Bass Phillip Reserve Pinot Noir, Gippsland – VIC

Regarded as Australia’s best Pinot Noir, this wine is made from five rows of vines, it is unfiltered and matured in Alliers oak for 20 months. Made in minute quantities, if you are searching for a bottle to buy and you happen to find a bottle or two for sale, I’d recommend that you buy them as it is one of the hardest Australian wines to find for sale.  If Pinot Noir is your favourite wine it is well worth paying the entry price.

Best’s Thomson Family Shiraz, Grampians – VIC.

A wine made predominately from 15 rows of vines which were planted in the late 1860’s, the Thomson Family Shiraz is one of VICtoria’s if not Australia’s super premium shiraz’s. Matured in 50% new and 50% old American oak for 24 months, the Thomson Family Shiraz will cellar for 25 years or more. These priceless old vines are located in Concongella Vineyard, in the Grampians region of VICtoria. Thomson Family Shiraz is made in miniscule quantities, this is a very highly regarded wine which is eagerly sought by wine collectors. A top shelf wine.

Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River – WA.

Cape Mentelle’s produces a Cabernet Sauvignon of exceptional quality and consistency. The wine is made from a single vineyard which was planted in the early 1970’s. Matured in French oak for up to 2 years this is a great Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon, displaying regional characteristics and will reward with extended cellaring. A great Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon.

Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier, Canberra – ACT.

Australia’s benchmark Shiraz Viognier which has a very loyal following. Winemaker Tim Kirk consistently produces a very high quality wine which has recently got all the critics raving.  It is one of James Halliday’s favourite wines. The Viognier component of this wine now accounts for between 5% and 10%. The Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier is matured in French oak, it is a very aromatic wine and is a splendid drinking experience. Handing a bottle of this wine to someone for their 40th or 50th birthday would be a top call.  The best vintages will cellar for many years, 20+

Coriole Lloyd Reserve Shiraz, McLaren Vale – SA.

Sourced from a single vineyard in the McLaren Vale wine region in South Australia, the vines were planted in 1919. Coriole Reserve Shiraz is matured in French oak, approximately 40% is new. This is a wine of great intensity and will cellar for many years. The 2002 vintage was the first Lloyd Reserve Shiraz produced using French oak rather than American oak.

Cullen Diana Madeline Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, Margaret River – WA.

From vines planted in 1971, this beautiful wine is generally a blend of about 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Matured in new and one year old French oak for 18 months, the wine is deeply coloured with great depth of flavour, fine grain tannins and outstanding cellaring potential. The philosophy of Cullen Wines is to search for the best quality expression of the vineyard in the wine. The maritime climate, rocky soils, dry farming, and biodynamic practices all help to create individual and diverse wine styles which are unique to Cullen. The best vintages of this wine will cellar for in excess of 35 years.

Dalwhinnie, Moonambel Shiraz, Pyrenees – VIC

Dalwhinnie’s Moonambel Shiraz is a high class wine made from vines planted in 1976 in the Pyreness wine region of VICtoria. The vineyard is situated in a unique amphitheatre that has its own meso climate. The site is totally frost free and allows the fruit to reach complete physiological ripeness in 9 out of 10 years which is very important in establishing a long term premium label. The fruit is basket pressed and the wine is matured in a combination of new and old French and American oak for up to 16 months.

d’Arenberg, The Dead Arm Shiraz ,McLaren Vale – SA

The Dead Arm is a vine disease that randomly effects vineyards all over the world. Vines affected are often severely pruned or replanted. One half, or an arm of the vine slowly becomes reduced to dead wood. That side maybe lifeless but the remaining side of the vine produces fruit with amazing intensity. Traditional foot treading takes place prior to basket pressing and the wine is matured in new and aged French and American oak for 20 months. Every barrel is tasted and only the best barrels are selected to be bottled as The Dead Arm.

Giaconda, Chardonnay, Beechworth – VIC

First released in 1986, Giaconda Chardonnay is considered to be one of Australia’s best Chardonnay’s. Located in the Beechworth wine region, north eastern VICtoria, the Giaconda Vineyard is nestled in a small valley. Wine Maker Rick Kinzbrunner purchased the land and planted 3Ha of vines in the early 1980’s; there are now 6ha under vines at Giaconda. These are rare long lived Chardonnay’s; expect a complex wine with a creamy structure and mineral notes. These wines are still quite fresh and youthful after 10 years of cellaring.

