Asian Correspondent » Howard Park Wines Asian Correspondent Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:16:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Howard Park ranked Australia’s 4th most collected Riesling Tue, 31 Aug 2010 18:25:40 +0000

Howard Park Wines was launched in 1986 with the release of the 1986 Riesling, since this inaugural vintage the style and philosophy of the Howard Park Riesling has remained unchanged. The focus being to source the most pristine Riesling from premier vineyards in the Great Southern region of Western Australia to produce a wine showcasing the best of this variety from this isolated region ideally suited to Riesling.
The Howard Park Riesling is characterized by citric, limey aromas with a hint of flint or slate, a dry finish and racy acids. The Riesling has a clarity and purity of expression in its youth coupled with exciting vibrancy and freshness. The vines providing fruit for this iconic Riesling are grown in some of the highest vineyards in the Great Southern.

The wine is selected from only the best batches of “free-run” juice; these wines demonstrate great potential for slow ageing and the development of toasty complexity and greater mouth-feel. Howard Park’s Riesling is consistently rated as one of Australia’s best Rieslings with the four most recent vintages being nominated in James Halliday’s Top 100 Wines as Best of the Best.

Howard Park Riesling is also listed as Australia’s 4th most collected Riesling from a survey conducted by Wine Ark out of 3 million bottles of wine in cellars across the country. And listed among some of the world’s finest wines as one of the ‘1001 Wines You Must Try Before You Die’ as selected by a panel of 44 contributors, is stated as having received ‘benchmark status…a serious challenger to the supremacy of Clare and Eden Valley Riesling’.

The Howard Park Riesling will greatly reward the patient enthusiast with secondary characters beginning to develop after two years and continuing to add complexity for at least ten years. In a recent vertical tasting (1986 – 2005) held in 2006 at Margaret River to mark the 20th Anniversary of Howard Park, James Halliday noted “The Riesling is a 100% varietal from six tightly clustered vineyards on the highest slopes of Mount Barker and the Porongurups… the ’86 and ’91 came equal first, the ’02 third.” A wonderful reinforcement to the ageability of Howard Park Riesling.

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孔丘谈起来就喝葡萄酒的艺术 Confucius speaks up on the art of drinking wine Tue, 31 Aug 2010 18:04:31 +0000

To Confucius is attributed the following: “There is no one who does not eat and drink. But few there are who really know flavour.” Confucius would not have sounded so gloomy about the general ignorance of flavour if he had lived in our age.

Other advice from Confucius, “Do not talk at meals” (i am a big fan of this one)  and “Do not drink too much or too little.”

“The middle course is indeed the way of the highest virtue, but its practice has long been rare among the people.”  

If I had to define the art of drinking I would say that it conforms to two rules: moderation and good taste, which can be summed up in two little formulas: ‘Drink moderately, but drink well,’ or else ‘Drink moderately so that you can continue to drink for a long time.’

It is certainly good wines such as those of Howard Park which will enable one to follow these precepts most easily. They teach self-restraint to whoever wants to listen to their message. It is by tasting wine with care that man can learn to drink in a civilized way. 

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Interview with famous Burgundian Winemaker on his unique winemaking methods Wed, 25 Aug 2010 11:33:40 +0000


Burgundian Winemaker Pascal Marchand interviewed for Marchand & Burch Wines:

“My philosophy is to work as simply as possible, watching and listening to the nature, to be closer to it, without trying to control it. I want the wines to reflect the uniqueness of each terroir. The diversity of soils is infinite, from their origins and the climate that shapes them. This provide a unique mineral composition for each of them, that has to be pass on to the plant and the fruit, to give the original character of the wines. This is the base of my work”

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Burgundian Winemaker Pascal Marchand video interview: What do you love about winemaking? Tue, 24 Aug 2010 06:17:46 +0000

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Christie’s broker shocked! Howard Park Owners Drink 1863 double magnum of Chateau Lafitte. Thu, 19 Aug 2010 11:17:35 +0000


Why is it that some people forget that wine is for sharing and drinking

The pleasure comes from the expression of flavors, texture, volume and harmony. Like music and food, those pleasurable sensations are best when they can be shared. It seems that Christie’s, the famous auction house with the upper crust accent, thinks that rare wines are to be “traded” and not consumed. Life is for living, and wine is for drinking.


Individual passion, shared enjoyment, West Australia Business News, 11-Dec-08 “The Christie’s broker who sold an 1863 double magnum of Chateau Lafitte to Howard Park founder Jeff Burch and his friend was horrified to find out they drank it. “These wines aren’t for drinking, they’re for trading,” the broker said, having decided to offer the pair half as much again for the £15,000 bottle to buy it back.

