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International Wine Workshops

The dates for our next International Wine Workshops have been set and can be booked as a course of 4 nights, or you can book for individual nights. The cost per evening is $100 which includes all wines and some superb cheeses. If you wish to book for the entire 4 week course or for the individual evenings, please reply to this email. Payment upon booking is essential.

Below is a little more detail on each evening. The wines to be tasted include outstanding Australian and overseas producers. This course really puts Australian wine on the world stage. Each night runs from 6.30-9pm.

Evening 1: Pinot Noir – Wednesday March 29th
• The Holy Grail – Pinot Noir
• It’s so difficult to grow – why?
• Burgundy – the home of Pinot Noir
• Cote de Nuits / Cote de Beaune – pick the difference
• Is there value in Burgundy?
• Apellation Controlee – a minefield – let’s try to explain it.
• The new world has come along way.
• How do the new world wines compare?
• Is New Zealand making better Pinot than Australia?
• Martinborough or Otago
• Geelong or Mornington
• Gippsland or Huon Valley
• Aroma and texture – that’s the point
• Come along and taste wines from: Mongeard-Mugneret (Vosne Romanee, Burgundy), Ghislaine Barthod (Chambolle Musigny, Burgundy), Benjamin Leroux (Burgundy), Bass Phillip (Gippsland), Ata Rangi (Martinborough), Kooyong (Mornington Peninsula), Williams Selyem (Central Coast, California), Home Hill (Huon Valley, Tasmania).

Evening 2: Riesling – Wednesday April 26th
• Why is Riesling one of the leading grape varieties in the world?
• Where does Riesling grow best and why?
• Defining the structural qualities of Riesling.
• How do the Germans achieve that acid, low alcohol and sweetness balance?
• Taste the best producers of Germany.
• Taste the best of France.
• Taste the best of Australia.
• How does Riesling age?
• Why Kerosene?
• Is Riesling better than Chardonnay?
• A line up of the best names in Riesling.
• Come along, find out and taste wines from JJ Prum (Mosel), Donnhoff (Nahe), Trimbach (Alsace), Jeffrey Grossett (Clare Valley), Crawford River (Henty), Henschke (Eden Valley), Gunderloch (Rheinhessen), Keller (Rheinhessen), Jim Barry Florita (Clare Valley), Salomon (Austria).

Evening 3: Chardonnay – Wednesday May 24th
• What are the inherent characteristics of Chardonnay?
• Why do growers love it?
• What regions are the best?
• Cool climate vs warm climate
• What is the difference between Chablis, Meursault and Puligny Montrachet?
• Can Australia come close in style to these great Chardonnay regions?
• Do we need to?
• How are our wines structurally different?
• Do they age?
• What makes white Burgundy tick!
• AC – Appellation Controlee – understanding the labels.
• Taste wines from: Giaconda (Beechworth), Leeuwin Estate (Margret River), Christian Moreau (Chablis), Paul Pillot (Chassagne Montrachet), Jean Louis Chavy (Puligny Montrachet), Isole e Olena (Tuscany), Benjamin Leroux (Burgundy), Felton Rd (Otago).

Evening 4: Shiraz – Wednesday June 21st
• The Australian Workhorse.
• The Rhone Valley.
• Why add Viogner to Shiraz?
• Cote Rotie, Hermitage, Cornas
• The best of France.
• Heathcote, Barossa, Sunbury or Hunter – who makes the best?
• What about Beechworth?
• N.Z. – The Gimblett Gravels are making some very good SYRAH
• Come along and taste wines from Henschke (Eden Valley), Giaconda (Beechworth), Jasper Hill (Heathcote), Mt Langi Ghiran (Grampians), Tyrrells (Hunter Valley), Clonakilla (Murrambateman), Auguste Clape (Cornas), Duclaux (Cote Rotie), Faurie (Hermitage), Alain Graillot (Crozes Hermitage).

All in all, four great evenings. Sign up for the lot, or take your pick. I cannot wait to show you some of these great wines and discuss their origin and quality.

Ian Cook

Wine workshops
Our wine workshop course consists of four nights, commencing each evening at 6:30 pm sharp upstairs at Five Way Cellars. A brief overview of each evening is as follows.

