Monday 31 December 2012

The Long Apron Serves Up a Taste of Summer

Media Release

Spicers Clovelly Estate's renowned in-house restaurant The Long Apron is giving diners a taste of summer with the launch of an inspired new menu.

Hendrick's cured Hervey Bay scallops,
cucumber, heirloom tomato, sesame
The award-winning restaurant at Montville in the Sunshine Coast hinterland has released its summer menu featuring a host of new dishes with fruits, flowers and herbs picked from its garden, as well as locally sourced meats from scallops from Hervey Bay to snails from the Glasshouse Mountains.

The Long Apron, headed by acclaimed chef Cameron Matthews,specialises in an innovative European-inspired menu showcasing fresh and simple local ingredients, an extensive wine list and personalised service.

"Our summer menu is all about keeping things light and fresh at a time when it's hot and humid," Matthews said.

Local squid, lardo di colonatta , ink
cracker and sauce, garden herbs
"The menu is very herb driven and includes lots of things from out in the garden and on the property that we've found while they are in bloom, including wild violets, roses, nasturtium, rosemary and fennel.

"Our aim is to provide diners with an innovative and refreshing menu while showcasing the incredible produce that is available across the south-east Queensland region."

Innovative dishes include Mooloolaba spanner crab with beet embers, buttermilk, dill and Yarra Valley salmon roe; roasted duck breast and liver with coastal honey, pear and nasturtium; and braised Glasshouse snails with roasted leek, morcilla crumble, fennel and apple.

"We've also introduced a new dish featuring cured Hervey Bay scallops served with an heirloom tomato granita to keep it nice and chilled which is very refreshing," Matthews said.

"There is also a new steamed fillet of reef fish with beets and radishes from our kitchen garden, prawns and smoked prawn butter which is a simple dish but again very lovely and fresh.

"Dessert is also a special affair at The Long Apron with one innovative new dish consisting of a salad of fruits and flowers featuring wild violets, roses which we crystallise, elderflower and raspberry sorbet.

"Our dishes change with the seasons, but diners will always find plates that showcase fine produce characterised by flavour, balance and complexity as well as intricate and elegant presentation."

mint sponge, Maleny Guernsy milk sherbet,
choc-mint truffle, green rhubarb jam
The Long Apron has been recognised consistently for its outstanding dining experience. In 2012 it achieved Two Chef Hats and won Regional Restaurant of the Year in the Queensland Good Food Guide.

In 2011 and 2012, the restaurant won Best Prestige Restaurant in Queensland at the Queensland Hotels Association Awards, and received one star and was ranked 94 in The Top 100 restaurants in the country at the 2013 Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide Awards.

The Long Apron was also a finalist in the Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services of the recent 2012 Queensland Tourism Awards, while Spicers Clovelly Estate a finalist in the Luxury Accommodation category of the same awards.

The Long Apron is located onsite at Spicers Clovelly Estate, a 10 suite French-inspired guesthouse situated on 22 acres of rolling valley with beautiful gardens and stunning views of the hinterland.

Aspiring cooks can also learn some of the restaurant's culinary secrets at The Long Apron Cooking School, which focuses on French, Italian and Market Food and are held three times a month. The classes offer personalised hands-on experience in an intimate setting for participants of all skill levels.

For bookings call 1300 179 340 . Visit: for more details.

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Merry Christmas from Cumulus Estate Wines

Madame Kirsty's Secret Poison

Unearthing Mudgee: Vintnews Regional Tour

Here are some of the great wines and venues we uncovered during our recent trip to the Mudgee region. For more details, see:

Roth's Wine Bar

BYO (and donate) your classic Vegemite glass
for a free fill of 10/80.
This place is dripping with history - among other things. The perfect finish to any day touring around Mudgee is to wind up (or down) at Roth's Wine Bar in Market Street. First licensed in 1923, the premises maintains possibly the last surviving Governor's liquor license in Australia. Funky and fun, there's great food and music too.

If you're game, ask for a dose of 10/80*, a secret recipe Kirsty tells me is a blend of "a wine, a fortified wine and maybe something else". Apparently the original mixture was served back in the day, speakeasy-style in classic Vegemite glasses, and if you have an old one lying around and want to donate it, the first fill is on the house.

And why Madame Kirsty? Well, according to local history, you could once rent rooms by the hour at Roth's and Kirsty has a keen sense of 'tradition'.

* for non-rural types, 10/80 is a common and highly toxic poison used for vermin control.

(Open Wednesday to Saturday 5pm till late)

Meet Leopold and Victor

 Unearthing Mudgee: Vintnews Regional Tour

Here are some of the great wines and venues we uncovered during our recent trip to the Mudgee region. For more details, see:

2009 Leopold Reserve Shiraz-Viognier

Tasting Notes:

An opulent deep purple colour, a character of prestige that impacts long after you have finished.  The prettiness of apricot kernel and violet talc embrace the deeper aromatics of blackberry and nutmeg.  A traditional co-fermentation in open vats and maturation in a combination of new and seasoned French hogsheads form an alliance between well integrated oak and fruit tannins to give a lingering, soft finish.

Vin et Gastronomie:

This wine, by nature of the soft tannins, will prefer a softer, sweeter style of protein. A simple pan seared pork tenderloin with a soy and maple syrup glaze, stir fried broccolini and sticky coconut rice would suffice.  You could try it with poultry (chicken or duck) in a master-stock or a shitake mushroom and udon noodle soup with beef stock.  Note that none of these benefit or will cope with heavier tannins and are 'gentle' foods with a deep soul.

Let the wine and the food glide along the same parallel.  For a geographical analogy, think similarities on a latitudinal (cold/cold v soft tannin/soft texture) plane rather than polar longitudinal (hot/cold v eg fat/acid).  Or socially, the more quietly spoken and wise prefer deep personal conversation rather than being loud with a crowd.

2006 Victor Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting Notes:

Plums, aniseed and a beguiling cigar box aroma volume from the glass, matched in intensity by the rich palate.  A stellar vintage producing remarkable fruit, this wine is still but young. Juicy tannins, intensity and length yet kept in check by the fact that the fruit is grown in a, cool climate.

Vin et Gastronomie:

Allow this wine the benefit of decanting.  It will pay dividends as you watch the butterfly emerge over time.  An investment in cellaring will also reward as well.  Best have a few on hand.

Heavier proteins are required to stand confidently side by side with this wine.  Roasted beef dishes that capitalise on caramelisation of fats and juices with a sturdy well made jus (or gravy) will sing 'hallelujah'!  Accompany with the sweetness of quality roasted potato and onions and you will be in heaven.

