Monday 29 November 2010



$12 BEAUTY with Sunday brunch
seafood-filled omelette.
David Ellis

WITH Australians' growing love-affair with Rosé-style wines, Cumulus Wines at Orange in the NSW Central West have released their 2010 Luna Rosa Rosado that's a steal at just $12 for summertime enjoyment.

And interestingly they brought out Portuguese winemaker Francisco Antunes from a Cumulus stakeholder, The Berado Group (also a stakeholder in arguably the world's most famous Rosé, Mateus) to work with Cumulus winemaker Debbie Lauritz on this moreish drop.

The two decided on 40% Cabernet, 20% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre and the remainder Chardonnay, picking the fruit in the cool of night under a full moon – hence the name.

This is a lovely fresh wine with a fruity perfume to enjoy chilled with a Sunday brunch seafood-filled omelette, or be adventurous and try it with Francisco's favourite: Portuguese salt cod fritters with aioli.

ANOTHER luna touch for summertime pleasure is Western Victoria's Blue Pyrenees Luna NV bubbly, that again was made from fruit picked in the cool of the night under a full moon – and again hence the name.
FESTIVE beauty with
party-time finger foods.

Predominantly Chardonnay (76%,) Pinot Noir (20%) and with a touch of the previous year's sparkling base, this is a Festive Season beauty with fresh lemon, shortbread and yeasty flavours that make it a nice match with party room hors d'oeuvres and most finger-foods. Well priced too at $18.

INNOVATIVE winemaker Jeff Byrne at historic Hunter Valley maker Audrey Wilkinson has created an interesting blend for warm weather partying, bringing together Semillon from the company's own vineyards and Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand's Marlborough. At $20 share this rewarding drop with cold summer seafood platters or bbq-grilled seafood and vegie kabobs.



Monday 22 November 2010


FRENCH connection: a great drop
for a really memorable Christmas

David Ellis

IF this is the year you've reason to treat yourself to some of the best of French Champagne with the Christmas turkey, give serious thought to a bottle of Champagne Taittinger's 2004 Brut Millésimé.

This is a wonderfully flavoursome drop with aromas of lemon fruit jelly, mandarins and honey that follow through nicely on the palate; at $140  drop a hint that someone might like to leave you a bottle under the tree for a truly memorable Christmas – or do it yourself for that very special someone.

And if $140 is a bit beyond the budget, pay just $16.99 and pop the cork on a McWilliam's Balance Brut Cuvee NV, a real value-for-money Aussie bubbly that's got the added advantage of being only eight per cent alcohol (compared with the norm of 11-to-14%) for those watching their intake, but still wanting plenty of nice citrusy flavours and sparkle in the glass.

HUNTER Valley winner to
enjoy with grilled lobster
and lemon-infused butter
A MUST-GIVE for wine buffs this Christmas is Matt Skinner's Wine Guide 2011. This comprehensive guide to 250 wines for drinking now or cellaring for later, has excellent tasting notes, photographs, tips on what varieties and styles are the hottest in buying trends, and help and advice on eco and natural wines, low alcohol drops and low calorie wines.

A consultant to buyers and consumers world-wide and contributor to leading magazines and newspapers here and overseas, Matt's reviews cover wines for all budgets and occasions – reds, whites, bubblies, pinks, sweet wines and light and full-bodied ones. A reference must at $24.95 for wine buffs.

"MASTER of Hunter Valley Semillon," Neil McGuigan – lauded as 2009's International Winemaker of the Year – has now had his 2003 Tempus Two Copper Zenith Hunter Valley Semillon named NSW'S Wine of the Year 2010.

A typically elegant McGuigan drop, this one's loaded with Hunter Valley lemon and lime flavours and complex honey characters. Well worth the $55 price tag to enjoy with grilled lobster basted with lemon-infused butter.


Tuesday 16 November 2010

Shaw-Fire Success

Media release

A recent proliferation of wine show successes, as well as worldwide recognition stemming from awards and five star ratings, vigneron Graeme Shaw from Shaw Vineyard Estate in the Canberra Wine Region is set to have had a very fruitful year.

Shaw Vineyard Estate is no stranger to international recognition, with recent international wine show success for the label in Vienna, London, Singapore and Shanghai - over 30 awards in total!

Most notable is Shaw's amazing 6/7 medal haul at the world's largest wine show, the Vienna International Wine Challenge 2010 where a record 10,000 entries came from 34 countries. With 1 Gold and 5 Silver medals from this one almighty challenge, the Shaw's couldn't be happier.