• Session 1: You will look at benchmark examples of the major noble grape varieties and discuss and explore their inherent characteristics, where they are traditionally grown and where they grow best in Australia.

• Session 2: Covers cool climate viticulture versus warm climate viticulture. You will taste and discuss why the same grape variety grown in two different climates have different characters. Climate change is affecting decisions in many regions.

• Session 3: Is devoted to ageing and cellaring wine, we cover ideal cellaring conditions, what to look for in a wine to cellar and how long to keep it, how age effects wine and of course taste current vintage wines against an aged example.

• Session 4: An in depth look at sparkling wine & Champagne (1/2 the evening) followed by sweet wines & fortified wines.

Cost: The cost of the course is usually $240 per person

Dates: Four Tuesdays in a row – March 21st, March 28th, April 4th, April 11th

Click here to download a booking form.


James Halliday describes Clonakilla’s Shiraz Viognier as “an icon wine, one of the best in Australia”. Jeremy Oliver lists it among his “Perfect 1s”. Langtons’ Andrew Caillard described it as “one of the most important advances in the development of Australian Shiraz since the release of 1952 Penfolds Grange Hermitage”. The story of this iconic wine has spanned generations.

2015 is an awesome vintage for Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier – possibly the best ever – see the rave reviews below! In addition, the riesling is beautifully tangy, racy, perfumed and fine. Great to drink now or in 5-10 years. Hilltops Shiraz continues to be one of the best value red wines in the shop. All come highly recommended. Ian Cook

Notes on Vintage 2015:
As seasons go, I’m not sure you can you get better conditions than we had in 2015. There was higher than average rainfall in December and January. By late January things warmed and dried and the miracle began to unfold: Day after day of mid to high 20s, cool nights, light breezes (no hot northerly blasts), a steady, warm glow in the vineyard with no pressure from excessive heat, rain or wind. Ripening proceeded like a dream. Tim Kirk, Clonakilla.

“2015 is without a doubt the best to date in a long line of excellent vintages. And whilst the name and the vines may be comparatively newer, Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier is now every bit as important to the story of great Australian wine as Henschke Hill of Grace and Penfolds Grange.” - Nick Stock

Following the brilliant 2015, mother nature provided a dramatic encore in producing another remarkable vintage in 2016. The El Nino had started to throw its weight around, giving us consistently warm and dry conditions, but then, a counter punch to the rising drought: 90mm of rain in the last week of January. Perfect timing and an undoubted blessing given the heat that was rolling down the line. The thermometer hit the mid-30s pretty regularly through February and March. The grapes ripened at a steady clip but one key factor put a brake on their progress: the size of the crop. Not more bunches necessarily, but certainly more grapes per bunch. Flavours developed beautifully while acids regally held their ground. To my palate the acid impact is perfectly balanced. A Riesling for lovers of the mythical minerality. It will be very long lived. Clonakilla.

Riesling fanciers should have Clonakilla’s on their radars already, but for the uninitiated this is a great introduction from 2016 – mineral-charged, tangy, succulent. It’s a very consistent wine, I reckon. Perhaps a slightly more zesty year in acid, is the only quiet shift. Good for refreshment factor. Effortless drinking here, with a high quality feel. Zips along on piercing acidity that drills a zingy hole through the juicy, cool, limey fruit character found in the wine. Aromas are floral, citrussy, lime and kaffir lime leaf, ginger scented, faintly yeasty. Pretty as. Fresh, flirty, then finishes with fine, chalk-meets-crushed-slate vibe. That tight clip to the finish says cellar long. 93+ Points. Drink: now to 2031.” Mike Bennie.

“When finishing up at the Canberra Regional Wine Show, one wine struck me dead for wicked drinkability and general interest, and it was this wine from 2015. It nailed viognier in a leaner way, more mineral charged it seemed, and that’s off the back of the ‘regular’ viognier being pretty perky and a far cry from slippery, fat examples anyway. I reckon Clonakilla onto something with this slipstreamed style, destined for, well, now, very youthful consumption. It’s not to the same level of immediate pleasure as the 2015 version of the same, but it still has plenty going for it. Smells righteous in just-ripe apricot, lemon blossom, steel. In the palate, a touch too steely-tanky, a little rugged with bristling acidity, but pulls off light apricot and apricot kernel characters and that zing of acidity means refreshment time finishes the wine. DNA of viognier means there’s a bit of richness even in the body of a lighter, fresher style. Good drink. 89+ Points.” Mike Bennie.

