Great re­wards for th ose wh o stick it out

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Food - with John Jens

MOST Aus­tralians un­der­stand that the hours worked by peo­ple in the wine and food in­dus­tries are both un­en­vi­able and hor­ren­dous.

For those few in the in­dus­tries that go the ex­tra yards, though, the re­wards can be quite ex­tra­or­di­nary.

On the wine side, for ex­am­ple, if there is time avail­able from your work sched­ule, there are in­vi­ta­tions to ex­cit­ing tast­ings ev­ery week and on oc­ca­sion sev­eral for a par­tic­u­lar day.

Among the great tast­ings held at winer­ies this year was the an­nual 20 wine Cullen In­ter­na­tional Chardonnay tast­ing of the 2010 vin­tage.

On my card the Pen­folds Bin A (18.7 points) topped the first bracket, the Pen­folds Yat­tarna (18.7pts) topped the sec­ond and the Cullen ‘Kevin John’ (18.8pts), the Gi­a­conda (18.9pts), the Leeuwin Es­tate Art se­ries (19pts) and the Blain-Gag­nard Batard Mon­tra­chet Grand Cru (19pts) were the pick of the fi­nal bracket and over­all.

Shortly af­ter­wards at the An­nual Cape Men­telle In­ter­na­tional Caber- net tast­ing of 20 of the world’s finest from 2011, the Cape Men­telle Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon was the only Aus­tralian in my six high­est pointed wines – all at 18.9pts or above.

The oth­ers were Chateau Pi­chon-Longueville Baron, Chateau Palmer and Chateau Leoville-LasCases from Bordeaux and Or­nel­laia from Tus­cany and Far Niente from the Napa Val­ley.

Pen­folds hosted two great tast­ings this year just prior to the launch of each of their su­per pre­mium red and white wines – the first mostly from the 2009 and then the sec­ond, the 2010 vin­tage.

De­spite some com­men­tary, the 2009 Grange is very good wine.

The 2011 Yat­tarna is just a great wine and… oh yes, the 1964 grange was a high­light! The 2010 vin­tage reds lived up to all ex­pec­ta­tions.

The 2012 Yat­tarna Chardonnay and the Bin 707 Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon are just great Aus­tralian ex­am­ples of their va­ri­eties and I have no hes­i­ta­tion in plac­ing the 2010 Grange as amongst the great­est ever.

Pen­folds’ wine-mak­ing has never been this good and se­nior wine­maker Peter Gago will go down as both Pen­fold’s great­est wine­maker and as Aus­tralian wine’s great­est in­ter­na­tional im­age cre­ator – ever.

Cape Men­telle Es­tate di­rec­tor Cameron Murphy.

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