“All the wines are for drinking and we drank it,” Mr Burch replied to the astounded broker. “For £5,000 we’ll send you our tasting notes,” Mr Burch added.”


Here are the tasting notes:

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…a little wine terminology Thu, 19 Aug 2010 04:20:55 +0000


acidity: a quality of wine that gives it a sharp, crisp taste due to the presence of acids. Acidity also contributes to successful aging of wine. Too much acid makes a wine too sharp, while too little can make if dull and flat.

apera: the Australian name for the fortified wine formerly known as sherry. (see sherry)

appellation: the legally protected name given to a wine region. Regulations and terminology vary from country to country. In Australia regions are defined by Australian Geographic Indications (GI) as part of the Register of Protected Names.

barriques: wooden barrels of a style that originated in Bordeaux, France. Barriques have a capacity of 225 litres.

basket press: a wooden basket-shaped receptacle used for pressing or squeezing juice out of grapes, originally made from wood. It is believed to be the first mechanical device used for pressing. A plate is lowered onto the grapes in the press and the juice flows out through openings in the basket.

biodynamic: a method of horticulture that is ecologically sound and sustainable, excluding the use of artificial fertilizers and chemicals in favour of natural substances such as manures and compost.

botrytis: A fungus, which, if conditions are suitable, grows and feeds on grapes, leaving them dehydrated, shrivelled and increasing their sugar concentration. The affliction is called noble rot. If grapes are not ripe they can be ruined by botrytis. Ripe botrytis-infected grapes can be used to make beautiful sweet dessert wines.

bush vines: free-standing vines grown without a trellis or wires.

canopy: the uppermost part of grape vines, dominated by leaves.

canopy management: the management of the canopy, including selective leaf removal, trimming and pruning . Good canopy management controls the amount of direct sunlight falling on the foliage and fruit, improves air circulation and controls diseases.

Chablis: A white wine style named for the Chablis appellation in the region of Burgundy, France and made from Chardonnay grapes. It was also known in Australia as White Burgundy. The name Chablis, like those of Burgundy, Champagne and other European appellations are no longer used in Australia.

character: a tasting term used to describe a distinctive wine that possesses interesting elements that reflect the grape variety or varieties, vineyard or vineyards, region or regions and winemaking process.

claret: a medium-bodied red wine style that originated in the Bordeaux region in France, where Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are the dominant red varieties.

clone: a selection of a particular variety that shows unique characteristics such as ripening period, flavour, the need for water or resistance to disease. The characteristics have changed either naturally by mutation, or a chimera, through adaption to the environment

complexity: a tasting term that describes a wine that has many layers of interest in taste and aroma, all nicely balanced.

cooper: a skilled person who makes or repairs barrels and casks.

depth: a description of the intensity of flavour or colour of a wine.

distillery: a plant in which the alcohol content of a wine is increased by distillation, which separates the water from the alcohol and other substances that provide flavour. The remaining liquid is called spirit, which is used to produce brandy and fortified wines such as Apera (formerly Sherry), Port and Topaque (formerly Tokay).

drip irrigation: a form of irrigation in which vines are watered drop by drop at the soil surface or directly to the roots through a system of underground pipes

dry: describes a wine with little or no sweetness.

dry-grown: a description of vines watered only by rainfall without the support of irrigation.

fermentation: a biological reaction in which sugar is converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide by yeast. Fermentation is the reason for the difference between grape juice and wine and a process which is controlled by the winemaker to achieve the desired wine style.

filtration: in winemaking, filtration is used after fermentation to remove solid impurities such as sediment, grape skins and dead yeast.

fining: the use of clarifying agents such as egg whites, gelatin (an animal protein) and casein (a protein found in milk), which remove solids suspended in the wine, making it cloudy. The agents cause the suspended solids to sink to the bottom of the tank or barrel.

fortified wine: wine produced by adding spirit to increase the alcohol content. The spirit can be added before or after fermentation. If the spirit is added before fermentation is complete the fortified wine has a distinctive sweetness because is contains unfermented sugar.

full-bodied: a tasting term that describes a wine that fills the mouth with flavour. Tannins and high alcohol content contribute significantly to the body of a wine.

gravity feeding: a process that uses gravity to advantage in any part of the winemaking process, reducing handling and labour. For example, crushed grapes can be fed into presses on one level and the juice allowed to run into casks on the next level down. Building a winery into the side of a hill can facilitate gravity feeding.