The Hilltops is the first of the 2015 reds to hit the market. It is a beautiful wine, at least as good as the majestic 2013 vintage, with a steady pulse of rich, dark fruit and perfect tannin structure.

"Hilltops shiraz at its most elegant. Yes. This is good. Complete. Spicy, well-fruited, taut but can’t go wrong here." - Campbell Mattinson

"Easily one of the best editions of this consistently good wine, this has an extra dimension of fruit flavour and richness, plus loads of blackberry and spice. Superb." - Nick Stock

The Shiraz and Viognier grapes were picked in immaculate condition and we edged up the level of whole bunches in the ferments from 22% to 30%. As ever, all parcels were natural yeast ferments. 18 – 21 days on skins and twelve months in one third new French barriques from Taransaud, Francois Freres, Mercurey and Sirugue. 5% co-fermented Viognier. There is more of everything in the 2015. Intensely aromatic with a mysterious energy pulsing through the palate. Insistent and persistent. A grand cru if ever we have made one. Tim Kirk, Clonakilla.

This is a rare beauty, to see a syrah-based wine that delivers power in such an elegant way. 2015 is a really impressive vintage for Clonakilla across the board and this, the flagship wine, is every bit as great as it should be. The aromatic spectrum is vast, from fine musky florals to white pepper and almost every imaginable spice, then an incredibly exuberant explosion of fruit, boysenberry, raspberry, cherries of every shade, and plums from red to blue and purple; it is full of life. The palate has an incredibly deep draw, total palate saturation of ripe red cherry, raspberry and red plum flavor, chocolate and a dusting of white pepper. The tannins radiate light and energy, bright from start to finish. Perfectly ripe, seamlessly balanced and actually very approachable. Drink it now, but there's plenty to come in time; this will be best from 2022. 99 points - Nick Stock

Tim Kirk is continuing to refine and explore the myriad of possibilities from this great site. Increasingly turning to higher proportions of whole bunches in the fermentations, he is getting greater and greater detail in his flagship wine. It is a thinker's wine, it stops you, draws you in and captivates. Incredibly detailed and floral-scented, the sumptuous and finely poised palate is a masterpiece. 98 points – James Halliday

Great season for growing grapes if you had your ducks in a row in Canberra District. Last visit to Clonakilla I did a broad tasting of components that go into the Shiraz Viognier and I was taken back by how many parts make up the whole – it’s a very intricate wine, takes TLC of the highest order to come together. The 2015 wine sees higher than usual whole bunch component (and it is notable, and a very good inclusion) in the ferment, with 20-30% whole bunch in each ferment. This wine is on song. I’m taken. Gorgeous, silky texture, a symphony of character in fragrance, game meats, herbs, red berries, clove, sweet spice. The palate is incredible – supple, pliant, long, satiny yet etched with the finest tat-work of lacy tannin. It’s savoury, fruit driven, pure-feeling but lifted on fine spicy oak and glossy acidity. In essence, it drinks utterly superbly. It’s next level. It’s a new classic for Clonakilla. Glory be. 97 Points – Mike Bennie

Pol Roger Offer September 2016
On September 13 this year, we shared a wonderful dinner at QT Hotel with Hugues Romagnan from Champagne Pol Roger. Pol Roger is our favourite Grand Marque Champagne House, not only for the magnificent quality of its wines, but also because it is one of the last remaining in the hands of the family that founded it. For this reason we have included an outline below of their history.

All wines below come highly recommended. – Ian Cook, FWC

160 Years of History
For five generations, the descendants have been equally demanding, remaining loyal to the strategy initiated from the very beginning by the firm’s founder.

Pol Roger was only 18 when, on 2nd January 1849, he made his first sale of wine. Circumstances obliged him to take such an initiative: his father, a notary, contracted an incurable disease and had to give up his practice. The family settled in Épernay in 1851. When Pol Roger died of pneumonia in 1899, his two sons were ready to take over from him.

Maurice and Georges Roger, Pol Roger’s sons took over. They obtained the right to change their family name to “Pol-Roger”, as a tribute to their father. The “Pol-Rogers” were active participants in viti-vinicultural organisations and other professional associations.

