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Gary invites Nick Stock, author of the Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide, to share some of knowledge on Australian red and ...
whites while in Sydney.
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Gary: Hello everybody and welcome to Wine Library TV. I am your host Gary Vaynerchuck. This is my friends is the thunder show a.k.a. the internet’s most passionate wine program. We are on location as you can see. We are in Sydney, Australia. There is the view. By the way, if you’ve never been an absolutely gorgeous city completely underrated I think by a lot of people about how pretty this city is.
You know I don’t want to bore you but I am excited about doing this episode of Wine Library TV. This is kind of like a day in a life. This is the great part about being in the wine industry. You get an opportunity to travel around the world, try wines and get to meet a lot of interesting people like this interesting guy right here. Nick stop, why don’t you tell you the Vayniacs and the Vayner nation ho you are.
Nick I'm a young wine reviewer in Australia. I wrote a book called The Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide which is right there, kind of this similar rank. I picked up the Australian champions Similar. I won a couple of times. And then I always love running, so put it together.
Gary: Very cool. So, if you want to know more about Nick, I actually didn’t interview, we’re doing a lot more content on cork so Mot, link that up with just a five minute interview on the state of the Australian wine market. We’re going to do more of that kind of content over there. It allows me to kind of do my show when I'm on location which I'm trying to do more of or definitely more interviews. So, that please check and I think you'll enjoy that. This is basically what I do. By the way, Nick look at this. Jersey in the house baby, Jersey.
So, what I get to do is really just to really just to put in a context for you. We come to you know restaurants or different places around the world. And then what I do is I basically get set up in an opportunity to taste wine. Usually I'll go to vineyards for restaurants but this time I'm on a tight schedule. So, I think wines of Australia did was have Nick put together probably some wines for me to check out. Originally, we’re going to go surfing.
Nick: We were going to go surfing. It's in here in Sydney. But Bonda beach is ice like right on the beachfront. It's almost like a Miami style deco. There’s awesome surf breaks of the south end and the north end. So, it's right here. It's 10 minutes away. Some Australians make beautiful famous and great surf beaches. So we’re going to do that you know the schedule is a little tight. Yes, I know you couldn’t see them right now but I want you to see the upper house. He’s a good looking guy.
It was a little tight. So the theme that you out together was kind of coastal wines, is that kind of what we want with?
Nick: Yeah it is. I mean this is more than 60 different regions in Australia so you can cut them up also to different ways. So we chose wines by the water. So we've got Margaret River. We've got Tasmania. We've got the mornings in peninsula and we've got McClarinrel. So all incredibly different and that will just share that thing of having some beautiful coastline.
Gary: So that's basically what I do. So what I've decided for you guys is I asked Nick to pick three wines. Let me do the show on them. Now Nick, all these wines are in your book.
Nick: They are indeed.
Gary: did they all do well?
Nick: They all did very well.
Gary: I don’t want Nick to influence my opinion. Nut I asked him to pick three wines. That's what we've done. So now I'm going to take a seat and do the show kind of like you know. I think this location things are fun. I know that you know it's a little bit different one to a show my normal show set up because if I just sat here and taste and swirl the wines then all the information would have been very long.
They would have gotten bored after a while Nick between us two clowns are talking about vines and yields and all that. But, so yeah I want to take you ion the journey more often. This is the process. I hope you enjoy this. I hope you're enjoying this early part now. Let’s taste three of the wines Nick. I'm going to hand it off to you. So, let’s get into it.
And Nick you know given that you're far more knowledgeable than my normal video guy, I think you can add a lot to the show. So, feel free to kind of narrate in the beginning. I think that can be quite interesting for everybody, just a voiceover kind of thing. Why don’t we hear the there wines you chose. So, why don’t we start with the first wine which is the Vace Felix 07 mark Rimmer Chardonnay. What does this retail for in Australia?
Nick: So you're looking up with $60.00 for that wine in Australia. It's right in the league of chardonnay.
Gary: So, you know compared to let’s say you go in the States which is you know for Australia, who in the states in the US has enormous brand equity that you might know? At home Vayniacs, a lot of the states have gotten 95, 96 type point of scores. Where would you kind of put this in the context of you know Luan here?
