The Wine Man selects the best wines from the main wine producing countries carried by the most well regarded logistics companies. In keeping with the requirements of each style, we go out of our way to ensure stock is rotated effectively, stored properly and carefully transported to our customers. This selection will grow carefully, ensuring the offerings are of the highest quality to you, our discerning customers.

Argentina

ArgentinaArgentinian Wines are considered New World although in reality there is a mix of modern and traditional methods and styles here. Argentina is making the most of its, now, centuries-old, wine heritage: old vines and unique geography. It has notable emblematic red and white grapes (Malbec for big, fruity reds and Torrontes for aromatic floral whites) as well as many ‘noble’ varietals, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz (Syrah) and Chardonnay. Mendoza is the centre of wine making prowess accounting for 75% of production; San Juan is next. Yields are down, quality is up.

Australia

AustraliaAustralian Wines are considered New World yet that simple tag belies the sheer variety of wines available. Australia has a dizzying array of different growing regions with distinctive regional variations. Australia rose to fame in the wine world when they tried to make some Bordeaux style wines. However they used Syrah and aged it in American oak, instead of the usual French oak, that created the fruit forward, powerful Syrah’s we all have come to know and love. Many ‘noble’ varietals are successfully grown; Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz (Syrah) and Chardonnay are particularly abundant and have achieved many accolades, but there are also numerous other varieties from various geographical sources (due to immigration from many wine producing countries) which are also noteworthy, such as Semillon, Petit Verdot, and Riesling.

Chile

ChileChilean Wines are considered New World, despite fairly old vine stocks. They have notable ‘national’ red grape; Carmenère for aromatic fruity reds, which, for years, was thought to be Merlot, (though I cannot for the life of me figure out why they thought that as there is no comparison), as well as several other ‘noble’ varietals. Chile is particularly noted for Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The major growing districts are Central Valley, Maipo Valley, Casablanca Valley and Curicó. Interestingly, Torres (in 1979) and Rothschild (in 1990), two important family owned wine giants from the old world have invested enormously in developing their Chilean operations. The results are very interesting. A free trade agreement with China, couple to low production costs and dependable climatic conditions has resulted in a great opportunity to buy lovely wines, made in a global, friendly styles at very reasonable cost. Possibly the best value wines around.

England

England

Vines were introduced by the Romans but the general cooling of global temperatures since then has led to a steady decline in Wine-making. Amazing things have been happening in the last 10 years. English Sparkling wines have been winning Blind Tasting victories against French Champagne. Global warming has ‘helped’ by moving the northern limit of grape production further north. Red varieties are once again an option. With a climate similar to Burgundy, old rivalries are poised to re-open. English wine will face an uphill battle to prove their pedigree, given the historical, climatic and perception hurdles that will need to be assailed. It can surely only be a matter of time before English (and Welsh) producers get their, once again, highly acclaimed product to mainland China. Watch this space!

France

FranceThe sheer variety of French wine is dizzying. France retains a seemingly unassailable perch atop the wine world pyramid. An ‘old world’ country, France, has benefited from importing new technologies and techniques in recent decades, as it has sought to fend off encroachment from newer wine producing regions and yet it has also marketed itself very well in emerging markets as that ‘pinnacle of the wine world’ with a rich history and tradition. All the ‘noble’ varieties earned their stripes here, with supporting roles from numerous others which has created a palette more diverse than anywhere else. Bordeaux remains the most famous, with Burgundy, Rhone and the Loire close by. Prices have been driven by demand from emerging markets which has lead to an explosion in production and a general lowering of standards or massive rise in prices. Tread into the Rhone Valley, Alsace or Beaujolais to find wines like no others on earth and due to lower hype than for Bordeaux and Burgundy wines, priced better for it.

