Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Goverment says Wine Spectator Top 100 wine is shite

David Powell, founder and winemaker of Torbreck Wines, says he has in his office a pair of framed documents about his 2002 "The Struie" Barossa Valley Shiraz.

One is from the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation, a government bureau which approves or rejects all Aussie wines intended for export. Yes, every vintage of Yellow Tail in the US has been approved by the AWBC.

The other is from Wine Spectator magazine.

"The AWBC letter says, 'We're releasing this for export, but you need to improve your winemaking'," Powell says. " 'This wine is barely good enough.' "

The Wine Spectator letter congratulates him on the wine being chosen as No. 38 of its Top 100 wines in the world in 2004.

Says Powell, "If I were in charge of Australian wine for a day, I'd put to a slow death everybody who works for the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation. They're run for four big companies and the people who sit on the board make that mass-market 'beverage wine' shite, and that's what they think wine should taste like. The greatest wines in the world, great Hermitage Syrahs and botrytised Semillons and wines like that, would never get exported from Australia because they wouldn't taste like wines the AWBC drinks every day."

There's a twist to this twist: Powell opened two bottles of the 2006 The Struie on Tuesday. One had noticeable brett, though it didn't ruin the experience, but the other didn't and was a much more pure expression of old-vine Shiraz. So much irony here; no further comment.

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