Grosset, Polish Hill Riesling, Clare Valley – SA

Grosset Polish Hill is a single site wine from the Polish Hill vineyard, planted at 460 metres above sea level on sandy loam over shallow clay with underlying gravel, shale and slate. It has been made each year since 1981. This is an exceptionally powerful and vibrant dry riesling, drinking beautifully when young but with the structure to reward those who wish to cellar this wine for up to fifteen years.

Hardy’s, Eileen Hardy Shiraz, McLaren Vale – SA

Eileen Hardy Shiraz was first released as a Cabernet Sauvignon but it is now a Shiraz made from the best parcels of fruit from the McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Padthaway wine regions in South Australia and the Franklin River wine region in Western Australia. The wine is matured in 100% French oak for about 18 to 20 months and the Eileen Hardy Shiraz is a very opulent and perfumed wine. Eileen Hardy’s Shiraz should comfortably cellar for 20 years.

Henschke, Hill of Grace Shiraz, Eden Valley – SA

An exceptional wine, steeped in history and tradition, this is one of Australia’s finest shiraz’s. The 8ha Hill of Grace Vineyard (4ha planted to shiraz) with vines planted in the 1860’s, is located in the Eden Valley, South Australia, about 4kms from Henschke cellars. Cyril Henschke, the fourth generation, made the first single-vineyard wine from these vines in 1958. The original vines are now over 145 years old. The grapes are hand picked and the wine is matured in new American and French oak hogsheads for 18 months, sometimes longer, depending on the vintage. The wine is then blended and bottled. Hill of Grace is a highly sought wine, it sits alongside Penfolds Grange as an iconic Australian wine.

Henschke, Mount Edelstone Shiraz, Eden Valley – SA

Mount Edelstone shiraz is regarded as one of Australia’s great single vineyard wines. Located in the Eden Valley, South Australia, the Mount Edelstone Vineyard was planted in 1912. These priceless old vines produce a Mount Edelstone Shiraz with depth of colour, concentration of flavour and maturity of tannins unique to old-vine shiraz. Matured in predominately new French and American oak hogsheads, Mount Edelstone Shiraz is a highly regarded wine. Wine collectors love this wine.

Jasper Hill, Emily’s Paddock Shiraz Cabernet Franc, Heathcote – Vic

Jasper Hill, the winery that has placed the Heathcote region firmly in the minds of Shiraz lovers around the world. So much so that the legendary Chapoutier’s of the Rhone Valley have invested in a joint venture with Jasper Hill founders’ Ron and Elva Laughton to develop a vineyard adjacent to the existing property. Beyond the sensational site, it’s the commitment to low yields, dry farming and non-interventionist, organic viticultural practices that place this estate among the top few Australian Shiraz producers. The Laughtons know the vineyard inside out, establishing it themselves in 1975 (they went as far as to hand build their own home on the property) and then nurturing the vines back to health after bushfires ravaged the estate in 1987. Jasper Hill’s two vineyard sites, around one mile apart, are named after their daughters Emily and Georgia.

Jasper Hill, Georgia’s Paddock Shiraz, Heathcote – Vic

Jasper Hill, the winery that has placed the Heathcote region firmly in the minds of Shiraz lovers around the world. So much so that the legendary Chapoutier’s of the Rhone Valley have invested in a joint venture with Jasper Hill founders’ Ron and Elva Laughton to develop a vineyard adjacent to the existing property. Beyond the sensational site, it’s the commitment to low yields, dry farming and non-interventionist, organic viticultural practices that place this estate among the top few Australian Shiraz producers. The Laughtons know the vineyard inside out, establishing it themselves in 1975 (they went as far as to hand build their own home on the property) and then nurturing the vines back to health after bushfires ravaged the estate in 1987. Jasper Hill’s two vineyard sites, around one mile apart, are named after their daughters Emily and Georgia.

Jim Barry, The Armagh Shiraz, Clare Valley – SA

The name of ‘Armagh’ was bestowed by the original Irish settlers who arrived in 1849, and named the lush rolling hill after their homeland.  The vineyard was planted by Jim Barry in 1968 with shiraz clones originally sourced from Israel, the vineyard yields less than 2 tonnes per acre. The soil is sandy-gravel and receives an average rainfall of 24 inches per year. The vineyard lies on a north-west facing slope which acts as a natural sun trap, ensuring the fruit is always fully ripened when picked.  The Armagh is a powerful, intense and very high quality Clare Valley Shiraz.  The wine is matured in new American and French oak for 12 to 14 months. This is a top notch wine that his highly regarded and will cellar for many years.

