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New additions to Liberty Wines portfolio show that Australia is more exciting than ever

20th January, 2015

New additions to Liberty Wines portfolio show that Australia is more exciting than ever

We are delighted to announce the addition of four exciting producers to our premium Australia portfolio. As well as the new additions - L.A.S. Vino from Margaret River and Giant Steps, Causes & Cures and Four Pillars from the Yarra Valley – our selection from S.C. Pannell in McLaren Vale has been revamped.

David Gleave MW, managing director of Liberty Wines, says: “We continue to champion the tremendous diversity of Australia. Having spent years selling premium Italian wines when few people were interested, we’re not scared of championing Australia at a time when it is fashionable to be negative about Australia. The wines have never been better and there are few countries in the world of wine that can match the excitement generated by Australian wine.

“Over the past six months, we have made a significant investment into our premium Australia offering and believe that our recent additions - whether they be larger wineries like Peter Lehmann or small batch producers such as L.A.S. Vino, La Línea, Giant Steps and Steve Pannell, or the quirky artisanal Four Pillars gin and Causes & Cures vermouth – are all testament to just how exciting Australia is at the moment” 

The new additions to our portfolio are:

L.A.S. Vino, Margaret River
A new producer with classic credentials, LAS Vino is the creation of Nic Peterkin, son of Mike Peterkin of Pierro winery, and Shelley Cullen, Vanya Cullen’s sister. Nic did a Masters in Oenology and, following vintages in the Napa, Mexico, Portugal and Mendoza, started his own label. L.A.S. refers to the ‘Luck’ of the weather, the ‘Art’ of creating and the ‘Science’ that underpins this creativity. The result is a small quantity of high quality, hand-made wines.  Their debut 2013 Chardonnay (sourced from an organically cultivated 16 year old vineyard in Wilyabrup Valley) and 2013 CBDB Chenin Blanc Dynamic Blend (including 8% Viognier and 7% Sauvignon Blanc) are both barrel fermented using wild yeasts, with lees stirring and 10 months’ ageing in oak.

Giant Steps, Yarra Valley
One of Australia’s most admired producers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Giant Steps produces solely single vineyard wines, each of which is imbued with a real ‘sense of place’ (the distinctive character of the site, grape variety and vintage combined) that is achieved through meticulous work in the vineyard and minimal intervention by head winemaker Steve Flamsteed and his team. Their three main vineyards of ‘Sexton’ in Coldstream (owned and run by Giant Steps founder and owner, Phil Sexton), ‘Tarraford’ in Tarrawarra and ‘Applejack’ in the Upper Yarra Valley (run by 2013 Australian Gourmet Traveller Viticulturist of the Year, Ray Guerin) are producing some of the best wines in Australia from these sites. 

Causes & Cures, Yarra Valley
This Viognier-based Vermouth is made at Innocent Bystander by ‘winemakers with a curious sense of spirits’. For the base wine, biodynamic Viognier grapes were hand-picked, whole bunched pressed and underwent a wild ferment in French puncheons and barriques to 14% alcohol. The aromatic botanicals (wormwood, juniper, gentian, bay leaf, cinchona and Seville orange) were macerated separately in a fortifying spirit (a distillate of the biodynamic Viognier), which was then used to fortify the dry base wine to 17% alcohol and impart a distinctive herbal character.

Four Pillars, Yarra Valley
The small Four Pillars distillery was founded by Cameron Mackenzie (formerly of Innocent Bystander and Giant Steps) and Stuart Gregor to make the best craft gin in Australia. They started distilling in the Yarra Valley in late 2013 and produced a strikingly pure dry gin that is ‘modern Australian’ in style with a distinctly individual character. It is made in a 450 litre CARL still (only 40 of which are made a year) using an Australian wheat spirit as the base, enhanced by the addition of coriander, juniper, cardamom, star anise, lemon myrtle, Tasmanian mountain pepper, lavender, cinnamon and angelica, as well as fresh organic oranges. The gin was awarded two Gold Medals at the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, in a class of 92 of the world’s finest gins.

S.C. Pannell, McLaren Vale
Our revitalised selection of wines from S. C. Pannell shows how his style has evolved over the past three years. In 2014, Stephen Pannell won the fabled Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy, the most prestigious wine award in Australia, at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show and moved into his own winery in McLaren Vale. He now owns 36 hectares of vineyard and this control over his fruit has enabled him to take quality to an even higher level. Better viticulture has enabled Stephen to pick earlier and achieve a freshness in all his wines that he preserves by using larger, more neutral oak barrels. He has also received accolades for his classic Shiraz and Grenache wines, as well his more experimental Touriga and Tempranillo blends.