barefoot

Cellarmasters “Red Wine of the Year”

I’ve often mentioned in this column that there’s a few of us that sit around a table and look at the wine samples that turn up on my doorstep, our Chateau Hangover as its sometimes called. It’s a mixed bag of people but it gives me a lot of feedback from people who all look for different things in their wine, we all have such different opinions when it comes to wine. We drop the bottle into a brow...

Pewsey Vale – some of the most reliable Rieslings

Every year I write an annual “Year in review’ column, commenting on what I thought were the best red and white wines of the year, plus the best beer I had tried that year. Two years ago the white wine of the year for me was a toss-up between the ’15 De Illius Semillon and the ’15 Pewsey Vale Riesling. I ended up going with the Pewsey Vale at the time, simply because of its perfect drinking, the fa...

Aussie Chard

Australian Chardonnay is going through a bit of a purple patch at the moment. Some of the best wine writers in the world are comparing our most exciting chards to premier grand cru White Burgundy. During the 80’s chardonnay was all the rage, then suddenly everyone got bored with the same buttery, oaky “sunshine in a bottle” that we were getting. It fell from grace so quickly, entire vineyards were...

Summer Lovin

Crikey it’s been warm the last few weeks, as I sit here writing this its 9.30am in February, and already 38 degrees outside,  and I’ve already got that uncomfortable trail of sweat running down my back, the cicadas are chirping away, and the uniform for the day has been singlets and shorts. As the summer heat hits these highs, I find my tastes change. Not just from avoiding the big hearty stews, r...

Giant Steps

Lots of wineries knock out a second or third tier label. Often those tiers are good value, more often they are good quaffing wines, or your Friday night drinkers, but it’s rare that they are something that you would serve at a dinner party when you’re trying to impress the Father-in-Law to be for example. At the other end there’s the wineries that might stumble onto a good patch of fruit, from the...

I AM GEORGE

It may come as a surprise to many that the first commercial planting of Shiraz in Australia wasn’t in the Barossa. It was near a place called Branxton in the Hunter region of NSW. It was planted out in 1830 by George Wyndham on a property he named “Dalwood”. He was an unconventional and headstrong man and somewhat of a radical. He was born into landed gentry in England, deciding to emigrate to Aus...

Best of 2017

The jolly fat bloke with the white beard and the red suit has gone, the smoke from the New Year’s fireworks has passed, so it means that I’m due for a Best of 2017. I get to see so many different labels and brands over a year, it makes it very difficult to pick a best of anything, however I’ve gone back over my jumbled mess of notes and come up with I thought were the best that I tried this year. ...

Forgotten Labels

Over the last few months, especially over the Christmas and New Years break I’ve noticed something amongst our friends, it’s the idea of “forgotten labels”. And by that I simply mean the idea that there are some wine labels out there that some of us swerve past, as we’ve had a bad experience or that we somehow associate with being sub-par. Those labels that we say “geeze I used to drink that all t...

De Bortoli Cask appeal

Australia has lead the way in many inventions over the years. From Spray-On Skin, the winged keel, the black box flight recorder, the ute even the humble Hills hoist and petrol lawn mower, the list is as long as my kids Santa wish list. But there is one thing that is having a massive resurgence in Northern Hemisphere, that Australia can lay claim to: the bag-in-a-box. Whether you call it goon, cha...

Voyager Estate

Since its creation in 1991, Voyager Estate has gone on to become one of Australia’s leading wineries. Set just a few kilometres from the Margaret River coastline, in Western Australia, the winery has gone onto win an incredible amount of awards over the years, both here and abroad, and has cemented its place in most cellars by gaining a Langton’s “Excellent” classification, the yardstick by which ...

Huntington Estate 2013 Red release

Sometimes it’s very hard for me to work out how wineries make money, especially the ones that decided to make excellent wines, but hold them back for aging. Not just for special or cellar aged releases, like a lot of wineries do, but they age their wines as their standard practice. Tucked away in Mudgee, north-west of Sydney and over the Great Dividing Range, lies Huntington Estate, a winery that ...

Shaw + Smith – Australia’s best SB.

I don’t drink a lot of Sauvignon Blanc, I struggle a bit with its flavour profile most are just too sweet, some too acidic, and some just down right smell like a tom-cat has taken a wee on a passionfruit vine. However with the weather warming I thought it would be a good opportunity to go back and look at one of the few Savvies that I will happily reach for, the Shaw + Smith Adelaide Hills Sauvign...

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