Katnook Odyssey Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra – SA

Katnook Odyssey Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon is one of Katnook Estate’s two iconic wines, the other being Prodigy Shiraz. Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon was first released in 1996 from the 1991 vintage – to celebrate the centenary of the first vintage in Katnook’s woolshed. Odyssey defines quintessential Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, produced from the region’s distinctive terra rossa soils and crafted with the luxury of great attention to detail. Matured for 3 years or longer in American and French oak or just French oak (as in the 2000 vintage). Katnook Estate’s Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon is one of Australia’s premier Cabernet Sauvignon’s.

Langmeil, The Freedom 1843 Shiraz, Barossa Valley – SA

This is a great Barossa Valley Shiraz, made from what are believed to be the oldest shiraz vines in the world, a small 3.5 acre vineyard, planted in 1843. The Freedom 1843 Shiraz has been a single vineyard wine since 1997 and it’s a very classy wine. The priceless vines are hand pruned and the fruit is hand picked. The vineyard produces a low yielding crop of 1.5 to 2 tonnes of fruit per acre in optimum vintages; thereby producing fruit with very intense colour and flavour. The Freedom 1843 Shiraz is a fantastic wine which is eagerly sought by wine collectors, matured in a combination of French and American oak this wine will cellar for many years.

Leeuwin Estate, Art Series Chardonnay, Margaret River – WA

Produced from a vineyard at Leeuwin Estate known as Block 20, this is without doubt Australia’s best Chardonnay. Matured in French oak for approximately 12 months, it is consistently brilliant. Expect a creamy palate with stone fruit, citrus and melon flavours. The Art Series Chardonnay is a rare long lived Chardonnay that always receives high ratings from wine critics, great value for money.

Majella, Malleea Cabernet Sauvignon – Shiraz, Coonawarra – SA

The Malleea” by Majella is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz it continues the great Australian tradition of this blend. Majella uses the ripest parcels of fruit from their oldest vines, ferment them gently in a modern fermentation cellar, and then finish off the ferment in new French oak hogsheads. The wine is then aged for another 29 months in these barrels before bottling in imported fine Italian bottles.

Mitchelton, Print Label Shiraz, Nagambie Lakes – VIC

Print Label is the pinnacle of wine making at Mitchelton. Select parcels of fruit from low-yielding vines on the oldest blocks of the Mitchelton estate are harvested in small batches. All combine to create this finest and most distinctive example of VICtorian Shiraz. Print Shiraz is a finely boned wine which balances the power of fruit and a delicacy of structure. It displays intense deep purple and violet hues. Rich aromas of brandied cherries, smoky charcutterrie and Christmas pudding accentuate the opulence of the wine. The wine is matured for 18 months in French oak (50% New & 50% two year old).

Moss Wood, Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River – WA

Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon is one of Australia’s best Cabernet Sauvignon’s. Matured in French oak for 24 months, Moss Wood includes up to a combined total 4% of Cabernet Franc for its cherry like fruit aromas and 4% of Petit Verdot for its berry aromas and firmer structure. This wine is very perfumed and finely structured, a truly great Cabernet Sauvignon. The best vintages will start to reveal themsleves after 15 years of cellaring, but will cellar for 25 years before reaching full maturity.

Mount Mary, Quintet, Yarra Valley – VIC.

One of Australia’s best wines and a regular on Qantas First Class. Mount Mary Quintet is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pettit Verdot and Malbec. Sold via mailing list, this wine is made in small quantities and has a very loyal following. The fruit comes from vines at Mount Mary vineyard which was planted in the mid 1970’s. The wine is matured in French oak for 22 months, 25% of the blend in large 1500 litre – or larger barrels, and 30% in new 225 litre barriques. The Quintet is a long lived; a fine and elegant wine with lower alcohol levels, usually around the 12.0% and 13.0% alc/vol which makes for a nice change come the morning if you happen to consume an entire bottle in one sitting, which is quite easy to do, believe me!

Mount Mary, Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley – VIC

Mount Mary Pinot’s are very classy and stylish, they are produced in small quantities from vines planted in 1972 at Mount Mary. Mount Mary’s Pinot vines were sourced from Western Victoria in 1971 and Mount Mary’s plantings are a mixture of many clones. The wine possess typically strong Pinot Noir varietal characters and it does benefit from cellaring. Matured in oak, 25% of the blend in large 1500L and 15% in new barriques 225L. Fine and elegant, this is one of Australia’s best Pinot Noir’s and a great drinking experience.

