Monday 26 August 2013



David Ellis

AUSTRALIAN sparkling maker, Domaine Chandon has launched Chandon Vintage Collection, a series giving its winemakers the freedom to select and blend exceptional parcels of fruit into bubblies they feel reflect the unique "personality" of each vintage.

"We draw fruit from a diversity of sites, and by working closely with our growers, and combining this with our range of winemaking expertise, we're now able to bottle that unique annual vintage personality," says Chandon Senior Winemaker, Dan Buckle.

"Every year there's something special that stands out. It might be a parcel of fruit of exceptional character, or an idea we are exploring – whatever it is, the new Vintage Collection will allow us to develop it right through to release, a freedom not allowed many winemakers."

The first Chandon Collection wine is the 2008 Chandon Cuvée 500 blended from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Victoria's colder climate King Valley, Macedon and Strathbogie Ranges, that all sit over 500m above sea level.

This is a rewarding bubbly with bright cranberry fruit flavours, minerality and zesty lime citrus; pay $44.99 and enjoy with family or friends next time you're in celebration mode.

ONE TO NOTE: EVERY year Logan Wines release two benchmark Shiraz under their Ridge of Tears label, one that Peter Logan is exceptionally proud of as it exemplifies the best from the company's Orange and Mudgee vineyards.

But this year there's just a 2011 Mudgee Ridge of Tears Shiraz, a cracker wine from a challenging vintage. And no Orange Ridge of Tears Shiraz: with a very cold and wet 2011, Peter felt the resultant wine did not live up to the label's expectations, so he's bottled it under his premium eponymous Logan label where it over-delivers at just $25.

And seek out that 2011 Mudgee Ridge of Tears Shiraz: at $45 and with wonderful red and dark fruit flavours, it's one to really enjoy with a Sunday pork roast or barbecue.



[] AUSSIE bubbly that allows winemakers to go beyond the norm.
[] NOTHING to cry about with this one and a Sunday pork roast.

Monday 19 August 2013

Griffith loses great pioneer of wine industry

Media Release:

LOUIS DELPIANO ~ 13 February 1929 – 23 June 2013

Griffith has lost another great pioneer of the local wine industry with the passing of Louis Delpiano this June.

Mr Delpiano, credited with bringing the Riccadonna wine style to Australia and a central figure in the early days of winemaking in Griffith, died on June 23rd, aged 84.

He is being remembered as a true visionary. One of the first winemakers to have the skills and when he didn't have the right equipment, he would either bring it in or improvise. A man whose passion and knowledge saw him consult to more than a dozen local wineries at his peak and help revolutionise local winemaking methods.

Born Luigi Carlo Delpiano in the province of Piedmont Italy in 1929, Mr Delpiano spent his formative years as a winemaker in Spain and Argentina before boarding a ship bound for Australia in 1956.

A fellow traveller told him of the fledgling wine industry in Griffith and Mr Delpiano – with just 50 cents in his pocket – begged the Italian Consulate in Sydney for enough money for a train ticket to his future.

Within days of arrival in Griffith, he secured a job with McWilliam's and later with De Bortoli. During this period, he met Joyce Miller and the couple wed. They went on to have four children.

After leaving De Bortoli, Mr Delpiano became a consultant and contract winemaker for a number of wineries including Casella Wines, Toorak Wines, The Calabria Family and Warburn Estate.

His contacts in Europe and winemaking nous also saw him import critical equipment from overseas. Amid it all, he introduced Riccadonna and Rosso Americano Vermouth to Australia, also finding time to teach Italian at the local TAFE and act as a court interpreter.

Mr Delpiano's son Gary said while his father didn't suffer fools, he remained generous to a fault. "He liked to do things his own way but he was a wonderful friend to the people he valued," said Gary Delpiano. "Anytime someone needed something, he would always come through. He never sought recognition – all he wanted was the recognition of his family."

Louis Delpiano is survived by his wife Joyce, children and their partners Gary and Nil, Magda and Ben, Maia and Pratika and Wayne; and grandchildren Elise, Shaun, Jye and Luigina.


