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_383511Bottle Size: 750mlWine Enthusiast: 92 PointsPRACTICING ORGANIC FARMING
WINE ENTHUSIAST 92 POINTS - "Made in small quantities from winemaker Ben Haines, this blend is fermented with native yeasts and aged for 10 months on the lees. The aromas are heady in tones of lemon curd, honey, toasted nuts and spice. But it's the palate that steals show. Tingly acidity perfectly balances an oily texture and lingering, spicy flavors. Lovers of textural whites will be all over this."
- Item #: i_378190Bottle Size: 750MLJames Suckling: 94JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "Impressive richness and depth from the outset here. The nose has rich dark-plum, chocolate and earth aromas with such poise and richness. The palate is full-bodied with saturated plums and blackberries. Long, ribbony tannins."
WINERY 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_302554Bottle Size: 750MLJames Suckling: 92JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS -"A cherry-flavored nose that also offers up aromas of blackberry pie, cedar and spices. Medium to full body, grainy tannins, lots of fresh blue and black fruit and a chewy finish. Drink in 2021."
- Item #: i_379944Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 95WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "Even bigger, richer and darker than the 2015, the 2016 Anaperenna Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon is 84% Shiraz and 16% Cabernet. These are not wines for fans of shy, delicate wines, but neither are they clumsy fruit bombs. This is pleasantly multifaceted, with complex notes ranging from charred beef, black olive and asphalt to blackberries and cassis, all underscored by loam, vanilla and cedar. Full-bodied (15.5% alcohol), it's hugely ripe but balanced, with supple tannins and enough acidity on the long, velvety finish to balance the ledger."
From the warm, northern district of Ebenezer in the Barossa Valley, Shiraz vines up to 130-years-old produce concentrated grapes with depth of flavor and complexity. Cabernet is 30-130 year old vines.
The first Glaetzers settled in Australia’s Barossa Valley in 1888, after emigrating from Brandenburg, Germany, bringing with them a passion for winemaking. Over a century later, winemaking patriarch Colin Glaetzer established Glaetzer Wines.
Ben Glaetzer, son of Colin, heads up the winemaking team today. He is committed to expressing the purity of fruit; using minimal intervention techniques, Ben produces ultra-premium wines that are unmistakably Barossan, yet markedly elegant.
- Item #: i_380016Bottle Size: 750mlWINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "This subdued white shows plenty of elegance and grace. Spice and toasty notes linger in the background, and pear and melon flavors have a succulent texture, with a thread of acidity that weaves in and out. Drink now through 2022. 2,500 cases made."
WINE MAKER NOTES - Our fruit was harvested by hand at the end of February then whole-bunch pressed and settled in tank before racking to tank and barrel for fermentation. The wine underwent a partial malolactic fermentation and was aged for 10 months – part in steel tank to retain fresh fruit flavours, part in barrel for added complexity. We used a mix of old and new French oak.
With fruit from select vineyards, this is a true regional Yarra Valley Chardonnay. It has fresh citrus and stone fruit aromas with bright fruit on the palate, creamy texture and a clean finish.
- Item #: i_301684Bottle Size: 750mlWINERY NOTES - "Deep crimson with ruby hues. Attractive aromas of spiced plum, red currant and blue and black berry fruits are met with floral nuances of violets and black pepper spice. The round, supple palate is filled with juicy blue and red fruits, spiced plum, liquorice and notes of crushed tarragon, with beautifully textured svelte tannins and a long, peppery finish."
Blend: 66% Shiraz, 15% Grenache, 10% Mataro, 9% Viognier
- Item #: i_382170Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Wine Spectator: 94James Suckling: 94JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "A wine that really shows the prowess and attractive nature of the shiraz that this vineyard can produce. The concentrated yet fresh red plums and cherries really sing on the palate. Tannins glide like layers of silk. A brilliant wine. Drink or hold. Screw cap."
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "There’s a lovely sense of restraint here, with firm tannins reining in complex, detailed flavors of blueberry pie, kirsch and dark chocolate. Espresso, clove and caramel notes add even more complexity on the finish, where the flavors continue to unfold. Drink now through 2034."
WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Overtones of vanilla and cedar mark the nose of the 2016 Brooks Road Shiraz, which aged in 20%-30% new French oak. Herbal notes and hints of green peppercorns add nuance to the ripe cherry flavors of this full-bodied red. The tannins are supple, making this wine approachable now, but they also linger softly on the finish, suggesting up to a decade of additional ageability."
- Item #: i_382151Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Wine Spectator: 94James Suckling: 95Decanter: 92 PointsJAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - "A fresh and fragrant cabernet with violets and dark rose-like floras, cassis and blueberries. There is also a decent serving of spicy oak in the mix. The palate is smoothly arranged on sheets of formidably strong tannins, which are carried seamlessly into the finish. A stunning cabernet. Best from 2022. Screw cap."
WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The inky purple 2016 Trueman Cabernet Sauvignon is a super effort. It boasts intense, classic aromas of pencil shavings and cassis on the nose, then delivers rich waves of velvety but structured fruit on the full-bodied palate. If there's any complaint, it's that it's perhaps a bit too monolithic, but it's a young wine and should add layers of complexity given enough time in the cellar. It's not unapproachable now, but it probably won't fully hit its stride for at least five years and then be drinkable for at least a decade after that."
