Oz: stands to crow about

16 May, 2008

Australia is going out on a limb this year with Wet Feet on the D&D Wines International stand and Fifth Leg from Foster's EMEA, both following in Zonte's Footsteps, which you'll find on the HwCg stand. No chiropodists in evidence to cure late-fair aching tarsals, but there is a Good Doctor on stand F8, and a refreshing pilsner lager courtesy of the De Bortoli wine firm.

The global power of Australian wine brands will be in evidence on the Foster's EMEA stand, where the company will be showing not only

Aussie wines from the Lindemans portfolio but those of the Countries of Origin range from Chile and South Africa.

The Chilean wines were launched at the fair in 2007 and Foster's has extended the Lindemans brand into South Africa in early 2008.

There'll also be the chance to see how Lindemans Early Harvest shapes up. The 9% abv wine has been launched in response to consumer demand for products with fewer calories and less alcohol.

The core brands for Foster's - Wolf Blass, Rosemount, Lindemans and Penfolds - will be showcased,

as will its regional Australian portfolio, such as

Annie's Lane from Clare Valley, Fifth Leg from Margaret River and Saltram from Barossa Valley.

Foster's chief winemaker Chris Hatcher, along with Penfolds senior white winemaker Oliver Crawford, will be present to run private tastings and front a series of seminars.

These will include a look at the new Penfolds Icon and Luxury ranges. Advance bookings

are required through

chris.stoud@emea.fostersgroup.com. Stand D40

Visitors to the Constellation Europe stand will be greeted by winemakers including: Stuart Bourne from Barossa Valley Estates; Ed Carr from Bay of Fires; Simon Osicka from Leasingham; and Rob Bowen from Houghton. They'll be presenting wines that form part of the revamped Premium Wine Estates collection.

BVE E Minor, Ebenezer and E&E Black Pepper are Shiraz releases that Bourne will highlight.

Carr, who has won

almost 100 trophies for sparkling wine over the years,

will reveal Tigress sparkling Pinot Noir/Chardonnay, rosé and Arras.

The Leasingham offerings include Magnus and Bin 7 Rieslings and Classic Clare Cabernet Sauvignon.

Houghton's top wines recommended for tasting by Constellation are White Classic and Margaret River and Jack Mann Cabernet Sauvignon . Stand F40

There will be plenty to catch up on at the stand of Australian Vintage, the new name for producer McGuigan.

The McGuigan name

will carry on in the form of a varietal-led entry-level range sourced from south east Australia. The range has an rrp of £6.15 for its Chardonnay and Shiraz , and

replaces the old McGuigan Gold label.

There is also the first release of McGuigan Discover, a range of wines created to reflect the breadth that the Australian wine industry has to offer . The range features Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc, Langhorne Creek Shiraz/Viognier, Victorian Pinot Grigio and south eastern Australian Moscato.

Others available for tasting are the 2008 vintage McGuigan Black Label Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz , and the 2007 Merlot.

McGuigan Hand Made Langhorne Creek Shiraz is produced from selected old vine fruit. The limited edition 2005 release has been aged in a combination of new and seasoned French and American oak.

McGuigan's Nepenthe Altitude range, from cool climate Adelaide Hills, features the 2007 vintage Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Riesling. Nepenthe will also be highlighting the premium Pinnacle range made in limited quantities from estate-grown, hand-picked fruit, with newly-released 2006 Charleston Pinot Noir and 2005 The Good Doctor both on offer. Stand F8

Anyone after a one-stop guide to the wine regions of Australia

should not miss out on the Stratford's Wine Agencies stand.

From Orange in New South Wales, there's a new organic range called Wild Mountain, a collaboration between the UK agent and producer Tamburlaine. The four wines - Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon, Chardonnay, Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz/Grenache - all feature Mount Canobolus on the label, emphasising the high altitude of the vineyard.

South Australia's Wakefield will be exhibiting Jaraman, a new "fusion" range combining Clare Valley fruit from the family-owned winery's vineyards with grapes from other iconic

regions. The winery will

unveil

its Eighty Acres range.

Tasmania is represented by Pirie, which will offer

a sneak preview of a new dessert wine. Clark's Botrytis Riesling has a limited production of just 900 bottles, so get there on day one.

Highlights from Western Australia's Ferngrove Estate include Diamond Chardonnay 2005 from the Orchid Series and a Rhône-inspired Shiraz/Viognier.

Barossa Valley producer Langmeil claims to have wine from "the oldest known surviving pre-phylloxera Shiraz vineyard on the planet", in the form of Freedom Shiraz. Stand F22

John Casella, managing director of Yellow Tail producer Casella Wines, will be present on the Off Piste stand, where the entire Yellow Tail range will be available to taste.

A few surprises are promised alongside the line-up of sparkling, Pinot Grigio, Verdelho, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.

Stand G60

Negociants UK will

unveil its revamped selection of wines from the Yalumba stable, including Eden Valley Viognier and Wild Ferment Chardonnay, and Shiraz/Viognier, Bush Vine Grenache and Patchwork Shiraz from the Barossa.

It says the "changes in packaging are vast and the wines are looking spectacular".

Other wines available for sampling include the latest vintage of Mesh Eden Valley Riesling, made by Robert Hill Smith and Jeffrey Grosset, and the Yalumba Organic range.

From the Pewsey Vale vineyard in Eden Valley comes the 2003 vintage of its Contours Riesling and the 2007 varietal Riesling. Jim Barry Wines will have its McRae Wood Clare Valley Shiraz 1999 Museum Release on show.

Tasmania also gets a look-in with the 2003 Premium Vintage Cuvée from Jansz, and Vesse Felix will show its range of Margaret River wines.

