"I’m a sucker for sparkling Shiraz and this is such a beauty. Sweet red and black berry fruit, vanilla oak and a seemingly endless choc berry flow. It’s a bolder, riper style of sparkling Shiraz (elegance isn’t the game here), but with pure hedonism, depth of flavour and real tannins. It does feel like a red with bubbles than a true sparkling Shiraz, but gee it’s delicious. Will likely be even better in a year or two when it settles down further, as it’s just a little too overt, too big, too sweet fruited for absolute smashability.
Best drinking: 2018-2028+. 17.7/20, 92/100+. 14.5%, $35. Would I buy it? Yes, yum."
Bonjour! For all those who love France and all things French, this ones for you.
To celebrate the most French day of the year Chef Travis will be dishing up a deluxe Bastille Day celebration in our barrel room at Bendigo with a six course degustation dinner with matching wines. Sounds magnifique right!?
As this is an exclusive dining experience, tickets are limited!
6 courses with matching wines $170
6 courses without matching wines $110
50% deposit is required upon booking
"It's been a while since I've looked at a Balgownie wine. It's been even longer since something from Bendigo has passed the lips. An impressive Shiraz without question. It's good to be back.
Dark plums, blackberry, cherry cola, deft cedary oak and fine spices.
Super soft in the mouth, it's hard not to be drawn in by its beauty. Each element just meshes together delivering a wine with poise and class. The finish is sustained and dangerously smooth. What a treasure.
Enjoy now or over the next ten years. 93/100"
Read Mike Bennie's reiew of out new release 2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon in the June/July 2017 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine.
“Born from vines that average almost 50 years of age, this is a big bold cabernet of deep concentration, lavish, palate-sticking tannins and ferrous, savoury character. It’s heady in perfume of blackcurrants, plums, gum leaf and blonde tobacco. The palate is an assertive thrust of choc-berry flavours, sweet earthiness and rib-sticking, tacky-textured tannins. It’s a wine of immense presence now, and should be tamed gradually with cellaring, to reveal more nuance and detail.”
Vintage 2017 is now officially complete, all the ferments are finished, the press has been cleaned for the final time and all the wine is now aging slowly in oak barrels or in tank. The 2017 vintage was a return to a more orderly and typical harvest with the consistent warm weather ripening the grapes in turn and allowing each to be hand harvested. This has been much to the relief of the winemaking staff after the very quick and compressed vintage last year where all the grapes ripened at the same time.
The warm summer temperature and the dry weather combined to produce ideal conditions to produce quality fruit almost across all varieties. 2017 is shaping up as a standout vintage likely to be on par with the outstanding 2002 wines. Tony is confident of being able to produce an Old Vine Shiraz from the exceptionally ripe and balanced fruit that was harvested. We should also have an outstanding Estate Shiraz,
The Cabernet Sauvignon harvested in Bendigo has been remarkable with the best quality fruit that we have seen in recent times. The Pinot Noir from the Yarra Valley was also fabulous and was harvested in excellent condition at the optimal level of ripeness.
For our ever growing number of Sangiovese lovers, our new planting of the Brunello clone Sangiovese has been harvested for the first time. The Brunello clone originates from the town of Montalcino in Southern Tuscany where it is the single variety used in Brunello di Montaclino, - one of Italy’s noble and long-living wines. The addition of the Brunello clone will add more concentration and structure to our Sangiovese as well as meaning we have a little more wine available to sell.
The Estate Wines from both the Yarra Valley and Bendigo, as well as the Old Vine Shiraz are set to be outstanding when they are released - they will certainly be wines to savor or to cellar when they are released.
"Discovered in the back of the tasting pile. Always smartly priced Pinot this, and no different in 2015.
A light wine, but not in the underpowered way. Just mid-weight and vibrant, the style a luncheon Pinot, if that makes sense. Lots of bright raspberry fruit, a dash of herbs at the edges too. Easy to pick this as Yarra Pinot from first go, and still building in the bottle, if a little simple.
Best drinking: 2017-2022. 17.5/20, 91/100. 13.5%, $25. Would I buy it? Sure would. Enjoyable style."
Rae’s Restaurant at Balgownie Estate in the Yarra Valley has launched a delicious new lunch menu with a range of fabulous new dishes. The Grilled Pork Sirloin with baby fennel, apple Waldorf salad and mustard mayo was a stand out.
"Ripeness. That’s the focal point in this Balgownie Cabernet, which flirts with some of the rum and raisin dried fruit characters seen in other ’13 Vic reds, but saved from the dried fruit excesses. It’s less Cabernet-like than some vintages and more ‘big red’, but the sheer volume of dark fruit, cosseting oak and punchy, choc mint fruit cake flavours makes this satisfying. Just a little warmth on the drying finish, but not enough to do anything but push home the bold agenda. Personally I’d want to drink this much later, as it is just a little heavy now. A decade will be kind, and the length and breadth are well up to the ageing.
Best drinking: 2025-2035. 17.7/20, 92/100. 14%, $45. Would I buy it? I’d put a bottle in the cellar, but not quite drink now."
The late burst of warm Spring weather has produced the ideal conditions to ripen the grapes and produce beautifully balanced fruit. In Bendigo the vineyard staff have been kept hard at work picking the Merlot and also the original planting of Sangiovese. The fruit from both vineyards reached the winery in great condition and look very promising. For our ever increasing number of Sangiovese aficionados the 2017 vintage should be fantastic.
In the Yarra Valley this week the pickers have been up in the hills at Yarra Junction picking both the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. The berries are looking great with nice ripeness levels and lovely balance between and sweetness and acid. Tony was especially glad that we were able to pick all the vineyards before the rain showers.
In the winery Tony and the winemaking team are keeping very busy – most of the Chardonnay has finished their fermentation and have been pumped into French oak barrels to mature. The Chardonnay for Estate wines are still fermenting in oak where lees stirring is utilized to add creaminess and complexity to the finished wine. Meanwhile the Shiraz is busily fermenting away in traditional open fermenters where they undergo hand plunging twice a day to gently extract the colour and tannins from the grape skins.