Nick: It's punching right up against Luan state. Luan is about double the price of that now in Australia. But, this is wine, there has been some you know there’s a lot of history. There’s a lot that goes on behind the Vace Felix label and they put a really talented wine maker who’s on a mission. There are a couple of people in Margaret River who are really in a mission with chardonnay at the moment. Virginia Wilcock is a gold heir and she’s I think you're about to see, getting pretty close.
Gary: So I think the one thing that’s been interesting since I've been here and one thing that’s going to discuss last night at dinner with some of the people I've been travelling around with is I don’t think the debate of how different Australian wine climates and regions are talked about enough. I think Barosa kind of became the brand in the US that I kind of just blank it in everything. There are so many different stuffs that are almost like if everybody thought French wine was Chateauneuf du Papes.
You know think about that in context or American wine was only Napa Valley cabernet, no Oregon Pinot or you know the Pinot that we see down in St. Hills or the Zins from Rhode I or the amazing Shiraz from Washington. I feel like Australia and US has been branded that way. There’s a lot of danger and even I'll be the first to admit, I was a little scared coming into the country because when I want to kind of bash a wine from being too over the top thick fruit, I'll often say as you Vayniac’s know Barosa Valley. No, I don’t.
That would actually be almost okay. I say this is a kind of Australian like over the top and there is that blank statement which is clearly dangerous. I think places like Margaret River, Claire even Edam valley, there’s a lot of places, lot of climates, a lot of different terraquas and I think Australia has done a really bad job in the US marketing that story. I think a lot of us in the US that talk about wine have been lazy and have done a bad job and throwing it into a bucket. So I think this trip for me is very exciting from that standpoint of tasting that. I think I'm excited to kind of talk about Margaret River because for one thing, I know that a lot of US consumers love drinking cabernet sauvignon.
You want to talk about really interesting cab, Margaret River has done a really nice job with that. And clearly, they’ve done an amazing job with chardonnay. So I'm excited about trying. So, let’s give this a sniffy sniff. Now, you guys at home if we pan this, we’re going to pan at. So we've down this road before where I'm like “oh’ or this and that are so exciting. And then we get wines that we bash and so hopefully this will be okay. I also noticed that Nick is moving the camera left and right on me. So, please if you're throwing up at home or you're mad, don’t be mad. Don’t be mad. It is what it is. Sniffy sniff—
So you know we just did an episode on the fact that I'm falling in love with over oaked chardonnays again. So, off the top the fact that this does have some oak and some barrel, a little bit of like wood aspects is a good thing for me. I enjoy that. But it's subtle. It's definitely not over the top. It's kind of balanced in. I get a little bit of a peach flavor on the nose, a little bit of apple. So, there are some you know fruit mixed in with a little bit of the oak and the butter which I like quite a bit. Let’s give it a whirl.
The first thing I noticed is that there is true acidity of the back end which I think balances this wine quite nicely. There is also a little bit of like I don’t want to call it petrol but there is almost borderline rieslings new ones type of flavors on the wine which I think are quite fascinating, kind of peachy. The apple comes through again, a little bit of butter, pretty you want somebody to take over?
So, you know some really nice ones on the flavor. Definitely you know an apple kind of smashed apple, applesauce, Mot’s applesauce. Maybe I miss Mot too much coming through on the back end but there is good complexity and there is a little bit of like a flinty minerality aspect from the back end.
So, really to be blunt in a blind tasting though I think it would be a little bit too much sunshine to trick me, it wouldn’t be absurd for me to think this is Sheeble -like you know because of that minerality. Probably a little too much fruit, a little too much residual sugar that would have thrown me off that path. But if somebody said “oh Gary, you got to try this wine.
This is like a new age modern Sheeble producer” I wouldn’t be stunned by that because there is this great kind of chalky kind of mineral rock flavor in the back end that makes this quite enjoyable. I like this wine. This is a very good chardonnay. It kinds of reminds me of the first chardonnay we did on the thunder show the other day, kind of the California wine. That was a cumage to Sheeble —but it reminds me a little bit of that. It might be slightly more expensive in the US market than that but a very good wine. I'm going to score this wine 90 points.
