As chief winemaker at Penfolds for a decade, responsible for Grange and the rest, Peter Gago holds unarguably one of the wine industry’s plum jobs. He’s also a master entertainer. I don’t think I’ve attended a wine tasting tutored by a more dynamic personality. Gago was constantly on the move, gliding up and down the floor of the ‘masterclass’ theatre at the London Wine Fair in May as if on stage at Wembley arena.
Posts Tagged ‘Coonawarra’
Last week saw the publication of Langton’s classification ‘V’ of the highest performing Australian wines as defined by their movements on the Australian auction market. Although essentially a market guide, the Langton’s classification is generally regarded as a list of the very finest and most collectable wines made in Oz. Revised every five years the classification was first introduced in 1991. Back then 34 wines were included, last week 123 wines made it to the list – 33 more since the last classification in 2005, reflecting the increased demand for fine Australian wine on the secondary markets in general as well as the sheer quality of the product at the top end.
Inspired by tasting some old Aussie Coonawarra Cabernets at the London Wine Fair I decided to have a look at a few older bottles of red from Penfolds that I’ve squirreled away over the years from the 1998 and 1996 vintages. Tasting the wines reminded me just how wonderfully these wines can age as well as what terrific vintages ‘96 and ‘98 were in South Australia.
An isolated strip of red soil on the South Australian and Victorian border has for the past fifty years provided Australia with its finest Cabernet Sauvignon. Great Cabs do come of course from Western Australia’s Margaret River and also from Victoria but no region in Australia has consistently produced such fine Cabernet as Coonawarra. In that sense it is the ‘Medoc’ of Australia, if not necessarily in style, certainly in importance.