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Member eNewsletter

March 2011 Edition

Happy Anniversary Selector magazine! We’re excited to announce that Selector is celebrating 10 years of publishing excellence with the recently released autumn issue. Read all about this fantastic milestone below.

Also find out about how 2011 is shaping up in terms of wine. With summer’s floods and extreme temperatures it looks set to be an interesting vintage.

There’s also an introduction to the new Wine Selectors gift buying page and a reminder that we stock some of the world’s best water to complement your wine. Plus, don’t forget to book in for an upcoming event near you.

Have a great months drinking

Greg Walls

Greg Walls, Managing Director

A decade of excellence

Selector magazine is a true Hunter Valley success story, starting life as a member publication and maturing into Australia’s highest circulating food+wine magazine.

When the first issue, then called Australian Wine Selector, hit the shelves in early 2001, it was the amalgamation of two smaller publications: Wine Hunter and Le Vigneron, distributed to around 40,000 members of Australia’s largest independent direct marketer of wine, Wine Selectors.

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From the outset, the magazine was able to attract some of Australia’s most influential wine names including Len Evans, Bruce Tyrrell and Max Lake.

Striking a balance between the serious and the light-hearted, Australian Wine Selector started making an impression in the publishing world. In 2003 and 2005 it was nominated in the ‘Best Drinks Magazine’ category at the World Food Media Awards.

However, while the magazine was offering a hearty balance of insightful wine pieces, delectable recipes and aspirational travel stories, having the word ‘wine’ in the title was pigeon-holing it in a specialist category. So in 2007, the decision was made to change the title from Australian Wine Selector to Selector and add the tagline Life Food Wine.

Later that year, Selector picked up the Gold Ladle for ‘Best Food and/or Drinks Section’ in a Magazine at the 2007 World Food Media awards.

Selector’s latest approach to presenting the wonderful world of food, wine and life has continued to impress and it was named Consumer Magazine of the Year at the 2010 Publishers Australia Excellence Awards.

With its awards, accolades, a circulation of over 80,000 and the imminent launch of the Selector website, the magazine looks set to keep cooking up a storm!

Vintage Report from our Tasting Panel member Christian Gaffey

As I write this there are not too many areas that are in the full swing of Harvest. The one notable exception is the Hunter Valley which has all but finished its 2011 Harvest.

The Hunter started out in a fairly atypical way in that an extremely cool ripening period during November and December brought with it quite a bit of rain.

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At this stage of ripening, this does not cause the same level of stress as rain at harvest, however those without proper disease measures in place were infected with downy mildew which spreads extremely rapidly. Interestingly, when the dreaded downy looked to have a firm grip on the Valley, the heat finally arrived and those with good spray regimes who had hedged the vines to expose and dry out the fruit saw the downy retreat.

Fortunately, a solid two weeks of incredible heat sped up the very slow ripening fruit from an otherwise cool year. Many of the white varieties in the Hunter were harvested before, or just at the start of, the heatwave and the wines that we have seen so far are nothing short of spectacular. In some years, flavour is hard to find, but the long, cool ripening season of 2011 has yielded incredible intensity of flavour structure and acid profile of the white wines.

The heat spurred on the ripeness of the reds and some Shiraz unfortunately succumbed to the extreme conditions. A selection of the north-facing vines that were hedged due to the downy problem subsequently got sun damaged and some fruit was left on the vine, but this was minimal. Most reds developed flavour earlier than usual, with the only real negative being that the acid contained within the fruit plummeted quickly, as is the case when extreme heat causes the vines to shut down. However, this acid decrease is easily mitigated in the winery and the winemakers and vignerons of the Hunter Valley would relish this given the difficult years they have grown accustomed to. Overall, 2011 in the Hunter Valley looks like a standout year for whites and an above average year for reds.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for some areas of Australia where we have heard of total vintage failure with crops being wiped out completely by mildew or floods. Victoria has been hit hard by lady La Nina; she has reeked havoc in our industry and heartbreakingly, taken some precious vineyards. It is difficult to focus on fruit when so many have lost their homes, but it also needs to be acknowledged that livelihoods derived from the earth are a fickle thing and the weather can be a foul, ill-tempered mistress, so later this year and into the next I would urge you to sip your 2011 wine from wherever it hails and devote a tiny bit of circumspection to the people that rain, hail and hopefully shine work their proverbials off in an effort to bring that glass of goodness to your lips.

Give a gift of quality

If you know someone who appreciates quality wine as much as you do, a Wine Selectors gift is the perfect way to show you care. The fantastic range of expertly selected gifts includes mixed, red, white and Sparkling wines with added extras such as two-bottle carry bags, bottle stoppers and European crystal glassware.

