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your news, your views May/June 2017 issue 58
LEADING CIDER PRODUCER TAKES FLIGHT
GIN, GIN BARS AND EVENTS
with RÃ©my Cointreau CEO Choosing the Right On-Premise Specialist BEERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD | HANDLING ONLINE COMPLAINTS | INSIDE KU DE TA PERTH | WA CHARDONNAY AND CABERNET
AUTUMN CHOCOLATE AND COFFEE INSPIRED COCKTAILS, NEED WE SAY MORE...?
WE TALK TO...
JAKE & JEN ORGANIC,
WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN?
BACKYARD BBQ RECIPES FOR THIS EASTER HOLIDAY AUTUMN
D R I N K S • T R E N D S • T R AV E L • B A R S • E N T E R TA I N I N G • M E E T
CHOCOLATE AND COFFEE INSPIRED COCKTAILS, NEED WE SAY MORE...?
WE TALK TO...
JAKE & JEN
WHAT DOES IT RE
IPES FOR THIS EA
BACKYARD BBQ REC
T E R TA I N I N L • BARS • EN N D S • T R AV E DRINKS • TRE
G • MEET
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24 20 29 PROMOTE
Australian drinks Awards
Meet: Lyndsay Sharp
Inside KU DE TA Perth
Wine New Products
Interview: RÃ©my Cointreau CEO
Gin, Gin Bars and Events
Beer and Cider New Products
The Story of Amarula
International Beer and Cider
Spirits New Products
WA Chardonnay and Cabernet
2014 NEW VINTAGE RELEASE /HoughtonWines
Announcing the new release of this iconic Cabernet Sauvignon from the Justin Vineyard, Frankland River, Western Australia. Tremendous power and elegance with length of flavour that almost defies description. Perfect for cellaring for 20+ years. Houghton Jack Mann Cabernet Sauvignon honours Jack Mann, legendary Houghton winemaker who presided over winemaking for 51 consecutive vintages. Houghton honours Jack Mann’s contribution with this single-vineyard wine from WA’s famed Frankland River region which comes from the Justin vineyard. Cool winters, warm summer days and cool summer nights, along with some of the world’s oldest soils, contribute to a wine of outstanding intensity, structure and balance. With cellaring potential of more than 20 years, this is a wine of elegance, fruit flavour and power, balanced by soft, fine tannins. This is the flagship label in Houghton’s fine wine collection. First crafted in 1994, this multi-award-winning fine wine holds the distinction of entering the `Langton’s Classification’ (the form guide of Australia’s finest wines). This acknowledgement was first received in 2005, in Classification IV, when it was recognised as “Distinguished”. In the sixth edition - Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine V1 - (released in 2014) Houghton Jack Mann Cabernet Sauvignon was upgraded to ‘Outstanding’.
No winemaker in the history of Western Australia has contributed more to the state’s wine industry than
Enjoy Houghton responsibly
For more information contact your Accolade Wines Area Manager or call Customer Service 131 492
CREDITS PUBLISHER the drinks association
Editor’s Note www.drinkscentral.com.au All enquiries to: the drinks association Locked Bag 4100, Chatswood NSW 2067 ABN 26 001 376 423 The views expressed in drinks trade are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily those of the magazine or the drinks association. Copyright is held by the drinks association and reproduction in whole or in part, without prior consent, is not permitted.
Other drinks association publications include: drinks bulletin drinksbulletin.com.au drinks guide drinksguide.com.au drinks yearbook
EDITORIAL PUBLISHING EDITOR Ashley Pini ..........................email@example.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR Hannah Sparks......................firstname.lastname@example.org ONLINE EDITOR Rachel Tyler................................email@example.com ASSISTANT EDITOR Lukas Raschilla.....................firstname.lastname@example.orgU EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Mary Parbery....................email@example.com CONTRIBUTORS Oliver Cast, Ken Gargett, Nick Levy, Simone Allan, Walter MacCallum
DESIGN ART DIRECTOR Evelyn Rueda ................................ firstname.lastname@example.org SENIOR DESIGNER Racs Salcedo ......................... email@example.com
ADVERTISING NATIONAL SALES MANAGER Chris Wheeler.................. firstname.lastname@example.org PRODUCTION MANAGER Sasha Falloon ................ email@example.com
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Director: Ashley Pini ACCOUNTS: firstname.lastname@example.org 169 Blues Point Road, McMahons Point NSW 2060 Ph: 02 9492 7999 | www.hipmedia.com.au | facebook.com/ drinksmedia ABN: 42 126 291 914
Welcome to the May/June edition of drinks trade. In this issue we meet Lyndsay Sharp, the producer of one of Australia’s fastest growing ciders and, along with her husband David, purveyor of Leura Park Estate, Jack Rabbit Vineyard and Yes said the Seal wine brands. Their business, The Sharp Group, started in 2007 with two-part time staff and an annual production of 350 cases of wine. Fast forward 10 years and 150 people are now employed and their cider is flying. Pun intended. Read all about their journey on page 20. I had the pleasure of spending a morning with global luxury brand expert and CEO of Rémy Cointreau, Valérie Chapoulaud-Floquet, to discuss her journey from Louis Vuitton to Louis XIII and Remy-Cointreau’s plans for the Australian market, working with their distribution partner Spirits Platform. In her words: “we are only just starting to scratch the surface with Louis XIII here (in Australia).” You can read the interview on page 24. Bar managers turn to page 26, and get a look at life behind the bar with Joe Sinagra who has just recently set up the operations at KU DE TA in Perth. There’s some great advice on how to make life simpler for yourselves and improve the team dynamic. Once a year we build up the courage to tackle the gin sector, which continues to grow year on year. We’ve tasted, investigated, reported and tasted again. Our very own Associate Editor Hannah Sparks has dedicated herself to the gin cause and her endeavours can be enjoyed on page 29 onwards. Similarly, our beer specialist Lukas Raschilla leads us through the top ten international beer and cider charts with his very own ‘Five Imported Craft Beers to Try’ thrown in for good measure – page 39. In a joint effort, this month we took a look at 100 examples of cabernets and cabernet blends available now and of varying ages, and put forward 26 of our favourite and the ones we’d recommend stocking. See the results on page 48. There are just five months to go until the fifth instalment of the Australian drinks Awards on September 7, this year to be held at the new look venue - the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour. Entries to the awards are currently open and will remain so until June 9. The Australian drinks Awards is the pinnacle of recognition for the world-class talent in our industry, and I firmly believe that the brands that enter the awards are often the very brands that help grow your business, so keep a sharp eye out for those doing well. When considering a strong future for the industry, conveyed through world-class events such as the Australian drinks Awards, we should not forget how we arrived here. The last ten years have seen significant development in our industry and services offered, much of which is down to the hard work and leadership shown by the drinks association staff and their CEO, Sandra Przibilla, who announced her retirement last month. She remains until a successor is found, but expect this to be her final few months in the role and us at Hip Media and drinks trade magazine wish her all the very best for the future. She says the next adventure is relaxation, but we think we know well enough not to believe that.
Ashley Pini Publishing Editor – Hip Media
ARE YOU READY FOR AUSTRALIAN DRINKS AWARDS 2017? www.australiandrinksawards.com.au #drinksawards
The International Convention Centre - the new location of the Australian drinks Awards
Now in its fifth year, the Australian drinks Awards has become the drinks industry’s premier event. This year, the Awards ceremony moves to the International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney, in Darling Harbour. The night will kick-off with a theatrestyle, seated presentation for all awards excluding Brand of the Year and Supplier of the Year. After the presentation, everyone will move to a pre-dinner cocktail party before being seated for dinner and the
Michael Walton to MC again in 2017
presentation of the two major awards. “Using the fantastic resources provided to us by ICC Sydney, the new format for the Australian drinks Awards will really help to maximise the experience of everyone in attendance,” explains the drinks association CEO Sandra Przibilla. “Separating the awards presentation and dinner will put the spotlight firmly on the award winners and allow dinner to be enjoyed in a more social setting.”
THE DRINKS ASSOCIATION HAS ANNOUNCED SOME EXCITING CHANGES TO THE JUDGING PROCESS FOR THE 2017 AUSTRALIAN DRINKS AWARDS The changes are designed to help better determine the best entries and present the awards to the most deserving brands and products. The individual entry cost will be $495 plus GST. Entries will open from 10 April to 9 June 2017. Unlike previous years, the shortlisting process for each award will be removed. Each entry, regardless of category, will go straight to a consumer panel. Each entry will then receive an overall score and the winner will be the brand/product with the highest score. Along with these changes are revised requirements to entry for some awards. Entries for the Best Sales Achievement award must now be signed by both the submitter and the Sales Director of the brand. A representative of equal or higher position will also be accepted. All entries for Best Innovation must be a new brand/product/variant/pack format or packaging type that has been introduced into the market
between the 1 January 2016 and 31 March 2017. Entries that have shown innovation during this time, but were released before or after the aforementioned dates will not be granted entry. Another large change this year is the determining criteria for the Best Social Media Presence award. On top of last year’s criteria, there will now also be a consumer survey to evaluate the content of the social media presence. Categories in the survey will include - Impact, Empathy, Communication and Persuasion. Facebook impressions for each entry will also play an important role in determining the winner of the Best Social Media Presence award. “the drinks association believes these changes will build a better Australian drinks Awards,” says CEO Sandra Przibilla. “We would like to thank our members for their continued support and participation in making our awards show the most spectacular event in the industry.”
Michael Walton will return as host of the Awards. “the drinks association is excited to have Michael back as MC of the Australian drinks Awards,” says Przibilla. “He will bring a sense of cheer and warmth that will really bring the industry together to celebrate all we have accomplished over the last year.” The awards will have a black, red and gold theme, while this year’s after-party will once again be hosted by StayinFront and feature a big live band. Don’t miss out on the Australian drinks industry’s biggest event of the year. Tickets are selling out fast. Join us for an unforgettable night on 7 September.
2016 Brand of the Year - Jim Beam
2016 Supplier of the Year - Lion
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NEWS FIGURES AND FACTS, PEOPLE AND POLICY, CORPORATE & COMMUNITY
FORMER PRIME MINISTER LAUNCHES OWN BEER BRAND Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke is the face of a new beer brand named Hawke’s Brewing Company. Initially founded by ex-creative directors Nathan Lennon and David Gibson, the two asked Mr. Hawke to come on board as the person they’d most like to have a beer with. Also joining the team is brewer Justin Fox, formerly of Colonial Brewing Co., who has created the first beer for the company, Hawke’s Lager. Mr. Hawke has chosen not to receive any financial benefit from Hawke’s Brewing Co., instead, donating a percentage of beer sales to environmental not-for-profit Landcare Australia. As Prime Minister, Hawke was a big supporter of the organisation, which works with community groups across the country to protect the health of Australian land. “I hope the efforts of this company will not only bring good friends together over a cold beer but also help raise awareness of the great work done by Landcare,” said Mr. Hawke.
Yalumba Managing Director Nick Waterman
SAMUEL SMITH & SON AND PREMIUM BEVERAGES GO SEPARATE WAYS Samuel Smith & Son has announced that its tenyear-plus partnership with Premium Beverages will come to an end on June 30, 2017, citing increased competition in the sector impacting its ability to accommodate a third tier in the distribution chain. Premium Beverages was founded by Coopers Brewery in 2003 to provide distribution for its beers outside of South Australia and imported brands nationally. At the same time, Coopers brought on Samuel Smith & Son to help service its independent retailers and on-premise customers who wanted direct distribution, while Premium Beverages focused on other channels such as wholesale. Brands Samuel Smith & Son will cease distributing include Coopers, Brooklyn Brewery, Carlsberg, Fix Hellas, Holsten Brewery, Kronenbourg, Sapporo and Mythos. “It was simply a matter of commercial reality, and our wish is for Coopers to continue to grow and remain a strong competitor to the publicly-owned brewers,” said Nick Waterman, Managing Director of Yalumba, which owns Samuel Smith & Son. Premium Beverages will take over the distribution previously handled by Samuel Smith & Son. Coopers Managing Director Tim Cooper has assured that there are arrangements in place to enable a smooth transition.
PREVIEW THE LAIRD 2012 RELEASE The highly anticipated and fifth release of ‘The Laird’ is available to order from 1 May 2017. From one of Australia’s best-known wineries comes an iconic Shiraz of international recognition. Meaning Lord of the Manor in Scottish terminology, The Laird represents the pinnacle of winemaking at Torbreck. 2012 has been acclaimed as the ‘winemaker’s vintage’ and one of the Barossa Valleys great vintages. The single vineyard wine is produced from five acres of rich clay soils and old vines on the Gnadenfrei vineyard, renowned for its unique and concentrated Shiraz. The fruit is hand selected in two separate parcels and then left on skins for six to seven days. The wine is further matured for three years in Dominique Laurent barriques, known as ‘magic casks’, and finally matured in the bottle for 24 months prior to release. “The resulting wine shows all the opulence and elegance of previous Laird’s, but with a complexity, precision and prominence that will make sure it ages gracefully for the next 20 years plus” – Torbreck Senior Winemaker, Craig Isbel. RRP $750 Available in 750 mls, 1.5 litre, 3 litre, 6 litre, 18 litre and 27 litre. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
INFORM SERENDIS LAUNCHES WOMEN IN DRINKS MENTORING PROGRAM
Serendis Senior Consultant Bianca Havas and Women in drinks councillor Nicole Stanners
Elika Rowell, 2016 scholarship winner
The inaugural Women in drinks Mentoring Program 2017 is now live, backed by ten leading companies from within the industry. The structured Mentoring Program for the Australian drinks industry is aimed specifically at women looking to progress their careers to a leadership level. The six-month experience will include interactive workshops, facilitated group discussions, six to eight meetings between mentors and their mentees, plus a panel discussion where mentors answer mentees’ questions on career highlights, leadership development and gender diversity. To register your organisation’s interest and receive detailed information about the program and application process, contact Bianca Havas on 02 9371 2910 or at email@example.com Applications for mentors and mentees to the 2017 program are now closed.