Skimstone 2011 Tre-Onde

Unearthing Mudgee: Vintnews Regional Tour

Here are some of the great wines and venues we uncovered during our recent trip to the Mudgee region. For more details, see:

Skimstone 2011 Tre Onde

Sangiovese 60%, Barbera 20%, Cabernet 20%

Skimstone 2011 Tre Onde

Winemaker Josh Clementson says:

When it comes to making blends such as our 2011 it’s an incredible difficult process in getting the balance right; You don’t want one grape variety to overpower the other but you need subtle tones of everything , I definitely think our 2011 is just right.

Sangiovese with its intense tannins and lovely soft sour fruit,Barbera with its rich dark berry fruit and little tannins and Cabernet with its soft cherry chocolate and spice tones make a truly elegant wine, add some delicate oak, it seems easy but you need the balance between all three to create something special.

Open this wine at let it breath; give it twenty or so minutes and then pour a glass you will be rewarded indeed. Every smell you will get something different; this is a wine of soft layers, a waft of subtle oak, a layer of cherries, a bit of chocolate, dark berries and subtle earthy tones.

Take a sip and it holds the whole pallet at the front soft cherries in the middle those dark fruits and at the back those soft delicate tannins that are so good with food. We believe that all wine should be drunk with food and this is one for those rich savory dishes although soft and delicate it cuts through the riches of such food to give you that perfect match.

Monday 10 December 2012


ONE of our many suggestions
for a bubbly Christmas.
David Ellis

WITH millions of bubbles set to burst over the coming Festive Season, here are a few ideas as to what's available in genuine Champagnes and value Aussie red and white bubblies within the range of all budgets.

Starting with the cheapest under $10, our list goes through to the best-of-the-best that we've tasted and enjoyed during 2012 and would welcome to our table this Christmas.

UNDER $10: Banrock Station Sparkling White Shiraz $7.47; Angas Brut Cuvee $7.77.

$10-$15: Hardys Notage Hill Pinot Noir Chardonnay $10.99.

$15-$25: Blue Pyrenees NV Sparkling Shiraz $24; Yarra Burn Premium Cuvee Brut $20 and their Premium Cuvee Rosé $20; Dumont Prestige Cuvee Australia $20.

$25-$30: Campbells NV Sparkling Shiraz $30;Yarra Burn Pinot Meunier 2007 $30.

$30-$35: Logan Vintage 'M' Cuvee 2009 $35.

$35-$40: Chandon Vintage Brut 2009, Chandon Blanc de Blancs 2009 and Chandon

Vintage Brut Rosé each $39.95
IDEAL for the stocking for the wine
enthusiast or budding novice.

$0-$45: NV Champagne Duperrey Cru Brut $44.99.

$100-$150: Champagne Taittinger Brut Millesime 2004 $150.

Sky's The Limit: Dom Perignon Vintage Rosé 2000 $630.

A GREAT GIFT IDEA both for the wine enthusiast and the budding novice this Christmas is Jeremy Oliver's 16th edition of the Australian Wine Annual (2013.)

A qualified winemaker in his own right, this is Jeremy's 24th book about wine and is crammed with over 1400 tasting notes on current releases, 14,000 ratings of back vintages, details of over 300 Australian wines and wineries, and thoughts on what will be "hot" on the wine scene in 2013. It's a great guide for getting the most out of your wine purchases in the coming year at just $29.95 from good book stores and select fine wine outlets and cellar doors.

Shaw Vineyard Estate Riscato and Cielo Samples

Shaw Vineyard Estate's
Cielo Sparkling Cuvee

 Media Release

When the festive season becomes a mere memory and the credit cards have taken a hit, yet the endless summer is with us, we're all looking for some risk free, every day summer drinking that won't hurt the purse.

Meet Shaw Vineyard Estate's Cielo and Riscato

Family owned and operated, Shaw Vineyard Estate has been producing top quality wines from the Canberra district for the last decade. Located in Murrumbateman just 25 minutes north of the nation's capital, the estate boasts some 85 acres of vines with some of the region's most enviable growing conditions, elevated higher than most vineyards in the region. In addition, the Estate features a sloping profile that achieves optimum sunlight and protection against potential frost damage through good air drainage over the property.

Shaw Vineyard Estate is a standout name when it comes to quality for price. And that's right across the range.

At the very heart of the range is Shaw Vineyard Estate Riscato (RRP $15) and Cielo (RRP $20); both wines are best sellers at Shaw Vineyard Estates buzzing cellar door and these two most recent blends epitomise Shaw's ability to impress the everyday consumer – hand made, estate grown wines to fit all budgets.

Shaw Vineyard Estate's Riscato
Shaw Vineyard Estate's Cielo Sparkling Cuvee is a refreshing, easy-drinking, Semillon based sparkling wine that has a fresh citrus finish that lingers, just like lazy sunny, summer afternoons. Grown and produced from 100% estate grown Semillon, "Cielo" meaning heaven, could possibly be just that after a big festive season. Made in the charmat method, the wine is for drinking while young and fresh.

With Valentine's Day around the corner, look no further than Shaw Vineyard Estate's Riscato, a semi sweet Riesling/Semillon dominant moscato-style wine to be enjoyed as a perfect match with your favourite spicy dish or an aperitif with your Valentine. With its refreshing taste that is not overwhelmingly sweet, Riscato is sure to win you over... and without risk.

Shaw Vineyard Estate has a jam packed calendar of events coming up in the new year– cellar door tastings, lunch and dinner at Flint in the Vines, festivals and many more! Keep up to date with Shaw's diary at Be sure to sign up also to receive the latest discounts and club initiatives from Shaw Vineyard Estate's "Friends with Benefits" wine club, please visit for more details.

Wednesday 5 December 2012


David Ellis

IF you've seafood on the table this Christmas,
take this Good Catholic Girl along.
DECEMBER, and while most of us know just what we'll be putting on our Festive plates this Christmas, for some there's still the decision as to what to put in the wine glass to enjoy with the meal we've so carefully planned.

To help with your planning, here are a few ideas ranging from Christmas morning brunch through to end-of-meal cheese platters; prices are an indication only.

BRUNCH: Creamy scrambled eggs and smoked salmon are a popular Christmas Day brunch idea, so consider an Australian Domaine Chandon 2008 Z*D Victorian Blanc de Blancs sparkler at $39.95, a spritzy Campbell's Rutherglen 2012 Moscato that's just 7% alcohol (half the norm) at $18 – or go all the way with a French Champagne Taittinger Brut Millesime 2004 at a cool $150... or a Dom Perignon Vintage Rosé at a mere $630.