At the same time, right in their own backyard, Shaw Vineyard Estate was one of only 5 NSW wineries to have 2 wines named in the prestigious NSW Wine Awards Top 40, which was announced alongside the NSW Wine of the Year on Monday 18 October.

By pure coincidence, both wines named in NSW's Top 40 are both Rieslings, which Graeme Shaw is adamant, will become the regions flagship white variety. He believes the fabulous site on the 700 acre fine wool property at Murrumbateman just north of Canberra is ideal for Riesling and Cabernet production in particular, and this award confirms that Riesling is certainly in its element in this locale.

The Shaw Vineyard Estate Premium Riesling 2009 RRP $22 has an exceptional pedigree for a young winery, with the most recent 3 vintages producing Rieslings which have accumulated more than 30 medals and a Trophy.

What's also pleasing is the Shaw Vineyard Estate Winemakers Selection Riesling 2009 RRP $15 was also named amongst the Top 40 NSW Wines, suggesting that it offers enormous value for money and that a wine which retails at only $15 can well and truly stand up amongst its peers.

Of his success Graeme modestly admits "These victories are something I am very proud of as it has been no easy feat. A combination of hard work and intuition, as well as the relationships with reputable and innovative organisations around the world has assisted in catapulting the Shaw Vineyard Estate label to where it is now in only a few short years".

Graeme Shaw personally attended the China International Small and Medium Enterprises Fair (CISMEF) this September to launch his highly esteemed five-star label into the China market. He followed on from this event to attend the launch of the brand in Europe with his new state of the art distribution and warehousing facility in the Netherlands now in full swing enabling his distributors based in Europe to access the wines directly and efficiently.

There seems to be no stopping this dynamic vigneron from Canberra, and he looks forward to watching his label spread its wings in its new and existing markets.                P: (02) 6227 5827


The award winning, five-star Halliday rated Shaw Vineyard Estate vineyard and cellar door is located just 20 minutes drive from Canberra city. Well known for producing cool climate wines, the estate was established in 1998 on the site of a historic 700 acre fine wool producing property called "Olleyville". A family owned and operated business, 85 acres of the estate is under vines and unlike most vineyards in the area it is elevated 640 metres above sea level, helping to protect against frost damage and allowing good air drainage over the property.

Riesling, Semillon, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are the hallmark varieties from the vineyard, each handcrafted with vigour by the winemaking team and displaying the cool climate characteristics of full fruit flavours, crisp acid structure and fine, silky tannins. Along with Graeme Shaw's passion for creating great, award winning wines is his commitment to enriching the lives of children living with cancer and their families as he donates a portion of money raised from the Shaw 'Laughter Series' wines to the Camp Quality charity.

Monday 15 November 2010



A NICE touch with late
Sunday morning omelettes.
David Ellis

COLES Liquor is enjoying growing success with sales of Spanish boutique producer Segura Viudas' cavas (sparkling wines) that its been selling here since 2005.

And a couple of these well-priced bubblies well worth considering for the upcoming Festive Season are the Segura Viudas  Brut Reserva NV at $15 and Brut Vintage 2005 at $20.

The Brut Reserva NV is a blend of three little-known varieties here, Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo and is a favourite drink in Spain's Cataluna region where it's often enjoyed with late Sunday morning omelettes. It's also equally ideal with preserved clams, anchovies, and seafood over noodles and sprinkled with Arbequina Extra Virgin olive oil, or a warm quail salad.

The Segura Viutas Brut 2005 is a Gran Reserva blended from ten separate ferments and aged in bottle for at least 40-monhts. Enjoy it with Iberian cured, acorn fed ham, griddled fresh tuna or lighter white goat's cheeses.
a bargain buy at $11.

ONE FOR LUNCH: Bargain hunters need look little further than Logans' Apple Tree Flat 2009 Chardonnay that really does over-deliver at just $11 a bottle.

A blend of premium Mudgee and Orange (NSW) fruit, this is an enjoyable any-reason Chardonnay with enjoyable apple and citrus flavours. Match it up with summer salads or a seafood pasta.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

The Trucks | All Revved Up and Ready to Go

Media Release

After the huge success of The Trucks wines in the States, creators 585 Wine Partners of the Napa Valley, California contacted their mates in Australia at Cheviot Bridge and suggested recreating the wines here.

Cheviot Bridge loved the idea and immediately licensed the Red Truck and White Truck brands in Australia and put one of their most talented winemakers, Shane Virgo, in charge of putting an Australian engine in this American classic.