OOK it now as a great Christmas
gift for family, friend – or yourself.


David Ellis

IT'S not something we've given much thought to, but veteran wine industry author, lecturer and freelance writer, Robert Geddes mentioned the other day that to taste every one of the 3,500 current vintages of Australian wines available to us right now, we'd need to drink a different bottle of Aussie vino every day for more than nine years.

And to help those of us who sometimes struggle to find just the right wine we're really looking for – be we true enthusiasts or pure novices on the wine learning curve – Rob has tasted his way through all 3,500 for us (and some New Zealand ones as well,) and put his resultant tasting notes into a handy 500 page pocket-sized reference book.

Australian Wine Vintages 2014 is Rob's 31st such edition and also covers everything from wine varieties to our Certified Organic and Biodynamic wineries, advice about vintage and flavour quality for every one of the wines reviewed, recommended best time by year to enjoy each of them, and notes on older wines dating back to the 90's.

Label images will also help speed-up browsing the bottle-shop shelves for what you are after, there's winery information and major wine region's cellar door addresses, Rob's Top 100 Wines and his Gold Star List – and an optional App version has an interactive travellers map, as well as Rob's and local winemaker's tips on places to eat and stay.

RIPPER red from Canberra district to go
with a creamy truffled scrambled eggs brunch.
This is a great guide and would make a wonderful Christmas or other gift at just $34.95, including free postage; order a copy on

ONE TO NOTE: THE Canberra wine region is earning itself a solid reputation for classic Pinot Noir, and one maker you can rely on if you're a fan of this varietal is Lerida Estate – owner Jim Lumbers and winemaker Malcolm Burdett putting particular effort into their 2011 Lake George Pinot Noir that well-rewards in this absolute ripper red.

With cherry and red currant fruit flavours and savoury overtones, it says so much about just how good is the Lake George terroir; at $26.50 a great drop to savour and enjoy with creamy truffled scrambled eggs brunch for a leisurely Sunday morning brunch.


Thursday 15 August 2013

Grand Burgundy Tasting Series 2013




Media Release:

United Cellars presents The Grand Burgundy Tasting Series


Voted as Australia's Best Independent Online Retailer 2013 (by the 2013 Australia's Best Independent Wine Stores Competition), United Cellars brings you their annual Grand Burgundy Tasting Series this September.


Burgundy's villages have been producing wines for over 2000 years, and with over 100 appellations or sub-regions, this historically rich pocket of France is renowned for being the most terroir-oriented region in the world.


Be guided by United Cellars expert wine buyers during a 2 hour walk-about tasting (Sydney) or at a seated masterclass (Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane), and learn about the amazing quality and diversity of wines from this region. Sample and compare this exceptional selection of fine wines, including Premier Cru and Grand Cru wines, and experience why Burgundy is the most revered wine region in the world.


The journey begins with champagne & canapés on arrival, followed by a fine selection of cheeses & charcuterie with the following wines:


Pouilly Fuisse

Dominique Cornin Pouilly Fuisse Clos Reyssie 2011

Chablis (Sydney only)

Marcel Servin Chablis 1er cru Montee de Tonnerre 2011

Marcel Servin Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses 2010


Dominique Cornin Macon Chaintre 2011

Puligny Montrachet

Olivier Leflaive Puligny Montrachet Les Referts 1er Cru 2009

Olivier Leflaive Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Folatieres 2009


Blain-Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet 2010

Blain-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Caillerets 2010

Batard Montrachet

Fontaine Gagnard Batard Montrachet 2010

Corton Charlemagne

Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne 2009


Ballot-Millot Volnay Taillepieds 2008

de Montille Volnay Taillepieds 2008


De Courcel Pommard Grand Clos de Epenots 2010

Comte Armand Pommard Clos des Epeneaux 2009

Nuits St Georges

Henri Gouges Nuits-St.-Georges Clos des Porrets 2010

Henri Gouges Nuits-St.-Georges Les Pruliers 2010

Vosne Romanee

Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanee Bossieres 2010

Jean Grivot Echezeaux Grand Cru 2010

Gevery Chambertin (Sydney only)