APPLY FOR THE 2017 HOSTPLUS HOSPITALITY SCHOLARSHIP
DRINKS ASSOCIATION CEO ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION CEO of the drinks association, Sandra Przibilla, announced her resignation in March. The news marked the end of an era; Przibilla has been CEO since November 2006 and spent the past ten years reinvigorating the industry body to ensure it focused on the needs of its members. “When Sandra came into the business it was viable, but required enormous effort to make the association successful and deliver on its promise to its members: to always collectively do much more, efficiently, effectively and at a lower cost than you could individually,” said Chairman of the drinks association Ralph Dunning. “That was the premise, and what we had to do was bring that to life. That’s where Sandra has been incredibly powerful. She has a work ethic and focus on outcome that a lot of people don’t have.” Przibilla will remain as CEO until the Board of Directors find a replacement. 14|drinks trade
Applications to the HostPlus Hospitality Scholarship are now open to those aged 22-35 and from the hospitality industry. For those working in a bar or bottle shop and looking to further their career, the scholarship is the perfect opportunity, offering an all expenses paid trip to three countries where they will gain experience in some of the best businesses in their sector, plus a one-year mentorship conducted by the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Last year’s winner was Elika Rowell, Head Roaster at Square One Coffee Roasters. Her scholarship included visiting a coffee farm, café and lab in Brazil, taking a tour of the Programa de Educación a Caficultores (PECA) organisation run by Caravela Coffee in Colombia and attending the Re:co speciality coffee symposium in Seattle. To enter, applicants need to answer five simple questions and submit their CV online at melbournefoodandwine.com.au/scholarship
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JANE CARO TO ADDRESS NETWORK BREAKFAST Jane Caro will be the guest speaker at the drinks association’s upcoming Network Breakfast, discussing ‘Diversity in Action’. Caro wears many hats; including author, novelist, lecturer, mentor, social commentator, columnist, workshop facilitator, speaker, broadcaster and award-winning advertising writer. She has published books including ‘The Stupid Country: How Australia is Dismantling Public Education’, co-authored with Chris Bonnor; ‘The F Word. How we Learned to Swear by Feminism’, co-authored with Catherine Fox; and ‘For God’s Sake! An atheist, Christian, Jew and Muslim battle it out’, co-authored with Antony Lowenstein, Simon Smart and Rachel Woodlock. She is sought after as a speaker, MC and workshop facilitator by a wide range of organisations in both the public and private sectors. Jane is a weekly regular on Channel 7 Weekend Sunrise and Mornings on Channel 9. She has appeared frequently on ABC’s Q&A, Sunrise, The Project, The Drum and Playbox. Jane is also a regular panellist on the ABC’s top-rating show on advertising ‘The Gruen Transfer’. She is a regular on radio and has filled in as host for RN’s iconic ‘Life Matters’. DATE: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 TIME: 7.15am-9.15am LOCATION: The Big Top, Luna Park, Sydney Visit drinkscentral.com.au to book your seat. Jane Caro appears by arrangement with Claxton Speakers International.
Spirits Platform has taken over the distribution of The Edrington Group’s portfolio of whiskies in Australia and recently announced that it would also be adding The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old to its portfolio. The premium single malt is the Scottish distiller’s newest release, aged in sherryseasoned European and American oak casks for a sweet and honeyed character. The expression will be ranged alongside the Fine Oak 12 Years Old, offering Australia’s whisky connoisseurs two luxury Speyside whiskies for RRP $110. Spirits Platform will also distribute other revered Macallan expressions including the 1824 Master Series’ The Macallan Rare Cask, a whisky crafted from handpicked Spanish sherry seasoned oak casks, and The Macallan Edition No. 2 in the coming months, a collaboration between master whisky maker Bob Dalgarno and global restaurateurs the Roca brothers.
ACCOLADE WINES CEO MICHAEL EAST RETIRES Accolade Wines CEO Michael East announced at the beginning of April that he would be retiring early from the company. East notified the Board following Accolade’s decision to withdraw from the IPO (initial public offering) process. “I had always intended to retire at the beginning of 2019 and I believe it is the right thing to do so now in view of the longer time scale for an eventual IPO,” he said. The Board has agreed to his wish. Chairman Jim Anderson will now assume the role of Executive Chairman and will lead Accolade in a number of initiatives including the acquisition of Fine Wine Partners’ portfolio, increasing distribution and sales in China, and the planned construction of a warehouse and bottling line in South Australia. Anderson has spent four years as a Director of Accolade and was appointed to Chairman earlier this year.
INNOVATION - WHERE DO SHOPPERS WANT IT MOST? By Oliver Cast, Senior Insights Director at Shopper Tracker Australia Innovation is critical to the health of the liquor industry as it plays a strong role in building value back into the market, particularly when set against a backdrop of declining volume. Innovation is ranked number one by shoppers as the most called for improvement they’d like to see in their next liquor shop. Understanding which categories shoppers most want innovation in is one thing, knowing where shoppers are also most likely to buy innovation in addition to their planned purchase to build the basket is another. Using the latest 2017 Shopper Tracker results, where we talked to over 23,000 of your customers and looked across the beer, wine, spirits and pre-mix categories, we can identify where innovation is most desired and most likely to deliver incremental sales. Craft beer came out on top as the category in which over 35 per cent of shoppers asked for more innovation on their next shop and ranked number one on shoppers most likely to put an extra bottle (or a few) in the basket. In the world of wine, shoppers desire for new and different is greatest for all things rosé. Underpinned by the growing trend of cocktails at home sees liqueurs top the list in spirits, and following recent big brand launches, the thirst for more innovation remains greatest in the ready-to-drink category for pre-mix vodka. From a retailing perspective, most banners have significantly improved their delivery of innovation to shoppers versus last year, with Dan Murphy’s leading the market. Innovation can take many forms; often we rely on new products as the solution. Yet innovation from a shoppers perspective can also be just as much about fresh ideas on how to enjoy or different occasions to enjoy familiar products - providing an equally compelling avenue to meet shoppers’ needs without overloading the shelf. So whether you’re making ranging decisions or building your innovation pipeline for the year ahead, Australia’s liquor shoppers have spoken and suggest that craft beer, rosé, liqueurs and pre-mix vodka should feature high on the list to both delight them and inspire them to put that extra bottle in their basket.
THE MARKETING COLUMN - GROWTH IN A COMMODITY CATEGORY Nick Levy has worked in the liquor industry for over ten years, including marketing roles with Coles and Taylors Wines. His column examines best marketing practice worldwide.
COMPLIMENTARY VIP REGISTRATION TO THE DRINKS INDUSTRY SHOW The Drinks Industry Show is the leading dedicated trade exhibition for the drinks industry, showcasing the best in wine, beer and spirits from across the globe. The show will be held on Monday 26–Tuesday 27 June at the Crystal Palace, Luna Park Sydney. The annual event reconnects producers and distributors of alcoholic beverages with buyers from all industry verticals, providing unparalleled access to a wide range of decision-makers who are responsible for the procurement of alcohol. Industry buyers can sample, compare and order new products, meet new industry colleagues and reconnect with existing ones. The event features an interactive show floor of taste testing, mixology demonstrations, master classes, seminars and networking. The first class on the seminar program will see prominent industry leaders tackle key issues faced across the trade today. Guiseppe Minissale, President of the Australian Liquor Stores Association and John Hart, CEO of the Restaurant and Catering Industry Association will kick off the program by looking at ‘Today and Tomorrow - The state of the Australian Beverage Market’. Other key sessions include ‘How Design Can Make or Break Hospitality Business’, with presentations from Jennifer Schum of Tom Bergstrom Architects and Stuart Krelle of Luchetti Krelle. And ‘Standing Out from the Crowd - Discover a Niche That Sells’, which will see Sven Almenning, Managing Director of The Speakeasy Group; Tom Hollings, Director of Different Drop; and Dan Sims, Bottle Shop Concepts and creator of Pinot Palooza and Game of Rhones offering insight and best practices in attracting and engaging with consumers in today’s crowded marketplace. We are pleased to offer you complimentary VIP visitor registration. As a VIP, you will receive guaranteed entry to the industry event of the year, express registration upon arrival and priority seating in the seminar theatre (subject to availability). Visit www.drinksindustryshow.com.au to take advantage of your VIP registration using promo code VIPDIS17.
THE D’ARENBERG CUBE JUST GOT MORE IMPRESSIVE d’Arenberg’s new and exciting cellar door project in McLaren Vale is shaping up to be even bigger and better with an updated artists’ impression showing the multi-functional building now with rooftop umbrellas. The 16 umbrellas housed on top of The d’Arenberg Cube, 15 black and one red, will shade it from sunlight, with hydraulically operated mechanical arms able to move, open and close each. Chief Winemaker Chester Osborn said, “Due to building regulations, no more than five per cent skylight is permitted, and so I needed to meet regulations, while also having a bit of fun, in true d’Arenberg style.” The build of the cellar door began in late 2015 and is set to be the most innovate to date, costing millions of dollars. Designed to appear as if it were ‘floating’ in the vines, The Cube will feature tasting rooms, several bars, a restaurant, office accommodation and state of the art facilities on each level. Vistitors should be able to go inside The Cube by the end of this year. 18|drinks trade
Headsets. Not much room for creativity, right? Wrong. Despite it not being a glamorous industry, Mike Faith was able to create something special. Back in 1997, he was having a heck of a time tracking down headsets for his company so naturally, he founded his own headset company. Within eight years, Headsets.com was growing $32 million a year and has featured on the Inc. 5000 each year since 2004. How did he do it? At first, Faith didn’t have much luck with direct marketing. However, in 2001, an employee inquired about sending out catalogues to prospective customers. Two months after that initial suggestion, the company sent out catalogues to 90,000 prospects, and by 2004 the company was sending out 1.5 million catalogues every five weeks. As the company began to grow, Faith realised that his competitors were lacking in the customer service department. In his mind, customer service was just as much of a marketing tool as sending out catalogues. While sales are generally thought of as just another job function with a high turnover rate, Headsets. com decided to approach this sector in a unique way. In 2007, the company decided to provide a $1,500 annual training stipend, one month of paid sabbatical after three years of employment, a trip to Sydney, Australia to train with a voice coach, and regular trips to innovative companies such as Zappos and StubHub to brainstorm new ideas for the company. The result? The strange play resulted in over $250,000 in new sales and more than $6 million in media coverage. The company also has a turnover rate of just 15 per cent where the industry norm is 50 per cent. Sometimes it pays to take a chance on a seemingly unique idea.
60 SECONDS WITH ALISTAIR PURBRICK AND SARAH NICHOLS By Simone Allan, founder and Director of Mondo Search (Destination for Best Hidden Talent)
In this month’s column, we look at a male and female leader in the drinks industry and observe their life lessons to help others on their career path. Here I interview Tahbilk Wines Chief Executive Officer Alistair Purbrick and McWilliam’s Wines Marketing Director Sarah Nichols. I have always seen both of these people as ‘no nonsense’ and ‘action orientated’ individuals, and you can see from their responses that they are also both highly results-focused. Simone Allan: What gets you up and cracking in the morning? Alistair Purbrick: I love my job and look forward to each day. I relish in the challenges and love putting aside time to stand back and think more strategically about where we’re at and, more importantly, where we want to be…it’s too bad that retirement is looming! Sarah Nichols: The desire to make a difference and deliver exciting solutions for both brands and people. I like big challenges that stretch my brain and force me to think outside of the box while challenging the status quo. SA: Do you think your childhood/early education had an impact on your career? AP: I’m a fourth generation winemaker, so grew up around vineyards, the winery and wine. Although I didn’t make my decision to become a qualified winemaker until after I finished year 12/matriculation, it ultimately seemed a pretty obvious choice. SN: Absolutely, not only did my childhood provide a framework for my values, but also drove me to be curious and have a learning disposition, which I think is highly important for your career and success in business. SA: What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt in business? AP: Always listen, continue to learn and attention to detail is critical. Put in place appropriate procedures, processes and KPIs and then monitor and measure everything you do, particularly around people management and recruitment. SN: Driving business requires not just tenacity, but also the ability to look at the business as a whole, considering all LEFT: Tahbilk Wines Chief Executive Officer Alistair Purbrick
LEFT: McWilliam’s Wines Marketing Director Sarah Nichols
elements both cross-functionally and up and down. Having a deep understanding of both your customers and consumers is also of paramount importance. SA: What advice would you offer in terms of maximising and creating a successful career? AP: Firstly, try and get your first job with a winemaker who has a reputation for making very fine wine. Secondly, ensure that you have a wise and knowledgeable mentor. And lastly - read, listen and continue to learn. The world of wine continues to evolve whether it be in improved viticulture, winemaking and bottling technology; market access and changing trade circumstances or country law(s) as it pertains to the sale of alcohol. You will need to know and understand what is happening and adapt accordingly - status quo is simply not an option. SN: For me, it’s a combination of delivering results, networking and taking a broader, more holistic approach to your career. Always being willing and eager to learn about other parts of the business or new ways in which to approach challenges, and volunteering for causes that you feel passionate about lets people know that you are more than just a ‘one trick pony’! SA: What’s your third space outside of work and family? AP: Friends and sport, snow skiing in particular. This results in lots of excuses for wine and food occasions with far too many tall stories told and lots of laughs. SN: My third space sits around food, exploring the world and giving back. A combination of being creative in the kitchen, travelling the world with my family and finding an annual volunteering challenge are the things that I love doing outside of work.
Meet the Producer of one of Australia’s Fastest Growing Craft Ciders Lyndsay Sharp and her husband David own a number of Victoria’s leading beverage brands. Based in the Bellarine Peninsula, their business The Sharp Group produces Flying Brick Cider, one of Australia’s fastest growing craft ciders, as well as premium wine brands Leura Park Estate, Jack Rabbit Vineyard and Yes said the Seal.
Lyndsay Sharp, co-owner of The Sharp Group CREDIT: Sally McCann Photography
he business grew out of the couple’s shared passion for food, wine and the country and naturally complemented each of their backgrounds, with Lyndsay coming from marketing and PR and David from farming and finance. They purchased Leura Park Estate in 2007 with two part-time staff and at the time were making around 350 cases of wine. Today, more than 150 people are employed by The Sharp Group and over 20,000 cases of wine from 120 acres of vineyard and a large volume of Flying Brick Cider from orchards in the region are produced each year. The business made its second move in 2010, when it purchased Kilgour Estate, one of the most scenic vineyards in the region, and rebranded and renovated the site to become Jack Rabbit Vineyard. It was awarded Best Tourism Restaurant in Australia – People, Place and Product by Restaurant & Catering in 2015 and has featured in The Age Good Food Guide 2011-2017. Behind the wines are talented winemakers Darren Burke and Nyall Condon, with Darren primarily looking after Leura Park Estate and Yes said the Seal and Nyall on Jack Rabbit Vineyard. “Each stable of wines boasts its unique fingerprint and style,” Lyndsay explained. “Leura Park Estate produces premium cool climate wines with a strong French influence, while Jack Rabbit Vineyard wines are contemporary and sophisticated – complex without being complicated, and Yes said the Seal wines are refined and elegant, edging towards boundary pushing.”