CANAPÉS PRE-LUNCH: Wonderfully bubbly Logan Vintage 'M' Cuvee 2000 from NSW's Orange region at $35, legendary Houghton's West Australian Swan Valley White Classic (formerly White Burgundy) just $11, or New Zealand Lindauer Special Reserve Brut Cuvee NV (non-vintage) $20.
VALUE-priced McGuigan Bin 7000
Chardonnay to share with the turkey.

COLD SEAFOOD is surging to the Christmas fore and certainly takes the mid-summer heat out of the kitchen: share with a Good Catholic Girl's Teresa Riesling from the Clare Valley at $25 (very limited supplies: phone 0419 822 909,) a NSW Southern Highlands Banjo's Run 2011 Sauvignon Blanc at $28, or a Spanish Vionta label Albarino from the country's Atlantic Coast at $25.

TURKEY and a great match for the traditionalists is a McGuigan Wines' Bin 7000 Hunter Valley Chardonnay blend at just $12.99, a Tim Adams Clare Valley Mr Mick 2009 Tempranillo $15, or a Blue Pyrenees Western Victoria NV (non-vintage) Sparkling Shiraz at $24.

ROAST PORK: For something enjoyably different go for a Margan Hunter Valley 2012 Rosé Shiraz Saignee at $17, a Tim Adams Clare Valley 2012 Pinot Gris $22, or from Tasmania a Ninth Island Pinot Noir at $15.85.

DELIGHTFUL Sauvignon Blanc from
Rymill to go with the baked ham.
BAKED HAM: Grab an ideal value-priced McGuigan Black Label South Australia Traminer Riesling at just $9.99, Rymill Coonawarra 2012 Sauvignon Blanc at $15.95, or try a New Zealand Matua Valley Pinot Noir that's only $10.85.

ROAST pork, crackling and
Tim Adams Pinot Gris.
IF YOU'RE BARBECUING: Try an interesting Kurtz Family Vineyard 2008 Boundary Row GSM (Grenach, Shiraz, Mataro from the Barossa at $18, a Tintara McLaren Vale 2009 Shiraz at $24.99 or a New Zealand Giesen Merlot $18.99.

CHRISTMAS PUDDING:  Hard to look past Lillypilly Estate's 2008 Noble Blend from the NSW Riverina at $22.50, Nugan Estate's 2008 Cookoothama Botrytis Semillon also from the Riverina and $22.95, or from Portugal's Douro Valley a Symington Cockburn Fine Tawny Port at $19.99.

CHEESE Platter to wrap up the meal: Salivate over this with a BlackJack 2010 Block 6 Shiraz from Victoria's Bendigo region at $35, an Exemplar 2010 McLaren Vale Shiraz at $65, or from Portugal a Blandy's 5 Years Old Malmsley Port at $29.99.

BLOCKBUSTER red to finish off with the
cheese platter: BlackJack Block 6 Shiraz.
HOW sweet it is: Lillypilly's Noble Blend
ideal with the Christmas Pudding.
AND FINALLY DON'T hesitate to pop the reds in the fridge for an hour before serving: the idea of "room temperature" originated in Europe whose stone castles and grand homes were more likely to be 11 to 14 degrees than the 30s or 40s we can experience here celebrating an Australian Christmas. Equally don't chill the flavour out of the whites by serving them too cold.


Monday 3 December 2012


START Christmas Day
celebrations with this.

David Ellis

THE Adelaide Hills' Wicks Estate has released a couple of great drops in time for Christmas – a 2010 Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir that'll be ideal with canapés as guests arrive for Christmas day lunch or dinner, and a delightful 2012 Sauvignon Blanc for those opting this year for a cold seafood spread at the Festive table.

Winemakers Tim Knappstein and Leigh Ratzmer fermented the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir separately for their bubbly, and then blended them to get exactly the combination of flavours they were looking for – a sparkling drop with a wonderful zesty freshness to get the party going, and a palate to go perfectly with a range of canapés or simply on its own in the lead-up to lunch or dinner.

Their 2012 Sauvignon Blanc is one of those easy-drinking wines that goes ideally with lighter meals, in particular seafoods, with typical tropical fruit and passionfruit to the fore and hints of lime.

The 2020 Sparkling is $25 and the 2012 Sauvignon Blanc $18.

AND enjoy this one with
the Christmas turkey.
ONE FOR LUNCH: Julie Barry never ceases to amuse us with the diversity of whimsical, often irreverent, remarks she comes up with about the exceptional wines she makes under her equally whimsical (and exceptional) Good Catholic Girl label.

One such regarded her James Brazill 2009 Clare Shiraz, a somewhat full-bodied drop with wonderful aromas that jump from the glass: dark plums, chocolate and warming spices especially, and with a palate she says "makes it almost sinfully easy to drink."

Certainly one of her best-ever, to which she attributes the fruit from her Limerick vineyard at Armagh being the finest to date, and fortuitously picked on March 7th which, according to Julie, happened to be "the feast day of St Celcius of Armagh… "

We'll take her Good Catholic Girl word for it, and while she suggests it goes particularly well with Irish Stew, we'd rather share it with turkey on Christmas Day. Price: $30.


Tuesday 27 November 2012



A NICE foil to spicy Thai foods, or with Italian
creamy garlic or tomato-based pasta sauces.
David Ellis

THE Independent Liquor Retailers group that has something like 250 outlets across Australia, has launched its first private label wines that it whimsically calls The Owl & The Pussycat, and which will target those looking for quality wines in the $10-$15 price bracket.

They've launched with a New Zealand 2011 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and a 2011 Barossa Shiraz; the Sauvignon Blanc is quite a stand-out at $13.99 and was sourced from fruit from Marlborough's Awatere sub-region. The distinctive flint/mineral characters and natural acidity of the region has carried through in the wine, that also displays subtle tropical fruit flavours, passionfruit notes and lovely lemon/lime characteristics.

Certainly worth seeking out at to enjoy with Italian creamy garlic or tomato-based pasta sauces, or as a foil to spicier Thai foods. And the Independent Liquor Retaiilers group says it's also got a Cabernet Sauvignon and a sparkling in the pipeline.

ONE to start thinking about with the
Christmas turkey – they're a perfect match
ONE FOR LUNCH: THE Clare Valley's Tim Adams and wife Pam have released a 2009 Tempranillo under their Mr Mick label that honours the late Mick Knappstein who for over 50 years made wines at Leasingham Winery that Tim and Pam bought in 2011.

Tempranillo was virtually unknown in Mick's day, but Tim and Pam have discovered how well-suited it is to the district, producing a full-bodied yet easy-drinking red with smooth tannins, strawberry flavours and a beaut hint of spice.

At only $15, far less than many other local Tempranillos, it's a wine that will go down well at the table with a wide diversity of cuisines – and certainly with the roast turkey if you're starting to think already about what to put on the table on Christmas day.


