Published on November 11, 2007
Not a problem from either perspective for Tyrrell, one of the island-nation's leading family-owned producers since 1858.
Based in New South Wales' famous Hunter Valley, the Tyrrells are five generations into setting benchmarks for quality Aussie wines, whether red or white.
Nick Bath, Tyrrell's export manager, held forth for the family wines at a successful Landmark Hotel wine dinner last week.
"We have a record of international critical success with our semillon wines that is unchallenged," Bath told a sell-out crowd at the penthouse Rib Room & Bar.
"Consistency gives us a crown of excellence with that varietal, and we're proud to have followed it up with award winners in almost every other category."
Tyrrell is a marketing success among "smaller" Aussie wineries, having expanded from its original Hunter Valley origins to owning key properties in nearly all of Australia's major growing regions.
While selling the majority of its 500,000-case annual output domestically, the winery has also achieved major success in the US and Europe. Significant in Tyrrell's rise in the past two decades was a cash injection from the sale of its popular Long Flat supermarket brand several years ago.
Chief winemaker Andrew Spinaze, anointed Australia's winemaker of the year in 2004, has a deft hand with not only the company's semillon but its cabernet, pinot noir and shiraz as well, all of which have been consistent award winners.
His legendary Vat 1 semillon is aged on the lees (yeast residue) for extra body, but never placed in oak. Obviously the right formula, since it was Best of Show at the '05 Sydney wine exposition.
The RR&B dinner, under the guidance of Landmark executive chef Phillipe Gaudal, paired a mix of Tyrrell's extensive offerings with a well-chosen menu including mussel gazpacho, Alaska king crab raviolis and 240-day grain-fed beef.
His crab raviolis were the perfect foil for a full-bodied '06 Hunter Valley Semillon and its substantial acid backbone. The '06 pinot noir with a delightful pinot noir-based sorbet served as a smart segue into the main courses.
Chef Gaudal read the guests' minds when offering a double-barrelled treat of stewed beef cheeks and succulent grain-fed sirloin of beef with the Vat 9 '04 Hunter Valley shiraz.
Handpicked from a single plot yielding only one tonne of grapes per acre, it was aged in older French oak to enhance, but not overpower, the intense black-cherry and peppery character of the grapes. A perfect partner to the rich roasted flavours of the beef.
Landmark is making its mark as a wine-dinner leader.
For more information on the next Landmark wine event, call (02) 254 0404. Tyrrell wines are available from Vanichwathana Co at (02) 224 8044.