explore with us – Main Ridge Estate 2018 Wines

The dollhouse-sized winery, Main Ridge Estate, which kicked things off on the Mornington Peninsula when Nat White planted his first vines in 1975 (Baillieu Myer beat him to a vineyard, planting in 1972, but Nat had the first commercial winery), changed hands a few years ago. It seems that the transition has been seamless and…

A toast to ‘The Caley’

Here we all are, locked down, isolated and in a completely unfamiliar world. The only thing about that which might be familiar to Fred Caley Smith is the unfamiliar world.  Fred was an adventurer. First, though, he was the grandson of Samuel Smith, the founder of Australia’s oldest family wine company, Yalumba, back in 1849….

A trifecta for Riesling lovers – clos Clare

Readers will have seen that we focused the wonderful Rieslings of Vickery recently. And also those of LoosenBarry. Now, the trifecta for lovers of that amazing grape and it is all tied up together.  The local guys behind the LoosenBarry are the Barry brothers, Sam and Tom, sons of well known Clare maker, Peter, and…

Must Try: Smith & Sheth ‘Cru

Steve Smith will be best known to most winelovers as the man behind so many great Craggy Range wines. He was one of the founders, along with Terry Peabody, and responsible for sourcing the superb vineyards from which their grapes came, as well as making the wines. All that said, I suspect Steve sees himself…

Our top wine pick of the week – LoosenBarry

Opus One, the collaboration between Robert Mondavi in the Napa Valley and Chateau Mouton-Rothschild of Bordeaux, is probably the most famous joint venture in the world of wine. It has long been a leading operation in the Napa. There have been many since. One of the most recent is between Riesling specialists, Jim Barry from the…

You need to try these wines by a Riesling superstar

John Vickery is widely and justifiably recognised as one of the finest winemakers Australia has ever produced, often called the ‘Father of Riesling’. And if you won’t take my word for it, the man has won more than fifty trophies and 400 gold medals on the highly competitive Australian show circuit. John’s first vintage was…

Champagne of the Week – Louis Roederer Cristal 2008

WORDS KEN GARGETT Don’t let anyone tell you differently. 2008 is a truly great vintage for Champagne. Some have claimed it is the best since 1996, or even 1990. It might even surpass those two and challenge the brilliant 1988. Like the great ’88, which snuck under the radar in its youth, this is a…

‘Champagne of the Week’ – Bollinger Grand Année 2008

WORDS KEN GARGETT The evidence has been building for some time. 2008 is one of the greatest vintages seen in Champagne for many years. Aficionados will argue over just where it fits in the overall scale of things, and which compare, but for me, it looks like it might be the best since the scintillating…

Wine of the Week – Shaw and Smith Sauvignon Blanc 2019

WORDS KEN GARGETT It seems like yesterday that the news of Michael Hill Smith and Martin Shaw, winemaker cousins, commencing their own operation in the Adelaide Hills hit the front page. Terrifyingly, it was 30 years ago and the wines to celebrate that milestone have just landed. Back in 1989, Michael had just become the…