Whilst the labels remain the same, featuring the appealing painting by internationally renowned Sonoma artist Dennis Ziemienski, the wines have become official Australian citizens being re-crafted from 100% South Australian fruit.

Following the philosophy of the original wine, Shane and the team behind The Truck wines are serious about making great wine, but they don't take themselves too seriously. Shane confesses, "We had a great time jumping in our utes and driving all over the South Australian countryside in the sunshine, selecting the best quality grapes to use for these new wines."

"Then the serious part kicked in and we went through a rigorous selection process. We tasted lots of different varieties and involving lots of different vineyards and winemaking techniques. We must have put over 50 different blends up on the bench at least 5 times, for each wine.

The driving factor (pardon the pun) for selection was definitely quality but we did also keep in mind reflecting the original style of the wines - a smooth ride of big-hearted, bright, juicy flavours, full of youthful energy and fun. It is a great added bonus that the wines are also distinctively Australian, with Shiraz being selected for the red blend and Chardonnay for the white ," Shane says.

2008 Red Truck Shiraz   RRP $14.99

The fruit for the 2008 Shiraz ended up being sourced from three vineyards; 60% from a gnarly old vineyard in the Barossa Hills, and then equally from one near the coast at McLaren Vale and one in Clare. The wine has a firmness and grip which delivers oomph and grunt.

2009 White Truck Chardonnay   RRP $14.99

Chardonnay shone through for the White Truck wine and particularly fruit from the Angas Creek vineyard in the Adelaide Hills and an old Chardonnay site high in the Eden Valley. Half the wine was fermented and matured in French oak barriques and half kept in stainless steel to maintain freshness.

Shane Virgo has definitely cranked up the gears to a new level and created bold, bright wines that will rev-up the palate and make any engine purr. The Dan Murphy's tasting panel certainly agreed with the quality and price, giving each wine a score of 94 points and agreeing to stock both wines. Their decision was backed-up by the 2010 Adelaide Wine Show where the 2008 Red Truck Shiraz also received a bronze medal.

Cabernet Cleans Up...Consistently

Media Release

Blue Pyrenees have had to clear the shelves to make room for the countless accolades they have accumulated throughout the 2010 Wine Show season.

At the 2010 Victorian Wine Show on Friday 22nd October, the Blue Pyrenees Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 was the star, winning Trophy for Best Cabernet in Show and a gold medal in its class. Although there was stiff competition in it's field, this prestigous award did not come as a huge surprise after also winning gold at the recent Adelaide Wine Show, Ballarat Wine Show and National Cool Climate Wine Show.

The Blue Pyrenees Sparkling Shiraz NV was another big hit at the Victorian Wine Show, picking up the trophy for Best Sparkling Wine in show and a gold medal. This trophy has been known predominately to go to sparkling white wines, demonstrating that the Blue Pyrenees Sparkling Shiraz is a versatile wine of exceptional quality.

At this same show, the Blue Pyrenees Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 also won the Top Gold in it's class after a very succesful year, most notably being recognised as Best Commercial Dry Red (classes 9 to 14) at the Macquarie Bank Sydney Wine Show earlier this year.

And the list continues with more top gold, gold, silver and bronze medals being awarded to Blue Pyrenees from a range of wine shows across Australia, and they aren't expected to lose momentum anytime soon.

Andrew Koerner, Senior Winemaker at Blue Pyrenees couldn't be happier with the results and commends his team on the all the hard work and commitment to creating wines of outstanding quality which have caught the attention of wine show judges, critics and consumers alike.

"Again our Cabernet has managed to dominate wine shows across Australia and this has been no mean feat as the quality of our competitors is as tough as ever, " says Andrew of the recent accomplishments. "It just goes to show that this is a very strong variety for our region, and I maintain that very few Australian wine regions can make cabernet so consistently well".

Blue Pyrenees Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (rrp: $22)

Blue Pyrenees Sparkling Shiraz NV (rrp: $24)


Available from wine stockists nationally

All trade enquiries to Red + White Phone: (03) 8413 8333

Rymill Coonawarra Cabernet wins Gold in Great Company


The team at Rymill Coonawarra are very proud that the newly released 2008 Rymill Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon won a gold medal at the 2010 Limestone Coast Wine Show announced 28th October 2010.

The other two gold medals awarded in Class 14 were given to the 2008 Wynns Coonawarra John Riddoch and the 2008 St. Hugo Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. Managing Director and great great grandson of John Riddoch, John Rymill said "We were delighted to be in such good company and thrilled that from the 47 entries in the class our Cabernet was only one of three awarded a gold medal".

