The Australian wine industry is the world's fourth largest exporter of wine with approximately 750 million litres a year to the international export market with only about 40% of production consumed domestically. Wine is produced in every state, with more than 60 designated wine regions totaling approximately 160,000 hectares; however Australia's wine regions are mainly in the southern, cooler parts of the country, with vineyards located in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland. The wine regions in each of these states produce different wine varieties and styles that take advantage of the particular terroir such as: climatic differences, topography and soil types. With the major varieties being predominantly Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Semillon, Pinot noir, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc. Wines are often labeled with the name of their grape variety, which must constitute at least 85 percent of the wine.
- Item #: i_381616Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 90WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "Crisp and bright, offering a mix of bright cherry, mineral and white pepper notes that add an air of delicacy and precision. The tannins are firm and in the background. Drink now through 2026."
The Cirillo family are custodians of what it is believed to be the oldest continuously producing Grenache and Semillon vineyards in the world. Planted in 1848, these vines are not only a part of the Barossa history, but Australia’s winemaking heritage. That is a long time ago! To put it into perspective, the California Gold Rush began the same year when the precious metal was discovered at Sutter’s Mill. The Cirillo’s winemaking heritage spans back over 9 generations to the Southern Italian province of Calabria.
The vineyard sits on what was an old inland lake over 100 Million years ago. The soil is deep silt sand over limestone and clay. This combination of free-draining topsoil and water-holding subsoil has sustained the 7 acres of grenache. The gnarled and wizened basket pruned bush Grenache vines stand up to 6 feet high and nearly 6 feet wide. For these vines to survive at this age, they need constant attention through-out the year. Owner and Winemaker Marco Cirillo spends every spare moment training, pruning and nurturing each vine through its fragile life. The result is fruit with incredible intensity and old vine richness not often seen.
During primary fermentation the wine is hand tended 2 to 4 times per day. Once the ferment is complete it is carefully transferred into an 800kg basket press which will then allow intimate control of the tannin, fruit and overall structure of the wine. It is then stored in seasoned 60% French and 40% American oak hogsheads for up to 24 months.
Most of the grapes from these ancient vines are sold to the great Australian producer, Torbreck, leaving only a small portion for Cirillo to use in these wines. These wines produced from gnarled and wizened trunks are something to be treasured and enjoyed.
- Item #: i_382704Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 93JAMES SUCKLING 93 POINTS - "Blackberry and blueberry with graphite aromas follow through to a full body, round and velvety tannins and a polished finish. Compact and fine-grained. Drink now. Screw cap."
- Item #: i_378190Bottle Size: 750MLWINERY NOTES - "Small batches of grapes are gently crushed and then transferred to five tonne headed down open fermenters. These batches remain separate until final blending. Foot treading is undertaken two thirds of the way through fermentation. The wine is then basket pressed and transferred to a mixture of new and used French and old American oak barriques to complete fermentation. The barrel ferments are aged on lees, there is no racking until final blending and no fining or filtration.
Dead Arm is a vine disease caused by the fungus Eutypa Lata that randomly affects vineyards all over the world. Often affected vines are severely pruned or replanted. One half, or an 'arm' of the vine slowly becomes reduced to dead wood. That side may be lifeless and brittle, but the grapes on the other side, while low yielding, display amazing intensity. "
- Item #: i_383503Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "Loaded with brooding blackberry fruit and a dose of peppery, clove-like spice, the 2017 Out of the Park Petite Sirah just noses out its Shiraz stablemate. It's medium to full-bodied, with concentrated dusty tannins that linger on the finish, giving it enough structure to match grilled burgers or steak."
- Item #: i_377858Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 96WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "Dramatic, intense and powerful, the 2016 Amon Ra Shiraz recalls the 2004 in its youth, crammed with layers of fruit, complex, savory elements and rich, velvety tannins. It's full-bodied, characterized by notes of grilled meat, espresso, black olive, cassis, vanilla, baking spices and an undercurrent of loamy earth. Yes, it's unapologetically big and bold, the product of a warm, sunny climate and ripe grapes, but it does show a sense of decorum, restraint and elegance on the long finish."
- Item #: i_373812Bottle Size: 750MLThe Australians are known for making great stickies (dessert wines) and the Hardys Tawny certain ranks among our best value dessert wines. Considering the modest price, this outstanding tawny most certainly over delivers. A best seller!
