Grape Expectations: Stats and ladders

Max Crus
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(Songlines) Bylines Hunter Valley Semillon

(Songlines) Bylines Hunter Valley Semillon [©Max Crus]

Morris Liqueur Tokay
Cimicky Trumps (Barossa Valley) Shiraz
Water Wheel Memsie Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec Petit Verdot
Castagna Un Segreto (Sangiovese Shiraz)

Statistics show that women are safer drivers than men, and by miles. Of eight categories of each sex, the safest demographic is 25-29 year old women.

Men don't even feature until all female groups have been exhausted, with 60-69 year olds the safest blokes. From then on, well, it's a bit dull really.

However as Ms L. points out with relish, "I bet men still think they are BETTER drivers".

Correct. Okay, more men die on roads, but at least they do it while driving better than women.

Interestingly, wine is the same. Women are safer drinkers, but men do it better. I know this because it's published in 'The Biggest Book of Wine', the 2009 version of which is out now.

Actually, the Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Directory doesn't say anything of the sort, but that's about the only statistic it doesn't have.

The directory is my favourite book, and not because I'm in it. If Dickens put out a sequel to The Tale of Two Cities, the Directory would still be my favourite.

Not because it has fantasticly exhaustive statistics about wineries, winemakers, exporters, importers, vineyards, hectares, nectars, and spectres either, which it does.

No, the best bit is the revelation of the new upcoming grape. It's the league ladder and portent of our drinking taste, comprehensively stastistified in terms of old plantings, new, tonnages, litres and where it's all happening. Incredible.

Anyway, before we reveal this year's rising star, let's look at the top ten on the grape ladder (by area) : Shiraz is still king, followed by Chardonnay then Cabernet. Merlot misses the medals, Semillon holds on over Sav Blanc with the old dark horse, Sultana in seventh. Hot on the Sultan's heels is Pinot Noir by a nose from Riesling with Pinot Gris bringing up the rear.

So which grape showed the greatest percentage increase in 2008? Pinot Gris perhaps? Close.

It was in fact Roussanne. Gosh. But Sav Blanc gets the gong for shear growth in hectares by a long row.

So get on the Roussanne band wagon and tell people you read it her first, unless you have your own copy of the biggest book of wine.

Water Wheel Memsie Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec Petit Verdot, 2007, $14.
Despite the popularity growth, I couldn't find a roussanne handy so let's go with petit verdot, number 16. 8.2/10.

Tyrrell's Rufus Stone
(McLaren Vale) Shiraz 2007, $20ish.
All you need for winter is a big fire, a feed and a Rufus over your head. 8.7/10.

Cimicky Trumps
(Barossa Valley) Shiraz, 2007, $20.
Has compiled a book of back label stories? This would be worthy and a worthy wine to boot. 8.4/10.

Morris Liqueur Tokay
, $19.59.
You know how sometimes you just get 'shirazzed' out? This is a useful antidote. 8.3/10.

Castagna Un Segreto (Sangiovese Shiraz) 2005, $75.
Want to know what Un Segreto means? Me too, because it's not on the label. Yummy stuff that needs pasta, bolognaise would do. 8.6/10.

(Songlines) Bylines Hunter Valley Semillon
, 2008, $35.
Bylines used to be issued by gruff sub editors on merit, but things must have changes because eventually I got one.despite the spelling mistakes. 8.8/10.

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May 26th, 2009
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