|Given the scarcity of Best's prestige, limited release, old vineyard icons, Bin #1 affords enthusiasts their first taste of the Great Western Shiraz style and leaves them eager to discover more. A classic, cool climate, aromatic wine, floral and spicy, peppery and elegant, retaining vital Great Western fruit character. Bests»|
|. . Bottega»|
|The term Terra rossa means red earth, a rich, free draining soil that is considered by many as the viticultural equivalent of discovering gold. Beneath the strata of red earth at Wrattonbully sits a layer of ancient limestone, a winegrower's dream as it allows free drainage of water, yet ensures vine roots stay close to the surface, putting natural stress on the vine and limiting its vigor and yield. Smith Hooper»|
|In exceptional years, parcels of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot are separately fermented. The best lots are assembled into a multiple trophy winer named Harry's Monster and treated to an extravagant maturation in the finest oak. Giant Steps»|
|Only the best vintages are selected for the Premium Rare Old Muscat, all releases win significant awards at major international competitions. In blending, a range of vintages are used, the older wines giving intensely concentrated luscious flavours and aged complexity and the younger wines imparting the fresh fruit character. Morris»|
|Bridgeland is one of the most picturesque properties in Margaret River. Originally prime farmland, it boasts one of the largest dams in the region, approximately a kilometre in length and covering eighteen hectares. Streicker»|
|Of particular importance to Shadowfax are the very close relationships with a select group of growers who provide harvests of the most intensely flavoured fruit. A prolific trophy winner, Shadowfax are a refreshing new wave, vigorously fruit driven, livelier than her Victorian siblings, characterised by slatey, flavoursome acidity, a touch of lees complexity and judicious dryness. Shadowfax»|
|A collation of superior vineyard parcels, crafted by a boutique estate which has been recognized as one of Australia's leading wineries. Clonakilla are dedicated to making distinctive, handcrafted wines, only ever released in limited quantities, anything by Clonakilla can be hard to find, but they are worth the search. Clonakilla»|
|A highly prolific wine industry trophy winner, including best single vineyard and best Shiraz at the hotly contested McLaren Vale Wine Show. A magnificent collation of old vines fruit from several pickings on the illustrious Rayner property, including a judicious measure of grapes as whole bunches, are treated to a wild indigenous yeast ferment and course of age in barrels of well seasoned French oak. Bondar»|
|Blackjack has claimed the eminent M.Chapoutier Trophy for Best Shiraz at the prestigious Le Concours des Vinson on no fewer than three occasions. Block 6 is a superior parcel of distinguished vines, renowned within the Bendigo district for producing a very high quality, intensely fruit driven Shiraz. Blackjack»|
|There's a single block of Montepulciano along Bird In Hand Road at Woodside in the northern Adelaide Hills, a warmer site with rocky, well drained soils, perfectly suited for Italians. The seaside influence of Gulf of St. Bird In Hand»|
|Named for the Chapel district of Lenton in Nottingham, Brae is Scottish for a small hill, which is what the Lenton Brae vineyard is situated on. Fortuitously placed within the very epicenter for superior Margaret River Cabernet, the site was planted after advisement from the proprietors of nearby Moss Wood, with which it shares a similar terroir and microclime. Lenton Brae»|
Established 1971 by John and Marli Middleton, Mount Mary was one of the first sites planted during the resurgence of interest in Yarra Valley wines
The inspiration behind the planting of vines in the Yarra Valley came from Swiss settlers of the 1850’s. These worldly and hard working immigrants had been greatly influenced by French wines and recognised the climatic parallels the Yarra Valley shared with Bordeaux and Burgundy. After extensive visits to the wine producing areas of the world in the late 1960’s, and in particular those of Bordeaux and Burgundy, John and Marli Middleton became fixated on French premium wine. They resolved to find a suitable site upon which to establish a small commercial vineyard with the intention of making elegant, low alcohol wines from French varieties. John was obsessed at this stage with an idea put in his head by Colin Preece of Great Western, that Australia was yet to produce a refined and elegant Cabernet. John saw it as his duty to work towards this.
John Middleton had already led a very active and healthy life during which much was achieved. He came to Lilydale in 1952 after service in the RAAF and medical training at Melbourne University. Although he had the opportunity to specialise, he chose to establish himself as a dedicated family doctor in what was then, a predominantly rural community. His fascination with wine began in his late teens and never faded. Mount Mary was the vehicle by which he fulfilled his dream to produce wines of great quality. And so it was that in 1971, John and Marli stumbled upon the property known as Mount Mary. Surprisingly this ideally located, gentle north facing slope had not been planted to the vine yet they immediately recognised it as being ideal for their purpose.
The first plantings were completed by mid 1972 and today Mount Mary has around 40 acres under vine representing 18 varieties of varying age and distribution. The low yielding unirrigated vineyard is almost 12.5 hectares and is planted on grey soils – sandy clay loams overlying degenerating Silurian shales. The vines face due north and capture optimum sunlight during the growing season.
More than half the land area of Mount Mary is not directly related to wine production. The health of the property is of primary concern and there is a long term objective of being self sufficient in energy and water. The winemaking team are also keen to limit any impact on the environment through revegetation and weed control.
The four wines produced by Mount Mary come from 10 varieties. Two wines are based on Bordeaux blends accounting for 8 varieties and two wines are the common varietals from Burgundy. Over the past few years, a Rhone Valley blend based on 7 varieties has been developed. The 18th variety is Pinot blanc.
Mount Mary is a truly family business. All the Middletons share a great love of nature and an equally great disdain for authority and bureaucracy. John Middleton Sr was ahead of his time, he summed it up best when he argued that the classical Medoc balance has always been traditionally towards firm, cedar, cigar box, green olive, leafy Cabernet. All the great Bordeaux have powerful violets, cherry and mulberry, and the undercurrent of cedar, cigar box and green olive or leaf, not the jammy examples that taste like a sweetened dummy. Who wants a fruity red which with time in the cellar approaches more and more towards a dry port? Despite the many challenges that have been presented to Middletons over the years, progress towards environmental goals continue. Whilst there is still a long way to go in terms of becoming the ideal environmentally aware organisaton, Mount Mary have continued with their planting program and water and energy system designs.
Revegetation areas are already attracting increased numbers of native birds. Snow Gum conservation area is looking good. Mount Mary is continuing with a program of collecting a variety of native seed for propagation. Also on the agenda is the completion of a gully wetland project. The ultimate goal of environmental works is to be energy and water efficient relying less on outside supply, provide additional habitat for native species and to limit any negative impacts by containing and treating waste products on site. Renewable power, water collection and recycling and redesigned facilities are at the centre of these improvements. It's all about making the greatest possible wine out of a totally clean environment.