Monday 26 November 2012

Chinese Opinion Leaders Experience Some of Australia's Best Drops

Media Release

Inline images 1

Six of China's leading wine and lifestyle opinion leaders have been visiting Australia this month as part of a joint Tourism Australia and Wine Australia initiative to promote Australia's world class tourism and wine experiences to potential Chinese visitors.

The visiting opinion leaders represent major media titles and wine blog sites in China such as WineOnline,,, Wines Info, U Life Magazine, Men's Uno and the Robb Report, which have a combined following of more than one million Chinese. Their Australian itinerary has included visits to more than 10 wineries and talks with leading winemakers in the McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Barossa and Margaret River.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said the visiting opinion leaders would help to extend the global message of why There's nothing like Australia in one of Australia's most important tourism markets.

"China continues to be a market of increasing significance for Australian tourism and is now our single most important market in terms of value - worth $3.8 billion annually - and key to our long term plans for growth," Mr McEvoy said.

"Whilst we know that Australia's nature is incredibly appealing to Chinese travellers, and has helped to drive the demand for our tourism experiences, we want to extend their knowledge that our landscape has also created some of the world's finest wines.

"Hosting these influential opinion leaders will help to spread word-of-mouth advocacy in China about the many and compelling reasons why Australia is a world class tourism destination, especially those experiences that are built around our wine and food offering," Mr McEvoy said.

Mr McEvoy added the visit followed recent research commissioned by Tourism Australia that shows while Australia's world class beauty and natural environment are the primary reason why Chinese travellers choose to visit, the country's wine and food offerings enhance their reasons to visit and the experience when they are here.

Wine Australia Chief Executive Andrew Cheesman said the visit would help showcase the quality and diversity of Australian wines and wine regions.

"China is Australia's fastest growing export market for Australian wine, with bottled wine exports to China delivering double digit growth in both value and volume this year," Mr Cheesman said.

"Australian wines are fast gaining a reputation in China for their high quality, and the diversity of styles means they are very well matched with Chinese cuisines.

"Education and engagement of consumers, sommeliers, wine educators, importers, media and other key influencers is central to Wine Australia's strategy in China and this visit by some of China's media opinion leaders is a major part of that."

South Australian wineries involved in the visit have included: Hardy's Tintara, Angove McLaren Vale, d'Arenberg Vineyard & Winery, Chapel Hill Winery, Petaluma's Piccadilly Vineyard, Shaw & Smith, The Lane Vineyard, Grant Burge Wines, Jacob's Creek, and Peter Lehmann Wines. In Western Australia wineries visited included Fraser Gallop Estate, Stella Bella, Brookland Valley Winery, and Cullen Wines.

Tourism experiences featured on the program in South Australia have included: Cheese and Olive Oil tasting with the producers of McLaren Vale, Cleland Wildlife Park, Star of Greece Café, Hilton Adelaide and Hilton Brasserie, The Victory Hotel, Barossa Trike Tours, Novotel Barossa Resort, and Harry's Restaurant in South Australia.

Western Australian tourism experiences have included: Pullman Resort Bunker Bay, Margaret River Gourmet Escape, Naturaliste Charters Whale and Dolphin Eco-Tours, Swan Jet Adventures, The Bell Towers, The Trustee Bar & Bistro, Busselton Jetty & Underwater Observatory, Esplanade Hotel Fremantle, Little Creatures Brewery, The Round House, Didgeridoo Breath, Cottesloe Beach, Crown Perth, Kings Park, Wandering West Tours, Perth Mint, and Must Wine Bar.  

In the past year Australia welcomed 606,400 visitors from China (September 2012 year end), making it the second largest source market for visitors after New Zealand. As part of Australia's Tourism 2020 strategy, China is expected to grow to as much as $9 billion and 860,000 visitors annually by the end of the decade.

China is Australia's third largest market for Australian bottled wine exports and the biggest for bottled wine exports above A$7.50 per litre, ahead of the US and Canada. China's demand for premium wine continues to drive strong growth in the higher priced Australian wine segments, with the above A$10.00 per litre segment a stand‐out, up 37 per cent. The average value per litre of Australian bottled imports to China is now for the first time higher than the average for French wines.

Adam Liaw joins 2013 Rymill Coonawarra Harvest Lunch

Media Release

Rymill Coonawarra is thrilled to once again be celebrating vintage and announces the guest speaker for its annual '2013 Rymill Coonawarra Harvest Lunch' to be held on 27 April, 2013.

This year Rymill Coonawarra will be teaming up with Adam Liaw, host on the new television series Destination Flavour and 2010 MasterChef winner, to bring lots of spice to festivities as guest speaker at the ticketed marquee event.

Adam and award winning local Chef Simon Bowen, of Pipers of Penola, will create an inspiring menu for guests, which will celebrate Adam's signature Asian cuisine and will pair particularly well with the Rymill Coonawarra wines.

Sandrine Gimon, senior winemaker, is looking forward to selecting the wines to complement Adam's fare,

"I think Adam's Asian-style food, with its unique flavours and spices, will be a fantastic partner to our Companions Range, especially the aromatic Rymill Coonawarra 'gt' Gewurztraminer, and the versatile Rymill Coonawarra mc ²."

Last year was a sold out event with over 150 guests enjoying a four course meal and listened intently to Stephanie Alexander. This year the team is looking forward to an equally successful event. Tickets on sale in January 2013 and the date will be announced shortly, so stay tuned!

Rymill Coonawarra Harvest Lunch with Adam Liaw

Where:                                      Rymill Coonawarra Winery, Riddoch Highway, Coonawarra SA
When:                                       Saturday 27 April 2013
Time:                                       12pm-3pm
Cost and ticket release date:        TBA

For further details please contact Nharess Albert, Brand Manager, by email at or phone 08 8736 5001.

Rymill Coonawarra

John Riddoch founded Coonawarra in 1890 when he had the foresight to plant the first grapevines in the district. One hundred and twenty years later, John Rymill, his great-great-grandson is the Managing Director of our family wine company. Six generations on, the family's long and important connection with wine and horses is recognised by the presence of our stallions rampant in both the company logo and the bronze sculpture that welcomes visitors to the winery.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

A Taste of things to come as Optimiste Unveils their ‘Tasting House’

Media Release

Optimiste, a boutique family owned Mudgee winery, proudly unveiled the refurbishment of its 100 year old homestead at the grand opening of its ‘Tasting House’ on 17th November 2012.

Sharlene and Steve Dadd have been successfully growing grapes on their picturesque Mudgee Estate and producing high quality handmade wines under the Optimiste label, loosely meaning ‘hope & passion’ in French, for almost 15 years, but this week they welcome guests for the first time to their very own ‘Tasting House’.