Mount Mary, Chardonnay, Yarra Valley – VIC

Mount Mary’s Chardonnay is one of few Chardonnay’s which can be confidently cellared for many years. The wine develops more creaminess, complexity and richness when cellared but when consumed young the wine is very approachable but a touch lean and minerally. 20% of the Mount Mary Chardonnay is matured in French barriques for 10 months, with the remainder in older barrels and large casks 1500L. Consistently rated highly by wine critics; it is one of Australia’s best white wines, available by those who are registered on the mailing list at Mount Mary.

Mount Pleasant, Maurice O’Shea Shiraz – Hunter Valley – NSW

First produced in 1987 this wine is made as a tribute to legendary winemaker Maurice O’Shea. Made from vines in the ‘Old Hill’ Vineyard planted in 1880 and another small portion of vines planted by Maurice O’Shea in 1921 ‘The Old Paddock’. This is a great Hunter Valley Shiraz which is matured in new American and French Hogsheads. The 2000 vintage is a classic wine with a great cellaring future.

Penfolds, Grange Bin 95 Shiraz, Barossa Valley & Multi Region – SA

Penfolds Grange, Bin 95 Shiraz, Australia’s most recognised wine around the world. Penfolds Grange is a multi regional blend, with large portions of fruit coming from the Barossa Valley and is made from the best fruit available to Penfolds. Grange is predominately Shiraz however, small quantities (up to 10%) but more recently around the 1.5% to 2.0% of Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with the Shiraz. The 1999 vintage Grange is a 100% Shiraz wine, one of only two such vintages. The wine is matured in new American oak for around 14 months then bottled and cellared for 5 years before release. Grange is a big and powerful wine, if drunk in its youth it requires decanting hours before consuming. Some of the ‘A’ grade vintages, such as 2004, 2002, 1998, 1996, 1991, 1990 1986, 1983, 1976, 1971, 1966, 1963, 1962 and 1955 will cellar for 40 years or more. Penfolds Grange is the sort of wine many people buy and put in their trophy cabinet.

Penfolds, Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon, Multi Region Blend – SA

A wine of immense concentration, power and richness, regarded by many as Australia’s benchmark Cabernet Sauvignon. The 1998 vintage Bin 707 is said to be the perfect Cabernet Sauvignon. Bin 707 is a wine that develops into a wonderfully complex and engaging wine. It is a multi-regional blend wine, only the best parcels of fruit are selected and wine makers are looking for ripe Cabernet characters, concentration and chocolaty tannin structures. Only released in years where the fruit passes extremely high standards, Bin 707 is matured in American oak for about 14 months and should rest in your cellar for many many years. Not released in 2000 or 2003 or 2011.

Penfolds, RWT Shiraz, Barossa Valley – SA

RWT, stands for Red Wine Trial, an unusual name for such a top notch wine, but it is a wine that is rapidly making an impressive name for itself. The RWT is very different to Grange – as it is matured in French oak (Grange in American oak) and is Barossa Valley fruit only. The RWT sits below Penfolds Grange in the Penfolds ‘chain of command’ however, it is such a good wine and is highly sought by wine collectors. Some critics believe that the best Barossa Valley vintages can produce a better RWT than some not so great Grange vintage’s, for example the 1998 RWT and the 1997 Grange. If you don’t want to pay $500 for a Grange then perhaps the RWT for around $150.00 is for you.

Penfolds, St Henri Shiraz, Multi Region – SA

St Henri is a beautiful elegant wine, a blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, strangely enough St Henri wines are quite under rated and represent excellent value for money. The first commercial release of St Henri was in 1957. Penfolds have worked as long and hard with St Henri as they have with Grange. The wine is matured for 18 months in large 50 year old 1460 litre oak vats. After 10 to 15 years of cellaring, St Henri is said to have similarities to Grange, they certainly possess that ‘Penfolds style’. Labelled Claret until the 1989 vintage, the best vintages of St Henri such as 1996, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006 should cellar for at least 35 years.  Think about this, you can have six of these for the price of one Grange.

Penfolds, Yattarna Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills – SA

Yattarna Chardonnay is Penfolds flagship white wine. Designated Bin 144 and also nick named the ‘White Grange’ by wine writers and the media because of the amount of work the Penfolds Wine Making team put into this wine in the early 1990’s. Yattarna is generally a Multi-district blend made from the best available fruit each vintage. Penfolds have used fruit from Henty in VICtoria, Derwent in Tasmania however fruit for Yattarna is primarily sourced from the Adelaide Hills region in South Australia. Yattarna Chardonnay is a fine and elegant wine which should cellar comfortably for 8 to 10 years from release.