Dugat Py Gevrey-Chambertin Coeur du Roi Très Vieilles Vignes 2009

Dugat Py Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru 2009


When & Where: 6-8pm

12th Sept            Sydney Walkabout Tasting - Royal Automobile Club

19th Sept            Melbourne Seated Masterclass – Circa, The Prince

24th Sept            Perth Seated Masterclass – The Trustee Bar & Bistro

26th Sept            Brisbane Seated Masterclass – Sub Urbane


Bookings Essential: Sydney Tasting = $195 pp || Masterclasses = $225 pp

United Cellars P: 1300 226 835 E:



Tuesday 13 August 2013

Exciting New Wine Partnership between the Oatley and Goelet families.

Media Release

Robert Oatley Vineyards (ROV) and Goelet Wine Estates (GWE) are delighted to announce the formation of an Australian partnership for ROV to market and distribute GWE's premium Australian wine brands; Taltarni (VIC) and Clover Hill (TAS).

GWE have selected ROV to be their national distributors for the on-premise and independent retail trade markets of mainland Australia.

The two family-owned wine businesses share a four decade history of winemaking, John Goelet having established Clos Du Val in California, Domaine De Nizas in France, Taltarni and Clover Hill and Bob Oatley, Rosemount Estate in Australia.

"This is an exciting partnership for two pioneering winemaking families" says GWE chief Executive Officer Adam Torpy. "ROV have in a very short space of time established themselves to be leading marketers to the on-premise and independent retail trade in particular and our Australian brands fit nicely in their impressive portfolio of premium wine producers."

"The Oatley family have formed partnerships with a number of family owned producers around the globe, including the Descours family of Champagnes Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck and New Zealand's Todd family of Ara, Marlborough" explains ROV Chief Executive Officer Anthony Roberts. "The Taltarni and Clover Hill labels are prestigious Victorian and Tasmanian offerings that perfectly compliment our Australian portfolio which is based around our own labels Robert Oatley, Wild Oats and Montrose, hailing primarily from New South Wales and Western Australia."

Adam Torpy adds "ROV have developed a very strong sales force specialising in the on-premise and independent retail trade. We have no doubt they will significantly increase our distribution across the mainland."

ROV will begin distribution of Taltarni and Clover Hill from October 1st and both labels will continue to be available to the trade through broad range wholesalers nation-wide.

Monday 12 August 2013


REWARDING blend with penne
pasta and a meaty tomato sauce.


David Ellis

FORESTER Estate in Western Australia's Margaret River has released a very delightful 2011 Cabernet Merlot that's 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot and with a 6% splash of Malbec and slightly lower 5% Petit Verdot.

Fruit was sourced from several neighbouring properties in the Yallingup sub-region in the most northerly part of Margaret River, and crushed in small open fermenters to mature for eighteen months in French oak barriques.

The result is a rewardingly full-flavoured wine with identifiable blackberry, mulberry and blackcurrant fruit, hints of cocoa and a long dark-chocolaty finish. A lovely drop now, it's also showing all the potential to develop even further over the next five years.

Pay $23.99 and match it with penne pasta and a meaty tomato sauce.

LOVE it: Margan's 2013 Shiraz
Saignee Rosé chilled with Indian cuisine.
ONE TO NOTE: WE confess to a particular love: Indian cuisine matched with a chilled Rosé from Andrew Margan in the NSW Hunter Valley. 

His latest release, the 2013 Margan Shiraz Saignee Rosé is a grand drop to take along to your favourite Indian eatery, with aromas of fresh strawberries and candyfloss bouncing forth as it pours into the glass, and beautiful candied red fruit flavours and a soft dry finish on the palate. Great value at $18 for that next Indian nosh-up. 