In keeping with the extreme quality, style and personality of this small yet fine wine brand, the ‘Tasting House’ will enable Optimiste to showcase their wines and establish a presence in the Mudgee region for wine tastings and sales as well as the opportunity to sample the finest local produce and even showcase Mudgee artwork. The perfect blend of wine, food, art and history.

The Tasting House was lovingly transformed from an old, derelict farmhouse on the Mudgee property into an Australian homestead-come-French provincial inspired farmhouse. It’s so much more than just a cellar door, retaining its country charm and character with wide wrap around verandahs overlooking the property and expansive valleys. The ‘Tasting House’ is situated in the heart of the Optimiste vineyards with picturesque views that are quintessentially Mudgee. A warm, bright and relaxed nest in the hills.

The “Tasting House” was the original Mullamuddy Homestead built by the Rayner family and dating back to the early 1900’s and will feature on its historic walls the latest exhibitions from local artists, with a new artist featuring every two months as well as the annual ‘Optimiste Artist in Residence Program’ providing the opportunity for a selected artist to stay on the farm and find inspiration from the surrounding beauty for their works.

Established since 1998, Optimiste is an established award-winning wine producer, with their full range of new release wines available for you to try at the ‘Tasting House.’ James Halliday’s 2013 Wine Companion has recently awarded both Optimiste’s Limited Release Mudgee Semillon 2011 and Mudgee Shiraz 2010 to receive an outstanding rating of 90. Optimiste’s accomplished winemaker, Jacob Stein, was also recently announced as ‘The Gourmet Traveller Young Winemaker of The Year’, and proudly chatted with guests at the grand opening celebration about Optimiste’s latest offerings.

The Optimiste ‘Tasting House’ is 12kms from Mudgee, located on Horseflat Lane, Mullamuddy (just off Castlreagh Highway) and is open Friday, Saturday, Sundays and Public Holidays from 10am - 4pm

Monday 19 November 2012


IDEAL with Italian
bangers 'n garlic mash.

David Ellis

AN interesting new blend out of McLaren Vale's Kangarilla Road is made up of three varieties that are each delightful on their own, but have come together here in a marvellously rewarding drop under a label dubbed Terzetto.

"The name is Italian for 'threesome'," said winemaker, Kevin O'Brian of his blend of 45% Sangiovese, 35% Primitivo and 20% Nebbiolo. "The latter has an intense rose and tannin structure to it, while the Sangiovese and Primitivo add spicy cherry and plum.

"It means that on the palate white and black cherries are dominant along with rose hip, spicy plums and nuances of cardamom, with rustic fruit tannins culminating in a wine with incredible lingering flavours that seem to go on forever," says Kevin.

Certainly it's an unusual blend and we're sure the 2010 won't be Kevin's one and only foray with it. Pay $22 and enjoy with Italian sausages and a garlic mash.

GREAT Aussie Sauvignon Blanc
to go with all manner of seafoods.
ONE FOR LUNCH: Coonawarra's Rymill has released a 2012 The Yearling Sauvignon Blanc, a wine from an exceptional vintage that produced white wines of crisp acidity and wonderful varietal definition in time for lighter summery meal-time enjoyment.

Best summed-up as crisp, rich and zesty, it's got beautiful varietal tropical fruit influences and a hint of zingy pink guava on the palate, which leads into a long-lasting zesty lemon and lime finish.

Little wonder winemaker Sandrine Gimon sums it up as "an outstanding example of Australian Sauvignon Blanc." At $15.95 its one that'll prove great on the table with all manner of seafoods or a summer's Caesar salad.


Wednesday 14 November 2012

World Best Chefs Head to Noosa For Tenth Anniversary Celebration

The Noosa International Food and Wine Festival has truly earned its international signature after announcing an unparalleled line-up of global culinary stars for their tenth anniversary event.

Ten illustrious chefs all drawn from the prestigious S.Pellegrino World's Best Restaurant List will come together to enthrall and inspire festival-goers on how to create and taste the dishes that have earned them international eminence.

The S. Pellegrino list is created from The World's Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of over 800 international leaders in the restaurant industry, each selected for their expert opinion of the international restaurant scene.

Starring at the event will be:

Mark Best - Three hatted chef, Marque Restaurant in Sydney is world renowned and is amongst a distinguished few to achieve 19/20 in the Good Food Guide. He won Gourmet Traveller's restaurant of the year in 2012 and opened his second restaurant, Pei Modern in Melbourne earlier this year

Mauro Colagreco - from his Italo-Argentinian cultural heritage, Mauro has developed a creative style of gastronomic cuisine, folding in the best of Mediterranean cooking at his two-star Michelin restaurant Mirazur on the French Riviera.

Andre Chiang - Listed by Wallpaper Magazine as one of the worlds best young chefs and one of the "Ten restaurants in the world worth a plane ride" by the NY Times, Andre has successfully combined Mediterranean accents and French techniques to his Restaurant ANDRE in Singapore

Carlo Cracco - Italy's new generation famed hyper creative molecular gastronomer and two-star Michelin chef from Ristorante Cracco, Milan. Also received 18.5/20 from Espresso and three forks from the prestigious Gambero Rosso.

Peter Gilmore - Has received an unprecedented number of national and international awards including three chef hats from the SMH Good Food Guide for ten consecutive years. Peter has established his restaurant at the forefront of the Australian food scene at Quay, in Sydney.

David Kinch - A two-star Michelin chef with a host of accolades behind him including Chef of the Year by GQ magazine, David is at the forefront of new contemporary Californian cuisine at Manresa, Los Gatos, USA

Yoshihiro Narisawa - Highly acclaimed for his plethora of culinary innovation, Narisawa creates nature conservation related dishes at Les Creations des NARISAWA, Tokyo

Ben Shewry - Three hatted chef from Attica in Melbourne. Ben has won The Age 2012 Good Food Guide, Restaurant of the Year and more recently the 2013 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Chef of the Year.

David Thompson - Regarded as the world's most comprehensive authority on Thai food and the name behind Bangkok and London's Nahm Restaurant

Tetsuya Wakuda - Recognised as one of Australia's most original, creative and successful culinary talents that has seen him win the inaugural SMH Good Food Guide People's Choice Award from Tetsuya's in Sydney and Waku Ghin in Singapore

Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey, welcomed the international chefs to Queensland.

"The Noosa International Food and Wine Festival continues to offer visitors to the Sunshine Coast a superior culinary experience in one of Queensland's most iconic tourism destinations," Ms Stuckey said.

"It is with great pride we welcome such an impressive selection of highly-acclaimed interstate and international chefs to Queensland for the 2013 event.