Italy

ItalyItaly has many closely regulated wine regions, a large growing area with variable geography and climatic influences, 1500 ‘permitted’ grape varieties and a long history of cultivation. Consequently, distinctively different wines are produced in a wide range of styles and quality levels. Generally considered an old world producer, Italian wineries have experimented with modern methods in recent decades. There has been a move to earlier maturing, easy drinking styles in amongst the robust and long lived giants, such as Barolo. Most ‘international’ varieties are planted now; often alongside native grapes such as Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Prosecco, Barbera, Dolcetto, Cortese, Pinot Grigio, etc. Worth noting the different names used for grapes, e.g. Grenache in France is Cannonau (in Sardinia, Italy). European economic woes are doing consumers some big favours and real bargains abound.

New Zealand

New ZealandNew Zealand (a ‘New’ World producer for over 100 years) has extreme geography and many climate zones influencing it’s vineyards. Both main Islands have extensive plantings of the ‘noble’ varieties. Regional distinctions are clearly apparent. A reputation for high quality has been achieved worldwide. Most highly praised are Sauvignon Blanc (in Marlborough) and Pinot Noir (in Otago). Both are considered world beaters. Unfortunately, that high quality often comes at a high price. High production costs in some regions or a patchy climate in others can lead to volatile prices. In China, we can take advantage of a free trade agreement with NZ which has enabled some wines to be found which are within the reach of most budgets and we time our purchasing of NZ wines to get the best deals.

Portugal

PortugalLight wine-making in Portugal has never quite achieved the same levels of ‘respectability’ as it’s neighbours in Europe and yet it’s fortified Port Wine is in a class of it’s own. Stuck precariously onto the end of Europe and particularly, Spain, Portugal became a fortified wine factory out of politics when French wines were banned during Napoleonic times to quench the thirst of Northern Europeans. They developed a very peculiar ‘fortified’ style that managed the sea crossings better: Port Wine was born. High in alcohol, rich in flavour with high levels of residual sugar the wine found favour when consumption for all things sweet worldwide ballooned. There are very many port wine producers and styles available and today Port has become one of the most enduring symbols of status and dining formality.

South Africa

South AfricaSouth Africa is pretty much planted with all the ‘noble’ French varietals, and Pinotage; it’s own emblematic red variety created from crossing the French varieties Pinot Noir and Cinsault. In fact SA has the 7th highest plantings of ‘vines for wines’ worldwide. Another notable success story in SA is Chenin Blanc; the white grape of the celebrated French Loire, whose sheer versatility makes it universally respected by growers; yet it is seldom sensational outside Vouvray. Here in SA it is generally made to a celebrated dry refreshing tropical style. Most activity is around the Western Cape, with the Stellenbosch region having a lion’s share of the prominence. Even though Wine production dates back over 300 years, the area is still considered a New World region. SA Cabernet Sauvignon is making a big noise too.

Spain

SpainThis old world ‘sleeping giant’ has more land under vine cultivation than any other European country but lower yields make the harvest proportionally smaller. It’s a matter of poor soils and low rainfall. Despite this, the country offers some of the most engaging old world wines around (and due to current fashion is very well priced). Major mainland growing regions include Rioja, Ribero Del Duero, Penedès and La Mancha (Valdepeñas). Tempranillo remains Spain’s emblematic red grape variety; Parellada for white. It is now common to see ‘French’ varieties too, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Named region of the year recently by an American online wine education site, Rioja still holds great values. One benefit, due to production rules is, you get to drink aged wines (courtesy of the winery) that, due to economic pressures to cut storage and thereby production costs, have simply disappeared from many other countries portfolios. Olé.

USA

USANorth America saved the wine world (to some extent) in the 19th Century when all European vines were grafted onto its disease resistant root stocks during the Phylloxera outbreak to which its rootstock was immune. Meanwhile, the USA has become a melting pot of  ‘noble’ varieties and imbued them with it’s American ‘terroir’, though Robert Parker, US and Global Wine critic and guru may have something to say about that. Chardonnay (generally with a stone-fruit core) excels in California. The cool North West states produces highly respected varietals from Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. The US even has it’s own emblematic red grape, Zinfandel (Primitivo, in Italy), whose versatility has led to various wine styles and a popular spicy version is a world beater.