Penfolds, Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz, Multi Region – SA

Penfolds Bin 389 is a multi regional blend from South Australia. Often referred to as ‘Baby Grange’ because some of this wine is matured in American oak barrels that contained the previous vintage Grange. Bin 389 is an Australian favourite, wine collectors love it, because it is great value for money, it is reliable and cellars remarkably well. The Bin 389 is a medium to full bodied wine, of typical Penfolds style, dark fruits, richness and intergration of new oak. The 1996 and 1998 vintages are both exceptional wines, they truly are amazing value for money. The 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006 vintage’s will all be great Bin 389’s for your cellar.

Pierro, Chardonnay, Margaret River – WA

Pierro Chardonnay is one of Australia’s great Chardonnay’s. At the winery there are three distinct blocks of chardonnay on the property. About 95% of the Pierro Chardonnay is the Gin Gin clone, which produces the best quality wine, and one that has been particularly successful in Margaret River. Wine Maker Mike Peterkin puts his Chardonnay through one hundred per cent malolactic fermentation which helps achieve superior texture, mouth feel and a more refined and persistent flavour. The wine has won many awards over the years and is well entrenched in the top three Chardonnays of Australia. Pierro Chardonnay is a wine of great finesse yet impressive power, tight structure yet generosity of flavour; ripe melony, peachy characters yet noticeable restraint and subtlety; an unctuous mouth-feel yet with taut, fine acidity on the finish.

Rockford Basket Press Shiraz, Barossa Valley – SA

Rockford Wines, located in the Barossa Valley, South Australia makes some of the finest shiraz in Australia. Rockford’s Basket Press Shiraz is made from vines that are between 60 and 140 years of age. Fruit for the Basket Press Shiraz is sourced from a number of local growers, many of the best dry grown old vine Shiraz vineyards in the Barossa Valley. The wine is hand made, matured in both French and American oak, it is a wine of great power and richness, with strong ripe blackberry and chocolaty flavours. Rockford also make a Black Shiraz, a sparkling red that is almost black in colour. Both the Basket Press and Black Shiraz are exceptional wines.

Seppelt, St Peters Shiraz, Grampians – VIC

St Peters, Grampians Shiraz, is a legendary wine from the House of Seppelt that combines low yielding old vines with one and a half centuries of experience. This is a wine that embraces the distinctive style of the Grampians region in Western VICtoria and demonstrates the affinity between the Great Western vineyards and flavour and immense ageing potential. St Peters Shiraz is clearly one of the best value for money premium wines available in Australia. The fruit is sourced from the Imperial and Police vineyard’s at Great Western and the wine is matured in French oak (60% new and 40% 1 and 2 years old) for 18 months. The Grampians region in western VICtoria is an outstanding region for shiraz.

Tahbilk, ‘1860 Vines’ Shiraz, Nagambie Lakes – VIC

First released in 1979, Tahbilk’s ‘1860 Vines’ Shiraz is produced from a 1/2 hectare un-grafted, pre-phylloxera original Estate planting – amongst the oldest Shiraz vines in the world. Handpicked and fermented in century old oak vats. Matured in French oak for 18 months prior to bottling and then a further 4 years ‘bottle-aging’ before release. Appropriately an original Tahbilk label dating back to the 1870’s has been tailored for this rare and unique wine.

Tim Adams, The Aberfeldy Shiraz, Clare Valley – SA

The Aberfeldy vineyard is a unique site – friable red loam over limestone nestled at the bottom of the easternmost hills of the Clare Valley, just five kilometres south-east of the Clare township. When the Birks family of Wendouree fame settled the area they planted this site with Shiraz in 1904. Many of these vines remain and those which have perished have been replaced with root lings of the same clones. The cropping level in the vineyard is never more than 1.5 tonnes per acre, producing grapes with intense colour, flavour and tannins. After basket pressing the wine spends 12 months in one-year-old oak, mostly American, before transfer to new three to four years air dried American oak for a further eight months. This is a powerful and masculine wine.

Tyrrell’s, Vat 47 Chardonnay, Hunter Valley – NSW

Tyrrell’s Vat 47 Chardonnay is a rich Chardonnay with white nectarine stone fruit characters on the nose throughout the entire palate, with an underlying savoury lift from subtle oak usage. The fruit for Vat 47 comes from 3 separate vineyards, the HVD Vineyard, planted with the original Penfold clone in 1923, the NVC Vineyard and Tyrrell’s Short Flat. The wine is matured in new French oak for between 3 and 7 months. No malolactic fermentation ensures a balanced and tight wine style with lingering fresh acidity that promises to age well.