For more information please contact John Rymill, Managing Director, (08) 8736 5001.

2008 Rymill Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon RRP $29

Created from premium parcels of fruit, aged in French oak barriques for 18 to 24 months.  The resulting wine is lively and richly flavoured, perfect for drinking now but also demonstrating great promise for cellaring.

Rymill Coonawarra wines are distributed nationally by Negociants Australia (08) 8112 4210

Or purchased directly from

Rymill Coonawarra

Recognized world-wide by two majestic bronze stallions rampant, the Rymill family's distinctive winery produces classic thoroughbred wines made exclusively from grapes grown in its own Coonawarra terra rossa vineyards.

Proud wine sponsor of the 2010 South Australian Tourism Awards

Monday 8 November 2010



David Ellis

MUST for the long-term investor
– or a prize wine cellar.
A MUST for the long-term investor, or those putting together a prize cellar for their own future enjoyment, is Katnook Estate's limited release 2006 Prodigy Shiraz.

First made in 1997, with that release going on to win the Jimmy Watson Trophy the following year, this wine has been a consistent trophy and medal winner ever since.

Sourced from a small single vineyard within Katnook's Coonawarra property, the 2006 enjoyed ideal conditions with slightly above-average temperatures that resulted in fruit of outstanding varietal flavour, good palate structure and subtle richness.

It certainly vindicates winemaker Wayne Stehbens belief that while Shiraz may be more challenging in Coonawarra than Cabernet Sauvignon, ultimately Coonawarra Shiraz comes into its own.

This 2006 has loads of dark berry and liquorice flavours with hints of raspberry, together with pepper and spice notes and balanced new oak. A good investment for the future at $95, or to enjoy with close family or friends over the Christmas turkey.

ONE FOR LUNCH: IF you are already starting the shopping list for the Festive Season, jot down Logan's Weemala Brut NV in the bubbly column.

This celebration drink has fragrant pear, crisp apple and citrus flavours from it's predominantly Chardonnay component, and there's a smaller amount of Pinot. Pay $22 and bring it out with an antipasto platter of white anchovies, olives, artichokes, salami, pecorino and goat cheese – or a summery seafood salad.



[] BUBBLY idea for this year's Festive Season.

Friday 5 November 2010

Red White and Blues Festival

The Red White and Blues Festival features a line-up of around 30 fantastic wineries from your favourite NSW regions including Mudgee, Orange, Cowra, Hasting's River and the Hunter Valley to name a few along with a great selection of gourmet food, regional produce and even boutique beers to complement the Wine tasting experience.
With a line-up of Jazz and Blues performances over the two day Festival, it's set to be an entertaining weekend.  Set in the picturesque Dunningham Park, Cnr Elouera Road and the Kingsway, Cronulla Beach, Red White and Blues will be held on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th November 2010, 11.00am – 5.00pm.


Tuesday 2 November 2010



David Ellis

PROLONGED periods of warm weather in Western Australia's Margaret River in 2009, punctuated by short, cool and dry spells, gave growers and winemakers wonderfully slow-ripened fruit with great concentrations of flavour and natural grape acidity for their 2009 labels.

Evans & Tate have now-released three beautifully flavoured white wines from this vintage, with one – their 2009 Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc – already notching up a Trophy and six Golds on the show circuit.

This is a wine loaded with passionfruit, lime and snow pea flavours, and with accompanying fresh grassy hints. The company's 2009 Margaret River Semillon Sauvignon Blanc has a similar core, together with herbal, gooseberry and nectarine characters.

And the third of the trio, crafted by winemaker Matthew Byrne, is a Chardonnay with delightfully concentrated stone fruit flavours coupled with finer citrus characters and reflecting the differing characters of the sub-regions of the Margaret River from which he sourced his fruit.

All three wines are value-buying at $22.99 a bottle; the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon Sauvignon and both good seafood wines, and the Chardonnay will go will also make a good match with seafood or a gently-flavoured pasta.

ONE FOR LUNCH: WYNNS have released a moreish 2008 V&A Lane Coonawarra Shiraz, so-named after the long straight road that was constructed in the late 1840s and which traditionally separates South Australia's Coonawarra North from Coonawarra's South.

Winemaker Sarah Pidgeon has created a great drop with sweet red berry, plum and chocolate flavours, nicely supported with spicy oak… at $42.99 just the shot to linger with over a Sunday lunch of roast duck and baked vegies.



[] SEAFOOD serenade… a Margaret River beauty with seafood dishes

[] LINGER with this over a Sunday lunch of roast duck and baked vegies