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Barossa Beauty

30/06/2017
by

Oh how the Barossa shines 

If you've ever been to Switzerland, you quickly realise why they make such good chocolate (and cheese). It's the cows! Every cow I saw in Switzerland was walking around with this nearly perceivable grin. Beautiful countryside, clean fresh air, the greenest grass you've ever seen and no threat of the butchers knife.... we hence dubbed them "Happy Cows". Well, if ever there was a parallel in wine, it must be the grape vines of the Barossa. This beautiful alluvial valley is home to some of the oldest vines on the planet. As the sun slowly sinks behind the western range, washing the valley with a warm autumn glow, I'm left with no doubt as to why. For a grape vine, this place rocks!

One of the amazing things about the Barossa is the accessibility to old vine material. Whilst old vines are not the 'be all and end all' they certainly help.  This is none more evident in the much loved but often maligned grenache grape. I simply LOVE grenache, the elegance, spice and mid weight style can be almost pinot noir like (an example below). And as the vine ages, it sinks deeper roots and becomes less vigorous; producing smaller yields with more inherent complexity. Now when great Grenache is combined with the super sexy Barossa shiraz and the serious and structured mourvedre, you have a match that is more than the sum of it's parts. Below are some of my top picks from a recent trip to the valley. These are dangerously impressive wines.... so please support the small producers we love and grab some for yourself.

 

Head Red GSM ($25)

A great place to start with any exploration of grenache is with the traditional Rhone (France) blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mouvedre. The Head Red GSM is a perennial overachiever bringing pleasure and pure drinkability at a drop dead gorgeous price. This is a sleek, silky and medium bodied wine showing lots of grenachey goodness; raspberry, spice, musk sticks and sweet herbs. It's a serious wine really.... seriously delicious!

Head Red Shiraz 2015 ($25)

Old vines, expert handling and a 'new order' approach means that this fits the 'generous Barossa shiraz' mould but with more restraint and definition. I like my Barossa wines to still have a good backbone else they can err to the flabby, porty and pruney side. Alex Head treads the line perfectly with his more gentle approach to Barossa Shiraz, bringing out depth and complexity but retaining freshness and acidity.

The Contrarian 2015 ($35)

Breaking all the established rules of the Barossa, one of my personal favourites for it's spice and lift.

The Blonde 2015 ($55)

Silky smooth, chocolate and fine tannin. A standout Barossa Shiraz for the purist.
 

Shop all Head Wines

Schwarz Meta Grenache 2016 ($35)

This wine really hit me for 6 when I tasted it last month in the Barossa. It's far and away the most memorable wine of my 10 days talking, sipping and exploring.... and that's really saying something given the wines I tried. This is a 'pinot like' grenache if ever there was one. Close your eyes and you can see yourself deep down in the roots of the old vine pulling up all of this glorious complexity and minerality. It is unashamedly a textural, whole bunch and very funky number. It has a real appeal with food and will support any number of dishes from mid weight red meat dishes all the way down to pork and duck..... even a more full flavoured fish dish.

I absolutely love this wine and if you are a pinot person, please, please, please, grab a few of these, you'll thank me later. Sensational stuff.

Schwarz Mixed 6 ($186)
Click. Pay. Drink. Easy 


Mixed 6 includes:

  • 2 x Shiraz
  • 2 x GSM
  • 2 x Grenache

Hentley Farm The Rouge 2015 ($24.50)

The Rouge is a 'field blend' meaning that what you get in the wine is quite simply what's out in the field the grapes come from. This results in a single vinification (batch) rather than seperate batches being made and the blend compiled at a later date (common). The Rouge is a grenache based wine with quantities of mourvedre, shiraz, zinfandel and cabernet. I quite simply couldn't keep my hands off. Tasted it twice and walked out with a bottle for drinking that night and a bottle of its big brother (below) for the cellar.

Hentley Farm The Stray Mongrel 2015 ($28.50)

The "Stray Mongrel" refers to the quite unusual third wheel of this blend; Zinfandel (which replaces the more traditional mourvedre). The reason why, is that the Hently Farm Estate has no mourvedre and the zinfandel is actually one of their specialities. A wine of complexity and age worthiness.

