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Balgownie Estate

Simon Wiener
16 November 2016 | Cellar Door, Wine Details | Simon Wiener

Shiraz - Australia's Favourite Grape

Shiraz is a premium red grape variety widely planted throughout the warmer wine producing areas of the world. Australia has the second largest plantings of Shiraz in the world (behind France) with close to 40 000 hectares under vine. Known in France as Syrah, the name of the grape has been widley anglicized in the new world to the more familiar Shiraz.

Shiraz originates from Isère in the Rhône-Alps region of France and is a natural cross of two obscure grape varieties - Monduese Blanche and Dureza. Although known for the wines produced in the Rhône Valley in France, Shiraz has made a home in Australia where the warmer climate allows the grapes to fully ripen and to produce a wine with soft fruit flavours and gentle tannins, yet with enjoyable weight and length.

Shiraz has a long history of cultivation in Australia, with most assuming that it was brought to Australia by James Busby around 1833 and subsequently planted in the Hunter Valley. In fact according to the research of Dr. John Norrie (, it was John Macarthur who first introduced Shiraz to Australia in 1817, planting it in a vineyard on the Nepean River near Penrith and at Camden in New South Wales.  Macarthur recorded that Shiraz did not thrive at either of these vineyard sites, however he supplied cuttings to numerous other vineyards throughout the country, allowing Shiraz to survive and eventually flourish.

Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz was one of the first grapes planted by Stuart Anderson in Bendigo in 1969. The climate of the Bendigo region is unique, while warmer than the cooler temperatures of the Yarra Valley, the region is not as warm as the wine producing areas in South Australia. As a result the Shiraz from Bendigo has a lovely rich palate but also has elegance making it an ideal wine to consume with a variety of different foods.

With the much anticipated release of the new vintage of Old Vine Shiraz, for the first time will have three different Shiraz wines all from our Bendigo vineyards – and all from the 2013 vintage.


2013 Balgownie Estate Old Vine Shiraz

The first release of this exceptional wine since 2009 is an absolute cracker. From an excellent year in Bendigo the wine is beautifully concentrated with lovely intense fruit flavours balanced by perfectly integrated oak and tannin. While a delicious wine to drink now, this wine will continue to develop complex in the cellar over the next twenty years.

James Halliday’s Review from the 2017 Wine Companion

It’s picked from the best 12 rows of the original ’69 plantings. The wine takes volume of flavour and gives it a nudge, and does so with a masterful sense of control, even poise. It’s firm, rich, warm; it’s both as essay on style and a vote for substance. Rating 96 Drink to 2035.”


2013 Balgownie Estate Centre Block Shiraz

This is a limited release single vineyard wine from the Centre Block vineyard in Bendigo. The Centre Block contains some of the oldest and well established vines on the property. Planted in deep red sandy loam soils derived from ancient creek flats the vines produce premium fruit with elegant tannins and sensational structure.

Mike Frost’s Review

“Nose: Restrained dark berry and plum, with oak in the background.

Palate: Concentrated dark berry and plum, with some spice and a touch of vanilla oak in the background. Fruit nicely dominant on elegant medium-bodied palate, with fine, firm tannins on the finish. Should age well for up to a decade. Rating 94.”


2013 Balgownie Estate Shiraz

Balgownie’s signature wine from Bendigo, produced continuously since the inaugural vintage in 1972, the Shiraz has become a benchmark of Central Vitorian Shiraz. A beautifully balanced wine with rich dark cherry and spice flavours married to smooth chocolatey oak.

James Halliday’s Review from the 2017 Wine Companion

With warmth comes richness and with richness comes seamlessness. It’s flush with dark/sweet plum, mint and smoky/chocolatey oak, the volume of flavour making ultrafine-grained tannin feel barely discernable. Drinks well now, but will age now. Rating 94"


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