A “Wynn” for Australian Wine as Bordeaux invests in Coonawarra’s Top Drop

For the first time in the history of Australian Wine, Wynns Coonawarra Estate John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon and Jim Barry The Armagh Shiraz will soon be launched through La Place de Bordeaux  (Beyond Bordeaux) and distributed by some of Bordeaux’s most powerful and influential négociant houses.

These richly flavoured modern wines, both of historic significance, are well known by Australian wine collectors and media for their expressive character, regional identity and longevity. They have a longstanding reputation on the secondary wine market. For instance, they are both classified as Exceptional in Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine, the highest ranking in the collectable wine market.

When Wynns’ John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon and Jim Barry’s The Armagh are launched through La Place de Bordeaux in September 2020, they will join the company of Californian and Italian wine icons, in reaching a remarkable network of international fine wine buyers and collectors in over 100 countries.

This important milestone has been facilitated by Australian wine brokers Tom Portet and Emma Thienpont, who have strong family ties with Bordeaux. Their company Australian First Growths was established to assist and promote the crème de la crème of Australian wine through international sales and marketing networks.

Tom Portet said “The launch of John Riddoch and The Armagh through La Place de Bordeaux is a new chapter in Australian wine history. It highlights the increasing recognition and potential of Australian fine wine in the international market. It also gives us an opportunity to tell our unique story to the most engaged fine wine buyers in the world.”

2016 was a landmark vintage for both Wynns John Riddoch and Jim Barry The Armagh. They promise to enlighten and enthrall new collectors and wine buyers who access wines through participating négociant houses including CVBG, Borie Manoux, Louis Vialard & Joanne.

Emma Thienpont said “Wynns John Riddoch is one of Australia’s most visionary red wines. It exemplifies the modern era of winemaking where science, 19th Century ambition, a unique terroir and contemporary technology all interconnect to make something lasting and beautiful.”

The Clare Valley’s highly prized Jim Barry The Armagh Shiraz is favoured by collectors all around the world because of its aromatic complexity, richness, suppleness and ability to age. With its distinct voice of place, this single-vineyard wine represents a unique Australian terroir and family heritage. Tom Portet said “Jim Barry The Armagh Shiraz is an Australian classic combining power, generosity and elegance. It distils a strong family winemaking tradition, generations of winemaking and a feeling for a unique place. This highly expressive wine has incredible polish, balance and a proven track record for long term ageing.”

Wynns John Riddoch and Jim Barry The Armagh represent the highest level of winemaking and craftsmanship within Australia’s elite ultra-premium wine scene. The choice of these wines to spearhead Australia’s fine wine agenda through La Place de Bordeaux is calculated and deliberate to allow the best possible penetration and sales into multiple fine wine markets in a post-covid world! It is also timed to take advantage of a relatively weak Australian dollar and a noticeable movement towards value in the ultra-premium markets.

A pre-launch programme through La Place de Bordeaux begins in June when the market is primed for their release later in the year. Wine influencers and buyers will have the opportunity to taste the wines with Bordeaux negociants through various forums and private gatherings. This period of intense activity is intended to build interest and knowledge about these important Australian wines prior to their September release.

Emma Thienpont said  “Australian First Growths will steer these two great wines through the Bordeaux system with the intent of building the prestige and moving story of Australian wine. It may seem like a small step but this breakthrough is massive! For over 100 years La Place de Bordeaux has been the traditional sales channel for the most prestigious wines from Bordeaux, and now around the world.

By launching Wynns John Riddoch and Jim Barry The Armagh, a select number of Bordeaux Négociants have shown an enlightened belief that our best wines can compete with the greatest wines in the world. As an Australian living in Bordeaux, I think that’s very exciting,” she said.

Requests for samples of these wines can be facilitated via this Google Form.

Media Release: Australian First Growths www.australianfirstgrowths.com 

About Wynns Coonawarra Estate John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon

Wynns Coonawarra Estate John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon, is steeped in one of the great agricultural ambitions of the 19th century and it has earned its place as one of Australia’s greatest cabernet sauvignons through nearly four decades of modern vintages.

From the inaugural 1982 vintage, it has been Wynn’s Estate’s Flagship wine and made from only less than 1% of the top Cabernet grapes from each vintage. Based on older blocks of terra rossa vineyards that creates an ‘essence of Coonawarra’ style and so articulates the crowning qualities of the Coonawarra’s climate.

2016 Wynns Coonawarra Estate John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon
98 Points James Halliday “Densely coloured, its amalgam of cassis and bay leaf is held within a fine web of ripe tannins, the excellent vintage also helping shape a cabernet of the highest class.”

About Jim Barry The Armagh Shiraz

Named after the Clare Valley settlement north of Adelaide and founded by Irish settlers in 1848, The Armagh is an Australian Shiraz classic. The vineyard was planted by Jim Barry in 1968 and it has been a leading example of regional style – proving its place among the finest shiraz in Australia.

This contoured single vineyard yields well below 1.5 tonnes to the acre – creating the hallmarks of wine’s style of supple richness and intense fruit, balanced by fine, structured tannins and diligent use of mainly French oak in the background.

2016 Jim Barry The Armagh Shiraz
97 Points Wine Avocate “A wonderful taut tension between ripeness and acidity. The fruit here is a bit redder in profile, leaning more toward raspberries than blackberries, while still being fully ripe. Full-bodied and supple, it finishes cedary, intense and long, adding in complex, lingering spice notes.”

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