The three brands have collected multiple awards, and Leura Park Estate and Yes said the Seal have both been rated as Five Star wineries by James Halliday. The Sharp Group also produces a range of bistro wines under the Nine Yards and Counting brand, which Lyndsay says “are great, drink now wines at an attractive price point for trade.” In the same year that The Sharp Group purchased Jack Rabbit Vineyard, Flying Brick Cider launched as one of the first in the Bellarine to enter the fledging Australian cider market. Lyndsay said, “From the very start, our mantra was to develop 100 per cent natural ciders from fresh Victorian fruit. We applied the same principals as we always have to our wines – sustainable principals, traditional methods and minimal interference – the fruit must always be the hero.” The apples and pears used in the ciders come from suppliers across the state including Shepparton, Harcourt, Gippsland and High Country. “Over the years, we have established a solid supply chain and forged some great relationship with fruit growers,” Lyndsay added. “It’s not a case of any apple or pear will do, and it’s certainly not a case of lower grade fruit gets channelled into cider production. For us, it’s a matter of quality and calibre of the fruit as it has an enormous impact on the final result.” Lyndsay describes their ciders as, “Fresh, natural and lively, but most of all, honest...Our ciders really are their own marketing advocate.” The range includes two apple ciders, Original and Draught, and Pear, which are all free from sugars,
colourings, flavourings and concentrates. From time to time, a limited release will also make its way out of the Flying Brick Cider House. One of the latest is a Reserve Cider in a 750ml bottle, made in the Methode Champenoise style. Nowadays, Nyall tends to spend more time looking after the cider portfolio, alongside judging and working with Cider Australia as a founding member to help promote the local industry. Lyndsay explained, “When we came up with the idea for crafting cider, we asked Nyall if he was up for the challenge and he embraced the concept wholeheartedly. What made it easier is that cider crafting essentially parallels winemaking – fresh fruit is picked, crushed and fermented.” “There are tannins in apple skins as there are with grapes, which impact upon texture, flavour and ultimate palate experience. Like different grape varietals, every apple or pear varietal has its unique flavour story to tell.” Flying Brick Cider is now one of the fastest growing within its
segment and Lyndsay and David have had to extend their sales team to help support trade across the country. They now have representatives in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and most recently, New South Wales. “When we first launched in 2010, the Victorian market embraced the ciders with gusto. The number of retailers and venues continues to increase on a weekly basis – no doubt this sounds like classic spin, but seriously, once people taste Flying Brick Cider they are hooked - they can taste the purity.” “In the whole scheme of things we are small, but we are also selective. It is important to us that the retailers and venues who take on Flying Brick Cider are as committed to quality and great palate experience as we are.” “We are there to help our customers in any way, shape or form possible, and can also provide a broad range of merchandise – long-term relationships are what we are all about.” Cider is a growing category in Australia (+8.1 per cent in value/+9.4 per cent in volume, IRI MarketEdge to 6/11/2016), as is interest in Australian made ciders as consumers move away from sweet flavour profiles to craft styles that are crisp and well-balanced. “Today, the Australian consumer is informed, interested and empowered. Sustainability, local, nourishment and natural are all part and parcel of consumer expectation. And real craft offerings tick all of the new age consumer boxes.” “Cider is also the perfect beverage for the Australian culture and climate. Crisp, refreshing and with roughly the same alcohol content as beer, the appeal is logical on so many levels. Served chilled on a hot day, whether poured over crushed ice or straight from the stubby, it doesn’t get much better!” Apple cider has traditionally taken up most of the space on shelves and in bars here, but as consumer appreciation for the category widens, we asked what the opportunities are with other variants such as pear. 22|drinks trade
ORIGINAL A very approachable, easy-drinking and moorish cider. An aroma of toffee apple and vanilla. Light fizz and sweet apples on the palate.
PEAR A crisp and slightly drier cider. The pears give a kind of sweet and sour flavour that makes you want to keep going back for more.
DRAUGHT This cider has an amazing golden colour. Sweet apple and honey in both aroma and flavour. Very nicely balanced. RRP: $8 per stubby, $20-25 per four-pack, $88 per 24-pack “There is a strong pear cider/perry following in Australia. Having said that, it is the one cider that has a broad spectrum of flavours just like rieslings, which can vary from overtly sweet to extremely dry depending on the residual sugar component.” “A vast proportion of pear ciders on the market are super-sweet and loaded with artificial flavourings and mountains of sugar. Ours is bone dry and elegant in a way that often takes people by surprise.” All of the ciders are available in kegs and stubbies, which feature the brand’s iconic mascot and namesake, Flying Brick - the nickname also given to the local and legendary black cockatoo. Trade can contact their nearest sales representative listed to the right to enquire or order any of the products mentioned in this article. Sam Lockyer has also now joined the team and is looking after the New South Wales market. “Sam is an absolute champion with extensive experience in the industry – from New Zealand to Europe. If you’re in NSW and interested in potentially stocking Flying Brick Cider or any of our wines, Sam is your man!”
For NSW sales, contact: Sam Lockyer, NSW Account Manager Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0477 701239 For national sales, contact: Luke Holland, National Sales Manager Email: email@example.com Tel: 0408 766 551 For QLD sales, contact: David Bone, Cuttings Wine Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0410 700 330 www.thesharpgroup.com.au
PROMOTE Valérie ChapoulaudFloquet, Chief Executive Officer of Rémy Cointreau
VUITTON TO LOUIS
XIII VALÉRIE CHAPOULAUD-FLOQUET An executive with over 30 years of experience with global luxury brands, from L’Oreal and Louis Vuitton, Valérie Chapoulaud-Floquet became one of the first people outside of the Hériard-Dubreuil family to become Chief Executive Officer of the Rémy Cointreau Group, taking over an enviable collection of luxury Cognac and liqueur brands. 24|drinks trade
A bottle of Rémy Martin Louis XIII Cognac retails for around $3,888
“Moving to Remy has been very refreshing” Ashley Pini: When you joined the business you took over a role previously held by a family member. What were the first and main challenges you met? Valérie Chapoulaud-Floquet: The most important thing for me was to understand the industry and company. So for two months, I travelled across the globe and met the team, brands and countries/regions. For most of my trips, I was incredibly lucky in that I was always with a family member and that I could have the three of them - Dominique, François and Marc explain the history and story behind each situation because they grew up with their grandparents, parents and then themselves running the company. AP: How have you found the transition from your time with businesses such as LVMH and L’Oreal? VC: When I worked at LVMH - Louis Vuitton, Bernard Arnault (Chairman and CEO) would always say: “It’s a family business, it’s my company.” Of course, in reality it’s a listed company, and he doesn’t control 100 per cent of it, but he does make most of the critical decisions. So, if you wanted to go for a big project, you were able to meet with him within 48 hours and have a decision. It was a good school for me in that sense because at L’Oreal it was the exact opposite - it could take years to move up there. Moving to Remy has been very refreshing; the difference here is that it is a real family. AP: How do you premiumise a portfolio already considered as luxury? VC: Two ways - you either focus on the high-end products in your portfolio or you launch new products. But launching new grand aged spirits takes time to pick up. So one of the things we have done is stop producing VS. With Cognac, the quality gets better with age. As we only buy grapes from Petite and Grande Champagne - the highest quality - it doesn’t make sense to produce VS, which is aged for just two years. Instead, we decided our niche would be VSOP, aged for four years plus. AP: Do you have plans to launch any new products? VC: Before going to something different, I want to make sure that I have done my job properly on what already exists. We already know what we need to do with Rémy Martin, and with Louis XIII it is more a question of format and growing awareness. With Cointreau, I want to focus on the original, and with St-Rémy we are looking at opening the markets and simplifying the range. We are extremely happy with Metaxa and what’s in the range.
I think we are ready to do some launches with Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte and Octomore and then we need to take care of the two babies, which are Westland and Domaine des Hautes Glaces – two new single malt distilleries that we bought in Seattle and France. We are still in the early stages with these, but that allows us to create a business plan that will include launches and releases. AP: What opportunities do you see in the Australian market for the brands? VC: I think we are only just starting to scratch the surface with Louis XIII here and that the brand will grow bigger in time. Cointreau is already big here, but I still see some opportunity. I don’t think we quite know the limit to Cointreau yet as we haven’t invested in the brand for a long time, so if we do our job right there could be the opportunity to grow on a significant scale, and that would be exciting for Australia. I also think our whisky brands are going to be big here, but it will take some time for our new products to make their way over because we must be strong in France and America before expanding. AP: How important is this market to Rémy Cointreau? VC: We are committed to the Australian market. We think that we still have a lot of opportunities here. We want to be close to this market because mixology in the on-trade is important and we are always hearing that the most influential mixologists come from Australia, the UK and US. That’s something very important to us, particularly with Cointreau. Cointreau was a part of the early stages of mixology; it has been a part of classic cocktails from day one; the Margarita, Side Car, Cosmopolitan, White Lady, the list is very long, and all these cocktails were created with Cointreau, so we are truly part of it. Because of that and because Australia is so active in the on-trade, we want to be able to give this market the best propositions.
FIRST LOOK AT THE OPERATIONS
BEHIND KU DE TA PERTH Ever wondered what it takes to open a large venue and the training that’s involved? We asked Joe Sinagra, Bar Manager at KU DE TA – one of the biggest bar openings for Perth in 2017, originating as Bali’s popular sunset destination. drinks trade: What has it been like in the lead up to the opening of KU DE TA? Joe Sinagra: It’s been an exciting time to say the least. Over the last couple of months, we’ve been steadily moving towards getting the doors open. The KU DE TA family has expanded massively with our entire front of house staff now on board, having all gone through their intensive training. It’s a massive undertaking, but it’s great to be involved with owners who are committed to equipping the team as best they can to handle what we expect to be a very busy venue. DT: You are training a big team to work the floor and bar. Tell us about the recruitment and training process? JS: Recruitment has been going on for a few months now and we’re really happy with the strong calibre of staff that we have. The training program took several weeks to put together and has very much been a collaborative effort from the senior management team in Perth and Bali. The amount of experience between the senior managers is enormous and we’ve all worked 26|drinks trade
very hard to ensure that the training we conduct is of the highest standard and brings to life KU DE TA’s ethos and service style. Our front of house team went through an intensive two-week, full-time introductory training course before they even hit the floor for trial services. We will have on-going training to ensure that we are always pushing ourselves to raise the bar even higher. DT: How has it been dealing with so many suppliers and what have you learnt from this? JS: I think now more than ever the value of building relationships with suppliers is evident. Over the last 16 years of working in the industry, I’ve developed some great relationships with suppliers and opening a venue of this scale can be quite time-consuming. To be able to call a supplier and have a short and direct conversation about what we need, how they can help and what we can offer them in return is a huge time saver. I don’t think I could be as frank and direct with many of the suppliers if I didn’t already have a great relationship with them. It takes time to get to that stage where you can both be honest
and upfront and cut through a lot of the dancing around negotiations. DT: For everyone looking to open a bar, what are three key things you can share with us? JS: Firstly, have a very clear vision and find people who want to be part of that vision. Secondly, get the right people involved early on. The right people can help set you up for success. And finally, roll with the punches. Nothing will ever go to exact plan. Be flexible enough to deal with problems but committed to your original vision. It’ll be tough, but worth it! DT: What is your golden rule for anyone working behind your bar? JS: Everything in its place. I drill the importance of maintaining the systems we develop for the bar’s layout into every team I work with. Keeping everything in its place allows the team to develop service patterns, stay neat and tidy and provide fast and efficient service. If you can free your mind from worrying about where to find something, you can better interact with guests.
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AU STR ALI A’ S MOST AWA RDE D GIN PORTFOL IO N O W AVA I L A B L E T H R O U G H A L M
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Pinkster is an agreeably British Gin producded in Cambridge with a lot of character and a lot of fresh raspberries. Deliciously dry with a hint of fruit and an exceptionally smooth finish. Produced by G&J; named the Best Gin Producer at IWSC 2015/2016. It now sits under the watchful eye of Master Distiller Joanne Moore at G&J. G&J Distillers took home a record 20 medals for its gins at the ISC awards last year, twice as many as any other gin producer in the world.
Bloom premium london dry gin is a light, delicate and floral gin with a totally unique, slightly sweet taste created by a special blend of hand picked botanicals, sourced from around the world - juniper berries from Tuscany, chamomile from France, and honeysuckle and pomelo from China. perfected by Joanne Moore; an internationally revered expert in the industry and master distiller at the highly awarded G&J Distillery since 1996.
Old English Gin is made from a recipe dating back to 1783, through the distillation of eleven botanicals in the oldest pot still being used in England today. Old English Gin is presented in champagne bottles with organic sealing and silk print, all as they did back in 1783, or from a barrel as the Barman’s Special Reserve. This way we are reinvigorating how English Gin was made and distributed back in the 18th century.
Geranium Gin was created by Henrik Hammer, an accredited IWSC Gin judge. To create the best possible gin, he incorporated geranium and combined the use of new technology and old traditional gin making. The result is an outstanding smooth and well-balanced gin with a delicate taste of juniper, a crisp citrusrosy Geranium aroma with exotic notes from the eight other specially selected ingredients.
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AUSTRALIAN OR INTERNATIONAL
Gin has been a buzzword over the last couple of years, and now with distillers taking on the evolving chameleon in our own backyard, we look to how they’re influencing the category and their position against international brand sales. By Hannah Sparks
he Australian Distillers Association (ADA) estimates that there are now around 60-80 local producers of gin, with 15-20 of those considered as ‘serious’ players. That number is something worth thinking about considering there were only a handful ten years ago, with Kangaroo Island Spirits the first gin-dedicated distillery to open in 2006, followed by West Winds in 2010 and Four Pillars in 2013. Part of the argument for why so many have jumped on board the gin bandwagon is because it’s a relatively inexpensive and quick spirit to make, but the rise in gin bars and bartenders using the spirit in cocktails have equally, if not aided the cause more. Australian distillers have further explored the use of native botanicals to create gins with a real story, place and point of difference. This has boosted versatility in the category and is catching the interest of consumers. Gin is still one of the fastest growing spirits here; in the last year it has increased by 16.9 per cent in value and 13.5 per cent in volume (IRI MarketEdge to 5/2/2017). But here comes the real surprise – when it comes to Australian versus imported gin, the latter still makes up for almost all gin consumption in Australia. Among the top global brands are London dry gins (LDG), made using one of the most practised styles and arguably still the most popular. Characterised by its juniper-forward flavour, the London dry style has largely defined what many of us think of as gin. Bombay Sapphire is one such example that’s been around since the 1980s and is the leading premium gin brand by value and growth internationally. It is made in the London dry style, using a unique combination of ten botanicals and a proprietary vapour infusion process. This process makes the flavours subtler and prevents the gin from having an overpowering juniper flavour, appealing to gin and non-gin drinkers alike.
