Shiraz

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...

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...

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...

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 ...

Seabrook Wines

The name Seabrook Wines will ring a bell for a lot of wine drinkers, or those with long memories at the least, having been part of the Australian wine landscape since 1878 when the family started WJ Seabrook and Son. Since then they have been involved in many forms – wine brokers, wine judges, exporters or negociants (the French term for a wine merchant who uses the fruit of smaller growers ...

Coriole Vineyards

Just over thirty years ago a little winery in South Australia’s McLaren Vale, decided to take the extraordinary step of planting out a large portion of their vineyards with traditional Italian varieties. The family owned Coriole vineyards were founded in 1967 by Hugh and Molly Lloyd, on a site with vines that were planted just after World War I, and home to several original farmhouses that were bu...

Dandelion and Heirloom

I’ve got pretty average hand writing, very, it’s a cross between printing and running writing that just looks wrong on the paper at the best of times. So you could well imagine the difficulty I’ve had trying to decipher my tasting notes after I had spent the day chatting with 30 something winemakers, all with about ten different wines to try. It’s become more hieroglyphics than handwriting, I’m so...

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