"The Newman Government is proud to support international events like this through Events Queensland as part of our goal to double annual overnight visitor expenditure to $30 billion by 2020."

The festival will offer many unique opportunities to mingle with the masters of the cooking world commencing with the spectacular 10th Anniversary Opening Night Celebration where the ten chefs will feature in a gala concert of "edible music" whilst guests eat their way through a sensory feast of gastronomic and music delights.

Their culinary talents and insights will also be put on show at a series of presentations, talks and cooking demonstrations throughout the 2013 program.

In an appropriate finale their visit will culminate at the prestigious Qantas Premier International Degustation Dinners (previously the "Best Dinner in the World") as the best epicurean flare is put on display over two nights at berardo's restaurant and bar on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th May 2013.

The globally acclaimed stars will be joined by two hundred of the world's most prominent chefs, winemakers, media and food personalities for the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival from 16-19 May 2013.

Tickets for the Festival will go on sale on 14 January 2013. 

Stay up to date with all the Festival news, announcements and pics at

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Visit the website at for further information.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Kiwi winemaker Triumphs in Trans Tasman Awards

Media Release

Villa Maria’s Nick Picone awarded Young Winemaker of the Year

In a first for a New Zealander, Villa Maria Estate’s Senior Auckland Winemaker Nick Picone was named Australasia’s Young Winemaker of the Year last Friday night in Sydney at The Wine Society’s awards ceremony.

From 150 entries, ten finalists were selected after in-depth wine tasting sessions by the judges. Picone was joined in the finals by other highly esteemed winemakers from around Australia and New Zealand, with Malcolm Rees-Francis from Rockburn Wines and Nikolai St George from Matua Valley Wines the other two Kiwi finalists. Picone was named overall champion after tastings of all contestants’ wines.

Picone was humbled to be named as the overall winner at these awards, stating “I am extremely proud to be the inaugural New Zealand winner of the Young Winemaker of the Year Award, especially in a year with such high calibre finalists. I started out right at the bottom and it’s so exciting to now be at the helm of New Zealand’s most awarded wine company and to be the first Kiwi to win this overall prize”. These awards are renowned as the most significant in Australia and New Zealand for young winemakers.

To enter this competition, which is now in its 12th year, winemakers must be under 35 years old and be principally responsible for the wines they have entered. In Nick’s case, his assessed wines were the award winning Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2010, Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Merlot 2010, and Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah. New Zealand is well known internationally for its Sauvignon Blanc prowess, so it was interesting to see that all three Kiwi finalists submitted wines other than Sauvignon Blanc, showing the increasing depth and scope of New Zealand’s wine industry.

Wine Society CEO Peter Wheatley spoke before presenting the award to Picone; “The Wine Society is proud to present this valuable and prestigious industry award for the twelfth time and is honoured to celebrate and acknowledge the industry’s talented, up-and-coming winemakers”.

Nick had an early start in winemaking, completing his first vintage at 18 years of age at Esk Valley Estate in Hawkes Bay. After completing a BA in Wine Science, he became Villa Maria’s youngest Assistant Winemaker at 24 with a shift to the South Island’s Marlborough region. In 2004 he was awarded the Yalumba scholarship to attend the Len Evans tutorial in the Hunter Valley in Australia. Nick became Villa Maria’s Senior Auckland Winemaker in 2008, and began overseeing Villa Maria’s North Island production, including in the Hawkes Bay and Gisborne. In total, he has completed 16 vintages including several in California and Italy. Nick was previously named as the joint winner of NZ Winemaker of the Year at the Royal Easter show in 2011.

Monday 12 November 2012



SWEET-tooths unite around this one
– with fresh avocados and chocolate.

David Ellis

FOR anyone with a sweet-tooth and a penchant for fresh-picked avocados, now's the time to indulge your passions – and the more so with a sweet, low-alcohol 2012 Deakin Estate Moscato that's wonderful buying at just $10.

Made from Muscat Gordo Blanco grapes from the Murray Darling region of North Western Victoria, this one's got just 6% alcohol, which is under half the norm, and has a nice light-bodied palate that's spritzy from careful use of CO2, a natural zingy acidity, and a finish suggestive of green apples.

This is a wine to enjoy with light desserts like meringues and cheesecakes, fresh home-made fruit salad, or even ice cream with fresh avocados whipped through it.

But we confess to a glass or three with an idea that came out of this year's Avocado Masterclass Series – a dessert of chocolate, avocado and lime. Oh yeah…

FLAVOUR-filled match with asparagus
salad or spicy Indian dishes.

ONE FOR LUNCH: WITH a 2012 vintage defined by extremely low yields that meant for great flavour concentration in the fruit, Peter Logan had everything going for him and the annual Rosé he produces at his cold climate Logan Wines at Orange in NSW's Central West.

"The fruit for our 2012 Hannah Rosé developed really vibrant flavours typical of our cold, high altitude location," Peter says. "It meant for a resultant wine that's light yet luscious, elegant and restrained."

Peter uses Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Shiraz in his Rosé that he describes as "being inspired by a combination of lovely southern French Rosé and Chardonnay."

At $22 enjoy with an asparagus salad, or for something hot, spicy Indian dishes.


Thursday 8 November 2012


Media Release

This festive season can be full of sweet-talk, with the results from the 2012 International Sweet Wine Challenge shining a light on the variety and quality of sweet and semi-sweet wines from around the world, and helping you find the best wine to go with your Christmas pudding, ice cream or pavlova.

Not that sweet wines can only be drunk with dessert, as if the 2012 winning wines demonstrate anything it is just how widely diverse sweet wines can be.

A record number of entries to this year's Challenge highlighted the many styles of sweet wines that are now available - wines not just for special occasions or to have with desserts but to enjoy at many different times. Which is just why the Riverina Winemakers Association created the International Sweet Wine Challenge seven years ago; to showcase sweet wines from around the world and allow Australian sweet wines to be judged alongside their international counterparts.

Riverina Winemakers' Association President Les Worland said, "Australia is the perfect location to host such a wine show as we are known for pushing the boundaries with wine and bending traditional drinking rules. And of course the Riverina is also well-known for its ability to produce world-class sweet wines."

The wine that claimed the ultimate title of the 2012 International Sweet Wine of the Year was the 2011 Forrest Wines Noble Semillon from New Zealand. Judge Ben Edwards (co-contributor to James Halliday's Wine Companion and President of Sommeliers Australia) said, "This year's winner showed amazing purity of expression and is a beautifully balanced wine with a long future."