ANOTHER ONE TO NOTE: AN enjoyable and nicely priced white is a 2012 Margaret River Barking Tree Sauvignon Blanc Semillon that's recently been released through the Local Liquor Stores of Independent Liquor Retailers.

With nice full-on tropical fruit and zesty lemon flavours and a fresh crisp acidity, at $14.99 this is a rewarding drop to enjoy with fish and salads, or if you like a bit of fire, with Thai chilli prawns. Local Liquor Stores have over 250 members mainly across Eastern Australia; to find a store hop onto

SEARCH this one out to go with fish
and salads of Thai chilli prawns. 

Saturday 10 August 2013

Treasure in the attic at Berowra Waters Inn

2/6 Tourist Luncheon from 1938
When Brian Geraghty, head chef and owner of Berowra Waters Inn, climbed into the attic a few weeks ago, he wasn’t expecting to find much more than a few boxes of junk and some ancient cobwebs. To his great surprise, he discovered an old menu for a ‘Special Tourist Luncheon’ dating back 75 years and priced at just two shillings and sixpence (around $5 and barely the price of a cup of coffee in today’s money).

Brian Geraghty
Inspired by his find, Irish-born Geraghty decided to create a contemporary menu reinterpreting the dishes from 1938. The hero ingredients from the historic menu – fresh oysters and market fish – will be prepared in Geraghty’s signature modern Australian style and offered as part of a new menu of smaller, lighter dishes.

Available in time for Mother’s Day and until the Queen’s birthday long weekend in June, the menu will feature canapés, four courses and a pre-dessert for $120. A selection of wines chosen by Berowra Waters Inn’s sommelier to complement the menu will be available for $50. On Mother’s Day diners will be offered a complimentary glass of prosecco.

“I went up to the attic for a bit of a clear out. I was amazed to find the old menu up there, it was like finding a piece of our history,” says Geraghty. “The dishes used some beautiful fresh seafood and other produce but the cooking techniques that were popular in the 1930s, like frying and broiling, seem heavy and old-fashioned now, particularly for seafood. I want to take those ingredients and bring out their flavours and textures with lighter, more modern techniques,” he says.

Geraghty says the heritage of Berowra Waters Inn is unique: “This menu is just one example of what makes Berowra Waters Inn so special. We’re known for offering amazing food in our stunning location on the Hawkesbury River, but I can’t think of any other restaurant that can compete with our history. I find that very inspiring. With this menu we’re going to build on the quality for which Berowra Waters Inn has always been known, and refresh it to create a unique menu that will be perfect for celebrating Mother’s Day or any other special occasion between now and June.”

Berowa Waters Inn - sublime wine and food experience

Set in bush land on the beautiful Hawkesbury River and accessed only by seaplane, boat or a short trip on a private ferry, iconic dining destination Berowra Waters Inn has recently been transformed to offer a food experience like no other.

Under the guidance of new chef and owner Brian Geraghty and his highly skilled team, guests are treated to an exceptional food experience with a 4 or 7 course degustation menu designed for diners to leisurely graze their way through a story of flavours, taking time to enjoy both the food and the ever changing scenery of the river.

Wines can be expertly matched by BWI’s own Sommelier to compliment each course of the degustation menu or selected from the extensive list of Australian and International labels on offer.

Geraghty who started his career in the kitchen at the age of 14, brings a wealth of experience to Berowra Waters Inn having worked alongside some of the most influential names in modern cuisine including Sean Conolly at Astral Restaurant, Shane Osborn at two Michelin star Pied a Terre in London, and Peter Gilmore at Quay.

“It’s definitely going to be a great adventure, there’s nothing quite like this place. For the degustation we are using both traditional and modern techniques with the wonderful produce on offer here” comments Brian.

Berowra Waters Inn was designed by awards wining and highly acclaimed architect Glenn Murcutt with a distinctively Australian style that fits perfectly with the landscape and creates an oasis of calm and tranquility.

Combining stunning cuisine, and exceptional wine collection in an unrivalled location, Berowra Waters Inn is guaranteed to be a place where your experience become life-long memories.

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Two weeks till Taste Orange comes to town

The countdown has begun until Taste Orange is set to paint the town orange with their highly anticipated 2013 event Taste Orange @ Sydney. Sydneysiders are gearing up with only two weeks to go till the iconic Orange and District region brings their country hospitality and finest wares to Martin Place on Wednesday 21st August and Thursday 22nd August.
For these two not-to-be missed dates, Martin Place will transform into a regional showcase of some of Australia's finest food and wine, cultivated from the cool climate and high altitude that the scenic Orange region boasts. But that's not all; join us in demonstrations and a discussion with some of the region's winemakers, food producers, businesses and industry leaders to hear all about their innovative approaches to their craft as well as their love and pride for the region.

Taste Orange @ Sydney features both day and night festivities, offering you the unique opportunity to take a trip to Orange in your lunchbreak between 11:30am-2:30pm with FREE entry, wine and food tastings, giveaways, cooking demonstrations plus live music & entertainment. And for the first time in 2013, Taste Orange @ Sydney will also offer you the chance to pop up after dark at the Pop Up Wine Bar from 5pm-8pm.

With the 24 of the Orange and District region's finest wineries, Taste Orange @ Sydney is a wine lover's delight with wines from Angullong, Bantry Grove, Belgravia, Borrodell Vineyard, Brangayne, Cargo Road, Carillion, Charles Sturt University, Cumulus, De Salis, Faisan Estate, Heifer Station, Highland Heritage Estate, Logan, Monument Vineyard, Mortimers, Orange Mountain, Patina, Philip Shaw, Printhie, Ross Hill, Sassy and Stockman's Ridge plus Small Acres Cyder! In addition to the terrific range of the regions wines available for tasting, at the Pop Up Wine Bar you'll be able to purchase a glass or two ($7 a glass), or even stock up your cellar by purchasing some wine direct from the makers for takeaway consumption.
But wait there's more... you'll also indulge in the scrumptious produce that the region is known for, so prepare your taste buds for a surprise with delicious offerings from the Orange Region Farmers Market as well as 2011 Masterchef Winner (and current Orange resident!) Kate Bracks as she shares all her culinary secrets in a cooking demonstration.

So whether you're longing to escape the office for an hour or two, an aspiring sommelier, chef or musician or just after mid-week catch up drinks with friends in a very cool Sydney-style fashion, Taste Orange @ Sydney has it all.

Click here to get a feel for what Taste Orange @ Sydney is all about...

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Monday 5 August 2013



REFINED from days "when you needed
a knife and fork to drink it."
David Ellis

BACK in the 1980s Colin and Malcolm Campbell of Campbells Rutherglen Wines decided to move their Durif away from the big, jammy, full-bodied and loads of tannin of Australian Durifs, and to give them a more refined structure and balance.

"Durifs in those days were so big, some used to joke that you really needed a knife and fork to drink them," Colin says now. "We wanted a more refined expression of the grape, and so started in the vineyard in the late 1980s… Malcolm encouraging the fruit to grow more slowly, and to fully ripen before picking for greater refinement."

Then in the winery Colin further "tamed" that resultant fruit by building layers of complexity and length, something he calls "thorough breeding," and following this with slow extended barrel maturation using a mix of 3 year old French and American oak.

The first "new look" Campbell Durif was labelled The Barkly and released from the 1992 vintage; now the 2010 vintage has just been released, the 15th The Barkly label (allowing for three vintages in which Colin and Malcolm felt fruit wasn't up to The Barkly quality.) This one's all about abundant and powerful dark cherry and blackberry fruit flavours, with added earthy and ironstone characters, and good oak.

GREAT Chardonnay from cool-climate
600 metre high NSW vineyards.
At $54 its one to truly savour with a baked loin of venison, or slow cooked lamb or beef.

ONE TO NOTE: PETER Logan can be justifiably proud of the 2012 Chardonnay he's released under his Logan label, and which he believes is "the most complete Chardonnay we've made in years… a wine with a long fresh palate, delicate texture and a mix of savoury and fruit flavours."