I think it's right there. You know probably at home 89+ to 91 but since I'm here in the upper house is looking me in the face. I can’t disrespect it. So, I think a 90 spare here. but believe it or not, I'm so concerned to overrate wines when I'm in the home court that this wouldn’t have stunned me if I was at my nice little round table in Jersey wearing that shirt that this would be a 91 point type of wine.
So it's right there, very, very important to understand one thing. The first thing I thought, the first I don’t know why they do more dissociation with you, this is the kind of chardonnay that you could actually drink with food while 60% of the market today make chardonnay that has them drag by itself. So it's a little blunt back but I think it should be taken into consideration. We've got enough glasses, so I don’t think I need to rinse.
So wine number one, we’re in a good spot now. Yes, we’re very high and this is glass so I don’t want to get thrown overboard but right off the back. Now, next wine, Fresonet. Not the stuff that you pop for $6.00 a bottle and wipe with the gold hand on the cava Fresonet. Fresonet from Tasmania and we all heard the height about Pinot Noir from Tasmania. This is a Pinot, 06’ vineyard and this wine is how much?
Nick: About $60.00.
Gary: Six zero?
Gary: Okay, Australia. Now what would that relate to in the US market? What do you think this would retail US dollars based on what you guys know?
Nick: About the same.
Gary: Because the dollar, it's about $1.10 but then after you imported everything, so basically right now when it's here for. Now again, the US market is probably a little more competitive and doesn’t go standard mark up, so maybe you'll find this for $45.00, $48.00 you know maybe a 20% swing you know $25.00 at wine library that kind of thing. So it's not an inexpensive Pinot Noir by any stretch of the imagination. I think Tasmania is a very fascinating category.
I think they’ll be a really interesting kind of like local rivalry that is forming once Tasmania gets a little bit more respect in the market between central Togo, New Zealand, and Tasmanian Pinots. I'm personally fascinated for that little turn for you know in the next five years. So just being a fun thing, I think a great show is going to be what tasting those blind. I'm looking forw3ard to that.
Now tell me a little bit about Fresonet. I don’t know anything about it.
Nick: It's close to Tasmania, all vines, you know incredible sight and this is a wine that it tastes very much like the place. It's got some Pinot character but it's got a lot of earthy characters. You know it doesn’t try to go out and be something else or sort of ship itself around to sort of soothe what—they want to make it thinks, people might look for. It's a wine that really tastes quite honestly like the place it comes from. And some fine age, lots of structure complexity and I love this thing about Tasmania and central Togo shapen up because we are coming to get you central Togo.
Gary: I like that. And yeah, I think that will be really, really fun. So, what I take away from you is it's executing on it's DNA. You don’t feel that they’re really going away which I think is something I've been thinking about as a theme for all over the wine world. I've got this great wine campaign you know I take my life campaign as to execute on your DNA. I think a lot of wine people got away from that executing on somebody else’s palate instead of executing on their DNA, so that’s interesting for a point that it's kind of how I process that.
Let’s give it a sniffy sniff. You know aromatically, it's not the most opened up Pinot. It's kind of tight right now still. It hasn’t been opened that long right? How long?
Gary: Got it. So, you know 10, 15 minutes is not enough. You know expensive wine, maybe decant it probably would help it as well. So aromatically, it's not doing a whole lot for me. There is a little hair of like kind of this rubber bacon cherry concoction. So, maybe take a rocket ball. Cut it in half. Take some bacon. Take some cherries. Make it together you know a rocket ball. Not more like the rocket ball, more like the pink super bowl. You know the big bouncy ball? Not the little ones but the bigger one that would just go everywhere like if you’ve ever played whistle ball with it, you could hit like gigantic fielder type of homeruns. That kind of you know smell, so there is a little like that rubber kind of little bit of bacon coming through which I kind of like and very dark you know red fruit coming through as well.
And we’re talking of vegetal action actually believe it or not in the back end which I kind of like a little bit more as you guys know I'm addicted to cabernet franc, the chinos and bourgeois. This gets a little almost like an imaginary blend between a burgundy and Noir Valley cabernet franc blend on the nose. Let’s give it a whirl.