Hently Farm Mixed 6 ($155)
Click. Pay. Drink. Easy 

 
Thanks for reading and on a closing note, I'd just like to share some feedback from one of our customers. Scott Jendra sent me a text in response to my last feature on the Best's Bin 1 Shiraz 2015 and I thought it was ace:
 
"... I continued the Best's Bin 1 vs Ravensworth taste off. Left the two bottles opened for a week, both were still amazing, perfumed and delicious. There has only been a few bottles ever that I could say leaving them open a week didn't impact them one bit. Last time that happened was the Voyager Cab Merlot. A long life ahead of them both.... if I can keep my hands off them"

Cheers all, enjoy your weekend and catch you next week.

Lloyd

Matthew Jukes Top 100 2016/17

09/06/2017
by

Matthew Jukes

One of the world's top wine authorities, Matthew Jukes takes a liking to some top FTP producers

Once a year, London-based Jukes compiles his list of the 100 best Aussie wines going around. He has a truly international perspective and so when he says our local drops are right up there, you know the wines are being judged alongside the world's best. I've taken all the work out of the task and compiled some mixed pack suggestions from FTP producers who feature heavily in this year's list. The wines he loves come from caring and meticulous wine producers whom I love dearly, and I know you'll love them too once you taste their delicious offerings. These packs are compiled for your convenience but don't forget you can put your very own pack together with a few easy clicks. Don't like white? Follow my pack and swap the whites for some more reds. Only drink shiraz? Grab a straight 6 or 12. Easy!

Remember 5% discount and free shipping will be automatically applied at checkout.

Cheers, and good drinking 
Lloyd

 

The Lane - Adelaide Hills

New to From The Producer is The lane, a 5 Star James Halliday producer loved by Matthew Jukes. This place is simply one of the most magical places on earth for lunch and  the wines draw you in sip by sip seeing you eat out of the palm of their hands by night's end. Jukes awarded the Beginning Chardonnay a place in his Top 100 but there were special mentions for the Gathering Sauvignon/Semillion, the Reunion Shiraz, the RG Chardonnay, and the 19th Meeting Cabernet Sauvignon. These are top-flight wines, mark my words. We dropped in for lunch on our way back from Margaret River and I must say, I had Pinot firmly on my mind..... but despite the beauty of the Pinot, it was the 19th Meeting Cabernet that had me dumbstruck and reaching for a full glass..... who'd have guessed it.

The Lane Mixed Six ($338) »

All The Lane wines >>

Tahbilk - Nagambie Lakes

Asked about his favourite producer at his Top 100 tasting in London, Jukes kept finding himself saying "go to Tahbilk – the wines are simply gob-smacking" over and over again. He is a massive fan of their Marsanne (a true Aussie Icon) and the 2014 vintage was in his Top 100 last year. But it's their take on Viognier that has his attention this year landing them their first of two slots. The second slot goes to the Cane Cut Marsanne (sweet) because it is just so "thrilling and alluring" that he can't believe that there is any left to be had. I have long been a massive fan of their Roussane Marsanne Viognier blend and this is definitely a winter white wine..... It also has 95 Sir Halliday points and represents sensational value.

Tahbilk Mixed 6 ($130) »

All Tahbilk wines >>

Fowles - Strathbogie Ranges

Well, I have to say I was pretty chuffed to see the Fowles Wine 'Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch' Shiraz in the Top 100. Not just because they are great producers but because I picked this wine's little sis (Are You Game Shiraz) in my top wines of 2016. Some of you will remember tasting it at my summer drinking tasting session late last year... and some won't remember much at all. I love the real "pop" of these cool-climate, spicy and supple wines. Great value drinking here and you simply cannot go wrong with the mixed six I've put together on this one.

