Your Race Wine – The Galway Vintage Shiraz

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Since the 1940s Yalumba has been producing premium red wine under the Galway name. Yalumba’s Galway Claret (as it was then known) was first produced in 1943 and named after a former governor of South Australia, Henry Galway, and unfortunately not the festival capital of Ireland. Governor Galway was a frequent visitor to Yalumba during his tenure in office and this wine was named in his honour. For many years the Galway Shiraz was one of the most sought after wines produced in Australia and has a long and enduring history of production over 65 years.

And the 2009 release offers both intense Shiraz flavours and complex American oak barrel characters. The grapes for the Galway Shiraz are sourced from Yalumba’s loyal grower base in the Barossa Valley. The wine is full of dark fruit, rich plum pudding and chocolate aniseed rings. This is a full-bodied wine, showing vibrant blackberry and dark chocolate; complemented by a lush, silky palate.

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Will the Real Bonarda Please Stand Up?

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Here’s one for you folks obsessed with obscure factoids, Bonarda is Argentina’s most planted red grape! It’s true it’s not the delicious Malbec grape that they craft into beautiful reds but Bonarda, a grape with a bit of an indentity crisis.  Confusingly there are not one but three grape varieties in Italy called Bonarda, and then there is a suggestion that it may not even be any of these but a grape that is found all over California.

  • Bonarda of Oltrepò Pavese and Colli Piacentini – it is actually the Croatina grape (one of the many differnet types of Italian grapes some times used in Valpolicella Blands), by another name.
  • Bonarda Novarese, which is blended with the red grape Spanna (which is what the highlanders of the northern Piedmont call Nebbiolo) in DOC wines of the Novara and Vercelli hills.  This is actually the Uva Raragrape
  • Bonarda Piemontese, which is rarely grown and remains primarily along the Tanaro river near the town of Govone
  • Some experts believe Argentine Bonarda is actually the red variety called, “Charbono,” in California, 

But which of these is it likely to be is still unknown all though, the Argentine’s themselves believe it to be Corbeau (AKA Douce Noir), a grape from central france, whose name may have been confused with Dolcetto in Piedmont and as a result when the grape arrived in Argentina it took on another accidental pseudonym from Piedmont ‘Bonarda’. Anyway what ever its true origin it is a delightful wine to try! 

Lovely Strawberry, plummy fruit and floral notes of roses and violets on the nose that promise much. The wine itself tends towards juicy fresh fruits with nice balance and real drinkability. If you feel like trying one we have the delicious Colina Las Liebres Bonarda, which just arrived in to the shop this morning!

New Arrival – The Virgilius – Australia’s great Viognier

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‘The Virgilius’ Eden Valley Viognier is Yalumba’s most distinguished white wine. This is Australia’s answer to Condrieu wines.  With more than 26 years of experience with this variety, Yalumba today is one of the most influential producers of viognier in the world. But not content to rest on their laurels, a new  chapter in Yalumba’s viognier journey began in late 2005; the planting of the first viognier clonal selections that had been propagating in the Yalumba Vine Nursery in the Barossa. Eight different clones were planted on the south-eastern part of the Yalumba Eden Valley vineyard – the “Virgilius Vineyard” on Flaxmann Valley Road. This represents the most clonally diverse planting of viognier in Australia.  Although it will be some years before these vines are able to produce grapes, and more years again before they are of suitable standard to go in The Virgilius blend, this is the next exciting stage in the Yalumba viognier journey. The 2008 Virgilius- is one of the most seductive wines you’ll ever come across – a montage of grape flavours; apricot nectar, lifted spice, lychee and orange blossom are typical aromas. The palate is long, opulent and rich with stone fruit flavours, finishing with citrus freshness. And it’s not the only Viognier Yalumba have they have a range starting with the delectable Y-series through the unique and amazing Organic Viognier. There is a Viognier out there for everybody, even those with a sweet tooth.

High Alcohol Wines

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It’s no mystery that Wine contains alcohol- if it didn’t it would just be grape juice! Lately though I’ve had one or two people coming in looking for low alcohol wine… inevitably this got me thinking about the differing percentages in wine! Why does wine need alcohol in the first place? Well to put it simply- there are several parts of wine which can help to make it suitable to age. There’s the tannins, the acidity, but also the alcohol plays a big role!
 
The alcohol is created  by fermentation of the sugars in the grape juice; either by adding yeast, or the juice can be left to it own devices and the natural yeast from the vineyard will ferment the grape juice to wine.The level of alcohol reached depends on the grape variety, some grapes have more sugar content than others and the ripeness of the grapes. So because the sugars play a role in how much alcohol there will be in your glass of red or white, hotter climates (ie New World) where the grapes ripen fuller, will generally have higher alcohol content. This is because the amount of Sunlight affects the sugar levels of the grapes, and the more sugar there is to ferment with, the more alcohol there will inevitably be! Simples.
 
The trick is how a winemaker deals with this higher alcohol like anything that is made up of several parts it is essential that these parts are in balance, if not the whole thing is ruined, a simple example is an ordinary mug of tea too much sugar or milk and your mug of tea is ruined! In the old world they have been making high alcohol wines such as Amarone and Chateaunuef-du-Pape for years and are more familiar with how to craft a silky yet powerful wine, that said there are many a skilled Aussie and South American winemaker out there crafting intense and velvety high alcohol wines.  Whether you like it or not higher alcohol wines are here to stay even in some of the more traditional parts of the world – global warming is affecting the whole plant, who knows in 100 years time wines from the west coast of this green Island maybe in demand! On second thoughts it probably still be too wet!!

Who Needs Sunshine?

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With Il Prosecco in your glass, you can’t help but feel in the mood for a party. While this wine will be kind to your pocket, especially now with €3 OFF,  it delivers more than you would expect from a wine that has a beer-type crown cap. Il is deliciously quaffable, lighter on the alcohol content, and undeniably stylish in its packaging. Mionetto, producer of our great Proseccos is promoting these new sparkling wines to a younger crowd than their traditional offerings, but as long as you’re young in spirit, you will find them very appealing, trust us!