Bombay Sapphire Global Ambassador Raj Nagra said this flavour and character also “lends well to drinks like the gin & tonic, which is how 70 per cent of Australians drink their gin currently.” Even Australian distillers have modelled their learnings on the West and are reticent to move away from the core botanicals like juniper and citrus that consumers know and love from LDGs. Stu Gregor, co-owner of Four Pillars and President of ADA thinks it’s important that juniper remains an essential ingredient in gin. “London dry gins are often a starting point for consumers and I think for gin to be gin it has to have a genuine canvas of juniper, otherwise it’s just a flavoured white spirit. It’s also what makes gin a great base spirit.” Angove Family Winemakers, one of Australia’s oldest craft distillers, released its organic Blind Tiger Gin in 2015 and chose to follow a London dry style, believing it lends better to a wider variety of drinks. Marketing Manager Matt Redin explains, “For us, London dry is gin and juniper is at the core of this style. It is the style our team put forward as number one when we first embarked on this project. London dry tends to be the most mixable of gin styles no matter what your preference. It is also the most consumed style in Australia.” “A lot of the exotic blends that are out there, we think struggle to really be true to the name gin as the juniper character is so overshadowed by other botanicals, but they all have their place and it is great to see the art of distillation being revived again.” Nick’s Wine Merchants is a Melbourne-based and online bottle shop and claims to retail Australia’s largest collection of gin. Co-owner Yuri Chlebnikowski says most of the Australian gins he sees still feature juniper, but are more contemporary in their style in the sense that they let the botanical take a back seat. “The more progressive styles are then also using native botanicals in the mix
and in some cases pushing what defines gin,” he added. In terms of how much space Australian and imported gins should take up on your shelves, Stu and Yuri both believe a balanced mix keeps consumers interested. “Versatility in gin is what makes it fun and exciting,” says Stu. “The way we see it is if consumers start liking the flavour of gin with an entry level London dry gin and they become interested enough, eventually they’re going to trade up and try a Hendrick’s, Botanist, Four Pillars etc.” Yuri adds, “We’ve got over 200 gins on shelf, and they’re all there because they’re a little bit different. Gin is a great example of a category that keeps diversifying and consumers interested.” “We have been building our collection over the last 125 years. The more products we get in, the more customers there are that want to come along for the ride and try them. Even products we think are interesting and different.” Yuri looks at his range in terms of styles and the countries that best represent each. “Europe and the UK make quintessential and dry gin better than anyone, and the other areas of Europe do the traditional styles better than anyone. I think you should want to have Australian gins on your shelf because they showcase those progressive styles; that’s really what Australia has done best - learn from the traditions and innovate on those with a lot of passion and flair.” The breadth of botanicals available in Australia has been an exciting discovery for local distillers, allowing them to put their own stamp on gin and even diversify from their neighbour’s. 30|drinks trade
Four Pillars in the Yarra Valley uses both Australian and Asian botanicals to highlight the country’s prime location. A base of juniper is made more intriguing with ingredients such as locally sourced whole oranges, Tasmanian pepper berry, lemon myrtle and spices such as star anise and coriander seeds. Stu believes distillers have only just scratched the surface in terms of the number of botanicals yet to be unearthed in Australia and what they can do with them. He reckons Four Pillars has used over 50 native botanicals in this year alone, listing things like sea blite, a salty plant that grows around rivers and the sea; finger limes from New South Wales, Illawarra plums and in the future, yuzu, a citrus plant from Asia. Underground Spirits in the more unassuming location of Canberra released its gin at the beginning of March. It’s co-owned by local doctor Tobias Angstmann, Jacob McMahon and Andrew Galbraith, who saw a hole in their home market for quality spirits. These three have created their own filtration system from medical grade equipment and are using native botanicals to create a LDG with an Australian twist. “Our gin is a real mix of the two,” Andrew explains. “LDG is a very common style of gin, but it is our regional botanicals coupled with our really smooth base spirit that we acquire through the filtration system that makes it really unique and approachable.” Underground Spirits Gin is light and approachable and has already found its way into a number of clubs and restaurants in Canberra through local distributor Capital Liquor and Beverages. Botanicals include juniper, coriander, lemon myrtle, angelica, bush mint and
“Gin is a great example of a category that keeps diversifying and consumers interested”
Four Pillars distillery in the Yarra Valley
Tasmanian pepper berry, the latter of which Andrew says is a favourite with distillers. “It works well with alcohol. If you use normal pepper it’s overwhelming, but Tasmanian pepper berry is more approachable and rounded, plus it pulls the other botanicals together.” Tasmania is another location where gin makers have found a home, with fresh and native ingredients bountiful across the state. One of the new kids on the block is Southern Wild Distillery. Local food technician-come-distiller, George Burgess, launched in January with three new gins named after Tassie’s two wild rivers, Dasher + Fisher, and inspired by the state’s diverse landscape – Mountain, Meadow and Ocean. George has designed these gins specifically as ‘eating gins’, saying the concept of pairing gin with food is a “worldwide movement.” “Consumers are looking for more complexity on the palate,” he says. “There’s an expectation now that any given gin can and should be matched with foods. The first questions people have at the cellar door are ‘What’s the preferred garnish’ and ‘which foods pair with this gin?’” Dasher + Fisher gins are also expressive of their place and have been crafted to reflect their name in taste and aroma, with Mountain made from native pepper berry, Meadow from lavender and Ocean from hand-harvested wakame. “In Australia, we’re extremely lucky not to be bound by any rules when it comes to gin; we don’t have to make gin in a certain way.” “We are limited only by our imagination, a paradise for gin producers and a delight for consumers. What the craft beer movement experienced a decade or two back we are now experiencing in the gin industry in Australia.” So, if you’re looking to offer your customers something new and exciting to try, look for Australian gins using native botanicals that possibly even leave out juniper. If it’s a mix of the traditional and new styles, seek out locally produced gins that still use native botanicals but are made in the London dry style. As for the originals like Bombay and Tanqueray, they’ll always have a place on your shelves as fine examples and representations of where gin started.
DASHER + FISHER SOU T H E R N WI L D DISTI L L E RY
TASMANIAN GIN, WILD + PURE M OU N TA I N GI N 7 0 0 m l - $ 9 0 M E A D OW GI N 7 0 0 m l - $ 9 0 O C E A N GI N 7 0 0 m l - $ 9 0 TA STI N G PAC K ( 3 X 2 0 0 m l ) - $ 9 0
National Sales Ben Moechtar
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WE RECOMMEND A selection of new, unique and award-winning Australian gins.
NEW DASHER + FISHER MOUNTAIN, MEADOW AND OCEAN Southern Wild Distillery is the newest kid to join Tasmania’s growing gin industry. Local distiller George Burgess has created this range of three gins, named after the two wild rivers that flow through the state and showcase the region’s botanicals. Interestingly, they are designed to be enjoyed with food. Mountain highlights native pepper berry; Meadow uses lavender and Ocean features wakame, a seaweed grown on the shores of Tasmania. RRP $90 (each)
AWARDWINNING FOUR PILLARS RARE DRY GIN Four Pillars has a range of gins, but this is their flagship and awardwinner, launched at the same time as the distillery in 2013. It is a modern Australian style, made in the Yarra Valley using whole oranges, lemon peel, Tasmanian pepper berry and some Eastern influences such as cardamom and star anise. RRP $75
AWARDWINNING WEST WINDS THE CUTLASS GIN Australia’s most awarded gin, from one of Australia’s best-known gin distilleries located in Margaret River, Western Australia. It uses unique Australian botanicals such as cinnamon myrtle, lemon myrtle and Australian bush tomato on top of a traditional juniper base. A beautifully aromatic gin. RRP $75
BLIND TIGER ORGANIC GIN The name for this gin refers to an establishment that illegally sold alcohol most often gin - during prohibition. Made in Renmark, South Australia, Blind Tiger is a sustainable gin made with 100 per cent certified organic botanicals. Juniper berry, coriander, angelica root and summer savoury combine to create a London dry style with a distinctive Australian twist. It’s citrusy and earthy with a peppery note. RRP $70
ARCHIE ROSE SIGNATURE DRY GIN This gin was voted as Australia’s Best Gin at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London. It features 14 botanicals, which are individually infused and distilled in Sydney. The famous juniper berry underpins native Australian botanicals such as blood lime, Dorrigo pepper leaf, lemon myrtle and river mint. RRP $74
AWARDWINNING WILDBRUMBY GIN Wildbrumby Distillery in the Snowy Mountains released its first gin last year and went on to pick up a Gold Medal at the 2016 Melbourne International Spirits Competition. Well known for its vast range of schnapps, the distillery has combined its expertise and skills to join the latest craze and create a London dry style using pH-balanced mountain spring water and home-grown, organic fruit and botanicals. Distilled in a small batch pot still, the result is a smooth, multilayered and delicious gin with a trio of citrus, juniper and wild mountain pepper berry notes that cut through a tonic or blend well in a martini. RRP $75
NEVER CLICK YOUR FINGERS AT THE BARMAN. AFTER ALL, HE’S MIXING YOUR NEXT DRINK...
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GIN BARS, BOTTLE
SHOPS AND EVENTS
Australia’s first gin festival, run by the crew behind West Winds Gin, will return once again to Melbourne this October. The two-day festival gives trade the chance to taste, meet and learn about a number of local gins. Expect around 30 producers on showcase and a martini cruise (think flowing martinis with a sea breeze). If you’re interested in taking up a stall, contact Jeremy at West Winds. www.facebook.com/ Juniperlooza
A Melbourne institution and one of the best gin bars in Australia. It’s been around for 20 years and is famous for its martini menu, chicken sandwiches and jam-packed bar with examples of classic London dry gins, original Dutch genevers and boutique Australian examples. Gin Palace is always a popular spot for World Gin Day. Information on its festivities will be posted on its website in the lead-up. www.ginpalace.com.au
The Mediterranean Muse
DUTCH COURAGE OFFICERS MESS Modelled on British colonial outposts of the late nineteenth century, this cocktail and gin bar in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane is all about bringing a sense of adventure and sociability back to gin. It features a list of over 100 gins from across the globe, plus seven tonics, and is famous for its gin cocktail the Mediterranean Muse – Gin Mare, lime juice, rosemary syrup, Angostura Bitters and smoked rosemary. www.dutchcourage.com.au
Find out who has the most impressive gin collections and the best places to visit to taste and learn about the category.
Archie Rose Distillery in Sydney
There are a number of distilleries that offer master classes and even let you make your own gin – a great educational experience for bar and retail teams. William McHenry in Tasmania and Bass and Flinders Distillery in Mornington Peninsula both come highly recommended. Alternatively, Archie Rose in Sydney lets venues and bottle shops create their own, tailored gin. You just have to select the botanicals you’d like, and the distillery will make and bottle it for you. www.archierose.com.au/ tailored-spirits
Gin ice cream by Popstic
NICK’S WINE MERCHANTS Nick’s is said to be the biggest retailer of gin in Australia with over 200 bottles showcasing styles from across the globe. This family-owned business started out with more wine than spirits, but that has quickly changed over the last few years as consumers look for new products to try. Co-owner Yuri says gin is a great example of a category that keeps diversifying and consumers interested. www.nicks.com.au
WORLD GIN DAY 10 JUNE Celebrate World Gin Day on Saturday 10 June in your bottle shop or bar by creating a fun cocktail or providing some free samples in-store. Trans Tasman Aviation with Dasher + Fisher Mountain Gin Credit: Jason Loucas
The Heart of Africa Cream liqueurs - first thought? I challenge you to be creative and think how this category is innovating and offering new drinking occasions for your customers. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, here’s a quick look at one player in this category that not only has a unique brand story but also a real point of difference in the liquid - Amarula Cream. By Ashley Pini
edicated whisky drinkers may turn their collective noses up at a cream liqueur, but they could be doing themselves a disservice. There are a number of examples in this category that are producing some pretty impressive drinks – and they’re not all sweet and don’t need to be consumed in a milkshake. Poured over ice, sipped neat, splashed into some coffee, there are plenty of ways to enjoy cream liqueurs, and they’re usually low ABV. Amarula Cream liqueur is in fact, like no other. The base spirit is made from the fruit of the marula tree, or ‘sclerocarya birrea’, which only grows in the warm, frost-free regions of subequatorial Africa. It is this relationship that bonds the Amarula Cream liqueur story to not only the local population, but also the wildlife roaming the neighbouring game reserves and Kruger National Park - elephants. The marula tree holds a unique position of importance to the local community, both as a meeting place and as a source of income. It is said that should the elders call you to a meeting under the tree that 36|drinks trade
the news will likely be positive, under a thorny bush however, and negotiations may not go so smoothly. The crop plays a role in much of the lives of the locals of the Limpopo province of South Africa; they make beer from the fruit and have vintage festivals celebrating the arrival of the first produce, heralded by the first marula seasonal brew, which by most accounts is not for the faint-hearted. The process begins in January when the marula fruit starts falling to the ground. The elephants start eating the fruit, which is the first indication that it has ripened, and continues through to the end of March. The fruit itself has a tough shell and fibrous interior and tastes tart at the beginning followed by a nutty sweetness, wrapped around a macadamia nut like kernel; it contains four times the vitamin C as orange juice. The locals don’t leave it all to the local elephant population however, gathering the fruit and delivering it to the Amarula production facility in Phalaborwa, a town in the Limpopo province, sitting on the western edge
FRENCH TOAST Glass: Short Ingredients: 45ml Amarula Cream Liqueur 15ml Rum 15ml Milk Cinnamon stick Method: Combine ingredients over cracked ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake and pour into a glass. Garnish: Lightly dust with cinnamon and swirl with a cinnamon stick or straw.
of the Kruger National Park. The fruit is individually checked on-site, de-stoned and pumped into cooling tanks before being sent across the country to Distell’s distillation plant in Stellenbosch. This trip is completed in two days, but in years past local tribes people from the Phalaborwa region would personally take their crop across the country on a journey that could take them weeks, having to line the roads waiting for their produce to be accepted into the distillation facility. Distell’s decision to set-up the production facility locally was essential and welcomed. In Stellenbosch, the juice is further refined and distilled before it is aged in French oak barrels for a minimum of two years, during which wood spice characters of vanilla and toast are naturally
imparted. Dairy cream is then infused and Amarula Cream is born. Amarula Cream liqueur is 17% ABV. The marula fruit’s unique taste is apparent with a sweet tang that evenly hits the palate, carrying a touch of spice and complex fruit and vanilla cream characters. The natural sweetness of the marula fruit complements the silky smooth texture of the cream, delivering an inviting combination that should be enjoyed on occasions other than the once a year opportunity to impress the most important women in our lives. Getting yourself there can be a bit of a trek, but tasting the fruits of the marula tree is easier – available widely in Australia via island2island Beverage Company (RRP $29.95).
