Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Size Is No Bar to Quality

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Size Is No Bar to Quality

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDREW CAMPBELL ON WINE

TREASURY Wine Estates is hardly a household name yet it's Australia's second biggest producer with a raft of famous brands under its banner.

Treasury's complex corporate history goes back to the creation of the world-famous Penfolds in South Australia in the 1840s.

Eventually becoming the giant Southcorp wine business, it was bought out by Amber Nectar beer monster Fosters in the mid-1990s only to be demerged into Treasury in May 2011.

Last week, to mark Australia Day, I wrote about the dominance of Aussie-owned Accolade - which includes Hardy's, Kumala, Stowells and Echo Falls among many others brands. Treasury, whose production nearly rivals Accolade, boasts a raft of other well-known labels including Lindemans, Rosemount Estate, Wolf Blass, Penfolds and California's Beringer.

Like Accolade, Treasury pumps out millions of tonnes of decent low-cost wine but there's also room for top quality tipples including Penfolds Grange that's generally considered the Southern Hemisphere's best wine.

I start with one of Treasury's most familiar brands and the country's most widely grown red grape: Rosemount Estate Diamond Selection Shiraz 2012, reduced to PS6 in Asda. In classic Australian style, it's a good quaffing wine that won't offend but fails to excite. It's full of plum, cherry, vanilla and spice with a peppery finish.

I'm a big fan of Wolf Blass which produces good wine right through its range - particularly at the higher end.

Surprisingly Wolf Blass Yellow Label Sauvignon Blanc 2012 is far from its best. Priced at PS6.75 in Asda, it has a nose of ripe lime and tropical fruit but the lime taste leaves a lot to be desired. It's acidic and lacks intensity and the balance is no better than would be expected of someone after drinking a bottle. This is certainly not the sort of wine that made sauvignon blanc one of the world's favourite grapes. There's far better for the price from New Zealand and Chile.

Chardonnay dominates Australian white wine production and the basic version from Jacob's Creek sits alongside some of the world's greatest in the book '1001 Wines You Must Try Before You Die'. …

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