Fowles Shiraz 6 Pack ($144) »

All Fowles Wines >>

Lake Breeze - Langhorne Creek

"What do you call a wine that had legendary status years ago but which still insists on building on its past glories with every year that passes? A super-legend, a divine-wine, a commander-in-chief-in-perpetuity? I don’t know, but what I do know is that 2013 Bernoota collected yet another Trophy last year in The Great Australian Red competition making it the most awarded, great value wine made from this blend in Australia. This is a faultless creation and it is only twenty-three quid. It is world class, massively memorable, grippingly balanced and it will live for an eternity. The Follett family is guaranteed a place in the Australian Hall of Fame of Wine for their services to great value greatness. They have another stunner in their ranks, too, 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon which shuns Shiraz, and focusses purely on Cabernet and this, too, is a veritable tour de force." - Matthew Jukes

Lake Breeze 6 Pack ($130) »

All Lake Breeze wines >>

 
Thank you so much for reading my little email and engaging with the content. If you want to support FTP but are not in the market for wine right now, please simply click a few of the links and simply have a look around the site. I would LOVE any feedback you have especially about the reasons you didn't purchase and any thing else you think needs improvement. Feedback is a gift and I will treat yours as such.

Back from the West

19/05/2017
by

G’day everyone,
 
Hope this email finds you well and with glass of wine in hand. EXCITING NEWS! I’ve just returned from an epic wine adventure making wine at one of the top producers in the Margaret River, Woodlands. It was hard work, long hours and lots of beer was required… but I made it through and I return to you renewed and keen to share whole lot of exciting news.
 
Firstly, I am now focused entirely on building my very own wine endeavour; From The Producer. It is an online marketplace for producers that cuts a heap of cost out of the supply chain and shares those savings between you and the producer; you pay less, they get more.
 
Secondly, I have signed a HEAP of awesome new top quality producers for you to select from. We now have over 300 top quality wine producers with more coming on board everyday (we have more than 50 James Halliday 5 star producers). There are so many to choose from now, it will be just down to you getting behind the concept and showing them some love with a purchase or two.
 
Thirdly, we are moving rapidly towards a loyalty model that will reward you handsomely for shopping direct with the producer and cutting out all of the waste built into the traditional bricks and mortar (and even online store) model. It will be a multi-tier model where the more you spend the greater the discounts. 
 
We are still running on FTP version 1.0 so you will see that the shipping model needs fixing and that there is no loyalty model yet. Our aim is to launch FTP 2.0 with full loyalty and some additional features to make your lives easier
 
So lets help you get started by making things real easy and giving you three super duper hand selected mixed six-packs for you to choose from. I love all of the wines in these packs and I know you will too. If you don’t, We’ll refund your money. Click on the link, chuck in your credit card deets and away you go:

  • Woodlands mixed six (3 different Cabernet blends) $220 – My place of employment over the last 12 weeks and also my top pick of the Margaret River producers back in November 2013 when we visited for the first time. Whilst I didn’t have a hand in making these wines, you can get a good picture of the quality of the site and the wines that I have worked on in 2017. This pack includes my favourite Bordeaux blend made in the Margaret river; the super sexy Margaret Cabernet Merlot Malbec
  • Xanadu mixed six (2 Chardonnay, 2 Cabernet, 2 Shiraz) $200 – Can do no wrong in my eyes. The Cabernet in this pack is one of the very best I tried in the 12 weeks I was in the region and they are just smashing every single wine they make. Have always been a big admirer of their Chardonnay too and the 2014 will not disappoint.
  • Snake + Herring mixed six (2 GSM, 2 Cabernet, 2 Tempranillo) $180 – A bit of a quirky producer adopting the new model of wine production; much of their wine is made with fruit from contract growers. The wines have a freshness and an immediacy about them that makes them really attractive and good to drink no matter the occasion. Great value here

….. and, as well as getting great wine, giving a bit back, getting silver membership, being an innovator, a legend and a star, you will also get FREE SHIPPING and 5% off the sticker price at checkout!
 
In my best Arnie voice….. JUUUUST DOOOOO IT!
 
Catchya next week and have a great weekend - bring on the wine.
 
Lloyd

AUSTRALIA DAY – WHAT TO DRINK

27/01/2017
by

Well, I remember quite fondly penning a blog a few years ago about the merits of the Cabernet Shiraz blend and how quintessentially Australian that particular style is. This Australia day, I’m going to go a bit more specific and talk about the three very special wines that are so uniquely Australian, there is nothing that compares anywhere (and I mean anywhere) in the world. There is something so very unique about each of three that sets them apart.

