Beechworth and other exciting Australians

Jancis Robinson, 26 January 2016

Excerpt below, the full review can be read on Jancis Robinson’s subscription site

“I feel extremely lucky to have been sent recently two particularly exciting collections of fine Australian wines from small-scale producers…….It was Karen Coats who was responsible for a collection that was really mind-blowing, wines from some of the newer, smaller producers in and around the atmospheric little old mining town of Beechworth in the state of Victoria, home of so many of Australia’s quirkiest producers……

Karen Coats is one of the partners of the tiny Virago vineyard and is treasurer of the 30-strong Beechworth Vignerons Association. Hardly any of them owns more than 10 ha of vines and some of them much less; this is small scale stuff indeed. I had the most memorable visit to Beechworth in 2002, ….. The most famous producer there is Rick Kinzbrunner of Giaconda, profiled in A most unusual Aussie after his visit to London last year. But he and the likes of Barry Morey and Julian Castagna have clearly been joined by a bevy of smaller, newer outfits….

I was particularly impressed by the Beechworth Chardonnays. They provided yet more evidence of current Australian Chardonnay proficiency as outlined in The new Pulignys of Australia. As for the reds, they were made from a wider range of grape varieties, with cool-climate Shiraz featuring, not surprisingly. What was more surprising was how impressive the Nebbiolos are.”