  • 2011 Forrest Wines Noble Semillon ~ 2012 International Sweet Wine of the Year and Best Young Sweet, Semillon predominant
  • 2012 Deakin Estate Moscato ~ Best Sweet Moscato styles
  • 2012 Josef Chromy SGR Riesling ~ Best Medium Sweet
  • 2011 Osawa Wines Noble Gewurztraminer ~ Best Young Sweet, Floral styles
  • 2010 Nepenthe Winemakers Selection Riesling ~ Best Mature Sweet, Floral styles
  • 2008 De Bortoli Deen Botrytis Semillon ~ Best Mature Sweet, Semillon predominant
  • 2011 The Ned Noble Sauvignon Blanc ~ Best Young Sweet, Other Varieties & Blends
  • 2008 Lillypilly Noble Blend ~ Best Mature Sweet, Other Varieties & Blends
  • 2006 Lillypilly Noble Harvest ~ Best Sweet Wine from the Museum Class
The Challenge is open to any non-fortified sweet wine that is commercially available in the country of origin, and holds a minimum stock of 50 case lots at the time of entry. There is also a separate Museum Class for wines five years or older, which are not commercially available, with the aim of this class to show unusual or rare styles.

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Epic night for the Hunter Valley at the Citibank NSW Wine Awards

 Media Release

It has been a NSW Wine Awards of "Epic" proportions with the Hunter Valley taking out 22 of the Top 40 Wines, and last night a Hunter Valley winery was also awarded NSW Wine of the Year for the fifth successive year.

The Hungerford Hill Epic Shiraz 2007 (RRP $55) was named 2012 Citibank NSW Wine of the Year at the States' most coveted wine show, the Citibank NSW Wine Awards, at the NSW wine industry's night of nights held at Guillaume at Bennelong.

"This win confirms the fact that the Hunter Valley is making great wines across the board, from producers new and old, large and small," said Andrew Margan, President, Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association.

For the last five years a Hunter Valley winery has taken out the top award. The NSW Wine of the Year predecessors include Mistletoe Wines in 2011, Tempus Two in 2010, Brokenwood  in 2009 and Audrey Wilkinson in 2008.

James Kirby, owner of Hungerford Hill was presented with this his second prestigious NSW Wine of the Year Trophy (the previous win was in 2006 when the Hungerford Hill Tumbarumba Chardonnay 2005 took out the trophy) before the who's who of the wine industry, including Chair of Judges, Huon Hooke, and flanked by the other Trophy winners and Top 40 winemakers of the 2012 NSW Wine Awards which also included an impressive line-up of the State's best wines, including three other Hunter Valley Trophy winning wines:-
  • Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard "The Ridge" Semillon 2012 – Trophy for Best Young Semillon
  • Audrey Wilkinson Museum Reserve Semillon 2006 – Trophy for Best Mature Dry White
  • Tallavera Grove Shiraz 2011 – Trophy for Best Young Shiraz
  • Hungerford Hill "Epic" Shiraz 2007 – Trophy for Best Mature Dry Red

Top 40 wines from the Hunter Valley included:-

  • Ascella Wines Premium Chardonnay 2011 (Hunter Valley) $30
  • Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard Museum Reserve Semillon 2006 (Hunter Valley) $60
  • Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard "The Ridge" Semillon 2010 (Hunter Valley) $35
  • Brokenwood Stanleigh Park Semillon 2007 (Hunter Valley) $45
  • De luliis Shiraz 2011 (Hunter Valley) $25
  • De luliis Steven Vineyard Shiraz 2011 (Hunter Valley) $40
  • First Creek Wines Winemakers Reserve Semillon 2009 (Hunter Valley) $35
  • Gartelmann Hunter Estate Benjamin Semillon 2009 (Hunter Valley) $35
  • Hungerford Hill Wines Epic Shiraz 2007 (Hunter Valley) $55
  • Leogate Estate Reserve Semillon 2010 (Hunter Valley) $25
  • McLeish Estate Semillon 2007 (Hunter Valley) $55
  • McLeish Estate Semillon 2011 (Hunter Valley) $23
  • Meerea Park Terracotta Semillon 2006 (Hunter Valley) $30
  • Pepper Tree Wines Coquun Reserve Shiraz 2011 (Hunter Valley) $55
  • Pokolbin Estate Riesling 2007 (Hunter Valley) $25
  • Tallavera Grove Shiraz 2011 (Hunter Valley) $25
  • Thomas Wines "The O.C." Semillon 2012 (Hunter Valley) $22
  • Thomas Wines Braemore Semillon 2012 (Hunter Valley) $28
  • Tulloch Wines Vineyard Selection Semillon 2012 (Hunter Valley) $18
  • Tyrrell's Vineyards HVD Semillon 2006 (Hunter Valley) $35
  • Tyrrell's Vineyards Vat 8 Shiraz 2010 (Hunter Valley) $50
  • Tyrrell's Vineyards Vat 8 Shiraz 2011 (Hunter Valley) $50

Hunter Valley Uncorked Balmoral will celebrate its seventh year of showcasing some of the region's best wines and produce on Sunday 4 November between 11am and 5pm at Balmoral Beach. Many of the wineries in the 2012 Citibank NSW Wine of the Year Awards Top 40 will be attending and offering a range of premium Hunter Valley wines for tasting on the day.

Monday 5 November 2012


IDEAL with a simple chicken casserole
or quickly grilled white-fleshed fish.

David Ellis

WHEN you've been making wine in the Hunter Valley for 140 years or more and are simply continuing to grow – expanding into such other regions as the Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, Adelaide Hills and Eden Valley to name just a few  – you should be well-content in the knowledge that you are doing things right.

But McGuigan Wines' Chief Winemaker, Neil McGuigan while no doubt content with what he can see behind him, is forever looking to the future, crafting better and better wines and creating new labels to reflect new approaches to his ever-evolving skills, whilst ensuring only the best continues to go under existing labels.

A favourite of ours is his value-priced Bin 7000 Chardonnay, the 2011 vintage a stand-out medium-bodied wine with a creamy mouthfeel and one that's delightfully fresh and crisp. Its powerful aromas are all about tropical fruit and lovely citrus overtones – and yet it's priced at just $12.99.

Definitely not being in the Not Another Chardonnay camp – we still consider the variety amongst our top three white favourites – we'd suggest enjoying this one now with a simple chicken casserole, quickly grilled white-fleshed fish or creamy pasta dishes, or putting it aside for more rewarding drinking in three to five years time.
SLIGHTLY sweeter than usual and lower
in alcohol, enjoy with a pork stir-fry.

ONE FOR LUNCH: IF you are into pork stir-fries, a nice wine to enjoy one with is a New Zealand Riesling from Giesen in the famed Marlborough region.

Their 2011 Estate Riesling that's now available nationally is slightly more sweetish than most drier Rieslings, which is why it will go well with that pork stir-fry… the palate has flavours of tangelo, and touches of honey. It's also got a slightly lower than usual alcohol content at 10.5%.