You can visit the Amarula ‘Lapa’ and learn all about the relationship between the product, the local population and the African elephants – which adorn the label – situated in Phalaborwa on the edge of the Kruger National Park. Just landing at the local airport is worth the experience in itself as monkeys and baboons scatter upon the plane’s approach. Just like marula beer, not for the faint-hearted.
AMARULA COFFEE SURPRISE Glass: Coffee mug Ingredients: 4 Cups strong filter coffee 50ml Whipped cream 60ml Amarula Cream Liqueur 8 Marshmallows 20ml Brown sugar 20ml Hot chocolate or cocoa powder Method: Pour the coffee into large coffee mugs. Pour the Amarula in each coffee, followed by the whipped cream, brown sugar and marshmallows. Garnish: Sprinkle with hot chocolate.
Here are the top ten fastest growing international beer and cider brands in Australia. In the last year, these products collectively contributed $79m worth of growth to the category. Beer continues to dominate, but perhaps we’ll see more ciders on this list in the future with local trends suggesting continued growth for this segment – and it’s positive that there are already two mentioned here (Strongbow and Monteith’s). The newest of the ten are Heineken 3 and Estrella Damm Lager, suggesting their initial uptake in the market has been positive.
Asahi Super Dry (Asia)
5.0% ABV RRP: $54.95 (case) Distributor: Asahi Premium Beverages This premium lager is clean and crisp with a low bitterness and subtle citrus aroma from the delicate hop profile. Created as Japan’s first karakachi (dry) lager, this beer gets its distinct dryness from careful fermentation and the traditional addition of rice. Refreshing and with plenty of balance, it is the ideal accompaniment to a range of Asian and Western cuisines.
Heineken 3 (Netherlands) 3.3% ABV RRP: $41.95 (case) Distributor: Lion Heineken 3 is the Dutch brewer’s premium mid-strength beer, released in August 2016. It’s an easy-drinking lager, retaining the original flavour of Heineken but slightly lighter in style. It is also lower in calories (86) and carbohydrates (5g), and has a floral and fruity aroma and fresh and clean taste with a slight bitterness.
BEER & CIDER
Top Ten International Beers and Ciders Somersby (Denmark) 4.5% ABV RRP: $52.00 (case) Distributor: Asahi Premium Beverages Somersby is a premium European cider made from fermented apple juice and natural apple flavouring. It’s crisp and refreshing with sweet, juicy apple flavours. Best served over ice.
Kirin Megumi (Asia) 4.5% ABV RRP: $50 (case) Distributor: Lion Kirin Megumi is made using the Japanese brewer’s unique First Press method, which extracts the first press of liquid from the malt to catch the most flavoursome part of the beer during brewing. It is crisp and smooth and produces a creamy head when poured. On the nose, there are hoppy notes from Noble hops, followed by a subtle fruit character on the palate. Pairs well with seafood or fresh sushi. Source: IRI MarketEdget MAT to 05/03/2017 All pricing may vary between state and customer
Hollandia (Netherlands) BEER & CIDER
4.7% ABV (Private label) Surprisingly, a private label is found amongst the top ten fastest growing imported beer and cider brands. Hollandia is produced at one of Holland’s oldest breweries, Bavaria Brouwerij, in the village of Lieshout, Netherlands. It’s a European style of lager with a rich malty aroma and full-bodied flavour. It has a semi-sweet malt taste that’s not too bitter and is light and easy to drink.
Strongbow Lower Carb (UK) 5.0% ABV RRP: $48 (case) Distributor: Carlton & United Breweries Strongbow Lower Carb has 35 per cent fewer carbohydrates and 50 per cent less sugar than regular ciders. It’s slow filtered at in Herefordshire, England for a light and refreshing taste. It’s clean with a noticeable apple character that’s balanced with acidity and some tartness.
Asahi Soukai (Asia) 3.5% ABV RRP: $49.95 (case) Distributor: Asahi Premium Beverages Asahi Soukai is a premium midstrength beer, released after Asahi Super Dry in Australia in response to growing demand for lighter styles and lower alcohol. It has a cleaner and smoother taste to Asahi’s other Japanese beers. It’s also sessionable and non-filling and has a smooth texture brought about by a gentle fizz.
Estrella Damm Lager (Spain)
Monteith’s Pointers Pale Ale (New Zealand)
4.2% ABV RRP: $58.99 (case) Distributor: Drinkworks Monteith’s Pointers Pale Ale is a Kiwi take on an Australian-style pale ale, made from a blend of five New Zealand hops. Layers of aroma and flavour open up to reveal tropical fruit notes and smoothly blended malts. A balanced and crisp beer. Best matched with fish, steak or soft cheese such as brie or camembert.
4.6% ABV RRP: $54.95 (case) Distributor: Asahi Premium Beverages
Peroni Nastro Azzurro (Italy)
Estrella Damm is a premium, authentic beer of Barcelona. The beer embodies the Mediterranean lifestyle and has been brewed from the same recipe since 1876. It’s a sessionable lager suited to warmer climates and made from 100 per cent natural ingredients including barley malt, rice, hops and Estrella’s unique yeast.
5.1% ABV RRP: $55 (case) Distributor: Carlton and United Breweries Brewed locally in Lombardia, Italy to a recipe that originates from the 19th century. It is a Mediterranean style of lager that delivers a crisp, refreshing taste and subtle aroma, perfect for warmer climates.
Source: IRI MarketEdget MAT to 05/03/2017 All pricing may vary between state and customer
DISCOVER FIRST PRESS BREWING
BEER & CIDER
to Try By Lukas Raschilla
Brewdog Punk IPA (UK) ABV 5.6% | IBU 35 This fresh, full flavoured natural beer is a tribute to the classic IPAs of yester-year. The post modern twist is brought about by the addition of amazingly fruity hops, which give way to an explosion of tropical fruit flavours and a sharp bitter finish. This IPA is light golden in colour with tropical fruits and light caramel on the nose. The palate is assertive and resinous with the New Zealand hops balanced by the biscuit malt. The finish is aggressive and dry with the hops emerging over the warming alcohol. RRP: $18-20 (four-pack 330ml cans) Available through Phoenix Beers www.phoenixbeers.com.au
Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale (USA)
Deschutes Black Butte Porter (USA)
ABV: 6.5% | IBU: 65 Dale’s Pale delivers a hoppy nose and assertive but balanced flavours of pale malts and citrus floral hops from start to finish. This is a real American strong pale ale and one for the hop lovers.
ABV 5.2% | IBU 30 Deschutes Black Butte Porter is one of the Oregon brewery’s flagship beers. A slight hop bitterness up front enhances the distinctive chocolate and roasted finish. A creamy mouthfeel and intense, complex flavours.
RRP: $22-24 (four x 355ml)
RRP: $7 (bottle) and $36 (six-pack)
Available through Phoenix Beers www.phoenixbeers.com.au
Available through Experience It Beverages www.experienceitbeverages.com.au
Founders All Day IPA (USA) ABV: 4.7% | IBU: 42 Founders Brewing’s All Day IPA is naturally brewed with a complex array of malts, grains and hops. Balanced for optimal aromatics and a clean finish. This beer has a hoppy characteristic leading to more complex flavours of grapefruit and mango, with bitterness coming from Simcoe and Amarillo hops. RRP: $23.99 (six x 355ml cans) and $24.99 (six x 355ml bottles) Available through Red Island www.redisland.com.au
New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale (USA) ABV: 5.2% | IBU: 22 New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale provides the perfect balance of biscuitlike malt flavours and hoppy freshness. The flavour is toasty malt, with gentle sweetness and a hint of fresh hop bitterness with a medium body. Available in both bottle and can. RRP: $19.99 (four x 355ml) Available through Square Keg www.squarekeg.com.au
Mountain Goat started out as Dave’s weekend homebrew project in a suburban Melbourne backyard when a postcard turned up from his mate Cam who was backpacking overseas. Cam had just discovered good beer in Vancouver and decided Melbourne needed good beer too. This was back in 1997. Today, almost 20 years later, Mountain Goat is now found nationally and the brewery and bar still operates in the back streets of Richmond, with a lineup of old favourites on tap and constantly changing limited releases and barrel aged beers. From Steam Ale, one of Australia’s first organic beers, to the refreshing Summer Ale and Pale Ale, through to the complex malt characters in Hightail Ale and Fancy Pants, there is a Mountain Goat beer for everyone.
goatbeer.com.au Drink Responsibly.
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” N A M G N U O Y , T S E W O “G
for Chardonnay and Cabernet
ion of boutique The Western Australian wine industry has long been seen as a small collect them well. suited has that image an wineries producing limited quantities of high-quality wine, expert and writer wine tt, The truth, however, is not quite so simple. By Ken Garge
Perth SWAN VALLEY
1. Swan District 2. Perth Hills 3. Peel 4. Geographe 5. Margaret River 6. Blackwood Valley 7. Pemberton 8. Manjimup 9. Great Southern
Chardonnay handpicked at Vasse Felix
he state produces around 45 million litres of wine annually, worth around $50 million. This equates to something like five per cent of Australia’s volume, but 12 per cent of the value, and a whopping 25 per cent of the super-premium category. This makes Western Aussie (WA) wine a crucial component of the overall industry, even more so when one considers the importance exporters are placing on the Chinese market – 35 per cent of the wine exported from WA (by value) goes to China. In total, WA wines are exported to around 60 countries. Total plantings across the state sit around 13,000 hectares, with 70 per cent split between Margaret River and Great Southern. Margaret River is the most widely planted with almost 400 growers and 6,000 hectares; Great Southern has around 150 growers and 3,500 hectares. No other region has more than 900 hectares planted (both Geographe and the Swan Valley are close, and they have approximately 100 and 250 growers respectively). The remaining five regions split the rest. Overall, the state has more than 500 grape growers, 400 wine producers and 300 wineries. The three largest wine businesses - Accolade Wines, Fogarty Wines and Ferngrove Estate, are responsible for nearly 40 per cent of total production, while the next five - Vasse Felix, Burch Family Wines, Cape Mentelle, Leeuwin Estate and Plantagenet, account for another 15 per cent. Think West Aussie wine and the chances are that you gravitate to Marg River cab and chardy. Not without good reason. Among many gems, these hold pride of place, locally and internationally. Also vital, are wines such as the ubiquitous sem sauv blends, terrific riesling and shiraz from Great Southern, the unique chenin blancs and more. Indeed, it comes as a surprise to hear that there is more semillon/sauvignon blanc planted than either cabernet or chardonnay, but New Zealand has dramatically impacted on sales. Talk to a range of winemakers, and it is evident that they are not sitting on their collective laurels. Larry Cherubino, of his eponymous wine company, has the advantage of making wine from most regions of the state. He looks forward to the future of
Chief Winemaker at Vasse Felix Virginia Willcock harvesting grapes in the vineyard
Ross Pamment, Senior Winemaker at Houghton Wines
cabernet sauvignon as he believes that thoughtful winemakers are removing cabernet vines from vineyards, and parts of vineyards, where they have not done as well as they might, but retaining those providing the best grapes. There is also much movement with clones. Larry recently planted twenty hectares of new clones, grafting over the less successful clone 1126, which he finds produces fruit that is usually too green. He notes increasing interest in Margaret River chardonnay, driven by the on-premise. Again, an improved clonal material is playing a key role. This advance has been held back by a series of vintages giving forth lighter yields, but 2017 will allow for a larger harvest. He likes WA sauvignon blanc and believes it is of good quality but notes that since 2005 it has “been annihilated” by Kiwi savvy. He perceives a light at the end of the tunnel as bulk Marlborough savvy is now two to three times the cost of that grown locally. Larry sees the 2017 vintage as a good one, noting that, “anyone who dropped fruit, and had their viticulture right, will do well.” Over a thirty-year average, the vintage is on target, but if one looks at it from just the last ten years, it is three weeks late. Picking of reds was yet to commence when we spoke, but Larry sees the whites from 2017 as of good quality with good flavours. “They will be bright, fresh, full of flavour, with a good future”. Finally, Larry believes we will see some interesting “alternative” wines with some thought-provoking blends. Ross Pamment, Senior Winemaker for Houghton, part of Accolade Wines (which includes Amberley Estate, Moondah Brook and Brookland Valley), notes the importance of WA wine for the company, but feels that “the signature semillon sauvignon blanc blends appear to be in decline and losing favour to a strengthening chardonnay market.” They will focus on cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay as straight varietals, “as the market shows an unquenchable thirst for these premium wines.” Ross also addressed the extraordinary run of vintages enjoyed in the West. Has any premium wine region on the planet ever experienced so many consecutive brilliant years? “WA had a dream run from 2007 until 2014, with it varying between reds and whites as to which was stronger. It would be fair to say that in recent years, from 2015 up until this year, it has been more challenging.” Paul McArdle, from Fraser Gallop in Margaret River, notes their reliance on cabernet and chardonnay, with 16 of their 20 hectares shared between those two varieties. With chardonnay, the increasing offshore interest has not gone unnoticed: “Recent international commentary has hailed a revolution in Australian chardonnay…a transformation that has moved from extreme to elegant.” “Margaret River still commands an impressive claim to the category’s leading chardonnays, and has done so via a gradual and progressive 46|drinks trade
exploration of regional signature. In short, a defence of history and terroir that has more to do with evolution than revolution.” Virginia Willcock, Chief Winemaker at Vasse Felix, has overseen her very own transformation, taking what were always quality chardonnays to a level where they now sit with the very best, not just from the region but also from Australia. While doing so, she has not neglected cabernet. Her thoughts on chardonnay: “Chardonnay has richness but depth and elegance developed further in the last few years by many producers and us with more natural and cloudier juice fermentation. The original Gin Gin clone, which arrived in Western Australia in the late 50s, is freakishly well suited to this environment with high retention of natural acidity and fruit harvested with both ripeness and a good acid structure.” “Chardonnays therefore have excellent freshness, along with fruit intensity and now in more recent times immense, naturally derived complexity from solids and wild yeast.” And cabernet: “Margaret River cabernet sauvignon is one of the finest examples in the world with more of the finesse and restraint seen in earlier Bordeaux. The sunshine ripens low yielding cabernet vines, while the cool breeze retains their freshness over the long ripening period required for this variety.” Howard Park’s Jeff Burch echoes the praise for these varieties, especially cabernet. “WA has a great future with cabernet sauvignon. It is a premium region for producing super high-quality cabernet and is probably one of the few places in the world that can fully rival Bordeaux. This excellent start can only get better as vignerons work out the absolute best sites.” Jeff also notes the serendipity of the emergence of top-notch cabernet, “being the most popular red wine in China.” Perhaps the last word should go to the Queen of Margaret River, Vanya Cullen, of Cullen’s. Both her top cabernet and top chardonnay are considered to be among the very best from the region, every vintage. Her view of the vintages from 2007 to 2017? “All good,” comparing 2017 with 1998. More specifically, low yielding vintages are 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2015, while average yields are 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2016. For Vanya, “Cabernet is King,” and as far as Margaret River goes, “It’s just the beginning of something great!” The same could be said for the entire state.
