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Every wine has a story and here are 3 of them.

One of the most common questions I get is “What are you currently drinking?”. I love that question because each wine has a story behind it and I get to share the stories of the people behind the wine that brings them to life. Here are 3 of them.

Peter Lehmann wines.

One of my first introductions to Peter Lehmann wines as during the biennial Barossa Vintage Festival. This was a fantastic week of wine tasting and events that we used to attend with good friends every two years. There is a dry creek bed next to the winery and they would setup tables under the shade of local trees and over a long lunch we would be served excellent food and amazing old wines. One year after a few fine wines Peter Lehmann himself was holding court puffing on his cigar and telling stories about his wife Margaret. Up the other end of the table Margaret was telling stories about Peter. It was a wonderful afternoon that I still fondly remember for the generosity of Peter, Margret and the whole team at Peter Lehmann. Unfortunately Peter has now passed on and the Barossa Vintage Festival isn’t what it used to be but when I drink their wines it always takes me back to that day and puts a smile on my face. Wine is always better with good people to share it with.

One of those wine was the 2006 Barossa Semillon that we recently pulled out of our cellar. I know what you are thinking…a 14 year old white wine…surely it was off.

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But I know these wines well and after 14 years I was not surprised it still had aromas and flavours of citrus, blossom, lanolin and honey with a lovely refreshing acid. It just shows how well some white wines, but especially Australian Semillon, can age beautifully and why it is often considered one of Australia’s most under rated grape varieties. It goes beautifully with seafood and semi hard cheeses such as Gouda or Emmental. It is also amazing value and the current vintage is readily available for $11 per bottle. If I had enough storage space I would buy a dozen every year and age them.

Tokar Estate.

We came to know about Tokar Estate from our good friend Cameron who knows more about wine that I do. Having worked extensively in London and running hospitality venues in Australia his wine knowledge and companionship is second to none. And when we invite him over he always brings lovely bottles of wine that we drink and discuss at length….good times.

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Cameron recently brought a 2017 Estate Pinot Noir to try and I was quite impressed. It was medium bodied with bright red cherry, candied raspberry, strawberry jam and hints of red plum with some fine supporting tannin. I was impressed how a medium bodied wine could have so much fruit flavour balanced by the tannin. It goes very well with duck and at around $30 per bottle it is good buying from a region that is pushing the limits on Pinot Noir pricing each year.

Anyway Cameron has been working with Tokar Estate in the Yarra valley for a while now and has introduced us to their wines including a memorable visit and tour. It’s amazing that you can live so close to the Yarra valley and still not visit all of the wineries but Tokar Estate has a lovely cellar door and restaurant that is well worth a visit.

Campbells of Rutherglen.

One of my favourite cellar doors is Campbells in Rutherglen in Northern Victoria. Some cellar doors look at you suspiciously as you are a freeloader looking for some free wine but not Campbells. Every time we visit they greet you with a genuine smile and are proud to share their wines with you. It is like you are a long lost friend and they just want to show the great things they are doing. They have a huge range including some of the best fortified wines in the world at incredibly reasonable prices considering their age and the amount of effort that goes into making them. In fact we love their wines so much we subscribe to their wine club and receive 6 bottles of back vintage wine every 6 months. It is like a lucky dip every time we open the order and Mrs Wine Matchmaker has to restrain me from devouring them in a week.

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One of the wine we received recently was the 2013 Durif. Now Durif, also know as Petite Sirah, is probably not a grape variety you hear about but it is loves the warm climate of Rutherglen making reasonably high alcohol wines. It is full of dark fruits such as plum, blackberry, bramble and milk chocolate along with some fine tannin to balance the ripe fruit. They are very easy wines to drink by themselves but do require a hearty meat dish or a big juicy steak to balance the fruitiness.

We highly recommend a visit to the Rutherglen and Campbells but make sure you stay a couple of nights as it is a bit of a drive.

All of the wines above were drunk in the last month and you may have noticed that none of them were current vintage. We are blessed to have access to a wide range of back vintage wines at prices less than most of the current vintages. Check out our wine store or contact me for a no obligation consultation I will be happy to let you know what we have available.

I’ll be running wine education events once we are able to, so join our mailing list or like our Facebook page to be notified as soon as tickets are released.



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