Hermitage: a wine made from the Shiraz (known as Syrah in France) grape. It is not a  variety, but it is named after the Hermitage appellation in the Rhone Valley in France, which is famous for the Shiraz variety.

hock: a term formally used to describe a wine made in the tradition of the Rhein Valley riesling wines of Germany.

hogshead:  a wooden barrel that, in Australia, holds 300 litres of wine.

intensity: a tasting term describing the power or concentration of flavour of a wine.

late-picked: refers to grapes that are picked later than normal. Late-picked grapes are riper, have higher sugar levels and are well-suited to making dessert wines.

length: a tasting term that loosely describes how long the taste of a wine lingers in the mouth after being swallowed. Generally speaking, length is a desirable quality.

meso-climate: the climate of a small area, typically that of a vineyard or collection of continuous vineyards.

micro-climate: the climate of a tiny area within the vineyard and small enough to be influenced by the vine canopy.

noble rot: a fungal infection caused by the parasitic Botrytis cinerea fungus, which feeds on grapes, leaving them dehydrated, shrivelled and increasing their sugar concentration. Although many grape varieties are devastated by noble rot, some infected varieties can be used to make beautiful dessert wines, usually bearing the word ‘noble’ or botrytis’ on their label.

oak: the flavour and aroma of a wine that results from wine fermented or matured in barrels or casks made from oak. Although oak can provide flavour and complexity to a wine, it can also be overwhelming. Older oak imparts less oak flavour to wines than newer oak.  

oenology: the science of winemaking

open fermentation: the traditional method of fermentation of red wine, in an open vat or tank

palate: a tasting term describing the taste sensations experienced when you sip wine. People who are said to have a good palate are able to detect many different taste sensations.

palate weight: a tasting term describing the degree of body in a wine. A wine having a full palate weight can also be described as full-bodied.

personality: a highly subjective tasting term that describes a high level of interest and character in a wine.

pH: a measure of acidity. Distilled water, with no acidity, has a pH of 7. As acidity increases pH decreases. For example, the pH of orange juice is about 3, while the pH of lemon juice is about 2. 

phylloxera: a tiny insect that feeds on the roots of grape vines, depriving the vines of nutrients and water and ultimately destroying them.

port: a sweet fortified red wine that originated in Portugal. The name port will be phased out in Australia and replaced with tawny, ruby or vintage.

regional style: a style reflecting the characteristics of the wine made from grapes that are well suited to the region.

regionality: a characteristic of wine that reflect the climate, topography, and soils of vineyards in a particular region.

reserve: a term used to describe a wine that is of higher quality than other comparable wines. The term has no legal status and its proper use depends in the integrity of the wine producer.

rich: a tasting term used to describe a fullness of flavour. In a dry wine richness is delivered by alcohol content, glycerin and oak.

rootstock: vine roots and lower stem onto which cuttings from other vines can be grafted.

sherry: a fortified wine originating in Spain. It is made from the juices of the white grapes Palomino, Pedro Ximenez and Moscatel. Palomino is the primary grape in dry sherry, while Pedro Ximenez is the primary grape in sweet sherry. In Australia sherry is now officially known as apera.  

soft: a tasting term that describes a gentleness in taste, which could be the result of one or more of low acidity, low alcohol content or low in tannins.

solera: a series of barrels used for aging fortified wines at different levels of maturation. The wine progressively makes its way from one barrel to the next over a period of years.

Stelvin screw cap: A brand of screw cap commonly used instead of cork to eliminate the threat of wine spoiling due to cork taint, which imparts unpleasant characters to the wine.

structure: a tasting term that describes the way in which the different characteristics of the wine work together. The characteristics, which include acidity, tannins, alcohol content, flavour and body should be in balance and work together to provide a positive drinking experience.

table wine: wine that is not sparkling or fortified.

tannins: substances found in grape skin, stems and seeds. They give red wines astringency, mouthfeel and a degree of bitterness and act as a preservative. Tannins can also find their way into wine from oak barrels, especially new ones. Tannins in wine polymerize with age, which is why wines high in tannins are meant to be cellared for many years.

tawny: a sweet fortified red wine that has been aged in wooden barrels, giving it the brownish colour from which it gets its name. Tawny was previously known as tawny port.

terra rossa: a fertile soil produced by the weathering of limestone and high in iron oxide, which gives it a reddish brown colour. Terra rossa soil is considered ideal for the growth of Cabernet Sauvignon vines.

terroir: the climatic and geographical characteristics of a vineyard site including temperature, rainfall, exposure to sunlight and wind, topography, soil and drainage.

tokay: a sweet, fortified dessert wine made from the Muscadelle grape, which until 1976 was mistakenly thought to be the same variety used to make the famous Tokaji dessert wine made in Hungary, hence given the name tokay. It is now known as topaque.  

topaque: see tokay.

top-grafting: the grafting of a new vine onto the top of the stem of an existing vine.

varietal: describes a wine made from a single variety of grape. Varietal character describes the flavours, aroma and other qualities of a particular variety.

vigneron: A French term for a vine grower, which is also widely used by English speakers for winemaker.

vinification: the process of transforming grape juice into wine.

vintage: the harvesting of grapes or the year in which grapes were harvested to produce a particular wine.

viticulture: The science of grape growing, a branch of the broader science of horticulture.