A monument to greatness
One family. Many stories.
Considered by many as the great red variety, not just for its role in Bordeaux, but also thanks to examples such as Coonawarra and Margaret River here; the Napa in California and many other districts. Cabernet sauvignon once ruled unchallenged in this country, but has been placed into the shade by the emergence of shiraz as our global superstar. Cabernet offers flavours such as tobacco leaf, cedar, blackberry, dark fruits and much more. It is high in tannin, has considerable acidity, dense structure and can offer a wine the ideal basis for structure. It is very often blended with other Bordeaux varieties, such as cabernet franc, merlot, malbec and petit verdot, but in Australia, it was part of the famous Aussie blend of cabernet and shiraz. Known for its extended ageing abilities.
ASHLEY PINI Publisher and Wine Writer
HANNAH SPARKS Editor and WCA Committee Member
Ashley joined the drinks industry in 1987, working with Liquorland in Sydney before studying to be an English teacher. The lure of the industry helped decide upon the path of drinks writing, with a particular passion for wine. 20 years later and Ashley is published in Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia and has edited magazines such as drinks trade, The Masterchef Guide, Better Homes and Garden LIVE, Ferrari Magazine, The Australian Hotels Association, Liquor Barons and Drinks World Asia.
A communicator and wine lover, if Hannah isn’t drinking wine, she’s writing about wine or sometimes both, simultaneously. Originally from the UK and based in Sydney, Hannah’s first taste of Australian wine was in the Hunter Valley. She was and still is captivated by the people, their stories and the unpredictability of a future vintage and hopes that by sharing her love affair with her readers that more people will appreciate and find enjoyment from local wines.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA Pepper Tree Elderslee Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Region: Wrattonbully RRP: $42 Distributor: Deja Vu Wine Co. Tasting note: Deep purple. A powerful, full-bodied cabernet, displaying blackberry and spicy French oak characteristics – yet balanced and well structured. Finishes long.
Shingleback Davey Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Region: McLaren Vale RRP: $23.50 Distributor: Shingleback Wine Tasting note: Great value for money. Bright purple colour with ripe blackberry and strawberry on the nose. Dark fruits and mulberry on the palate with rich dark chocolate, a smooth mouthfeel and finish that is moorish.
Penny’s Hill Edwards Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Brokenwood Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013
Region: McLaren Vale RRP: $25 Distributor: Mezzanine Wine Tasting note: Deep hued appearance with an upfront fruit sweetness. Dark berry and hints of dried herb, a subtle and sustained palate with integrated oak structure and fine tannins.
Region: McLaren Vale RRP: $35 Distributor: Samuel Smith and Son Tasting note: This 70/30 blend of cabernet sauvignon/merlot has a rich cherry note on the nose. The palate opens up with plums and stone fruit sweetness balanced by the tobacco leaf and mulberry flavours. A genuine blend, displaying the varietal characteristics of the McLaren Vale. A powerful palate with finely balanced tannins.
d’Arenberg The Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Pikes The Hill Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Taylors St Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Jb Wines Sobels Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Region: McLaren Vale RRP: $65 Distributor: Young & Rashleigh Wine Merchants (ACT), Inglewood Wine Merchants (NSW), Thomas Chin (NT), The Wine Tradition (QLD), Empire Liquor (SA), David Johnstone & Associates (TAS), The Wine Company (VIC) and Off The Vine (WA) Tasting note: Deep blood red appearance. Cigar box and tobacco notes. Flavours of dark fruits, liquorice and a rich, full-bodied mouthfeel. Grippy yet refined tannins and a generous finish.
Region: Clare Valley RRP: $60 Distributor: Oatley Fine Wine Merchants Tasting note: Earthy nose with subtle hints of mulberry and cassis. An inviting and approachable palate with a restrained, yet elegant mouthfeel that has a deep and structured finish.
Region: Clare Valley RRP: $65 Distributor: Taylors Wines Tasting note: Elegant and refined – displaying a more restrained style of cabernet that develops beautifully as it opens up to blackcurrant and black olives, supported with coffee and a refined structure that finishes long.
Region: Barossa Valley RRP: $25 Distributor: JB Wines Tasting note: Dark crimson appearance and a savoury nose. Brambly and green initially, develops with time out of the bottle. Stewed fruit, rhubarb and gooseberry. Raisin and dark fruits followed by grippy tannins and a long dry finish.
Grant Burge Shadrach Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Brand’s Laira Blockers Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Hamilton Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Wynns The Siding Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Region: Barossa Valley RRP: $90 Distributor: Accolade Wines Tasting note: A beautifully rich wine with bright fruit still at seven years old. Integrated oak structure and a generous mouthfeel with great finesse, intensity and structure. Dark fruits and long fine tannins produce a mouthwatering finish.
Region: Coonawarra RRP: $24.99 Distributor: Casella Family Brands Tasting note: A rich wine with a full-bodied palate, very expressive and classically fine tannins. It takes a while to open up to dark berry fruits and subtle oak integration. This wine will cellar well but equally, is ready to be enjoyed now. Decant.
Region: Coonawarra RRP: $21 Distributor: Veraison Wines (NSW), Australian Independent Wine Wholesalers (QLD), Options Wine Merchants (SA & NT), David Johnstone & Associates (TAS), Epicure Sales & Marketing (WA) and Westwood Wines (VIC) Tasting note: Bright and rich appearance, this wine displays classical regional characteristics of rich cassis and dark berry fruits, with long fine tannins.
Region: Coonawarra RRP: $25 Distributor: Treasury Wine Estates Tasting note: Deep red appearance, savoury nose and cedary notes. Blackberry and cherry followed by integrated tannins and a gentle and smooth texture at the finish. An approachable wine with classic Coonawarra class.
VICTORIA Penley Estate Steyning Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Yalumba The Menzies Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Leura Park Estate Yublong Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Melba Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Region: Coonawarra RRP: $45 Distributor: Domaine Wine Shippers Tasting note: Deep blood red appearance with a savoury nose. A rich and dense texture, full bodied and concentrated. On the palate, there are flavours of dark chocolate and cassis. Long and drying finish.
Region: Coonawarra RRP: $55 Distributor: Samuel Smith & Son Tasting note: Deep crimson, notes of cassis on the nose and wild berries. Elegant palate with refined tannins and impressive length of flavour. A stand out example from a stand out region.
Region: Geelong RRP: $40 Distributor: The Sharp Group Tasting note: Lovely crimson colour and perfumed fruit aromas with a touch of tobacco and chocolate. Quite dry. Grainy tannins.
Region: Yarra Valley RRP: $45 Distributor: De Bortoli Family Winemakers Tasting note: Deep purple. Savoury, earthy aromas. Dark chocolate and cedar oak flavours. Elegant.
NEW SOUTH WALES Tumblong Hills J-Block Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Region: Gundagai RRP: $29.99 Distributor: Tumblong Hills Tasting note: An inviting aroma of cedar oak, tobacco and a touch of cinnamon. Good tannin structure and acid. Blackberry flavour and a savoury, moorish finish.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA McWilliam’s Single Vineyard Block 19 and 20 Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Region: Hilltops RRP: $40 Distributor: McWilliam’s Wines Tasting note: Incredible dark purple colour. Aromas of mocha, cedar, spice and subtle oak. Flavours of chocolate, blackcurrant and a touch of liquorice. Rounded palate and tannin structure leads to a long and earthy finish.
Houghton The Bandit Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Region: Frankland River RRP: $19.99 Distributor: Accolade Wines Tasting note: Aromas of cedar, cassis, opulent fruit and spice. Refined texture. Bright fruit, oak and savoury flavours. Would match well with cured meats. Good value cabernet.
Hamelin Bay Five Ashes Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Region: Margaret River RRP: $29.50 Distributor: Inglewood Wine Merchants Tasting note: Colour is starting to show some age. Rich and expressive nose of bramble, spice and subtle oak. Juicy fruit flavour and a touch of chocolate. Fine, firm tannins lead to a spicy finish.
Fermoy Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Fraser Gallop Estate Parterre Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Evans & Tate Redbrook Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
The Evans & Tate Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Region: Margaret River RRP: $40 Distributor: Fermoy Estate Tasting note: Deep purple with a bright crimson edge. Earthy, cigar notes on the nose. Intense tobacco and smoky flavours. Mouth coating tannins. Long, long finish.
Region: Margaret River RRP: $42 Distributor: Domaine Wine Shippers Tasting note: A blend of cabernet (85 per cent), petit verdot (seven per cent), merlot (four per cent) and malbec (four per cent). Wonderful aromas of cedar oak, chocolate and tobacco. A delicious and earthy palate, with layers of fruit, spice and oak. Mouth coating tannins.
Region: Margaret River RRP: $49 Distributor: McWilliam’s Wines Tasting note: Bright purple in colour. A blend of spices, oak and dried fruit - raisins and currants, on the nose. Mouthwatering acid. Juicy fruit flavours with some secondary tobacco notes. Nice tannin structure leads to a long finish. Good cellaring potential.
Region: Margaret River RRP: $100 Distributor: McWilliam’s Wines Tasting note: Beautifully balanced nose of cigar, Christmas spice, oak and stewed plums. Supple texture, still showing fresh fruit flavours. Great tannin structure is at the core of this wine. Put this one away for a few years and reap the rewards.
MULTI-REGIONAL Hardys Thomas Hardy Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (available from May) Region: Margaret River RRP: $130 Distributor: Accolade Wines Tasting note: A wonderfully structured and elegant wine. Deep crimson in colour and a bright, cherry aroma. Silky tannins uphold red berry fruit flavours, dark chocolate, spice and a hint of liquorice.
Hardys HRB Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Region: Margaret River, Coonawarra and Frankland River RRP: $40 Distributor: Accolade Wines Tasting note: Ruby red, bright and lively. A blend of chocolate mint richness and cassis. The wine is well structured with a powerful backbone. Will benefit from a few years in the cellar, vbut ready and willing now.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ON-PREMISE SPECIALIST It can be confusing trying to find the right on-premise specialist for your business needs. That’s why we’ve done the research and brought you a list of those with the best and widest range of services including connecting venues to suppliers, designing menus, purchasing and ranging decisions, staff training, and more. By Hannah Sparks
he largest independent on-premise drinks specialist in Australia is 100Proof and was formed by three major wholesalers - Liquid Mix, Paramount Liquor and Liquid Specialty Beverages, mid-2016. The group describes itself as a one-stop drinks solution for restaurants, bars and hotels and looks after over 6,000 venues with the existing wholesalers continuing to manage the ordering and delivery of products, while 100Proof acts as a consultancy to customers.
General Manager Duncan Baldwin explains, “Customers are not looking for the standard fair. They want a personalised approach that acknowledges their differences and helps to make their venue be successful and stand out from the crowd. “Storing and dispatching boxes on time is great, but in reality, it’s now just a mandatory baseline. Our value proposition includes helping our customers to build beverage lists, train their staff, access real time consumer and category data, leverage technology
tools and create fantastic events.” One of the tools 100Proof offers is the Menu Maker; it features over 6,500 licensed products and can create your entire list in a single session. The group is working on a new website and an innovative new wine book, both due to launch in the coming months. You can get more
information by emailing email@example.com One of the oldest wholesalers is NILWA - the National Independent Liquor Wholesalers Association, which for 20 years has been partnering with suppliers to build brands in the on-premise. Representing independent, family-owned wholesalers, current NILWA members include Gateway Liquor Wholesalers, Novocastrian Wholesale Liquor, Festival City Wine & Spirits, Festival City Food & Liquor, Oz North Food & Liquor Wholesalers, GH Cole & Son, Rivercity Wholesale Liquor, Monacellars and D’Aquino Group. With a wholesaler based in each state and 28 sales staff on the road nationwide, NILWA can reach customers in metro and regional areas. Through its national Signature Drinks program, NILWA combines the service, products, promotions, training and knowledge of its members to assist more than 4,000 customers with their purchase and ranging decisions, providing a single and total wholesaling solution. National Group Executive Jenny Hughes said, “We believe brands are built in the on-premise and NILWA wholesalers are experienced specialists in this channel. We work closely with suppliers to develop effective programs specifically for on-premise customers.” All their information and contact details are available online at www.nilwa.com.au eBev is one of the newer players to join the market and brings a more contemporary approach to wholesaling. It offers both venues and retailers a free online portal to buy, compare, shortlist, order, transact, manage inventory, analyse performance and communicate with suppliers from, and claims that it takes just ten minutes to place an order on its website - www.ebev.com. 52|drinks trade
Users just need an active liquor license to get started and once signed up they will receive a quarterly report with metrics on the popular suppliers and products, wine varietals and price points for example, from the previous quarter. Suppliers can also use eBev to list and update product information and pricing, manage orders and track sales history. General Manager Cassandra McDonald said, “beverage managers find eBev valuable because they can search for beverages based on price, variety, region, vintage or supplier and they are able to manage and order all their beverages in one place. Suppliers say that it’s invaluable for getting their products in front of hundreds of active buyers.” eBev currently only has representatives in NSW and VIC, but can arrange online or over the phone contact and demonstrations to trade in other states. As it is an online platform, anyone in the country can access its services. Wine, beer, cider, spirits and soft drinks can all be ordered through eBev. The site already has an impressive list of 22,931 wines from producers such as Oatley Fine Wine Merchants, Winestock, Young and Rashleigh, Treasury Wine Estates, Bacchus Wine Merchant, Moët Hennessy Australia, Negociants Australia, Fesq & Company, Fine Wine Partners, Déjà Vu, Ergo Wines, Vintage and Vine, McWilliam’s, Red + White, World Wine Estates and Wine Insights. A new proposition to wholesaling and the first of its kind in Australia is Winescape (www.winescape.com. au), an online marketplace that connects buyers and suppliers of fruit, bulk and bottled wine at a fraction of the price of traditional distribution. Bars, restaurants and retailers wanting to buy
bottled wine to add to their lists or shelves can simply place a request on Winescape such as “looking for Margaret River cabernet” and Winescape will go out to its database of wineries to find the best match. The buyer will then receive a list of suppliers to choose from and can make an offer at a price and volume that suits them. There are no long-term contracts involved, and you don’t pay to register. For this service, they charge 10 per cent to the supplier for each sale, while a wholesaler would buy wine from a contracted producer at somewhere between 20 to 40 per cent below the price that they sell it for. Director Peter Allnutt said, “Given Winescape’s fee we have the capacity to return an increased price for wine sold back to the producer and to allow for the buyer to purchase at a lower price than would be possible from a wholesaler. Winescape’s mission is to return margin to those parties with skin in the game.” He added, “The other competitive advantage we have is that we can sell suppliers wine in places they might not have distribution. We also act as a one-stop shop for buyers and can help them source a wine list from around the country for less and quicker.”