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One of the highlights includes the Rosé and Sparkling gift pack which is a De Bortoli duo for just $34.99! Including the Willowglen Sparkling, the Windy Peak Rosé and a wetsuit-grade neoprene carry bag, it’s exceptional quality for those who love their wines chilled, fresh and ready to enjoy now!

Or for someone whose favourite tipple is crimson coloured, the Premium Red gift pack is guaranteed to hit the spot. It comes with the Grant Burge ‘Mariage’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 and the Tyrrell’s Heritage Shiraz 2007 along with four European crystal glasses from Schott Zwiesel to enjoy them in. All this for just $64.99.

You don’t have to drag yourself around the shopping centre looking for a perfect gift, Wine Selectors has it all wrapped up!

The finest wine complement

When you’re enjoying a glass of your favourite wine, why not partner it with the finest water. Wine Selectors offers some of the world’s best still and sparkling water at a very special price.

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San Pellegrino is a legendary sparkling water and one of Italy’s most prized exports. Hailing from Lombardy, this gently carbonated water has been produced in the region since 1899.

Or if you prefer still water, you can enjoy the smooth, velvety taste of Acqua Panna which hails from the famous Villa Panna in the Tuscan hills, from a spring located high up in the Apennine Mountains.

The Wine Selectors Tasting Panel prefers San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna when they’re tasting and recommends a glass of water for every glass of wine you enjoy.

Vintage Education Tours

Have you ever wondered how your wine gets from the grape to the glass? And just what does all that winery equipment do? Wonder no more as you unravel the mysteries of winemaking at a Wine Selectors Vintage Education Tour.

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Guided by an expert wine educator, this unique event takes you through the various aspects of wine production, right through to the finished product. The tour departs from Melbourne CBD and coach transfers are included in this fabulous day out!

Goulburn Valley Vintage Education Tour
Victorian Members and guests will be treated to a special trip to one of Australia’s most unique wine regions, the Goulburn Valley. Our first stop is Tahbilk, located in the Nagambie Lakes region of central Victoria, one of the nation's premium viticultural areas where you will enjoy a winery tour and tasting. From there we will take the houseboat down the river to Mitchelton, known as the Heart of Victorian Shiraz. Lunch will be in the Mitchelton Restaurant overlooking the Goulburn Valley.
This tour takes place on 20 March, to book click here.

Cheese and Wine – simply divine!
It's little wonder that when it comes to Wine Selectors events, the Cheese and Wine Appreciation Courses are the most popular. Very few people can resist the sublime match of quality wines with King Island Dairy cheeses. As well as matching some of your favourite cheese varieties you have the opportunity to sample some exquisite temptations you don’t normally find in stores. Book now to secure your spot at the following events:

Perth Cheese and Wine Appreciation – Saturday, 26 March at Citigate Perth.
Adelaide Cheese and Wine Appreciation – Sunday, 27 March at the Rochford Hotel

Refer a friend and choose one of three special gifts!

If you enjoy receiving regular deliveries from Wine Selectors, it’s likely your friends will too. Did you know that for every friend you successfully refer, you can choose a gift worth up to $159?

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Gift one – Nest Egg Shiraz plus 4 free glasses
Each individually numbered bottle of Bird in Hand Nest Egg Shiraz was made from the finest fruit from a near perfect 2008 vintage. This exceptional Shiraz is a beautifully structured red with complex layers of spicy berry flavours. It’s valued at $75, plus you’ll receive four fine Schott Zwiesel European crystal glasses worth $60 to enjoy it in.

Gift two – Penfolds Grandfather Rare Tawny plus 6 free glasses
Penfolds Grandfather Rare Tawny is a benchmark fortified wine with a luscious, full flavoured palate offering layers of intense raisin, walnut, toffee and rancio characters and a long finish. Its complex aromas and flavours will be enhanced in your six Schott Zwiesel European crystal liqueur glasses specially crafted to hold liqueur Tawny. Total value - $159!

Gift three – Pol Roger Champagne plus 2 free crystal flutes
The epitome of style, Pol Roger Champagne NV delivers layers of toast, strawberry, peach, cream and citrus fruit flavours backed by cleansing acidity that gives it remarkable balance and persistence.
Enjoy it in style with your two FREE Schott Zwiesel European crystal Champagne flutes. These fine flutes are used by some of the world’s best sommeliers. Total value - $135!

Refer a friend* today and when they join you can choose one of these fabulous gifts. What are you waiting for? Start referring today!

*Terms and Conditions Apply!