International Wine Cellar - "Pinkish amber. Spicy redcurrant and toffee aromas are complicated by orange peel, molasses and fresh rose. A delicate and nicely focused tawny with toffeed apple and pear flavors and an exotic blood orange quality emerging on the back. This rather understated port shows good finishing lift and a lingering salted caramel character."
- Item #: i_382445Bottle Size: 750mlWine Enthusiast: 91WINE ENTHUSIAST 91 POINTS - "Although it's dry, this wine conjures up dessert in a glass. Ripe, almost syrupy, cassis and plummy fruit mingle with milk chocolate and vanilla, with a swizzle stick of eucalyptus on the side. There's just as much plush primary fruit on the palate, and a good amount of oak influence too. Not everyone's cup of tea but in general this is a likable, no-hard-edges example of a sunshine-soaked South Aussie Shiraz."
- Item #: i_377866Bottle Size: 750MLOn the southern boundary of Coonawarra is the old Penola cricket ground, which first saw a ball bowled in anger and the flashing cover drives of the local champions in 1950. Sadly, the ground closed in 1996. Soon after Jim Barry purchased the 30 acre property and planted a Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard.
The original pavilion and pitch have been retained, thus preserving an important piece of Coonawarra sporting history. Fruit from this vineyard, along with selected parcels of fruit from our family owned Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in the Clare Valley have been blended to produce a wine that is rich, soft and approachable.
The nose is very aromatic, displaying primary characters of cassis and dark berries with subtle hints of dried herbs.
The palate is medium bodied and generous, showing fine tannins, highlighted by flavours of blackcurrant, mint and morello cherries.
- Item #: i_377252Bottle Size: 750MLThis wine is a spectacular example of how Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet can be blended together to create flavors that complement each other so well. Lavish aromas of chocolate, cherry and vanilla cream, lead to a palate of deep plum, spice and liquorice. With soft, integrated tannins and lingering flavors, this is an opulent wine and seriously delicious.
- Item #: i_378357Bottle Size: 750MLThe delicious berry fruit and spice flavors of the cooler climate grapes from the Joppich Vineyard in Langhorne Creek gives the Blue Eyed Boy its crowd appeal. It is blended with McLaren Vale Shiraz to add intensity, vibrancy and richness. This year the McLaren Vale fruit came from the Gateway and Long Gully Road Vineyards.
- Item #: i_377020Bottle Size: 750MLWinemaker Notes - "This alluring and unashamedly bold Shiraz has hints of spiced plums, blackberry jam and cherry all at the fore and finishes with coffee cream, licorice and vanilla. Full bodied with vibrant berry fruit characteristics, yet elegant with restrained tannins, resulting in a soft mouthfeel."
- Item #: i_376183Bottle Size: 750ml50% Cabernet Sauvignon 49% Shiraz, Created by the legendary Max Schubert—creator of Penfolds Grange— Bin 389 is often referred to as ‘Poor Man’s Grange’ or ‘Baby Grange’, in part because components of the wine are matured in the same barrels that held the previous vintage of Grange. First made in 1960, this was the wine that helped to build Penfolds solid reputation with red wine drinkers. Combining the structure of Cabernet with the richness of Shiraz, Bin 389 also exemplifies Penfolds skill in balancing fruit and oak.
- Item #: i_351880Bottle Size: 750MLAUSTRALINA WINE COMPANION 97 POINTS - "Seriously powerful; the very complex bouquet has gingerbread, spice and singed toffee aromas cut by the rancio that comes through on the long, intense, yet elegantly structured and balanced palate. A skilled blending of some younger wine has had the desired effect. Incredibly long, intense and complex."
Deep amber in colour with green gold tinges which is an indication of age. It has a rich, nutty rancio and complex bouquet. Mature grape flavours, oak and a hint of very old fine brandy spirit. A true liqueur tawny port, it is a wine of high viscosity - luscious, rich and full flavoured, and perfectly balanced by a slightly dry finish. The great length of complex flavours highlights the integration of fruit character, oak and brandy spirit.
