Some may recall a prior article (Tasting 123 of the best Australian wine; for $95) and wonder how inflation has effected things so drastically to justify a price increase from $95 to $250! Let me explain …
Langtons are the premium wine auction site in Australia and they release a classification of Australian wine about every 5 years. This is the 6th such classification and hence called imaginatively “Classification VI”. Previously there were 4 classifications, now they have rationalised into 3; exceptional, outstanding and excellent. For a wine to gain entry into the classification it must have been made for at least 10 vintages, and have the required track record on the secondary market.
Whereas at the prior event you could taste everything available, this time the organisers split the tickets, so for $250 you could taste it all, and for $99 you could only taste the bottom 2 classifications of wine. On the positive side they had every wine in the exceptional classification on offer, so it was still good value.
So it goes like this, you rock up, are given an engraved Riedel glass (to keep) and are let loose on the wines. Many wines are poured by the winemakers, although discussing anything of substance with them is near impossible as there are 20 other people jostling around waiting for them to pour out their nectar. Tasting everything is also an impossibility (I hope) so some prior planning is required to ensure you taste everything you want too, we started with whites and moved onto reds, finishing with the tawny.
There were a few additions to the overall classifications this time around, most notably for us the Rockford Black Shiraz which is a sensation and has featured in our blogs previously. Also back in is Lake’s Folly chardonnay which is one of the best coming out of the Hunter Valley, hopefully this does not drive the price up. We also enjoyed the emergence of some cooler climate wines that for us are increasingly adding a touch of class to the Australian wine landscape.
The combination of Riedel glasses and polished concrete floors offered up some interesting entertainment. As the night progressed the sound of smashing glass was heard above the murmur of the crowd as the (classy) punters lose control of their fine motor skills.
It was a wine wanker convention, no doubt, and we were very careful not to fall into that trap (here is how to make sure you don’t become a wine wanker). Lots of “so Bill how many granges do you have in your cellar ….” type conversations were overheard supporting the evidence of ww types in dangerously close proximity. The occasional smashing glass brought a few back down to earth with a thud!
We came across this bloke who claimed to pay the admission price to drink only one wine; the Seppeltsfield 100 year old Para. He found a spot adjacent to their stand and while we were there put away about a dozen or so glasses. He was suitably inebriated very early on in the evening so we think he probably got value for his entry fee. Not sure that’s what the organisers had in mind but, hey, he was certainly enjoying it.
In all seriousness a smashing night (excuse the pun) and great value, especially when you are sipping on wine that retails for several times the price of admission.
For the record the Exceptional classification now includes; Penfolds Grange, Bass Philips Reserve Pinot, Brokenwood Graveyard, Chris Ringland Shiraz, Clarendon Hills Astralis, Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier, Cullen Diana Madeline, Giaconda Chardonnay, Grosset Polish Hill Riesling, Hensche Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone, Jim Barry The Armagh Shiraz, Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay, Moss Wood Cabernet, Mount Mary Quintet, Penfolds Bin 707, Rockford Basket Press, Seppeltsfield 100 Year Old Para Vintage Tawny, Torbreck Run Rig, Wendouree Shiraz and Wynns John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon.
Author: Neal (The Wine Wankers)