  1. Hunter Valley Semillon – Semillon is rarely made as a single variety wine elsewhere in the world (mostly used in blends). It’s certainly not made to the quality standards seen in the Hunter and nowhere else do we see such age worthiness and development as we see with Hunter Sem.
  2. Rutherglen Fortified – Rutherglen has some of the oldest Muscadelle and Brown Muscat vines anywhere in the world. It’s HOT and dry and they have blending material dating back more than 100 years (thats right, barrels of wine that have been around for more than a century).
  3. Sparkling Shiraz  – And Sparkling Shiraz is made nowhere else in the world either. Sure, the Italians do Lambrusco but that’s a simple, slightly effervescent fun drink made for immediate consumption. Aussie Sparkling Shiraz on the other hand can have all of the hallmarks of the most complex and decedent shiraz, combined with the pure genius of secondary fermentation in bottle. It can be a heady drink, serious and noteworthy.

So to celebrate Australia day, may I suggest you select one of these three awesome Aussie wines….. or one of each

ome great examples on From The Producer include:

Hunter Semillon

Two Rivers Stones Throw Semillon ($20) – 5 Star James Halliday producer who constantly impresses with this $20 Semillon.

Mistletoe Reserve Semillon ($24) – Top 5 Star (Red) Halliday producer with a site history dating back to 1909.  Always high scoring (94-96) with Mr. Halliday

Margan Semillon 2015 ($20) – A real classic young Hunter Sem. Long, lively and so juicy. James Halliday 95 pointer.

Rutherglen Fortified

Pfeiffer Classic Rutherglen Topaque (NV) ($29) – classic Rutherglen fortified at a great price

Pfeiffer Grand Rutherglen Muscat ($83.50) – an absolute masterpiece!

Anderson N.V. Classic Muscat ($30) – Muscat at it’s very best

Sparkling Shiraz

Grampians Estate Rutherford Sparkling Shiraz 2013 ($35) – one of my wines of the year for 2016

Brockenchack Great Scott Sparkling Shiraz 2014 ($24) – A benchmark producer

McLaren Vale III Associates Sparkling Squid Ink Shiraz NV ($55) – Trophy for best sparkling red at the International Wine Challenge in London

Summer Drinking - An exploration

08/12/2016
by

SUMMER! Its arrival always spurs such warm feelings inside of us. There is something purely natural about how we feel when summer arrives. Nights get longer, lights seems lighter and the world seems to come alive under the welcoming rays of sunshine.

Last Friday night, From The Producer assembled a group of fond supporters to taste through our recommendations for some classic summer drinking #summerdrinking. We tasted through Gold Medal winners, James Halliday Top 100 wines, Vic 100 winners and a few we just love.

The wines we tasted are all available on From The Producer right now and are listed in order of appearance:

Sam Miranda Prosecco ($20) - Crisp, light (nearly effervescent) bubbly with plenty of personality. Vic 100 winner.

Yalumba Y Series Pinot Grigio 2016 ($13) - Lovely fresh, dry and full flavoured white wine, great for picnics. James Halliday Top 100 2016. Bargain of the night.

Tahbilk Marsanne 2015 ($17) - Citrus, spice and honeysuckle. A beautifully balanced food wine, perfect with a roast chicken picnic. James Halliday Top 100 2015.

Stella Bella Sauvignon Blanc 2016 ($24) - Like a guava to the face this is one very serious wine. 97 points and best Savvy of Show at the 2016 Melbourne Wine Show. BAM!

Deep Woods Harmony Rose 2016 ($15) - Dry and subtle with lovely wild strawberry nose. Take it on a date to the park! Gold Medal 2016 Melbourne Wine Show.

Athletes Of Wine Alto' Alto Field Blend 2016 ($27) - A wine for "drinking not thinking" as the boys from Athletes say. This one was served slightly chilled and is a perfect foil for a hot day when red wine is needed. Very popular on the night.

Payne's Rise "Mr Jed" Pinot Noir 2015 ($30) - A well structured Pinot really displaying both region and varietal characters quite perfectly.... without breaking the bank. Great with duck. Vic 100 winner.

Bream Creek Pinot Noir 2012 ($34) - A sensuous and alluring pinot. Darker fruits and a silky texture make this one slip down dangerously easily. Lots of bling including Gold at Melbourne Wine Show.