- Item #: i_377270Bottle Size: 750mlThe 2019 Pewsey Vale Prima Riesling exhibits the purity of style that we continue to see in all of the vintages we have made of this wine. Very pale in colour with green hues; the aroma has hints of the classic Pewsey Vale Riesling characters but is most redolent of white cherries, nectarines and lychees.
- Item #: i_377456Bottle Size: 750mlTwo Hands Wines was founded in early 1999 by Michael Twelftree and Richard Mintz. The original aim shared by Michael and Richard was to make the best possible Shiraz-based wines from prized Shiraz growing regions throughout Australia. Their intention was, and still is, to showcase the diversity of Australian Shiraz by highlighting regional characteristics and allowing the fruit to be the primary feature of the wines. We were glad the angels decided to leave part of their 'share' for us-- "Angels' Share" references, of course, the portion of the wine (or other liquid) that angels take from or levy on the winemaker while said wine is in barrel (also known as evaporation). But the intimation is that the wine the angels would want is pretty good stuff and that certainly fits in this case. The nose is a mix of New World/Old World with spicy, peppery plums, light minty earth, raspberries and a touch of cured meats. McClaren Vale meet the Rhône. The palate continues with bright fruits, blackberry, boysenberry, excellent peppery spice, currents of mint and eucalyptus, bacon fat and a bit of earth in the finish.
- Item #: i_383655Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96James Suckling: 96Wine Enthusiast: 96 PointsWINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot, the 2015 Tom Cullity Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec boasts stunningly pure cassis aromas, with just enough hints of mint, sage, cedar and tobacco to impart welcome complexity. It's medium to full-bodied but linear and focused in style, with more length than breadth on the palate, layers of fine, mouth-coating tannins and a long, mouthwatering finish. While by no means unapproachable even now, expect it to be better in another five years and drink well for another decade or more after that."
JAMES SUCKLING 96 POINTS - "The 2015 Cullity is all about finesse and power with subtle aromas and flavors of currants, plums and autumnal leaves. Full body and firm, chewy tannins that give the wine length and freshness. Just keeps on growing on the palate. Better after 2022, but already a gem to taste."
WINE ENTHUSIAST 96 POINTS - "The third vintage of Tom Cullity is the best to date. This premium bottling offers threads of graphite, currants, black olives, nori, tomato leaf and roasted green peppers. These flavors, along with spicy French oak, are tightly woven with fine chalky tannins. Power and elegance share the limelight, and linearity trumps roundness and richness."
- Item #: i_383266Bottle Size: 750ml#46 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2020, 92 POINTS
Bright maroon with a red brick edge. Deep, savory Cabernet characters of blackcurrant, dark cherry, damp earth, and cedar mingle with a spicy complexity care of the vibrant Malbec portion. Luscious and juicy upfront, the dark berry fruit is complemented by savory elements of beef stock and dried woody herbs. There is a wonderful length of flavor as the palate transitions to a fine, textural and dusty drying finish in classical Cabernet style.
- Item #: i_382089Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90Want a great New World Chardonnay that is balanced, suffused with minerals and aromatics rather than tasting of lumber and butter? Australian Chardonnay is going through a renaissance at the moment with Australia’s prized “cool climate” producers leading the way. The Margaret River is more than 1,000 miles away from the historic heart of Australia’s wine business in South Australia. The climate and wine styles are similarly far removed. Vasse Felix’s founder, Dr. Tom Cullity, was the first to plant in Margaret River in 1967, making the Vasse Felix estate one of the most famous cool climate producers in Australia. Only 7% of these wines leave Australia, as Vasse Felix Chardonnay is the kind of boutique product Australians drink themselves.
- Item #: i_383505Bottle Size: 750mlRipe and soft, this is a great everyday Syrah with a winning combination of generous character and freshness. WINEMAKER NOTES - "The fragrant nose offers abundant dark fruits with hints of cut flowers, clove, black pepper, and anise. The palate is full bodied with a plush mouth-feel, dark fruits, smooth tannins..."
"Winner’s Tank is a new venture between Reid Bosward of Kaesler vineyards, and David and Cathy Knight, owners of the Winner’s Tank site. The name relates to an old water tank that sits in the corner of the vineyard. In true Aussie spirit, a strong rivalry exists between the three neighboring towns in the local Australian Rules Football competition. Each year the winning team heads out to the vineyard to paint the tank in their team colors."