Wendouree, Shiraz, Clare Valley – SA

Made in minute quantities and regarded by many wine enthusiasts as Australia’s best Shiraz, Wendouree Shiraz is made from bush vines planted in 1893 and 1919. This is a long lived wine, the best and most recent vintages are very approachable upon release, however these wines will benefit from extended cellaring. Wendouree is an iconic producer of red wine. It is quite difficult finding a bottle of Wendouree Shiraz for sale, as it is only released from the winery and to those on the mailing list.

Wendouree, Cabernet Sauvignon, Clare Valley – SA

A straight Cabernet Sauvignon from vines planted in the 1970’s, the wine is matured in new (25%) and used French oak for 12 months. There isn’t a lot of this wine made, it is only the long term mailing list customers at Wendouree who have any chance of securing up to the 6 bottle allocation upon release.  This is a highly sought wine which really does require extended cellaring, a minimum of 15 years.  If you own a few bottles of Wendouree Cabernet Sauvignon then start bragging about them during your next wine discussion!

Wirra Wirra, RSW Shiraz, McLaren Vale – SA.

Named after Robert Strangways Wigley, a noted South Australian cricketer who established Wirra Wirra in 1894. Matured in predominately French oak and a small amount of American oak, this is a great wine from a region that is blessed with climatic conditions and soil types for growing Shiraz. Very well priced – a great wine for your cellar.

Wolf Blass, Platinum Label Shiraz, Various Regions – SA

The wine making team at Wolf Blass have identified a small number of vineyards in the Barossa Valley, Eden Valley and Adelaide Hills regions as ‘Platinum selected’ vineyards which are amongst the best in Australia capable of providing fruit for this unique Shiraz. These vineyards produce the greatest, most intense shiraz fruit and are now set aside for this label. Platinum Label Shiraz is matured in new and one year old French oak barriques, from a variety of forests and with a combination of toast levels for up to 20 months. Wolf Blass Platinum Label Shiraz was first released in 1998 and has already established itself as a great Australian wine.

Wynn’s Coonawarra Estate, John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra – SA

John Riddoch is the definitive Cabernet Sauvignon of Wynn’s Coonawarra Estate. Using only the top 1% of Cabernet Sauvignon fruit available and only in years when grapes of extraordinarily high quality are available. Matured in French oak for up to 26 months, in its youth John Riddoch is intense almost black in colour. Rich ripe and complex this immensely powerful Cabernet Sauvignon requires long term cellaring – 10 to 20 years to fully appreciate its complexity. Recent vintages are 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Wynn’s Coonawarra Estate, Michael Shiraz, Coonawarra – SA

Only produced in exceptional vintage’s using the top 1% of Coonawarra shiraz available the Wynn’s Michael Shiraz is matured in American oak for up to 18 months. It is deep red in colour with strong mulberry, peppery Shiraz berry aromas enriched with coffee bean American oak in the nose. The palate is rich and full bodied with sweet ripe fruit contained with in a firm, superbly balanced tannin structure that will grow in complexity with 10 to 15 years of bottle age. Recent vintages are 1996, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Yalumba, The Octavius Shiraz, Barossa Valley – SA.

From Australia’s oldest family owned winery comes a very highly regarded Shiraz, which its inaugural vintage was only back in 1990. The Octavius is made from fruit which is sourced from a number of very old vineyards in the Barossa Valley. The wine is matured in 90 litre American oak barrels and is the only red wine in the world matured in such small oak barrels. Yalumba has its own cooperage at the winery and the oak used for these octave barrels is seasoned for 8 years before being made into barrels.

Yarra Yering Dry Red No 1, Yarra Valley – VIC.

Classic claret-style. This is the blend on which Yarra Yering’s reputation was initially built. Always medium-bodied and low in alcohol suggesting delicacy, but nonetheless is a sleeping powerhouse of precision, intensity & concentration that demands a requisite amount of time in bottle to unfurl & allow the drinker in. Principally Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Malbec and a little Petit Verdot added, it swallows every ounce of its 100% new oak and sniggers “Is that all you’ve got?” Consistently of the highest order in its balance and depth of flavour. Jancis Robinson has included this blend in her 1989 book of the world’s top 40 wines.