The Story Grampians Shiraz 2014 ($29) - Hailing from three great sites in the Grampians, I thought this wine was just GORGEOUS. Nice carry and great balance of spice and sweet blooded fruit. This is great now but will improve with a few years. Wine of the night - as voted by yours truly.

Fowles Wines ' Are you game' Shiraz 2013 ($17) - Thought this was going to get blown off the table by the Story Shiraz.... but it more than capably held its own. Absolutely astounding value. Just buy this and thank me each time you open a bottle. Gold @ 2015 Melbourne Wine Show

Pertaringa 'Undercover' Shiraz 2014 ($20) - Another great value wine, this one with more classic Aussie Shiraz styling. Still a very nicely balanced wine but true to its regional form (McLaren Vale) was a bigger, richer wine. Great with char grilled beef.

Grampians Estate 'Rutherford' Sparkling Shiraz 2013  - Made with fruit from a rescued block of very old vines in Great Western, this wine has a concentration and depth that only comes from very old vines. SUBLIME wine! People's choice wine of the night - as voted by how quickly it disappeared

JAMES HALLIDAY TOP 100

25/11/2016
by

We have quite the bevy of James Halliday 5 Star rated wineries on From The Producerbut it’s one thing to have the five stars and quite another to get one of your wines in the top 100. Just to put it into perspective, Sir James’ top 100 are selected from a total of 1435 wines submitted; making the Top 100 the best 7% of wines in the country. In reality, there are so many wines that are never submitted it’s probably more like the top 1%…… so really, it’s the elite wines of our country you are looking at.

12 wines from From The Producer producers featured in the Top 100 (YAY) and here’s a selection of stunning wines available right now on FTP and looking for a new home….. at your house:

Stella Bella Skuttlebutt Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2016 (94 points, $18) – one of the most widely enjoyed blends out of the Margaret River just saw a big up in quality. This is summer drinking at it’s finest.

Trentham Estate The Family Vermentino 2015 (92 points, $15) – A sneaky little Italian variety starting to make its way on the Australian landscape. A beautiful hot weather wine that can be served straight out of the esky with friends, some summer food and the outdoors. Team it with thier “best of the rest” Verdejo (below) and you have a great summer box.

Yalumba Y Series Pinot Grigio 2016 (89 points, $13) – I’ve always loved the fact that Yalumba are one of the oldest wine companies in the country and that just keep striving for better and better things. Fresh, lively and just a smashable wine with personality. Get on it!

Snake + Herring Perfect Day Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2016 (95 points, $23) – We go up a notch in quality here and start looking at wines made with real attention to detail and some tricky winemaking. Extra length and depth here making this one a wine that really stands out.

Stella Bella Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (96 points, $24) – WOW, 96 points for a Savvy B? Now James, I’m just going to have to try this one for myself (despite being a complete Savvy snob). Looking forward to cracking a few bottles of this next Friday for our Summer Drinking tasting.

Tahbilk 1927 Vines Marsanne 2010 (96 points, $45) – From the original proponents of this variety in Australia and off the only vines with 90+ years to their name. This wine represents the best of the Australian pioneering spirit and will reward cellaring for many years.

Pfeiffer Gamay 2015 (95 points, $18) – A pretty remarkable wine at this price point. Modelled on the French Beaujolais style, this is complex and time consuming wine making indeed. A beautiful summer red wine that can be enjoyed slightly chilled. (Note: 2015 has sold out everywhere but the 2016 version on FTP is right up there apparently)

Snake + Herring Cannonball Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Petit Verdot 2013 (96 points, $38) – Another entry from the guys at Snake and Herring really shows how well the portfolio is going (grab yourself a mixed six, you won’t be disappointed trust me). A medium bodied blend that according to Mr Halliday offers an “Aladdin’s cave of aromas and flavours” and has a great tannin structure to boot. I’m looking forward to trying.