The Orange region of NSW's Central West where this one hails from is gaining a well-deserved reputation for Chardonnays generally, the cool climate in the 600 metre high ranges here really suiting the variety, and this Logan is a beautifully rewarding example.

At $25 it goes wonderfully with a Sunday chicken roast, or try it with crab cakes.


Sunday 4 August 2013

Mudgee: Lowe Wine School

source: supplied
Attention class!

Go to the top of the class with the best in your glass at the David Lowe Wine School in Mudgee.

The evening classes at Lowe Wines are informative and fun with the first roll call on 19 July.The sessions reflect the certified organic vineyard’s cellar door tastings. With tasting “flight placemats”, students are taken on a journey of differentiation of 12 wines, incorporating the three vineyards of Lowe wines and exploring elevation and meteorology.

The first three wines are white with David showcasing the varietal characteristics, quality and at the same time how to simply taste. The second batch of three wines are different examples of the same white varietals, but masked. The objective is to identify wine is which, with a bit of humour.

Wine 101 with David Lowe
The next phase studies reds. Like the whites, there will be mystery reds presented and tested. The classes have been designed by David for a fast, fun and educational experience.

You can follow up on your new skills the following evening at the Winemaker’s Table dinner (20 July), a food and wine dinner in the vineyards.

Bookings are essential for both events. Other Wine School classes, costing $45 per person, will be held from 5.30 – 7pm on 16 August, and every Wednesday during September.
As well as preparing for these major events, Lowe has released its yearly calendar and extended its cellar door to further upgrade outside tasting experiences.

The winery has also entered the Inland Tourism Awards, after achieving bronze last year in the State category behind Wyndham Estate and Bimbadgen. Lowe wines is holder of the triple crown of organics, best Mudgee organic wine, best NSW organic wine, and best Australian, NZ organic wine.

To learn more about what’s happening in Mudgee’s food and wine scene, tune into ABC Central West every Saturday morning for updates with David Lowe and the vineyard’s acclaimed chef, Kim Currie.

Friday 2 August 2013

Burch Family International Pinot Noir Tasting & Lunch 2013

media release
Inline images 1


Tickets on sale from Thursday, 15th August 2013. [doc]

Pinot Noir lovers are yet again invited to the highlight of the year to join Burch Family Wines celebrate the intriguing variety at the International Pinot Noir Tasting & Lunch to be held at the picturesque Howard Park Winery, Margaret River on Saturday, 5th October 2013.

A very impressive line-up of 20 Pinot Noirs will be featured, with highly regarded and interesting producers from around the world including France, Argentina, USA, Germany, New Zealand and of course our very own Australian producers who are working away at this very complex grape variety.

This event evolved from the opportunity to present the diversity of Pinot Noir, to experience Pinot from various terroir and to listen to esteemed experts in the field. The collective of guest speakers include Huon Hooke, Ken Gargett and David Wainwright.

Herb Faust, West Australian chef personality will send guests on a mesmerizing journey of food and wine utilizing the best of this season's local produce complimented with a careful selection of new-release Howard Park wines. All in all, a day of total engagement and celebration of all good things that accompany wine – delicious food, iconic wines, informed speakers and great music.


Date: Saturday, 5 October 2013

Venue: Howard Park Winery, Margaret River

Time: 10.00am arrival, for a prompt 10.30am start, till late afternoon.

Cost: $420 per person (inclusive of tasting and lunch).

Bookings: Through the Margaret River winery: (08) 9756 5200

Tickets on sale from Thursday, 15 August 2013.


About Burch Family Wines

Burch Family Wines produce Howard Park, MadFish and Marchand & Burch wines in addition to a range of other high quality labels. The family owned winery began with the Howard Park label and now, 27 years later, crafts wines of distinct regional character from the renowned regions of Margaret River and the Great Southern. The simple philosophy of producing wines with a strong focus to quality from the vineyard to the bottle.