Today 15 unrepresented wineries from Down Under invaded the Royal York’s Imperial Room in the hopes of scoring themselves an agent, and the opportunity to sell wines in Ontario. I know for a fact that a couple were successful now it’s up t the LCBO to say “yes”. Below is a list of my favourites with a few of their wines that turned me favourably in their direction – let’s hope they were able to turn an agent’s head in the process, so that you too can experience some of these stellar wines.
Beelgara (New South Wales) – good value wines up and down the line from The Vines Shiraz/Cabernet/Merlot to the Winemakers Black Shiraz and the Regional Cabernet Sauvignon.
Linfield Road Wines (South Australia) – they poured both their 2004 and 2005 wines; my favourites were from the 2005 line-up: The Stubborn Patriarch Shiraz, Black Hammer Cabernet Sauvignon and Slab Hut Merlot/Shiraz/Cabernet … all very good single vineyard wines.
Chateau Mildura (Victoria) – they have a European-style label on these new world wines. Real winners included the Psyche Reserve Shiraz and the Psyche Smuggler Petit Verdot.
Galli Estate (Victoria) – they have a Heathcote Shiraz Viognier that proved quite lovely and their Heathcote Block Two Shiraz was also very appealing. They also have a Sunbury line of wines, but I found the Heathcote wines more my speed especially for what I’m looking for in an Aussie wine. The Sunbury is more of a maritime climate while Heathcote is all heat – these really are two very distinct wines from the same winery, even if the grapes read the same on the label. I am told you should look for wines from Galli in the spring of 2009.
Gentle Annie (Victoria) – if there is any justice in the world Annie has found herself an Ontario mate. What can you say about a winery that both barrel ages and bottle ages their wines. The current vintage is the 2003 and both the straight Cabernet Sauvignon and 60/40 Shiraz/Cabernet blend are truly outstanding … these ones would be worth picking-up if only they were here. Here’s hoping that happens soon.
Giant Steps / Innocent Bystander (Victoria) – a tasty pink Moscato proved enticing to the palate, as well as a wild ferment Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay.
Vin 888 (Victoria) – showed off some of the best sweet stuff at the show, and a few dry babies too. A Verdelho, an Autumn Harvest Muscat Blanc, Autumn Harvest Riesling, and a Big Fella Cabernet-Merlot. Of all the dessert wines, the 10-year-old Tokay proved dessert-worthy all on its own, while the Muscat Blanc would have paired well with lighter desserts.