to show that the wines have…

Champagne Lanson – Our Top 5 You Should Try

WORDS KEN GARGETT If ever a champagne house has gone from the penthouse to the proverbial outhouse, it was the once noble house of Lanson. And now, as a former Prime Minister might say, it appears that they have done a ‘Lazarus with a triple bypass’, slowly but surely working their way back to the…

Enjoy A Day Hosted by Giammarino Wines

Giammarino Wines is a family run vineyard and they are opening their doors this June to celebrate their Winter Open Day. Based in St Andrews in the western hills of the Yarra Valley, the two-day festival will run from the 15th – 16th June. Behind the bar opening outstanding wines across their range will be…

Five Schild Estate Reds You Need to Try

WORDS KEN GARGETT Schild Estate make a wide range of wines, mostly reds, and some are very limited. Here are five that should appeal and will hopefully be wines you can track down. They offer a great combination of flavour and value. Schild Estate ‘Edgar Schild’ Reserve Grenache 2017 ($36) From old bush vines, this is a…

A Very Solid Performer – The Sydney Reserve

Many (far too many) years ago, I stumbled on a few bottles of the 1978 Leconfield Coonawarra Cabernet in a dusty corner of a bottleshop. It was quite a famous wine back then and offered for silly money (silly in the sense of being criminally cheap), so needless to say, I grabbed them. They are…

Australian Winery Penfolds Launch its own Champagne

WORDS KEN GARGETT There was a minor earthquake in the Champagne region this month and the aftershock could be felt all the way to Australia. Penfolds had been rumoured (well, it was a rumour they started last year, but they would not tell us any details) to be involved with a Champagne. Turned out to…

The Joy of Wine

WORDS KEN GARGETT Among the many joys wine offers is its infinite capacity to surprise. Usually, open a bottle and you know what to expect. We know what it is, what we paid, whether it should be spectacular or just a decent drink. But sometimes… Of course, the reverse happens as well. That particular bottle…