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COMPLAINTS AND REVIEWS Business reviews for products or services are one of the most powerful marketing tools available. If you’re going to buy something or go somewhere, the most reliable indicator of value for money is the opinion of someone you trust who’s been there before or as a next best option, the opinion of someone you don’t know but who has used the service recently. By Walter MacCallum, a Director with Aitken Lawyers
t 54|drinks trade
ord of mouth – and it’s backed up by research – constantly tops the charts of marketing vectors for any product or service. And the rules around its use, on Google reviews and websites changed last month, as the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) moved to ensure greater transparency. Analysis generally reveals that almost 90 per cent of customers read up to ten reviews of a business before making a decision. Facebook and Google reviews are among the most popular, but there are plenty of other sites that competitive businesses do keep track of including TripAdvisor, TrueLocal and the lifestyle sections of any major news outlet such as Fairfax’s Good Food - but these are only a few examples. As of 1 March 2017, the AANA changed its code of advertising ethics to increase the requirement for transparency in online reviews and blogs so that consumers can “distinguish” between advertising and editorial content and to penalise those that attempt to disguise marketing or advertising material as, for example, user generated content, private blogs or independent reviews. Members of the public can now complain to the Advertising Standards Board if they believe a review has been paid for or is otherwise not authentic. If you own a restaurant or bar that hands out vouchers or other enticements to customers in exchange for Google reviews, you could be
explaining how the situation has been changed and offer the reviewer the opportunity to contact you offline, so that once you’ve made them feel better, you can ask them if they wouldn’t mind removing the negative review. If the review is simply untrue and you believe that it has been put there maliciously by someone who has not even used your business, say so. And flag the review in a complaint to Google, telling them that you believe that the reviewer is not a real person and that you are being trolled. If the reputational damage is much more widespread and causes you or your business harm, it’s probably worth considering defamation action. The Australian hospitality industry landscape is dotted with numerous examples of reviews of restaurants that have found their way to court seeking relief for defamatory publications. The most famous, because it was the first in 1989, is the Blue Angel defamation case where the proprietors of the Blue Angel restaurant in Sydney sued the Sydney Morning Herald for a review written by food critic, Leo Schofield, who wrote that his grilled lobster was ‘appallingly overcooked…leaving a charred husk of a shell that might have contained albino walrus,’ among other devastating criticisms. Customers and patrons of the restaurant stayed away and, to recoup its losses, the owner of Blue Angel took The Sydney Morning Herald and Schofield to Court and won $150,000, quite a sizeable judgement at the time.
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There have been many others since, including the epic battle of a review written in 2003 of pork belly served at Coco Roco, which the reviewer described as ‘the porcine equivalent of a parched Weetabix.’ Coco Roco operated two restaurants, and although only one was the subject of the review, both closed in the months following. The legal action lasted over ten years and went to two trials before juries, one before a judge, an appeal and a full High Court hearing, which ultimately awarded the restaurant owners over $600,000 in damages. Obviously, the levels of stress involved in legal action of this kind are best avoided, and prevention is better than the cure, so follow the rules regarding reviews on your site by keeping them independent and authentic, and if something problematic turns up, seek out the reviewer and work with them to have the review corrected or removed if at all possible.
The drinks association and Advantage Trade Survey is your chance to provide clear feedback to Australia's largest liquor industry suppliers. This is the only official survey operated directly by the drinks association and therefore is used by all association members. It takes just 5-10 minutes to fill in this confidential survey and on completion, your name will be entered into a prize draw to win one of 25x $100 David Jones Gift Cards.
Enter now at
www.drinkssurvey.com.au For further details contact Tel: 02 8282 0000 Gillian Silvestre: firstname.lastname@example.org drinks trade|55 Lisa Shelley: email@example.com
BROWN BROTHERS VINTAGE RELEASES RRP: $19.99 (Devil’s Corner Riesling and Pinot Grigio) and $18.80 (18 Eighty Nine) Distributor: Brown Brothers These new vintage releases from Brown Brothers scored the winery four trophies and two gold medals at the recent Tasmanian Wine Show. The 2016 Devil’s Corner Riesling, in particular, was named Best Riesling, while the Brown Brothers 18 Eighty Nine Sauvignon Blanc 2016 won Best Sauvignon Blanc and Devil’s Corner Pinot Grigio 2016 picked up a gold medal. You can’t beat the quality of these wines at this price. They all have varietal driven characteristics, beautiful aromatics and approachable, yet distinctive flavours.
RRP: $29.00 Distributor: Young & Rashleigh Wine Merchants (ACT), Inglewood Wine Merchants (NSW), Thomas Chin (NT), The Wine Tradition (QLD), Empire Liquor (SA), David Johnstone and Associates (TAS), The Wine Company (VIC) and Off The Vine (WA) Another of d’Arenberg’s characteristically left of field wine names might grab the attention of some, but what is of real interest about this wine is that it is made from the mencia grape, a varietal rarely grown in Australia with only two McLaren Vale producers having a go (d’Arenberg being one of them). The red mencia grape (pronounced men-thee-ah) hails from Spain and often impresses drinkers with its strong fragrances and earthiness. d’Arenberg describes this wine as “super aromatic,” with “flowery aromas, strawberry, raspberry, cherry ripe and pomegranate, finished with a dusting of finely grounded white pepper.” As for the name, it’s a reference to an age first coined in the 1950s, which highlights humanity’s impact on the planet and is relevant because this is the first wine that d’Arenberg has highlighted its commitment to environmental sustainability by including its biodynamic and organic grape growing practices on the label.
THE DARK HORSE CABERNET AND CHARDONNAY RRP: $23.00 (each) Distributor: Oatley Fine Wine Merchants The five star James Halliday rated winery, Rymill Coonawarra, has released the 2015 vintage of its acclaimed The Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon as well as an inaugural 2016 Chardonnay under the same label. Chardonnay is very much back in vogue and the first release of this estate grown wine is “fruity, juicy, enjoyable” and “able to match with so many dishes,” winemaker Sandrine Gimon said. The last vintage of this cabernet received stellar reviews from critics including Campbell Mattinson, David Ellis and Michelle Reedy and the new vintage has already received a gold medal at the 2016 Limestone Coast Wine Show. It has just as much generosity as its predecessors with “all the layers of fruit and the kind of complexity” you would hope for in a Coonawarra cab, Gimon added.
DOWN THE LANE ALTERNATIVE WINE RANGE RRP: $12.00 (each) Distributor: De Bortoli Wines A number of Australian wine producers are tinkering around with alternative varietals at the moment and now comes this new range from De Bortoli. Down The Lane includes a 2016 Pinot Grigio Arneis, which blends the betterknown varietal of the two and one of Italy’s popular grapes, while the Rosé Gris de Gris 2016 is simply French for ‘dry pinot gris rosé’. The last is a 2015 Shiraz Tempranillo, a blend of an Australian and Spanish favourite to create a deep and brooding wine. They are all affordable, approachable and great food wines.
THE ANTHROPOCENE EPOCH MENCIA 2016
LA BOHÈME CUVÉE BLANC NV
RRP: $23.99 Distributor: De Bortoli Wines De Bortoli’s La Bohème wines are inspired by the famous theatrical opera. With a number of still wines already in the range, the family decided it was time to add a sparkling as a prelude to the show. The cuvée is a blend of vintage and reserve wines and made in the Yarra Valley – the inaugural release features drops from 2007 to 2015. The wine has lifted and complex aromas of citrus, hazelnuts and brioche. Finesse and complexity continue onto a lively palate with good weight and balance. Drinking best now.
NEW T’GALLANT RANGE RRP: $18.99 (each) Distributor: Treasury Wine Estates Victorian brand T’Gallant has launched a new range of wines including a pinot grigio, rosé, moscato and red blend of tempranillo graciano shiraz, targeted at 25 to 35 year olds. The wines are fresh, approachable and foodfriendly, made for casual get-togethers and celebrations - two occasions this demographic is most likely to consume wine at. Research also shows that these varietals are the most popular among consumers currently, with pinot grigio the fastest growing white wine, up by 17 per cent, while rosé continues to experience huge growth, up by 42 per cent in the last year. Moscato is growing steadily, up by two per cent, while tempranillo blends are growing by 30 per cent.
LAURENT-PERRIER LA CUVÉE
PENNY’S HILL 2015 VINTAGE RELEASES RRP: $25.00 (cabernet) and $35.00 (grenache) Distributor: Mezzanine Wine Penny’s Hill won Best Australian Red at the Mundus Vini Grand International Wine Awards in Germany with its 2015 Malpas Road Merlot and has now released two more great looking wines from the same vintage. The 2015 Edwards Road Cabernet Sauvignon and 2015 The Experiment Grenache have both been grown from a single vineyard on the family’s estate and are strong expressions of their site and terroir. The cabernet shows plenty of generosity of fruit flavour, supported by oak and fine long tannins. The grenache shows fruit purity and additional flavours of liquorice, cinnamon and subtle savoury notes. 58|drinks trade
RRP: $69.95 Distributor: Winestock Available in Australia from August 2017, La Cuvée is the latest wine from Champagne Laurent-Perrier and the new flagship style chosen for the house, replacing the Brut. La Cuvée is an expression of purity, freshness and elegance - Laurent-Perrier’s core characteristics. Unique to the Champagne is the high proportion of chardonnay (50-55 per cent) and 100+ different crus (vineyards) used in the blend to create the finest grape juice. It has fine bubbles and a persistent mousse and a nose of fresh citrus and white flowers. On the palate there are vine peach and white fruits notes. Recommended as an aperitif and served between eight and ten degrees Celcius.
WINE SALTON INTENSO GLERA - BRAZILIAN SPARKLING RRP: $22.00 Distributor: Expedition Trade
PASSING CLOUDS GRAEME’S SHIRAZ CABERNET RRP: $34.00 Distributors: Passing Clouds (nationally), Growers Armada (Victoria) and Vinsight (New South Wales) Passing Clouds is relaunching its flagship estate wine; an elegant and sophisticated shiraz cabernet from Bendigo. This wine has been made every vintage since 1980 in honour of founder Graeme Leith, and this time it comes in a newly packaged bottle. A superb balance of shiraz and cabernet, the palate is juicy and complex.
In Australia, Brazilian wines are often overshadowed by other international markets such as Europe, Chile and South Africa, yet it is the fifth largest wine producer in the Southern Hemisphere, home to over 1,100 wineries. Vinícola Salton is one of the most famous and the country’s largest producer of sparkling wine. Something new for consumers to try - this year the winery relaunched into Australia with its Salton Intenso Glera (prosecco). It’s light and refreshing with well-balanced acidity. It has fruity aromas with notes of apple, pear and citrus, plus some floral nuances.
GARTELMANN SARAH ELIZABETH CHARDONNAY AND JESSICA VERDELHO RRP: $22.00 (chardonnay) and $27.00 (verdelho) Distributor: Gartelmann Wines Gartelmann Wines has released two new products, the 2015 Gartelmann Sarah Elizabeth Chardonnay and 2016 Gartlemann Jessica Verdelho. The new wines have been made by Hunter Valley winemaker Liz Jackson and named in honour of owner Jan Gartelmann’s mother Jessica and daughter Sarah. The verdelho offers a nice alternative to sauvignon blanc that goes well with seafood and spicy food, while the chardonnay is a much richer style with well-balanced oak.
YALUMBA’S THE CALEY 2012 RRP: $350.00 Distributor: Samuel Smith and Son Yalumba, the ‘personification’ of the Barossa, is our oldest family winery; founded by current Chairman Robert Hill-Smith’s ancestor, Samuel Smith, back in 1849. Through all manner of ups and downs, they have weathered turbulent times and done so much more for our wine industry than only sell a few cases of good booze. So when Robert calls, the industry comes. And call he did. A new wine, shrouded in secrecy, would be released. At one stage, the itinerary included both Coonawarra and Barossa, so even the most dimwitted among us twigged that a cabernet/shiraz blend was on the cards. For a producer with such a long and fabled history, they do not have a wine that sits - at least in public perception - with such icons as Grange and Hill of Grace. Until now, perhaps? Behold Yalumba’s 2012 ‘The Caley’ ($350 a bottle, with about 500 cases made). The fruit, the best Yalumba has to offer - 52 per cent Coonawarra cabernet and 48 per cent Barossa shiraz, all drawn from special sites – a portion of the Menzies vineyard for the cabernet and two patches in the Barossa for the shiraz, one planted in 1971 and the other in 1901. Nearly two years in French barriques coopered at Yalumba, then three more years in bottle. It will be an annual release, vintage conditions permitting. In qualitative terms, there’s no question that this wine sits comfortably alongside our aforementioned icons. It is a wine of great intensity and yet it dances across the palate. Finely balanced; supple, silky tannins; and rich, darker fruit notes. Alluringly fragrant, it is a wine with a most promising future (for me, 97). Read the full review by Ken Gargett, wine writer and expert online at www.drinksbulletin.com.au
CRICKETERS ARMS SESSION ALE RRP: $20.00 (six-pack) and $55.00 (case) Distributor: Asahi Premium Beverages
BEER & CIDER
Cricketers Arms Session Ale is the latest mid-strength craft offering from Asahi Premium Beverages. Made in Melbourne, the 3.5% ABV brew joins other Cricketers Arms beers – Keeper’s Lager, Spearhead Pale Ale and Scorcher Summer Ale. The new release provides drinkers of the segment with a craft beer that doesn’t lose out on flavour. Boasting three types of Australian hops including Super Pride, Cascade and Amarillo, Session Ale is full flavoured, not too bitter and balanced with full malt character.