Best of the rest:

Trentham Estate Verdejo (89 points, $16)

Best’s Great Western Cabernet Sauvignon (95 points, $25)

Tahbilk 1890 Vines Shiraz (97 points, $150)

So a massive congratulations to our awesome producers taking out places this year; especially Stella Bella and Snake + Herring who have taken a number of spots (not to mention roaring success at recent wine shows). Congratulations also to FTP producers Medhurst, Xanadu and Yabby Lake who’s products that made the Top100 are not currently available on FTP.

Go support these great producers on FTP – and don’t forget that just by signing in, you will be eligible for 5% off all orders plus free shipping on all orders over $150 from any single producer.

Lloyd

ROYAL MELBOURNE WINE SHOW- FTP PRODUCERS SHINE

03/11/2016
by

WOW, what a showing! Congratulations to all of our awesome From The Producer producers who scored big at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show. In particular, a massive congrats to Julian and the team at Deep Woods Estate who took out the most coveted award in Australian wine (the Jimmy Watson Trophy for best young red wine) with their amazing 2014 Reserve Cabernet. Deep Woods have been making some unbelievably good wines in the last 5 years and I can highly recommend any of their products; even the entry level wines as evidenced by the Harmony Rose (as below). Jump on and grab some wines from this impressive producer here.

But Deep Woods were not by far the only From The Producer wines that picked up big gongs. Here’s a selection that rated VERY highly and are just sitting waiting for a new home (i.e. buy them, they are lonely):

Castagna Genesis Syrah (2002, 2005 & 2012) -The Victorian Trophy for Red Wines of Provenance (wines that age brilliantly)

Stella Bella Sauvignon Blanc (2016) – Best Sauvignon Blanc & 97 Points

Deep Woods Estate ‘Harmony’ Rosé  (2016) – Gold Medal & 95 Points

Hahndorf Hill Winery Rosé (2016) – Gold Medal & 95 Points

Best’s Great Western ‘Bin 0’ Shiraz  (2014) – Gold Medal & 95 Points

Willow Bridge Coat of Arms Cabernet Sauvignon (2015) – Gold Medal & 95 Points

Tahbilk GSM (2014) – Gold Medal & 95 Points

Cannibal Creek Pinot Noir (2005, 2010 & 2015) – Runner-up The Victorian Trophy for Red Wines of Provenance

From the Producer winners – specific vintage not yet released:

Snake and Herring Corduroy Chardonnay (2014) – Best Chardonnay & 97 Points (2013 vintage on FTP)

Fowles Wines ‘Are You Game?’ Shiraz (2014) – Gold Medal & 95 Points (2013 vintage on FTP, also a Gold Medal Winner)

Lake Breeze Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 – Gold Medal & 96 Points (2012 vintage on FTP, Trophy winner in Adelaide, tons of Gold and 96 Halliday points)

Lake Breeze Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 – Gold Medal & 95 Points (2012 vintage on FTP, Trophy winner in Adelaide, tons of Gold and 96 Halliday points)

Pfeiffer Wines Christopher’s VP, 2013 – Gold Medal and 96 Points (2012 on FTP, also a multi award winner)

Other From The Producer producers who won big but sadly don’t have their winning wines up on FTP

VIC100 - Celebrating our top producers

12/10/2016
by
Hi, my name is Lloyd and  I’ve been working on From The Producer for the past few years in my spare time. I went along to Federation Square in Melbourne a few weekends ago to celebrate the amazing success of From The Producers great winemakers in the Vic100; celebrating the top 100 wines of Victoria for 2016. All these wines are big winners, are highly rated and come with our stamp of awesomeness; so get behind these producers and go direct through From The Producer.
 
Oakridge – all the Oakridge wines are made by the magician Dave Bicknell and the Local Vineyard Series (LVS) sources fruit from various growers around the Valley (not necessarily owned by Oakridge). They represent CRAZY value and with a string of 95, 96 and 97 point reviews, you simply CAN NOT go wrong with a mixed case from Oakridge.

