Chateau Tanunda has five wines scoring over 92 points - Wine Advocate

Monday, 5 March 2012

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Lisa Perrotti- Brown MW has released her tasting notes of South Australia in the latest edition of Wine Advocate and Chateau Tanunda receive outstanding scores for The Everest wines along with eighteen wines being reviewed in total.

2009 Chateau Tanunda The Everest Old Bush Vine Grenache - Score: 95+
2006 Chateau Tanunda The Everest Old Bush Vine Grenache - Score: 95
2009 Chateau Tanunda Terroirs Of The Barossa Lyndoch Shiraz - Score: 92+
2008 Chateau Tanunda The Everest Old Bush Vine Grenache - Score: 92  
2008 Chateau Tanunda Noble Baron Shiraz - Score: 92  
2009 Chateau Tanunda Terroirs Of The Barossa Greenock Shiraz -Score: 91 
2008 Chateau Tanunda Noble Baron Cabernet Sauvignon - Score: 90+
2009 Chateau Tanunda Terroirs Of The Barossa Ebenezer Shiraz - Score: 90 
2010 Chateau Tanunda The Chateau Single Vineyard Bethanian Shiraz - Score: 89
2010 Chateau Tanunda Old Vine Barossa Shiraz -Score: 89
2010 Chateau Tanunda The Old Cooperage Barossa Shiraz Mataro -Score: 88 
2009 Chateau Tanunda The Chateau Cabernet Sauvignon - Score: 88 
2010 Chateau Tanunda The Chateau Single Vineyard Shiraz - Score: 88
2009 Chateau Tanunda Barossa Tower Shiraz Primitivo - Score: 87  
2009 Chateau Tanunda The Three Graces Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc Merlot - Score: 87  
2010 Chateau Tanunda The Chateau Tempranillo Grenache Shiraz - Score: 86
2011 Chateau Tanunda The Chateau Eden Valley Riesling - Score: 86
2011 Chateau Tanunda Barossa Tower Pinot Grigio - Score: 86 

For full Chateau Tanunda scores and tasting notes (FULL LIST)  click here -
CHATEAU TANUNDA - The Wine Advocate

South Australia: The Cream is Rising

One of the most challenging aspects for a wine critic of carving the wine world up regionally is that the job often comes down to tasting hundreds / sometimes thousands of wines that are of the same style if not grape variety with the goal to accurately record the differences between them. Fortunately, there are so many variables within even a small region that any winemaker who’s properly doing their job can create an interesting wine that speaks not only of its vine, place and vintage but of his or her individual interpretation of these elements. Such real, honestly made wine is constantly original and a joy to write about. The alternative is industrially made alcoholic grape juice, blended to a consistent, branded style and sold mainly thanks to the label. Although this type of wine has a place in the global wine market it is often a moot task for a critic to review it because arguably it cannot effectively be differentiated amongst others of its kind beyond branded style, label and price tag. Such wines tend to be as boring to drink as they are to review.

Not so long ago a lot of large well-established as well as new up-start South Australian wine companies hung their hats on the realization that a lucrative wine production business could be run on a formula of bargain-priced raw materials, a consistent stylistic formula, a well-connected distribution partner and clever marketing. But this formula has yielded short-term gains rather than sustainable business models. Because it is so easy to get bored with such me-too wines, rather predictably, the public did. This has been devastating for many if not all of those opportunistic wine companies looking to get rich on commodity wine. Worse still – it has also done a lot of damage to the reputation of South Australian wines in general.

When I began conducting my tastings for The Wine Advocate two years ago, I received a lot of strange labels that I had never seen before. There were no wineries to speak of behind such labels, just a limited company / négociant name and sometimes an importer backer for a specific market. Many of these wines did not make the grade to be included in my initial report. I’m pleased to say that this time around I received submissions from very few such wines / labels and even more from genuine wineries. My most recent visits around South Australia further suggest this back-to-basics approach is a reflection of the changing times in this vast and very important state for the Australian wine industry. What’s more, even though I taste a lot of big, full bodied red wines for this report, particularly Shiraz and blends thereof, my tastings this year seemed significantly more varied this year than last in terms of expressions and styles. The differences between sub-regions and vintages are evermore defined as are the vineyard expressions and winemaker interpretations. My tastings for this report were truly exciting and I hope that readers around the world are also appreciating the cream that is starting to rise to the top of the South Australian wine offering. This is not a reflection on value – to restate what I said in my last report on Australia’s Wine Values, “Most of the good value brands that have survived offer a level of character, complexity and regionality that in my view knock the competition from similarly priced wines from other countries clean out of the water.”

If increased competition and the waning reputation factor in export markets weren’t enough to enforce a culling and get remaining South Australian winemakers to up their standards and diligence, then the last few vintages were. Conditions from 2008 through 2011 couldn’t have been more varied, challenging and, yes, inspirational in getting winemakers to think differently about their approaches. In the round-up of current release vintages, as reported last year 2009 produced some very good wines around South Australia, but not across the board. The heat-wave in late January / early February, bringing temperatures that topped 40 degrees C for 17 days in some areas, wreaked havoc on earlier ripening and particularly white grapes. Higher yielding vines and those under water-stress such as younger vines also did not fare so well. But the backbone of the South Australian wine industry is in the later ripening varieties – Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro – with many of the older vines possessing well established root systems. These vineyards coped very well since they had yet to go through that critical period of veraison when the heat hit and there was little or no damage to the fruit. After the heat subsided, the rest of the growing season saw dry, relatively mild conditions with temperatures in the mid 20s to early 30s for the most part. Many growers were able to pick later and certainly at a more relaxed pace than either of the previous two vintages.

The 2010 South Australian whites are in the markets and some of the 2010 reds are already bottled and starting to hit shelves. 2010 was a fairly hot year for most of South Australia, with the big difference being that apart from an early spell of heat in November that caused some damage at flowering / lower yields (especially for Cabernet Sauvignon), there was a relatively even distribution of heat across the season. Most growers report the year as, “smooth sailing”. The wines seem to emulate that effortlessness – the whites are at the riper and more vibrantly fruited end of their spectrum with very good acid lines, while the reds are generally very pure and generously fruited without being overly heavy / alcoholic and with approachable, ripe tannins.

A number of 2011 whites have already been reviewed in this report and I tasted quite a few barrel samples of reds during my travels around the Barossa Valley, Eden Valley and McLaren Vale last year. It was an incredibly challenging year for South Australia growers who are not accustomed to the amount of growing season rain that fell, though to get it into perspective the level of precipitation would not have been uncommon for a typical growing season in many parts of Europe. A lot of work was required in the vineyards to manage disease pressure, and those growers who were not vigilant and, or could not afford it, lost their crops. Concerning the whites that I’ve tasted, they are generally clean though considerably lighter in weight and flavor concentration than the 2010s. Readers should not write-off the 2011 reds straight away. From what I’ve tasted in barrel, some good and a few very good wines have been made with McLaren Vale looking like a particular bright spot.

—Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW