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JOHN ROZENTALS welcomes back Orlando, a label which gave him great pleasure.

November 28, 2020 Beverage No Comments Email Email

As an older Australian I’ll never forget beginning my wine journey with bottles of fizz such as Orlando Barossa Pearl.

Later I contnued that journey with classics such as the winery’s Steingarten Riesling.

Then the brand seemed to just disappear, swamped by an upstart in the form of the company’s newcomer, Jacobs Creek.

Now iconic Australian wine brand Orlando is returning to shelves with two ranges, The Legends and The New Heroes, capturing all that is great about Australian classics and introducing Australians to an exciting new range of fine wines.

In the hands of Chief Winemaker Ben Thoman, the new Orlando portfolio will feature regionally focused wines that showcase the best expression of the varietal, including iconic wines Steingarten, Jacaranda Ridge and Lawsons.

Raised through the inquisitive nature and determination of one of the founding families of South Australian winemaking, Orlando became a household name in the 1950s and 1960s and was recognised as one of the biggest producers of quality wine in Australia with over 1000 awards and accolades since records began in the 1980s.

Orlando led Australian winemaking at pivotal times in history, challenging the status quo at a time when fortified wines dominated the industry.

The visionaries of Orlando led technological innovation in Australian winemaking, for example importing the first temperature-controlled pressure fermentation tanks from Germany, which introduced Australia to a revolutionary new method of table-wine production.

“Orlando’s winemaking history, and the legendary name that comes with it, is founded on exploring new opportunities yet respecting what’s already been discovered and proven,” said Ben Thoman.

“I look forward to continuing this journey; maintaining the legacy of the wines while creating new wines for Australians to fall in love with.”

WINE REVIEWS

Orlando 2019 Hilary Adelaide Hills Chardonnay ($35): Purity and complexity of flavour are the keynotes with this dry white. The careful use of oak with premium Adelaide Hills fruit has resulted in a wine which is delicious now, but will reward with careful cellaring over the next few years. Look for nectarine flavours and creaminess. Drink with braised chicken.

Orlando 2019 Cellar 13 Barossa Valley Grenache ($35): a modern dry red that proves old vines can learn new tricks. Just like the Cellar 13 shed, this grenache shows that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, with fruit harvested from fabulous gnarly vines that are cared for by growers that have been selling to Orlando for generations. Look for red-currant colours and flavour.

WINE OF THE WEEK

Orlando 2019 Steingarten Eden Valley Riesling ($50): A revival for one of Australia’s most famous labels and forlorn vineyards. Austere citrus flavours herald a wine that goes well with white-fleshed fish and salads. The wine is also good on its own and an excellent keeper — like all good rieslings.

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