Oakridge LVS Willowlake Chardonnay 2015 ($38) – Brightness and depth, this is one very good Chardonnay and comes highly recommended by us….. and Sir James – 97 points James Halliday

Oakridge LVS Willowlake Pinot Noir 2015 ($38) – If I could drink Dave Bicknell’s Pinot every day of the week, I’d be a very happy man. This one is crazy good, has all the right dark and light fruits and is just soooooo pinot yummy – 96 points James Halliday

Oakridge LVS Shiraz 2014 ($38) – Beautiful, supple and perfumed shiraz made in true cool climate style by a winemaker who specialises in Pinot and Shiraz. Subtle and elegant show stopper – James Halliday 94 Points

Paynes Rise – a real up and comer in the Valley making stellar quality wines at great prices across the board. James Halliday 5 star winery and a gorgeous little cellar door. Check out the mixed 6 here – EXCEPTIONAL value.

Payne’s Rise Mr Jed Pinot Noir ($30)- Juicy and fresh, this pinot is just perfect for immediate consumption…. not to say it won’t age, just that it’s kind of ace just as it is…. and a great price point too – 95 points LH

Payne’s Rise Cabernet Sauvignon ($30)- I’m just loving Yarra Cabernet at the minute. Less dusty and serious than it’s Margaret river and Coonawarra siblings, these Yarra wines tend more towards the elegant blackcurrant and fruit forward style. Generous, full of flavour and just a great drink . 94 points LH

Best’s – An absolute iconic winery and one of the oldest in Australia. Just going from strength to strength and another one where a mixed case is never ever going to disappoint. I love the sparkling shiraz, the riesling and of course all of the shiraz.

Best’s Bin 1 Shiraz 2015 ($25) – Now, many of you would know that I have a long history with Best’s of Great Western. I grew up in the area and have seen a lot of their wines (and winemakers) through our family restaurant in Halls Gap. Now, what I can say is that I know a great Best’s wine when I see one….. and this is seriously one of the better young wines I have ever tasted out of Best’s. Now mark my words when I say that this wine will win a LOT of accolades. It’s just soooooo distinctive. It’s just soooooo Great Western…… it’s just SOOOOOOO delicious. Unfortunately, this one isn’t released yet (they are still getting through the 95 James Halliday pointed 2014) but look out for it when it is, it’s gunna fly off the shelves – 96 points (maybe even more)

Crittenden Estate – The range of wines on offer across a large range of prices and styles at Crittenden is just awesome. From the fun and forward Pinocchio range through the traditional Geppetto series to the more serious Estate range there is great wine across the board here. The Vic100 winning wine came from the flagship “Zumma” Chardonnay, a great buy when compared to european versions at this style and quality level.

Crittenden Estate ‘Zumma’ Chardonnay 2014 ($57) – For those who like a long and fine Chard, this takes some serious beating. I love the raw and unbridled tension in this wine and the perfect oak treatment. Will get better and better for 5-7 years I’d expect. 94 Points now….. but I expect this to hit 96 at it’s best.

Grampians Estate – Proud owner of the ancient Garden Gully vineyard in Great Western which was rescued by a group of incensed winemakers who stepped in when Southcorp (Fosters/Rosemount) decided to pull out a whole bunch of very old vines because they were too unproductive (read very low yielding). These old vines struggling in an area that they probably shouldn’t be growing in, are at the centre of a great lineup of spicy and luscious shiraz that always gets better with age.

Grampians Estate Rutherford Sparkling Shiraz 2013 ($35) – If you know me even a little, you know that I’m a BIG fan of sparkling shiraz. Now when it comes to wine I’m an awful hoarder… in fact it could be said that I have a problem… but when it comes to sparkling shiraz, I find it really hard to keep my hands off the stuff; case in point right here. This is one of the best (and highly awarded) sparkling shiraz out there mark my words! 96 points LH

… and a few little gems for immediate consumption

Five Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 ($37) – for those of you who just don’t get delayed gratification AT ALL, this ticks all the boxes. It’s Cabernet from a warm region and it’s just DELICIOUS! – 96 points James Halliday

Sam Miranda Prosecco NV ($20)– looking for something fresh, crisp and cold to go with your Spring fun? Sam Miranda of the King Valley will have you sated in no time. This has to be one of the finest versions of Australian Prosecco going around so if you’re into the bubbly stuff and like a bit of pear and apple notes in said drink, look no further, this one will last about as long as your money at the races.

A ripping bunch of award winning, classic Victorian wines where all your money goes straight to the producer… and all with free shipping on orders over $150. So get on board and support these local producers – Lloyd

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