LIWF- a few producers and their products
Try as you might to get around as many people as possible at the LIWF, making even a small dent is over ambitious. Never mind thinking you may taste a tiny percentage of the 25,000 wines opened. But one thing you notice that everyone has in common under that enormous roof, is the consistant enthusiam, innovation and love of their product. Plus each each exhibitor has their own different and unique story to tell. This is just a small snapshot of some of what was happening, new and unusual at this year's LIWF.
New generic organisation Wines of Turkey, were flying high after 72% of its wines won one award or another. Out of 39 wines entered into the International Wine Challenge IWC, 3% were awarded a silver medal, 18% bronze and 41% were commended. It has inspired director, Taner Öğütoğlu to consider setting up a UK base next year. The Kayra Vintage Öküzgözü, single vineyard 2007 displayed full fleshy fruit with a good acidity and hint of sweetness. Californian winemaker at Kayra, Daniel O'Donnell, said: "It's been a real pilgrimage and we've had to do a lot of experimental work finding out what varietals such as Öküzgözü and Boğazkere can do." rrp (to be confirmed) firstname.lastname@example.org
Now that Philip Laffer is retiring from his international duties at Jacob's Creek, it's chief winemaker Bernard Hickin that will be stepping into his shoes. But he's not short of experience having had 34 years of making the company's wine. The first preview of its big push towards regionality was shown at the LIWF in the form of its new Regional Reserve range which is due on UK shores around July. It consists of a Barossa Riesling 2009, Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Chardonnay 2009, Pinot Noir 2009, a Coonawara Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 and a Barossa Shiraz 2008. Across the board these are well thought out, carefully constructed wines that all have good structure, personality, balance, quality and an approachability and which will almost certainly be well received by the consumer. rrp £9.99 email@example.com
Chakana owner Juan Pelizzatti, is a producer that has his mind firmly focussed on what the consumer wants. The ex tele-communications had that jolt in life that tells you you're on the wrong track. So packing it all in, he bought a vineyard 35km from Mendoza in 2002 and started from scratch, concentrating on not what his "ego" likes, but what he thinks the consumer does. All his wines are made to be clean, straight and commercial. But I suspect he's not as clinical as that judging by his succulent and generous ripe banana and tropical fruited Chakana Torrontes 2010, rrp £8.49 and the ripe Chakana Bonarda Reserve 2009 which displayed clean, fresh fruit and a dark berry juicy finish. firstname.lastname@example.org
Bio-dynamic producer David Paxton insists he's not one of the "kaftan wearing, beaded, barmy army" in his environmental outlook, even though he admits he "slavishly" follows the bio principles. With a 20-30% increase in costs (that Paxton absorbs) and a lot more handwork, moving to bio-dynamics is not for the faint-hearted, but Paxton says he wouldn't have it any other way. Noticeable is the way the flavours are more open, take for example his Paxton Pinot Gris, a style which is definitely not neutral like so many. Instead it is a full flavoured, herbal, white fruited and generous bodied white and equally generously priced at £9.99. The Paxton Quandong Farm McLaren Vale Shiraz 2008 has a vegative nose, is volumnous in forest-floor fruit yet has an added delicacy and lightness to the palate, and I tasted them both on a leaf day, rrp £18.00. email@example.com