All posts by Aussie Wine Guy

Aussie Wine Guy has been a wine enthusiast for over fourteen years, mainly interested in Australian, New Zealand and French wineries, but in recent years has extended his interests to include North and South American, South African and European table wines. He and his wife currently reside in Canberra, Australia after having lived in Sydney, the Gold Coast and Brisbane as well as abroad in Vancouver, Canada and HangZhou, China.

O’Reilly’s Shiraz and Wine Tasting at Tambourine Mountain

Last weekend, we travelled south and slightly inland from the Gold Coast (Queensland, Australia) to an area known as Tambourine Mountain.

This area is home to the ‘Granite belt’ and a good deal of Queensland’s wine producers. Queensland is not widely known for it’s wine producers, so we had mixed expectations heading into the region.

The net result? Just as conflicting. We tasted a number of releases from three vineyards in the region: Witches Falls Wines, Heritage Wines and O’Reilly’s Wines.

The Heritage has a very tidy release known as the Rabbit Fence (Cabernet Sauvignon/2005) which I think I rightly placed as a decent drinking red (tasty, but a little room to mature.. chocolate undertones not too strong or too passive), at a reasonable price ($16/bottle). We bought four bottles to take home.

Whilst at the Heritage (which is based on a converted church!) I tasted the O’Reilly’s Shiraz (2005) and it wasn’t bad at all. Still too young, but with lots of growth potential, it made me want to drive home and open the 2002 O’Reilly’s I’ve had down since 2004!

We lastly visited Witches Falls vineyard. By this time I sampled just the Sav Blanc (skipped the other whites), Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. A minibus full of tourists dropped in before I could sample their reserve Cabernet (which was a trophy winner evidently) but I wasn’t terribly impressed with the non-reserves. The Sauvignon Blanc was not sweet but sour, bland and too much acid, unbalanced is an understatement – not a great way to kick off the tasting. The Cabernet and Shiraz were both too unrefined to merit attention.

I’m not sure whether the climate is just unsuitable to sustaining a matured red, or perhaps it is a symptom of experimentation and growth? We might try them again in a years’ time. Staff were rather friendly and attentive.

Mid-2008 Wine Wish List

Every now and then I put together a wish list of wine to look at putting down in the near future. This ranges from bottles priced at AUD $30-450 (and obviously the price is a factor in quantity of bottles I’m looking to acquire!)

So, without further adieu, here’s my current thinking:

  • Jim Barry ‘The Armagh’ Shiraz [Any Year]
  • [FR] Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion [2000]
  • [FR] Chateau Palmer [1990]
  • Penfolds RWT Shiraz 2004
  • Wynns Coonawarra Estate ‘John Riddoch’ Cabernet Sauvignon [Latest Release]
  • Suckfizzle (Stella Bella Wines) Cabernet Sauvignon 2004/5?
  • Tyrrell’s Vat 9 (Hunter Valley) Shiraz [Year?]
  • Henschke Cyril Henchke Cabernet Sauvignon [2002?]

Normally, I’m a big buyer of Coldstream Hills Reserve Pinot Noir but last Christmas I bought about AUD $800 worth at the cellar door including four of the ultra premium "Amphitheatre" Pinot Noir (AUD $120/bottle) which I can only think will be celestial!

Additionally, in January I bought a Brokenwood HBA Shiraz which is a limited release containing the best of the Graveyard Shiraz releases from over a ten year period – that’s got to be good?

What is on your wish list? What’s missing on my list?