Pay $18.99 and go forth and enjoy.


Thursday 1 November 2012


Media Release: 1 November 2012

Although miles apart by geography, the highly regarded winemaking regions of Portugal and NSW’s Central Ranges, are surprisingly firm friends when it comes to the production of easy-to-drink, fresh Rosé wines. Transport yourself to another time and place this summer by indulging in a glass of the latest collaborative effort from Cumulus Estate Wines and The Berardo Group of Portugal. Introducing the…

2012 LUNA ROSA Rosado (rrp: $14.99)

As part-owner of Cumulus Estate Wines and some of the most prestigious wine estates in Portugal, The Berardo Group brings a wealth of European winemaking knowledge to the Orange-based wine business. Lending their global expertise to the production of wines with exceptional depth and flavour, this exciting fusion of old world Portuguese artisanship with new world cool climate winemaking has led to the creation of the delightfully drinkable Luna Rosa Rosado.

The second vintage of Luna Rosa, the 2012 is a uniquely styled Australian Rosé that is naturally lighter in alcohol, a perfect addition to balmy spring and summer entertaining. Winemaker Debbie Lauritz says, “Our first Luna Rosa was all about testing the waters with the market. With this latest wine, I really think we’ve hit the mark. We were looking to create a lighter bodied style that displayed brighter fruit characters and a fresh acid. I am excited to say I think we have managed to create something truly special.”

A blend of 50% Grenache, 50% Mourvedre was used; sourced from slightly warmer vineyard sites to ensure adequate tannin levels, the parcels were also picked early to ensure lighter flavours and alcohol could be achieved. Upholding European winemaking techniques, a small tank of juice was also held back during the fermentation process before being added back into the wine to keep alcohol levels low. Debbie says, “Each parcel of fruit was picked in the cool of the night by the light of the moon to retain the delicate aromatics, hence the name Luna Rosa. We also kept the wine very cold post-ferment to give it a very light spritz on the palate, adding freshness and lift.”

The ceramic tiles that decorate the Luna Rosa label take their inspiration from the Portuguese Azulejos (or polished stones). Closely associated with Portuguese culture, the pattern on these tiles symbolises the joining of these old and new world winemaking techniques, a passion that remains at the heart of all Cumulus Estate Wines.

Debbie concludes, “This style of Rosé wine is enjoyable because it is light, refreshing, well-balanced and fruity – just as rosé should be. It’s the perfect choice for those looking for a refreshing alternative to white wine this summer, and the ideal accompaniment to tapas, seafood and spicy Asian foods…or if you prefer, simply enjoy it on its own.”

Only one thing is for sure; it doesn’t matter how you drink it, just make sure it’s with good friends and family. Saúde!


RRP $14.99 - Distributed by Cumulus Estate Wines

Available nationally through good independent bottle shops

Monday 29 October 2012


A NICE red to go with a rustic
Greek-style slow-cooked leg of lamb.


David Ellis

MOURVEDRE is generally regarded as a variety whose roots were in Spain, although it's also grown widely in France and more recently in New World winemaking countries as well, including Australia – although some of our earliest growers and makers planted the variety here so long ago that we can in fact boast we've some of the oldest Mourvedre vineyards in the world.

Generally it is blended here with Grenache and Shiraz to produce the increasingly popular GSMs, although some makers are now bottling it as a straight varietal, including Terra Felix whose vineyards just north-west of Bendigo in Victoria have soils ideal for this late-ripening variety.

And the 2008 Terra Felix 2008 E'vette's Block Mourvedre in particular is a lovely drop with a palate that's balanced and savoury, and has a typically Mourvedre spicy bite, together with a hint of oak. Pour it into the glass and its got a spicy cherry and blackberry fruit bouquet, with suggestions of herbs as well.

At around $17-$19 a bottle, depending where you shop, it's a well priced red to enjoy with almost any barbecued meats, or Greek-style slow-cooked leg of lamb.
CREAMY crayfish risotto a
perfect match with this one.

ONE FOR LUNCH: VICTORIA'S Yarra Valley is a consistent producer of exceptional Chardonnay fruit, with major local maker Chandon usually being associated with this going into its outstanding bubblies.

But it's recently-released 2011 traditional Chardonnay has been blended from fruit from the Upper Yarra Valley that exhibited wonderful citrus flavours, and other parcels from the lower reaches of the Valley floor that had more stone-fruit characters to the fore.

The result is a wine whose aromas reflect the two blends of fruit, and with flavours of almond nougat and cashew; pay $27.95 and enjoy with a creamy crayfish risotto.


Thursday 25 October 2012

Burch Family Wines Fringe Events at the Margaret River Gourmet Escape

Media Release

Inline images 1

Burch Family Wines is celebrating the Margaret River Gourmet Escape with three Fringe Events.

Tickets for the events are selling fast. The exclusive dinner at Howard Park with Chef, Chris Taylor from Frasers and international wine personality Ch'ng Poh Tiong, at $600 per person is close to sellout with only 4 tickets remaining.

There are still limited places to experience something truly unique – blending your own Grand Cuvée with Senior Winemaker, Janice McDonald.

Janice will take guests on a behind the scenes journey of discovery in crafting a Sparkling wine using traditional methods that are centuries old. Starting with a visit to the wine cellar, and a tasting or two, guests will then blend their very own Grand Cuvée, leaving with the bottle of their creation. At the conclusion of this experience guests will be full bottle on everything Sparkling, Champagne and more!

The third event is a luxurious cheese and wine affair. This experience is lead by Nick Bath, the founder of Blue Cow Cheese. Nick will introduce guests to old and new world cheeses at the Howard Park & MadFish cellar door. As sun sets over Wilyabrup Brook guests will finish the experience with a glass of Sparkling and the perfect accompanying cheese. This is a must for cheese and wine lovers, is there any better combination!


Where: Howard Park & MadFish Margaret River winery, Miamup Road Cowaramup
When: Saturday 24 November 2012
Time: 7.00pm arrival.
Cost: $600.00 per person
Bookings: Contact Jude Williams on (08) 9336 9600


Where: Howard Park & MadFish Margaret River winery, Miamup Road Cowaramup
When: Sunday 25 November 2012
Time: Two sessions available: 10.30am-12.30pm OR 1.30pm-3.30pm
Cost: $100.00 per person
Bookings: or contact Jude Williams on (08) 9336 9600


Where: Howard Park & MadFish Margaret River winery, Miamup Road Cowaramup
When: Sunday 25 November 2012
Time: 3.00pm arrival for 3.30pm start. 5.00pm finish.
Cost: $80.00 per person
Bookings: or contact Jude Williams on (08) 9336 9600