Saturday 19 July 2014



David Ellis


FORTUNATE are they who've got hold of a bottle or two of Best's Great Western Bin 0 Shiraz, a wine that's been made since the late 1800s but of which today only 800 cases are still made on average each year.


And although we know Henry Best planted his first Shiraz vines at Great Western, between Stawell and Ararat in Victoria, in 1867 the actual year he created his first Bin O is uncertain. But what we do know is that since the Thompson family acquired the Best's Great Western vineyards and winery in 1920, they've remained extraordinarily faithful "custodians" to Henry Best's creation.


Now headed by 5th generation Ben Thompson, the family's recently released the 2012 Best's Bin 0 Shiraz that was made from hand-selected fruit sorted and fermented in small batches, so maintaining its reputation as an undisputed icon of the Great Western Shiraz style, and internationally acclaimed for years.


This 2012 has deliciously spicy dark fruit flavours and a great balance of acidity and smooth tannins for wonderfully enjoyable drinking now, while having the potential to develop beautifully over 15 years or more in the bottle. With just-800 cases available, it's well worth the $85 asking price to enjoy with a slow roasted shoulder of lamb.


ONE TO NOTE:  THE Adelaide Hills has a well-deserved reputation as home to some of Australia's best Sauvignon Blanc, and a 2013 Howard Vineyard Picnic label is typical of just how good the variety from this region can be.


This one has full-on lemony citrus flavours coupled with hints of spice and gooseberry, making it an ideal companion with seafoods from simple grilled fish fillets to garlicky prawns – or as the Picnic label suggests, for outdoor entertaining with cold chicken or other white meats, salads and sharp cheeses on warmer days.


Pay $19 at cellar door for this rewarding drop from the family-owned Howard vineyard and winery at Nairne, the oldest township in the Adelaide Hills.


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[] SO rewarding with a slow-roasted shoulder of lamb.

[] NAME says it all for outdoor entertaining with cold chicken, salads and sharp  cheeses.


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