HAWKERS BREWERY HOP SERIES IPA AND IIPA RRP: IPA $22 (six-pack) / IIPA $7-8 (bottle) Distributor: Hawkers Brewery Hawkers Brewery IPAs just got bigger. The team has released two in the style including a bold IIPA - that means double the fruity flavour and a whopping 9% ABV. If you’re hoppy about hops, this one features Simcoe, Centennial, Amarillo, Mosaic and Cascade and is recommended with game, grilled meet or strong flavoured cheeses. The IPA (with one less I) is the first in the brewery’s Hop Series and has been made in collaboration with hops supplier Barth Haas to showcase one of its favourite from Germany – Mandarina Bavaria, which gives the beer big tangerine, orange peel and citrus notes.
MOUNTAIN GOAT BARREL BREED PLUM SOUR ALE RRP: $25.00 (750ml bottle) Distributor: Asahi Premium Beverages Mountain Goat Beer has created another brew under its Barrel Breed program and with a little help from Lark Distillery in Tasmania this time around. This new beer is a plum sour ale, made with Tasmanian plums and aged for a year in Lark Distillery barrels. It has a purple haze and an aroma of plum and oak. The flavour is refreshingly tart with some residual sweetness. The inaugural beer from the program, a barley wine, won Champion Beer of Show at the 2015 Australian International Beer Awards. There are extremely limited numbers of the second release – only 250 bottles - so place your orders quickly. 60|drinks trade
FURY & SON GRAPEFRUIT SESSION ALE RRP: $21.99 (six-pack) Distributor: Fury & Son Brewing Company This new Melbourne boutique craft brewery has taken its version of a lightly hopped session ale and added freshly squeezed grapefruit juice from Mildura, Victoria. The Grapefruit Session Ale is the perfect thirstquencher and demonstrates the delicate balance between sweet and tart flavours. There are only 27 kegs and 100 cases available.
BEER & CIDER THE CIDER LAB RRP: $20.00 (six-pack) Distributor: Asahi Premium Beverages
ROSIE’S SUMMER PUNCH RRP: $21.00 (six-pack) Distributor: Nomad Brewing Company The popular crew at Nomad Brewing has added native Rosella hibiscus flowers to a sour berliner weisse to create a new Summer Punch. The hibiscus flowers give the beer a pinkish colour and citrus aroma. It’s refreshing and has an interesting tangy flavour and finishes quite dry.
According to research conducted by Asahi, many Australian consumers are still confused by the cider category and drink it mainly only in summer. This prompted the business late last year to seek advice from its internal teams, cider makers and external winemakers to develop a new range of ciders that aim to challenge perceptions by showing consumers that cider can offer a variety of different styles and flavour profiles and be enjoyed throughout the year. The Cider Lab ciders are made from premium fruit including Pink Lady Apples, Royal Gala Apples and Packham Pears, which are also the names of the products, to create flavoursome profiles without concentrates or added sugar. Featured on the labels are also taste indicators to help consumers choose between the three ciders based on sweetness and tartness levels.
ORCHARD THIEVES CRISP APPLE CIDER RRP: $18.00 (six-pack) and $53.00 (case) Distributor: Drinks Works Australia
FURPHY BEER IN CANS Distributor: Lion RRP: $53 (case) The popular Victorian Furphy Refreshing Ale will be available in cans from the end of April. The beer launched in 2014 and is made at the Little Creatures Geelong Brewery, using locally sourced ingredients. Its flavour profile was inspired by the light German kölsch style and is clean, crisp and delicate with fruity flavours and aromas.
UK and Heineken-owned cider brand Orchard Thieves launched in the Australian market in March. It’s a premium cider with 4.5% ABV and a flavour profile that’s balanced in sweetness and crispness, finding a middle ground between the sweet ciders of the past and drier, less-approachable ciders. Orchard Thieves Crisp Apple Cider is available to both on and offpremise trade.
SPIRITS & LIQUEURS
PATIENT WOLF PREMIUM DRY GIN RRP: $85.00 Distributor: Patient Wolf (or Paramount Liquor for wholesale) Patient Wolf is a new Australian gin brand based out of Brunswick, Melbourne and made by renowned Master Distiller Anders Bilgram, who travelled across the world from the Nordisk Branderi distillery in Denmark to work on the brand. The recipe has been created with the help of international still makers, gin experts, craft producers and even farmers who supply the botanicals. It uses a mix of native and exotic ingredients such as ruby grapefruit, native aniseed myrtle and tonka beans from South America, plus Australian citrus, pure water and innovative distilling techniques. The spirit pushes new world flavours but keeps juniper at the backbone, an important element when defining gin to consumers and mixing with tonic or in cocktails.
KOVAL SPIRITS RRP: $82.99 (Dry Gin), $94.99 (Barreled Gin), $95.99 (Barreled Peach Brandy) Distributor: Noble Spirits Sydney-based spirits importer and distributor, Noble Spirits, is now ranging the KOVAL distillery’s Dry Gin, Barreled Gin and Barreled Peach Brandy in Australia. KOVAL was the first distillery to open in Chicago, US since the mid-1800s and has won multiple international awards for its spirits. Its Dry Gin was the most highly awarded American gin in 2015.
RATHER ROYAL GIN RRP: $129.00 Distributor: Distillery Botanica Rather Royal Gin is a special limited edition release made in collaboration with Distillery Botanica and the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. Master Distiller Philip Moore worked closely with the Garden’s Director of Horticulture Jimmy Turner to select unique botanicals from famous landmarks such as Pope John Paul roses, mandarin leaf, lemon verbena, horehound, curry leaves, lovage and chamomile. Using the age-old technique of enfleurage, Moore was able to cold extract the perfumes from each to create a highly aromatic, drinkable equivalent of the gardens. Only 1,000 handcrafted bottles have been made and proceeds from sales of the gin will go towards conservation programs such as seed collection and seed banking run by the Royal Botanic Garden to protect the future of such plants.
KOVAL DRY GIN Multi-award winning KOVAL Dry Gin is made with a unique variety of woodland spices. Juniper and wildflowers envelop the nose, while the taste is dry, yet vibrant. The round, floral body is clean and nuanced by emerald grasses, golden citrus and white pepper. This dry gin is crisp enough to enjoy straight and in cocktails, both classic and contemporary. KOVAL BARRELED GIN Crafted with the same prized recipe as the Dry Gin, KOVAL Barreled Gin adds a new level of citrus and spice with a light butterscotch sweetness that comes from its maturation in a KOVAL whisky barrel. A marriage of botanicals and oak, KOVAL Barreled Gin is crisp enough to be enjoyed straight or to add depth in a classic cocktail. SUSAN FOR PRESIDENT BARRELED PEACH BRANDY This brandy pays homage to KOVAL’s co-founder and president Sonat Birnecker Hart’s aunt Susan. It’s both ethereal and delicate. The nose has hints of white tea, wild flower and bergamot. Whisky drinkers will appreciate the subtle, peppery entry, the soft essence of peach and butterscotch finish. 62|drinks trade
CHARLES OATES DISTILLING FINE APPLE BRANDY RRP: $80.00 (200ml) and $120.00 (350ml) Distributor: Willie Smith & Sons The makers of Willie Smith’s Cider in the Huon Valley, Tasmania have released a brandy under their new spirits arm, Charles Oates Distilling - named after one of the leading pioneers of the region. The release showcases the innovative ways in which producers in the Huon Valley are working with their apples. Fine Apple Brandy is made from freshly pressed juice, sourced from the surrounding orchards, which is then distilled in a copper pot still and aged in tokay, muscat and sherry barrels. The result is a smooth winter warmer, rich in colour and flavour with dried muscatel, cocoa, vanilla bean and lifted apple notes.
Distributed in Australia by: Baranows Emporium I firstname.lastname@example.org I 0407245243
Rudimental at Heineken Saturday
THE BUSINESS BEHIND THE BRANDS
HEINEKEN SATURDAY AT THE AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX
David Coulthard and Olena Khamula
Heineken launched its global partnership with Formula 1 this March and drinks trade got to attend the debut of Heineken Saturday at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. The event took place in the impressive Heineken Village at Albert Park Race Track, with prime viewing of the circuit, Heineken and the allnew mid-strength Heineken 3 on tap, plus live entertainment from international artist Rudimental and Australian DJ Hayden James who set the scene for an incredible party. We took it all in from the Heineken House, within the village, where we also got to rub shoulders with VIPs such as former British Formula 1 racing driver David Coulthard and Bachelor contestant Olena Khamula, as well as actors Kyle Pryor, Matt Wilson and Scott Tweedie.
Matt Wilson and Scott Tweedie
Kay Brothers in McLaren Vale prepping baskets
Snap! Wineries across the country have been busy harvesting grapes in their vineyards ready for vintage 2017.
Harvesting at De Bortoli Wines in the Yarra Valley
Hardys Tintara winemakers Paul Carpenter and Matt Caldersmith out in the Yeenunga vineyard with viticulturist Glenn Cheel
Early morning sunshine on chardonnay grapes at Handpicked Wines
The vintage crew at Hardys Tintara toast sparkling Sir James v2 as the first load of chardonnay comes into the winery ABOVE: Handpicked Wines Marketing Manager Imogen and sommelier Laura from the Sydney team helping with harvest in Mornington Peninsula
Bucket loads of grapes at De Bortoli Wines’ Yarra Valley Estate
Torbreck Vintners winemaker Scott McDonald checking grapes on The Laird vineyard in the Barossa Valley
SOMMS OF THE WORLD TOUR AUSTRALIA In conjunction with the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, Wine Australia invited 50 of the world’s best sommeliers to Australia in April as part of the Somms of the World program. The sommeliers were selected from the UK, US, Thailand, Japan, Spain, China, Korea, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia and got to tour the local wine regions, taste over 2,600 bottles of wine and meet our best winemakers.
TASTE OF SYDNEY RETURNS IN 2017 Sydney’s ultimate food and drink festival returned in March with 22,000 members of the public out in force. This year, we spotted some new wineries and distilleries as well as familiar faces from 666 Vodka, Banksii, Capi, Estrella, Mountain Goat, Mr Black, Tequila Mockingbird, The Cider Lab and Torbreck.
666 Vodka’s Ben Davidson, George Gotto and Karel ‘Papi’ Reyes served up cocktails for festival-goers
ABOVE: One of Sydney’s newest venues Banksii serving up vermouth cocktails
ENDEAVOUR TAP ROOMS OPEN FOR BUSINESS Endeavour Vintage Beer, owned by Ben Kooyman, Dan Hastings and Andy Stewart, has opened its new brewery, bar and restaurant in Sydney. Endeavour Tap Rooms is bring run in partnership with Applejack Hospitality and gives visitors the opportunity to see the product, try the beers and enjoy some local grub.
ABOVE: Mr Black Coffee Liqueur partnered with Ketel One Vodka to create Espresso Martinis
ABOVE: Mountain Goat brewery ambassador Rory Whittaker pouring beer at Taste of Sydney
A QUICK LOOK INTO THE WEIRD AND WONDERFUL, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN, ON LOCAL SHORES AND ACROSS THE GLOBE.
ALL IN THE NAME OF RESEARCH A former school teacher has completed a year-long pub crawl. Greg Tunn, 61-years-old, visited 35 hotels on the Central Coast and celebrated the end of his journey with the launch of Pub Struck, a book that chronicles the fascinating history and characters of the region’s cherished watering holes. When asked which pub was his favourite, Greg said: “Whichever hotel I was in at the time, because I was talking to someone, I was looking at a lovely view or I was playing cards. The fact that they were all unique made them wonderful.” To secure a copy of the new book, email email@example.com
Greg talking to locals at the Long Jetty Hotel
GIN IS IN FOR MEN’S GROOMING Mikey Enright, the mastermind behind The Barbershop, has created and released the first gin-scented grooming range for men. Enright’s Original Gin grooming products are made in Australia from natural ingredients. Much like the gins that Mikey is obsessed with, the grooming products contain 16 botanicals including juniper, bergamot, ginger, cardamom, coriander seeds and more. Mikey’s knowledge and personal experience working with the best barbers in the industry has helped him understand the desire to have a grooming routine at home that emulates the service delivered in store, making these products all the more relevant and exciting. Purchase them at The Barbershop York St and The Barbershop Barangaroo in Sydney or online at enrightsgincompany.com
A VIKING BAR AND FEASTING HALL Fans of the historical drama Vikings, or rather the Viking Age itself, are in for a real treat with the opening of Mjølner from The Speakeasy Group. This new bar and restaurant are inspired by the mighty Asgardian feasts of Valhalla, where the Viking gods indulged day and night. The feasting hall at Mjølner is devoted to whole animal cooking and carvery, while the bar features a mighty 400 plus whiskies. Mjølner, which is named after the Norse God Thor’s powerful hammer, is located in Redfern, Sydney and is marked by the bow of a Viking ship and adorned with a dragon at the front door.
ONE GLASS AT A TIME Coravin is the only tool in the world that allows access to wine from a bottle without removing the cork. This technology gives venue operators the ability to pour one glass at a time, while the remaining wine in the bottle is left unspoilt for months or even years. The Coravin system works by using a medical grade needle and capsule of argon gas to pour a bottle of wine through the cork. This helps prevent oxidation and increases the longevity of the wine. To purchase, visit www.coravin.com 66|drinks trade
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Published on Apr 21, 2017
In the May/June issue of drinks trade we meet Lyndsay Sharp, co-owner of a number of Victoria’s leading beverage brands including Flying Bri...