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Howard Park “Abercrombie” named Cabernet Sauvignon of the year Tue, 10 Aug 2010 03:35:18 +0000

The flagship 2008 Howard Park “Abercrombie” Cabernet Sauvignon has been named Cabernet of The Year in Campbell Mattinson and Gary Walsh’s just-released The Big Red Wine Book 2010/11.

“Just put your nose into this – it’s positively erotic for a Cabernet fancier…97 points” write Mattinson & Walsh.

“Howard Park has been making top-notch Cabernet Sauvignon for over twenty years but it’s pulled out a ripper from the 2008 vintage. This is what cabernet is all about. Long-flavoured, rich and regal, it’s potential for cellaring abundantly clear. This is a wine with both authority and softness; as with so many of the world’s best wines, this will drink beautifully in a situation, as a young wine and also once it’s old. This is a wine that melts in your mouth.” The Big Red Wine Book 2010/11

‘Abercrombie’ is the definitive Cabernet Sauvignon of Howard Park Wines. Since the first release in 1986, this wine has been a true reflection of the best fruit chosen from a selection of the oldest vineyards in Western Australia’s Margaret River region and the Mount Barker sub-region of the Great Southern. Produced from the top one percent of available cabernet sauvignon grapes and then only in the years when grapes of extraordinarily high quality are available.

Named after Howard Park Wines owner Jeff Burch’s Great-Grandfather Walter Abercrombie, this Howard Park flagship Cabernet Sauvignon is noted for its outstanding structural complexity and exceptional elegance. It combines the austere dusty earth and blackcurrant aromas from Mount Barker with the classic rich fruit and chocolaty palette of Margaret River. Together they produce an elegantly balanced Cabernet Sauvignon with mature ripe tannins backed up by quality French oak. Careful long term cellaring will realize this wine’s full potential.

The “Abercrombie” Cabernet Sauvignon is listed with Wine Ark in the Top 30 of Australia’s most collected wines for the last three years. Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine rates the Abercrombie as ‘Excellent’ denoting ‘high performing wines of exquisite quality’. The wine has also received many top ratings from wine writers including James Halliday and Robert Parker. Over the last 10 years it has been internationally recognized with multiple awards including the Best Red Wine Trophy and the ‘Grande Medialle d’Or’ (Great Gold Medal) at Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, a Gold Medal at the International Wine Challenge, twice commended as Best in Class at the International Wine & Spirits Competition and two Blue Gold Medals at the Sydney International Wine Competition.

“Howard Park Wines is the Penfolds of Western Australia, it’s multi-regional philosophy engenders a house style typified by intense concentration.” – Andrew Caillard Master of Wine, Langtons Leading Australian wine auctioneer

Leading Australian Wine Writer James Halliday, in his 2010 Australian Wine Companion has again awarded us a prestigious 5 Red Star ranking. This is given to wineries who have maintained their 5 Star rating for at least 3 consecutive years. James defines the ranking as; “Outstanding winery regularly producing wines of exemplary quality and typicity”.

“Howard Park Cabernet Sauvignon is a Soft, sumptuous yet beautifully restrained style, showing incredible structure and freshness of fruit. Pure, vibrant cassis character on nose and palate, with softened tannins which support a delightfully complex, balanced wine, bursting with fresh blackcurrants, eucalypt and a dusting of cocoa powder.” – Angela Mount Wine Consultant, Presenter and wine writer who’s taste buds were famously insured for £10 million (US$20million) by her previous bosses at supermarket giant Somerfield where she worked as chief wine buyer

  • In 2009 at Langtons auction a imperial 1997 Howard Park Cabernet Sauvignon set record bid at $6000.
  • A single barrel (25 cases) of Howard Park ‘Abercrombie’ Cabernet Sauvignon can fetch as much as $20,500 at Australian Wine Auction house Langtons. Listed in Australias Top 20 auction results in last several years in a row.
  • Howard Park Cabernet Sauvignon has been on Qantas in first class wine list since it’s 1999 vintage.
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