About Me

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Dublin, Ireland
Hi, I'm Dermot Nolan, and I became a Master of Wine (MW) in 1997, and resigned from the Institute of Masters of Wine in 2023 after being an MW for exactly 26 years. I opened a wine shop in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland, called The Wine Library, which closed in 2018, and this is my personal wine blog. I will do my utmost to be fair and responsible in my posts – please read my Who Pays article in re the ethics of wine trips and writing. I have worked in wine education, retail, and consultancy since 1990. I was a Director of the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) from 2008 to 2014 and was also a member of the Events Committee, founder of the Trips Committee, and member of the Governance Committee. Having had problems with potentially libellous comments from unidentifiable posters, I now require that if you post a comment, you must identify yourself properly or it won't be published. Please note that I do not review products or services on request so kindly don't ask. I value my independence and I believe my readers (few that they may be) do so also.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Australian oddballs

Well, they do play footie, don't they LOL?
Yesterday, I had breakfast with the indefatigable John McDonnell of Wine Australia Ireland, to discuss a Landmark Masterclass, when he mentioned that he was hosting a small tasting on alternative varietals and would I like to attend? Well, since tasting is better than working, I said yes, especially as Louisa Rose of Yalumba was going to be there.

We started with some pinot grigio/pinot gris, then some viognier, then some tempranillo and finally nebbiolo. During Landmark, Louisa and Max Allen had hosted a similar tasting so it was fun to do this again, especially as there were quite a few different wines. As I don't have my tasting sheet with me, I'll just outline some thoughts.
First, pinot gris. I think this is a super grape, way better than sauvignon blanc and I would love to see more of it worldwide. Excellent in Alsace, super as grauburgunder in Germany and Austria, very good as the grey Friar in Hungary this grape has proven itself a lot time ago. As the crisp, fresh Italian pinot grigio it has become quite popular, as well as populist, in recent years but that's fine - it's a valid style and gets people to discover this excellent grape.
The wines we had were all good, including a pinot grigio from Guerrierri, and showed that Australia can make light-, medium- and heavy-weight PG no problem - more please!
The viogniers were a Yalumba masterclass and, I felt, Louisa's wines showed very, very well. It is an odd variety everywhere and, I feel, will always be something of an interesting curiosity, but well worth seeking out.
The tempranillo's included a Rioja but they were better than my previous experiences of Aussie tempranillo, which had been more tannic than I would like. These showed restraint, berry fruits and a palate suppleness that i expect frm this grape. Not yet convinced, but pleasantly surprised.
Finally, the nebbiolo wines - we had three super wines at Landmark and the two we had here were pretty good as well. This is, I think, definitely a grape with potential for Australia.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I've always wondered why there are few New World nebbiolos. I think it can be a fantastic grape and surely Piemonte isn't the only region in the world that it is suited to.
Would like to try the Australian examples, are they by any chance available here?