Good fruit, very clean, great tannin structure on the back end which I think—this wine is exceptional backbone which I think is probably going to appeal to a lot of people. Still very young, very dark, I get almost like dark chocolate shavings on my inner cheeks which I think is a rally appealing flavor.
It gets quite floral in the mid palate as well. That almost feel like we went to pick some roses and just ate the petals which I kind of like. The alcohol spikes a little bit for me. It could its youth but I don taste between the transition of the mid palate and the finish a little alcohol spike at the back end which is not the most important thing, little hints of black pepper kind of scattered throughout this wine as well.
You know first initial reaction coming on to this that it's might be my new thing. My initial reaction, very good, they’re going to have to cut the price in half to compete with some of the central Togo Pinot Noirs. That's the first gut reaction in that statement as much. I'm sorry but you know was that this tastes like a lot of very good $35.00 to $40.00 CO Pinot Noirs. So, that’s my first but again, I'm a little concerned that I'm talking when this really probably is a $45.00 wine just like you know if we were you know a three minus would be $60.00.
And so $35.00 near, so I'm not sure of the price category. So let me just put a little asterisk there, not like a—for a Pinot. Just an asterisk there just in case. But that being said, for me this tastes like quality Pinot Noir in the $25.00 to $45.00 window in the states. You know the kind of wine that’s going to score 88 to 92 points depending on the palate in the states for a $30.00 to $35.00 retail wine hence if this truly is a $60.00 retail Pinot. Then this is a pass at that price point. If this rolls down to $39.99, you know to me this is like an 89+ point Pinot Noir.
So, give where Pinots price, they can kind of live with that. But it's kind—and I think that it's a little bit useful. But what I think is the big take-away for me, well not for me because I've been kind of sneaky tasting a lot of Tasmanian Pinot Noirs. I think Tasmania is a place you know clearly so many of you right now are thinking about the little devil from you know Bugs Bunny days.
It's a place that if you haven’t explored and you haven’t tasted some of the Pinot Noir and some of the white wines are quite good as well. Then, it needs to be a part of your journey expanding your palate, good wine. Let’s go 89+ on it. And what the rice point being a concern, it maybe a pass but it's definitely worth the experience of clearly just have potential that how is 06’ is a vintage in Tasmania in general compared to last five to seven vintages.
Nick: Yeah, they’re very consistent.
Gary: Are they?
Nick: And you can't cheat the terraqua in Tasmania, it's invisible. You know it's such a strong force in the wines. So that’s what you're seeing differently.
Gary: Yeah, all right and then finally SC Penne, Mclaren Vale Shiraz Grenache blend 14.5% alcohol content, 58% Shiraz, 42% Grenache and what are we looking at a price point?
Gary: Five zero?
Gary: So you guys put up the big guns for me. An 04’ 99 for box for a tetra pack stuff here. Give us a little bit about SC Scot. What’s its name?
Nick: Steven Chausse, yeah. So it came out at the hotties wine making stable you know when Jimi—did lots of amazing stuff with the hotties. He loves Mclaren Vale and decided that he wanted to step out and do his own thing. He makes a straight Grenache. He makes some Shiraz. He makes the Shiraz Grenache blend and I think this is a wine that speaks again most about the sense of place. It's not about wine variety or another variety. And you know I wouldn’t be surprised.
We have some very famous old making wine in Australia. I wouldn’t be surprised if we will ourselves out Gary in 40 years time that we’re talking about this guy as one of the greatest Australian wine makers ever to make wine in our age. So I hope you like this.
Gary: That’s a massively bold statement. I also plan on not getting a wheelchair at 74. I'm going to exercising. That’s the boldest thing that I'm excited about tat I think that's what I love about the internet and this show. If that thing is to be true, you know imagine watching a video right now where some dud is saying “you know there is something to this Robert Mondovi, Bob Mondovi guy” big here.
You know I mean that’s a fascination of all this new age. So grandkids, where you're watching this, yes we broke the news about this amazing wine maker first. Shiraz Grenache, always a fun blend for me as many of you know I'm out and out passionate about the Rhone Valley. I'm completely addicted to it. I think Australia has consistently proven over the last decade or two as being a player with the Mataro and the Shiraz.
