The SOMM Journal

April / May 2015

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72 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } APRIL/MAY 2015 The view of the Vancouver harbor from Vancouver Convention Center. The New Australia THE VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL WINE FESTIVAL SHOWCASES AUSSIE WINES WITH BALANCE, COMPLEXITY AND BRILLIANCE by Randy Caparoso AUSTRALIA IS BACK, AND READY TO RECLAIM ITS PLACE AMONG THE countries producing the most prestigious wines in the world. This was the point amply demonstrated in vivid sensory terms by Wine Australia—the marketing and educational arm of Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA)—at the 37th annual Vancouver International Wine Festival this past February 2015, where the predominant theme was Savour Australia. Beyond the "Naughty '90s" The Aussies, in fact, made their case with a vengeance, bringing 55 of their most artisanal brands to the table, representing the country's five major regions and 16 of their 65 sub- regions—enough to show dramatic variations of terroir and contemporary style wines. Angela Slade, Wine Australia Regional Director for North America, noted that "it was time for Australia to come together to make a large-scale statement about our diverse offering today." In a seminar entitled "Shiraz: Aussie Superstar," Laura Jewell MW echoed the consen- sus of a panel she shared with three other Masters of Wine by saying: "People are stuck with an image of Australian wine which is very wrong for what's been produced over the past ten years. "There are numerous Shiraz producers achieving more elegant, lower-alcohol styles, many from cooler climates giving less ripe but more complex aromatics. Yet in a way, these producers are returning to older styles, which is a departure from the bigger wines that were more like a blip that occurred during the 1990s . . . the naughty '90s." Wine Australia's Aaron Brasher added, "Even the wines from Australia's oldest regions,

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