|This represents less than a half-hour's worth of wine to taste at the VIWF!|
So what are you going to consume?
The theme is Australia - so lots of wineries are here that don't ordinarily make it to our shores.
But there are some countries who have really brought their best game - and best wines - so you don't want to go Aussie-only.
And there's only 2 hours in the afternoon tasting or 3 hours in the evening to taste wines: that means you have to be super strategic - and that's where the Wine Barbarian comes in!
I have been attending events all week - not that I've visited anywhere near all the 170 wineries or tasted the 750+ wines at the International tastings - but I've made a good try!
So here are some of my must-visit tables and wines - with no offence to any winery that I did or did not visit previously - and I'll be there tonight to find new gems, so follow me on Twitter at @BillTieleman and check the hashtag #VIWF to see what my colleagues and other consumers are drinking and raving about.
Meanwhile, don't miss these - and make sure you realize that the Australia section is organized by region, NOT alphabetical:
Inland Trading Co: Greg Corra, Managing Director, is a regular at VIWF and always brings the best from Barrossa Valley - but he has outdone himself this year! The most expensive wine in the room is also perhaps the most delicious - Greenock Creek Roennfeldt Road Shiraz 2005 - at at stunning $429 a bottle. You read that right and it's being poured for the people - most impressive.
|Greenock Creek 2005 Shiraz|
Ranked at 98 points by Robert Parker, saying: "It presents and incredible array of pronounced spice, earth, floral and savory aromas: blackberry preserves, dried mulberries, coffee, grilled duck, vanilla, cloves, fenugreek, violets and dried rose petals plus some shavings of dark chocolate."
I didn't get all that but I did get bloody marvellous! And that's after you taste the remarkably good Charles Cimicky Trumps Shiraz 2012 for just $24 - a bargain - and the 3 Rings Shiraz 2012 which is even more affordable at $20.
But Greg also brought another showstopper to the table - his Jasper Hill Shiraz 2012 at $100 a bottle - stunningly good. That makes this the place to visit. And Inland Trading also has another awesome Greenock Creek Shiraz - the Apricot Block - at the Epicurious Table along with a Charles Cimicky Autograph Shiraz that's delicious and a Phillip Shaw No. 11 Chardonnay and The Conductor Merlot nearby that you will enjoy.
Damilano - from Piedmont, Italy has brought not one but four great Barolos to taste - and three of them are $95 each! All beautiful and different - plus a Moscato d'Asti 2013. Whether you prefer the Brunate - my fave - or the Cannubi or the Cerequio or the Lecinquevigne, you will have to admit they are each fantastic!
|Three of Damilano's great Barolos.|
Savour Australia - BC Liquor Stores special table - what a one-stop shop this is - all rare Aussie wines that are only here for the show - and not to be missed! When my friend David Hopgood - the former buyer for the Liquor Stores and now a consultant - says go there, I do - and thank goodness! There are 11 fabulous whites and reds that you must taste - from a great Bellwether Chardonnay 2011 at $43 from Tasmania to a Bindi Kostas Rind Chardonnay 2013 from the Macedon Ranges area that reminds of Chablis to a beautiful Moorooduc Robinson Pinot Noir 2012 from Mornington that simply stuns at $50 to a huge, jammy, giant Jamsheed Garden Gully Shiraz 2013 from the Great Western region of Central Victoria - you will be mightily impressed! And head to the onsite store quickly to get any.
Penfolds - the big boy of Aussie wines does not disappoint - particularly try their Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz 2010 at $70 and their Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz 2010 - one of my favourites at $40.
Stina - it means stone and they come from the island of Brac in Croatia! Four fascinating wines all well worth tasting - from the Posip 2013 white at $50 to the Plavac Mail Majstor 2010 red at $60 and the Plavac Mail Barrique 2010 at $45 to a unique Prosek 2011 dessert wine blend at $100 they are all delicious. And what a great opportunity to taste a wine you've likely never encountered before.
Canada is well represented and brought some fine wines too. Make sure to visit the Okanagan's Painted Rock Estate Winery - the Red Icon 2012 especially at $55; Cassini Cellars with The Godfather at $70 commanding your attention; Laughing Stock with its always great Portfolio 2012 at $45 and Poplar Grove with its Legacy at $50, plus many others from BC.
Duckhorn - some more great wines from Napa Valley - especially their Goldeneye Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2011 - but a great table all round.
Signorello - almost a BC wine because Ray Signorello Jr. is partly from West Vancouver. Their Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 is smooth and great at $98; the Vieille Vignes Chardonnay 2013 is balanced and beautiful and the Seta 2013 Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc is always great.
Well - time is up for me but as I said, check my Tweets out on Twitter @BillTieleman and the #VIWF Twitter hashtag for even more tips today and tonight!
Hope to see you there tonight - say hi if you spot me!
Cheers - Bill Tieleman, the Wine Barbarian
|Bill Tieleman - the Wine Barbarian - at Romanee-Conti in Burgundy|