The re-rise of the new New World

Posted on: April 28th, 2014 by Andrew No Comments

Ok so they never really went away – but I am sure I am not the only lover of proper ie European wine, who has noticed the resurgence in drinkable, good value New World wines.

Once upon a time all we wanted was a taste of that sunshine in a glass that was the Aussie Wine Invasion, spearheaded by that embodiment of Aussie ebullience, Oz Clark. His enthusiasm was infectious and soon we were all drinking the stuff. But then a number of factors conspired to drag down the good name of Château Chunder and as the special offers piled up, serious wine drinkers turned their backs.

Not strictly true of course. In life things are never quite so cut and dried. Great boutique producers across the New World continued to make iconic wines that held their own against their European competitors. But the middle market remained a no-go area which producers in France and Spain rushed to fill (refill?)

But I detect a change. Perhaps it is a move back to more European styles that is recreating that excitement but suddenly complex, elegant wines are springing up all over the place at that crucial £10 mark. Two I can namecheck straight away.

Stellenbosch in South Africa is no stranger to iconic wines, but the good ones have normally been expensive as well as a little on the heavy side for me. But a recent tasting of some of May de Lencquesaing’s Glenelly wines, a recent venture by the iconic Bordelais producer, blew me away. Okay so they will probably retail nearer £11 but the Glass Collection range was spot on; nervy, citrussy Chardonnay – no oak of course – A Merlot that I could have drunk all day and a Syrah that that had all the complexity and depth one hopes from this variety. I loved them and will be listing them very soon.

The other is from Riverland’s finest winemaker, Anthony Murphy, at Trentham Estate in New South Wales. I have been a long time fan of this winemaker; for me he has always managed to marry that Aussie opulence with a little French restraint, but a tasting today of his recent Estate range cements that reputation. His entry level Pinot Noir was spot on – a triumph of restrained cherry fruit, sinewy acidity and long savoury finish – and all under a tenner! And from the Riverland too. Dont take my word for it, see what James Halliday has to say, a man not easily impressed:

93 Points & Special Value Wine James Halliday
“Excellent crimson-purple; this is pure gold-plated magic, winemaker Tony Murphy the wizard; it is a delicious pinot noir with perfect weight, texture and precisely defined spicy red berry varietal fruits. In a million years I would never guess its Riverland origin if served blind”.

The Chardonnay and Merlot, whilst a little pricier were equally interesting. And fantastically drinkable. And under £12! What is not to like.

I will be tasting more good value New World offerrings over the next few weeks as I work on our new Summer selection. If anything turns out to be half as good as the above, I will of course let you know.


Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Mailing List