Negociants will also

host a themed tasting of selected back vintages. From noon on Tuesday there will be Jim Barry's The Armagh 1990, 1992 and 1998, and a sneak preview of the new PB Reserve Shiraz/Cabernet 2005. Stand G30

HwCg will

exhibit 60-plus wines from its Australian portfolio,

such as 2008 blends from Roberts Estate and Calder Grove,

vintages from Commissioners Block and latest vintages of Margaret River Chardonnay and Shiraz from Evans & Tate.

E&T will

launch the Split River brand, comprising Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz wines from Margaret River, with an "entry-level" price of £7.99.

Charismatic winemaker Geoff Merrill will be on hand to present a selection of wines from his Mount Hurtle winery, including the 2008 rosé.

There will

be wines from Fox Gordon, the premium range of wines from Barossa and Adelaide Hills which HwCg has taken on this year. Stand S30.

Andrew

Wigan, chief winemaker at Peter Lehmann Wines, will be holding an informal tasting of "Barossa Semillon at its best", on May 20 from 10am to 12 noon. The tasting will feature a flight of six vintages of the winery's Margaret Semillon. Stand G50

D&D Wines International

aims to demonstrate the diversity of South Australia. It will show

wines from the Red Belly Back range from Riverland producer Angove's, along with the producer's Long Row and Nine Vines ranges.

Regional wines from Coonawarra, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale from Angove's Vineyard Select brand will

be

there.

Angove's winemaker and "rosé maestro" Tony Ingle will be in attendance.

Barossa Bethany Wines will be showcasing its GR9 Reserve Shiraz, which is only made in exceptional vintages. There'll also be a Cabernet Franc Rosé sourced from 40-year-old vines.

Chain of Ponds, from Adelaide Hills, will be unveiling a sparkling Sangiovese/Grenache blend which has a braincell-friendly abv level of 10%.

McLaren Vale producer Haselgrove is exhibiting wines from its new Wet

Feet and Vincent's Breeze brands.

Stand L10

A number of regionally-focused parcel wines will be on taste under the Seventh Continent banner at the Percy Fox stand. The line-up

has a Hunter Valley Semillon, and Margaret River Shiraz/Viognier and Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc.

Percy Fox has recently made minor label changes to the main Seventh Continent range to put the region centre stage. It has also introduced screwcaps to the range, which was launched two years ago into the £7.99 to £9.99 price band.

Seventh Continent comprises Chardonnay/Pinot Grigio and Viognier from Adelaide Hills, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra, Riesling from Clare Valley and Shiraz from Hunter

Valley. Stand D62

Organic and low-alcohol wines are feature products from Salena Estyate, based in the Riverland

of South Australia and represented in the UK by Crush Wines. Its organic rosé is one especially to look out for, Crush says.

The producer will

offer tasting of blends and single varietals under the Salena Estate label, and is on the lookout to add to its exclusive-label business.

Stand R42

Orange-based Cumulus Wines will

exhibit the Rolling, Climbing and Philip Shaw ranges. All the wines are made by legendary winemaker Shaw in tandem with cool-climate expert Debbie Laurtiz, both of whom will be at the show.

The latest additions are Climbing Pink and the super-premium Inkberry Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon.

There's also a chance to try Philip Shaw No 8 Pinot Noir, named after the winemaker's lucky gambling number.

Stand L52

There's a good opportunity to tick off a few pages of your I-Spy Book of Australian Winemakers by visiting the Great Western Wine stand.

Stuart Watson, from Woodlands in Margaret River, will

reveal his new Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

South Australia's Ben Glaetzer will be accompanied by new vintages of his Amon-ra

and Anaperenna wines and his Heartland range.

Chalkers Crossing wines from Tumbarumba and Hilltops will get the talk-though from winemaker Celine Rousseau. Stand D12

De Bortoli export director Victor de Bortoli will

have samples of new wines

for the UK market,

such as Emeri sparkling Shiraz and Pink Moscato.

There'll also be an opportunity to taste early vintages of Noble One, the company's dessert wine, which has just chalked up its 25th vintage.

And for those who need something to quench the thirst after all that slurping and spitting, De Bortoli will

offer Red Angus, a German-style pilsner it recently launched in Australia and which could hit the UK market by late 2008 or early 2009. Stand E20

A new range of wines from Zilzie in "an everyday drinking style" will be on the PLB stand. Bulloak is named after Victoria's northernmost planting of protected trees of that name that overlook the vineyard.The range comprises Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot and Shiraz, and is aimed at a £6.49 price point in the off-trade. Stand F60

Grant Burge will

celebrate 20 years of winemaking with two new aromatic wines in its vineyard range. East Argyle Pinot Gris and Chaff Mill Viognier both carry a £10.99 rrp for the UK market and will be on the Hatch Mansfield stand. Stand S60

What's on offer at Wine Australia

Wine Australia will

host a series of interactive, free pour tastings to highlight different brand personalities of the country's wines.

Wines will be shown in four categories: Brand Champions, Generation Next, Regional Heroes and Landmark Australia.

Visiting winemakers include Samantha Connew, who was red winemaker of the year at last year's International Wine Challenge.

The Wine Australia stand will also be hosting 15 smaller wineries and representatives of boutique producers, including McPherson, Willow Bridge and First Drop.

There will be demonstrations of Australia World Class, the online educational platform for the country's wines.

A trade version of the programme is available on DVD. It will have

the facility to edit out one of the featured case studies and replace it with your own story, to create a customised educational tool for staff, customers and distribution partners. Stand F32




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