This selection is all about a celebration of Aussie wine and what makes it so exciting. From different varieties to regions you may have overlooked, classic grapes with a bit of a spin on them or taking a historical site and expressing it in a new way. This is Australian wine in all its remarkable glory.
This is the ultimate example of a ‘breakfast wine’ – low alcohol but full-on juicy fruit flavour, with just the right amount of bubbles to bring out back into the land of the living.
Now you folks might be familiar with the sickly sweet versions snuck out of grandparents cellars, but Angus up in the Hunter has elevated the grape to new levels with this Ancestral style of sparkling.
Grüner Veltliner 2020
Pawn Wine Co. – Adelaide Hills, South Australia
When Tom Keelan showed me the first vintage he ever made of this Grüner, I realised the potential of this variety here in Australia. The 2020 vintage ticks all the boxes, voluptuous weight and mouthfeel, an all-rounder that will suit casual lunches on balconies in the sunshine or Sunday family dinner with mum’s killer roast chicken.
Dead Winemakers Society - Muscat/Semillon 2019
Alpha Box and Dice – Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale, South Australia
Paying homage to the skin contact whites of Italy, the current incarnation of the ‘Dead Winemakers Society’ is the best one yet (and it’s only going to get better and better from here). An orange wine in the truest sense of the word with all those delicious skins spending time in oak for over 18 months. Leaving you with a wine that has those stereotypical floral notes you see in Muscat but with a killer backbone of freshness and acidity from the Semillon, all wrapped in a lemon pith and olive brine structure.
Pinku - Rosé Shiraz/Merlot 2021
Dormilona – Margaret River, Western Australia
Beloved Margaret River winemaker Jo Perry’s newest rose is made from certified organic Shiraz with just a touch of Merlot to add a bit of plushness to the wine. As a Sommelier, I’ve always steered clear of provenance style roses; give me juicy red fruit flavours and weight seen in Aussie rose any day of the week. And this Western Australian wine has flavour just jumping out of the bottle, into the glass.
No additions, subtractions, fining or filtering – this is rosé, as authentic and pure as it can get.
All The Dirts - Pinot Noir 2020
Dirty 3 – Gippsland, Victoria
Born and bred in Gippsland (with brief winemaking stints in other places), there are very few sites in South Gippsland Marcus Satchell hasn’t been involved with in some way. So basically, the man knows how to make Pinot Noir in Gippsland. In comparison to Marcus’ single-vineyard Pinots, which are about expressing the individuality of each vineyard, ‘All The Dirts’ is about representing a “snapshot of Gippsland”. The 2020 vintage is made with Pinot Noir from across four different sites, and each one adds another layer of juicy red fruits and savoury complexity to the wine.
Meadowbank – Derwent Valley, Tasmania
You have to give it to the Ellis family, they were told over 40 years ago not to plant Shiraz in Southern Tasmania, and they went ahead and did it anyway. This wine is the product of their stubbornness, and we’re all the better for it. My dear friend and fantastic human Peter Dredge made the wine in a lighter, more ethereal style of Syrah that is common in cool climate regions. But it’s still Shiraz at heart, so think velvety tannins, subtle hints of green peppercorn spice and crushes blueberries.