CellarHand Newsletter February 2020

Julian and Alana Langworthy appear entirely at home in the pages of the glossies, and are no stranger to the headlines. In the space of four vintages, their Nocturne single-vineyard releases have been one of the most hotly anticipated events on the domestic calendar. Now it’s the turn of the ’18s, and Julian reckons this is as good a Cabernet vintage as he’s witnessed in Margaret River. That’s saying somehing.
Nocturne’s news is the major domestic launch for February, but there’s plenty of other goings-on. Nature ninja Jason Flowerday of biodynamic Marlborough estate TWR has been named NZ Viticulturist of the Year by Gourmet Traveller WINE. Humble hero Geoff Weaver has been fighting back after fires ravaged the Adelaide Hills and scorched more than a third of his vineyard as he looked on from the dam. Onannon have a slew of vintage rolls to accompany a bright and beautiful first Shiraz. And Corymbia‘s been singled out by Mike Bennie as perhaps the best thing to happen to Western Australian wine in a decade.
On the imports front, the 2018s from Germany dominate proceedings. And why the heck not? A glorious summer yielded healthy grapes and resplendent wines. They’re full of exuberant fruit, superbly expressive of site and with excellent shape and freshness. Gunderloch, A. Christmann, Wittmann, Dönnhoff and Dr Loosen all have cracking GGs available now. As always, these top-flight releases shine a light on exemplary quality, value and versatility across the range at these great estates. There really is a Riesling for every occasion, at any price point.
Across the border in Austria, F.X. Pichler‘s wines have arrived from the ’18 harvest. We’ve taken the opportunity to highlight the joy of Smaragd from this legendary grower. And to take a little detour from the aromatic whites, we’ve added in a snippet on Dominique Piron, because the 2018 Beaujolais from village level to top crus are just irresistible.
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