Bob’s Blog: There’s a lot more to Merlot

At a recent family celebration, I opened a bottle of Grand Cru Classe wine bought in Saint Emilion back in 1979! It was a Tertre Daugay 1964 and to our great surprise, it was still a very sound wine with those wonderful characteristics of an aged Merlot. Now you probably haven’t heard of this wine before but we bought it …

Bob’s Blog: Hermitage Cairn Rothbury Cemetery

We recently went to an important event in the Rothbury, Wilderness Road Cemetery, not a place I would normally hang about in. However, it was a gathering of people from the Hunter wine growing community present to see the unveiling of the seventh Cairn dedicated to significant historical sights and events in the area. An initiative of Brian and Fay McGuigan and others …

Bob’s Blog: 1st Release wine week – From Grape to Glass

‘From grape to glass’ to quote Pup Neeley as she summed up winemaker James Lusby’s description of the importance of the vineyard in making exceptional wines. In the run-up to our Around Hermitage First Release Wine Week, we have been conducting interviews and making short video’s with the men and women involved with the dozen vineyards found in our part of …

Bob’s Blog: Budburst, grape expectations & a warning

Over how many millennia have the expectations of grape growers been raised by the first appearance of leaves on their vines. The sign of a new vintage and all that implies. We share a common experience with the ancient Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Greeks and Romans and all who lived around the Mediterranian sea.Wine played an important role in early western …

Bob’s Blog: You be the judge

Well, we were all judges at the 2018 Hunter Valley Wine show on Friday 24 August. Not only were we enjoying some great medal and Trophy winning wines, we all had our opinion about these wonderful wines, and also the show system and how the judges came to decide on the medals and trophies. There were some 628 wines tasted …

Bob’s Blog: The Good Life an offer we can’t refuse?

People have been drawn to the Hunter from the early days of colonial settlement. Was it the search for the Good Life and all that concept entails? There is something about the land, the hills and valleys that gets to us, the vistas, the endeavours of people to use the land productively and yes the wine…it’s long relationship with the …

Bob’s Blog; Form the cellar or Bob’s folly

At the Dinners Club of 64 recently I served four “older red wines”, none under 20 years of age and all Cabernet Sauvignon. Surprisingly they were all traveling well for their age with the Leo Buring 1986 softened and taking on an almost Pinot Noir character. That’s the thing with Cabernet it needs age to become enjoyable rather than just …

Bob’s Blog: SACK AND A SACK OF POTATOES

It’s winter and I do like a drop of Sherry in my soup. Picking up a bottle of Harvey’s Bristol Cream the other day reminded me of my days at Bristol University and visits to the famous Harvey’s cellars. Sherry was still a very popular tipple in the UK and had been so for over 300 years. The story goes …

Bob’s Blog: SENSORY PERCEPTION IS SO UNIQUE

Visiting the Maitland Regional Art Gallery in the wet weather last week we strolled into the Open Collection Store which contains some 5000 paintings, drawings, prints and photographs stored in racks, draws and shelves. On display was a painting that stood out of a man in front of some sheds who had unusual glasses…in fact, the artist had used the …

Bob’s Blog: Why have Italian wine styles been latecomers to our tables?

Our Legend’s lunch this month featured white wines from Germany and reds from northern Italy, just across the border as it were. We really couldn’t think of any serious reds from Germany! The question was asked as to why it took so long for Italian reds to be appreciated in Australia. It may be that our pioneers were more Francophiles …