CellarHand Newsletter November 2018

Summer’s coming, and great wine shows no sign of running dry round here, with November providing epic excitement on both the domestic and international front. Here at home, there’s a host of high-profile releases: Nick Farr’s close-planted GC, RP and Tout Près; Wantirna Estate’s ’17 Isabella and Lily and ’16 Amelia and Hannah; Stephen Pannell’s career-defining Koomilya wines; and Sam Middleton’s 2016s from Mount Mary. Then there’s some ace stuff filed under awards and accolades: Burn Cottage’s 2016 Pinot coming first in a field of 98 Central Otago Pinots from 2016; Sandra de Pury winning the Yarra Valley Wine Show Wine of Provenance Trophy for her Yeringberg Cabernet; Julian and Alana Langworthy’s Nocturne Cabernet cleaning up at the Margaret River Wine Show; and Judi Cullam of Frankland Estate winning the Gourmet Traveller WINE Len Evans Leadership Award.
Cultured, calm Kamptal sage Willi Bründlmayer has a fair bit in common with Judi Cullam, so it’s fitting that he was recognised the same month with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gault & Millau restaurant guide. Also in Austria, we’ve received a full range of 2017s from Franz Hirtzberger – a first chance to enjoy this vintage of juicy generosity matched by alluring depth – plus a varied stash from Burgenland maestro Moric, including some pan-Pannonian collaboration wines featuring Roland Velich and gun Hungarian winemakers. From the same neck of the woods, Gerhard Pittnauer is having fun showing his natural flair. We also have some 2017 curtain-raising Rieslings from Germany, with Wittmann, Gunderloch, A. Christmann and Dönnhoff chiming in with pristine wines from dry through Feinherb and Kabinett to Spätlese. Under-the-radar Eva Clüsserath has a couple of dry beauties from Mosel ’16, and we have one of the truly great Rieslings of that vintage, Georg Breuer Schlossberg, available for the first time. Last stop is France, and a couple of cracking reviews for our new Loire recruit Frédéric Mabileau, and the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Jacquesson Cuvée No. 741 is here.
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