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "Juicy and vibrant, showing terrific purity to the raspberry and black cherry flavors at the polished and refined core, with supple tannins and details of Earl Grey tea, violet and toasted cumin. Impressive for the seamless harmony and the creamy texture, this shows a tug of grip from the tannins on the finish. Drink now through 2035."
DECANTER 92 POINTS - "Oz Clarke: Very unusual mix of marzipan, dry chocolate and blackcurrant. It is quite tannic, but does have some violet scent and sap to lift it. Sarah Jane Evans: Textbook aromas: blackcurrant with a hint of green pepper. This is a modern and glossy approach to Cab. Fleshy blackcurrants and a firm undertone of cedar. Tina Gellie: Quite a jammy Cab, but still has that cassis and green pepper note, plus soft vanilla oak and grippy tannins."
- Item #: i_372578Bottle Size: 750mlWINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS "Complex and aromatic, with spice, fresh earth, cream soda and black walnut flavors that are rich and polished, giving way to succulent plum and cassis elements. Black pepper and Earl Grey tea grace notes linger effortlessly on the finish. Drink now through 2029. 1,500 cases made, 500 cases imported. — MW"
WINE ENTHUSIAST 90 POINTS "This historic Hunter Valley winery [Tyrrell's] also owns vineyards further afield, and this Shiraz is from Heathcote in Central Victoria, though it still wears the Tyrrell's crown. After a little swirling in the glass, it unveils aromas of plump blueberry, plum, mocha, licorice and florals. Medium to full bodied, it offers an intricate play between texture and acidity, juicy fruit and taut, sandy tannins, hinting at stony minerality. There's an old-fashioned feel about this wine. It's comfortable in its own skin and doesn't try too hard to be modern. Christina Pickard"
Established in 1858 by English immigrant Edward Tyrrell, Tyrrell’s Wines is one of Australia’s pre-eminent family owned wine companies. 1864 was their first vintage. They now have vineyards extending from their historic home in the Hunter Valley NSW (near Sydney) to their Heathcote vineyards in Victoria (north of Melbourne. Headed up by fourth generation family member Bruce Tyrrell, Tyrrell's is home to some of Australia's most awarded wines. The Rufus Stone Shiraz is named for the historical marker in England that commemorates the death of King William II, said to be due to an "errant" arrow fired by a Tyrrell.
- Item #: i_377497Bottle Size: EACHWine Advocate: 97WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "Torbreck's 2016 The Factor incorporates what winemaker Ian Hongell calls their "most structured Shiraz, from a lot of ironstone soils." It spends two years in French oak barriques, half of which were new, so it shows hints of cedar pencil shavings and toasted coconut layered over ripe blackberries and spice. Full-bodied, rich and velvety, it finishes long, with terrific energy and drive. It should prove to be one of the longest-lived wines from this lineup."
- Item #: i_382881Bottle 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. Two Hands refers to the very personable approach taken with each parcel of grapes, no matter how big or small. The wines are carefully guided through the viticulture and winemaking process by Michael Twelftree.‘Quality without compromise’ is a core value that drives all Two Hands decisions so, not surprisingly, the wines have received international acclaim from respected wine critics, with Robert Parker proclaiming Two Hands as ‘...the finest negociant operation south of the equator...’
In November 2012, Two Hands was named in the Wine Spectator’s annual Top 100 for the 10th consecutive year, an achievement that has never been equalled by any other winery the world over. We generally enjoy the process of putting together our December newsletters as we get to try some of the best wines (and spirits, beer, cigars, et al) that have been released throughout the year. This wine was definitely a highlight of the newsletter-creating process for this humble editor! The nose exudes a kaleidoscope of fruits: mulberry, pomegranate, persimmon, boysenberry, cassis. Dark spices weave their magic in and around the fruits as flecks of black tea, mint, dark floral perfume and midnight incense lend their voices to the olfactory crescendo. Concentrated, rich, extracted. The palate is confident, filled with forward fruits of cassis and mixed red berries, red plum. Amidst the fruit are streaks of earthy loam, underbrush, sandalwood, mint and a touch of cocoa and smoke. Fine-grained tannins and ample acidity keep it lively, bode well for further joys once cellared (if you can keep yourself away). Beautiful chiaroscura between power and finesse; complete stunner of a wine.
- Item #: i_377919Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 94AUSTRALIAN WINE COMPANION 95 POINTS - "Has the intensity, complexity and drive expected of Vasse Felix, with layers of white peach, pear and sotto voce grapefruit twinned to the all-important acidity. There's an argument to be made that this offers the best value of the three '16 Vasse Felix Chardonnays."
JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "Very powerful aromas of grilled peaches and mangoes with grapefruit citrus and minerally spunk. The palate is smoothly layered with impressive concentrated peaches and tropical fruit flesh. Fresh, vibrant and delicious."
- Item #: i_380014Bottle Size: 750mlWine Enthusiast: 91 PointsWINE ENTHUSIAST 91 POINTS. BEST BUY 2018 - "This brand, which employs an army of winemakers from around the world to make dozens of wines under the Handpicked label, has succeeded in crafting a delicious, delicate Chard at an affordable price. Attractive notes of red apple peels and blossoms are backed by a hint of baking spice and a copper penny tang. The palate is light and fresh, with a tight, chalky texture and a long ginger and apple-peel finish. One to sip with salads and seafood."