And Grenache, I think is grossly underestimated from here. I think you got a little you know I think too many people treated it like shiraz. That I think hurt its brand within this country. But I think the people know how to balance it, can really make special wines now. These wines tends to be pretty big, Mclaren Vale has big, big wines. You can see by the color. I'm already intimidated by the color. This will be a big boy. Let’s see what happens. Let’s sniffy sniff it up.
Again, pretty aromatically. Again, we didn’t really open this too long. How long was this one opened? Probably say in 15, 20 minutes?
Gary: Yeah, this one is actually more fainted than the last wine. There is a little fruit but this is tight. This is going to be you know a young bird 06’ though. You know it's funny, I say 06’ though. I think we become such a now-society that you know people think an 03’ or an 04’ is older. Whereas when I first got into wine industry, anything within five vintages was considered a baby. That’s only been you know a decade and a half, two decades.
So, I think that we’re a little quick to judge wines in general. I feel like what I do is almost unfair. I feel like we’re judging people when they were—can you imagine if you were judging? Let’s be real honest. Can you imagine if you were judged as a human being when you were 16 years old? I bet you a bunch of you are like “eer”. It's kind of what we do in the wine world. But that being said, let’s give it a whirl. Very tight nose, big red fruit, I think the strawberries and cherries kind of raspberries, almost a hint of pomegranate on the tail on the nose as well which I think is a cute little flavor profile.
Let’s give it a whirl. First thing I would say is this wine is outrageously polished. Very, very smooth, the strawberry fruit that we detected on the nose really comes through on the palate. I taste enormous amounts of raspberry, strawberry, cherry, very red fruit. You know it's not so much of a dark fruit place. There are just tons of red fruit. I literally feel like somebody came up to me and then sampling a pie in my face because they were mad at me, they stuff my mouth with a fruit punch bowl. There is just so much coming through.
Now, what I really like about this wine is its finish. It's much more serious. This is not a fruit bomb per se. there is an outrageous amount of quality red fruit upfront but the wine almost becomes like a rollercoaster and not in a bad way like no mid palate. Just a rollercoaster that kind of polished thing I talked about. I start tasting a lot of secondary flavors on this wine. It's gets almost I want to call it greeny.
You know I know I'm not articulating that properly, kind of like grainy. I feel like I'm tasting a lot of—you have so much like you know if the stems were in there but in a good way. You know I like the second fruit that I'm getting here, black tea. It's almost like I'm tasting like there’s a black tea component. That’s what the grainy is coming in almost like I went to a tea farm where I could play around with a lot of different flavors.
I'm getting that kind of subtly in the back end. And it's very refined and really does come across a little bit Rhone like to me. I wonder how much he’s inspired or cares about that region in the world. I think what’s fascinating for me though it's only 42% in the blend, I think the Grenache talks more here than the Shiraz.
You're done now too? You did a great job. So, a very solid effort, $50.00 you said?
Gary: And you know I think this wine can actually justify it. To me it's a 91+ point wine, big bold, big fruit, very ripe, great long finish, it will last between seven and 15 years easily bring out your steaks. Bring out you know whatever you want with this wine because it will pair but it drinks great by itself though I've never smoked cigars, I have a feeling like I want to with this wine.
So cigar heads, keep in mind that aspect as well. Very good wine, very good set of wines, again we’ve done enough travelling shows that you know I would score this wine 80 points if I had to but I think they brought some big guns out today. I think the Pinot you know probably hurts my feelings because I would have loved for this to be an iconic wine to score 95 points and get it all the Vayner nation excited about Tasmanian Pinot but, all in all, I think the white wine really excites me probably take away more than anything mainly because I think I'm addicted to white wine lately and just all about it.
But a great show, I'm excited about the rest of my trip here. We will be taping more episodes from Australia for you. And that's that question of the day. Give me your little two sentence thesis of Australian wine. Just first reaction, I know a lot of first reaction here, first reaction in the comments. Lurkers, get out of there. Get in here in the comments and a little word association. Australian wines, give me your take.
You with a little bit of me, we’re changing the wine world whether they like it or not.