Grape Variety: 100% Shiraz
Growing Region: Barossa Valley, Australia
Owner / Chief Winemaker: Reid Bosward

After sharing another complex growing season under the Barossa sun, the 'Old Bastard' Shiraz vines celebrate their 114th anniversary in good form. As Reid reminds us, these vines have seen wars, vine pulls and even the Chardonnay revolution. This power-packed ‘Old Bastard’ Shiraz was first released in 1998. Kaesler own just over 92 hectares of vineyards in the Barossa Valley, the majority of the fruit for this wine came from 'old vines', in a single vineyard planted back in 1893.

 

Grape Varietals: 33% Pinot Noir, 33% Pinot Meunier, 33% Chardonnay
Growing Region: Epernay, France
Chef de Cave: Dominique Petit

I have been in the wine industry for over 20 years, and this is what we call 'Sophisticated Simplicity' - sound confusing, well once you taste it, all will be revealed. This non-vintage Champagne - possibly the hardest of all Champagnes to craft - is a harmonious assemblage of different 'crus' from several different vintages. Making non-vintage champagne is where a ‘chef-de-cave’ Dominique Petit earns and keeps his reputation.

 

Grape Varietal: 100% Syrah
Growing Region: Hillside Vineyard, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
Owner / Chief Winemaker: Peter Robertson

This outstanding Syrah grown in a very special site found and planted by Peter; reminds me how young, but how quickly the New Zealand wine industry has matured and developed in such a short time. All captured in a single bottle, or in this case a glass of wine shared with friends and a nicely brazed piece of venison. Or maybe I am showing my age, as I have watched this wine develop from its first vintage, then to beating the Australians in their own competition in 2004, right up to this vintage.

 

Grape Varieties: 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Malbec, 15% Merlot, 15% Petit Verdot & 5% Cabernet-Franc
Growing Region: Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Owner / Chief Winemaker: Stephen White

This 2007 Stonyridge Larose is only now just starting to relax and settle back into the bottle - so even though it is far from its true potential due to the layers of complexity one associates with wines that Stephen and his team craft.
I thought it was a good time to talk you through the characters that make up this unique wine expression - so you know what to look forward too.