August 1st was our birthday and Dave Mullen Wines hit the 26 year mark – still full of enthusiasm and very excited about the quality of wines available and the challenges ahead.
This year also marks 20 years of importing Italian wines – another significant milestone, evolving from a very modest beginning following a trip to Vinitaly in 1998.
In 1998 at Vinitaly, I was fortunate enough to meet Nicholas Belfrage MW who at the age of 78 remains one of the leading Italian wine authorities in the world. Nick has been the best mentor one could ask for in relation to understanding and appreciating the range of wines available throughout Italy.
In 2006 we teamed up with Trembath and Taylor to distribute their imported Italian range in WA. Michael Trembath has been working with Italian wine for over 25 years and is regarded as one of the leading Italian wine authorities in Australia. Through Trembath and Taylor we have access to some of Italy’s top producers.
With the much appreciated assistance of these two fine men, plenty of perseverance and over 20 trips to Italy, we have developed one of the most extensive ranges of Italian wine available in WA. Our portfolio currently has wines from 74 Italian producers.
Our goal has never been to be the biggest Italian wine importer, rather to be the most important in the WA market, and every wine in our portfolio is there for good reason. All wines are selected based on regular tastings with now annual trips to Vinitaly (Verona) and Prowein (Dusseldorf) providing amazing opportunities.
Over the past five years we have specifically targeted wine styles at price points that we believe are best suited to our market. The ongoing success of wines such as Frascole (Chianti Rufina), Puiatti / Puiattino (Friuli), San Martino and Borgoluce (Prosecco) reinforces that we are on the right path.
We have recently added two new producers:
Lantieri (Franciacorta) www.lantierideparatico.it/en/vini &
Istine (Chianti Classico) www.istine.it
with stock from a further three new producers to arrive early October.
Our commitment to Italian wines involves taking the best possible care of these wines from the producer to the end consumer. All wines are shipped in reefer containers (14 degrees) or road freighted to Perth ex Melbourne in refrigerated trucks (again at 14 degrees).
We believe our warehouse is the best climate controlled warehouse in WA, having undergone a serious (and expensive) air conditioning upgrade leading into last summer.
All wine buyers should check how ‘well travelled’ the stock is that they are purchasing rather than assuming it is in perfect condition. We see too many ‘cooked’ or heat affected wines in the market place as a result of taking cheaper freight (sea or road) options.
We are continuing to invest in the big three Italian reds (Barolo, Barbaresco and Brunello) and are happy to have more of these wines in our cellar than we can currently sell. They are only improving with age and the market for top end Italian reds is developing rapidly.
Italy is now not only the biggest wine producing country in the world, it is also by far the most interesting and exciting. The market for these wines in WA has grown rapidly over the past decade and shows no sign of slowing down.
Today we are importing wines that only a matter of a few years ago would not have been understood or appreciated.
The future looks exciting with new wineries joining our portfolio and a number of winemakers looking to visit our market over the next 12 months.
Our website www.davemullenwines.com.au shows the depth and quality of our Italian portfolio with links to all producer websites.
Our policy is that we are always keen to open wines and taste them rather than talk about them. If you would like to arrange a tasting or require further information on any of the wines in our portfolio this can easily be arranged with your sales representative. Alternatively, you can ring me direct on 0417 927 054.