With the arrival of Jacques in 1927, Maurice’s son, heralded the arrival of a third generation in the firm. In the 40s, Odette Pol-Roger, became friends with Winston Churchill. Georges Pol-Roger passed away in 1950, Maurice in 1959. The third and fourth generations of the family began to run the company. Jacques and Jean were at the controls, assisted by Christian de Billy (Maurice Pol Roger’s grandson).

The first member of the fifth generation entered the business in 1988: Hubert de Billy, son of Christian, became Sales Manager for France. Patrice Noyelle, who is not a member of the founding family, joined the management team in 1997. Patrice Noyelle, President of the Board of Directors, oversees the running of the company. He works side by side with Hubert de Billy, Export and Marketing Director, who is also a member of the Board of Directors.

In 2006, Christian Pol-Roger was appointed to the Supervisory Board and Laurent d’Harcourt. He was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2008.

In June 2015, the Supervisory Board of Champagne POL ROGER, presided by Christian de Billy, appointed two new members to the Board of Directors: Isabelle Gautier, Financial Director and Dominique Petit, Cellar Master. They join Laurent d’Harcourt, President of the Board of Directors and Hubert de Billy.

Pol Roger Brut Reserve Non Vintage
The “White Foil” blend contains approximately one third of each three grape varieties of Champagne. Pinot Noir contributes body, depth of character and life extending tannins, Pinot Meunier adds youthful freshness, vigour and plump fruit character while Chardonnay gives lightness, elegance and firmness.

** 95 Points – Halliday’s Top 100 2015, Weekend Australian **

Family owned since 1849. Pol Roger owns 200 acres of vineyards and has cellars that extend over 4 miles on 2 levels and is one of only a few Grande Marque Champagne houses that remains family owned and operated. The cooler than the norm cellars "slows the second fermentation, encouraging a finer mousse or bubbles." Pol Roger owns close to 50% of the vineyards used for their Champagne production and grapes are sourced exclusively from premier and grand cru vineyards that rate at an average of 95 points on the Échelle des Crus classification system.

33% each chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. This is, not surprisingly, actually quite similar to the Pure but with just a bit more complexity and a hair more toastiness. This is also intensely effervescent with a mouth feel that is exceptionally vibrant before culminating in clean, cool, persistent and impressively refreshing finish. This is a pleasure to drink and it could be enjoyed now or held for additional development though I like the energy if offers now. A fine value. 91/now+” - Burghound

Pol Roger Pure Brut Non Vintage
The golden colour, dense and brilliant, is shot through with thousands of the bubbles. The fresh and lively nose expresses a fine, complex register of cloves and roses, developing into
hints breadcrumbs, yeast and citrus fruit. In the mouth, the attack is fine and straight, as an arrow, surprising after the mature, concentrated nose. But this firm texture acts like a carving, putting into relief a sumptuous wine, fine and well-structured.

“At our September dinner, this wine was singing. It is the zero dosage version of the Brut reserve. Lots of spice complexity, white flowers, firmer and tighter than the Brut Reserve. More mineral and glorious tension to the wine – with zero dosage it was a perfect match for the oysters. An Ian Cook favourite on the night.” – Ian Cook

Pol Roger Blanc de Blancs 2008
The wine displays a vibrant yellow-gold colour and is characterized by a remarkable effervescence in the glass. On the nose the immediate impression of fresh butter which gives way to notes of quince and citrus fruit underpinned by floral hints and finally revealing aromas of lightly toasted brioche; indicative of the complexity of the wine. On the palate, the true elegance of the wine is shown; marrying a wonderfully lively yet balanced mouth feel with distinctive flavours of citrus fruit, brioche, candied peel and acacia honey. The finish shows a remarkable length, as well as being both buttery-rich and full-bodied, yet graceful and light.

“With seven years on lees, we are seeing quite a bit of added complexity – think toasted grilled nuts, brioche, spice and a long lingering intensity. With all this complexity it’s still super fresh, expressive and vibrant.” - Ian Cook

Pol Roger Brut Vintage 2006
The Brut Vintage from Champagne Pol Roger is an attractive deep golden colour with a continuous thread of lingering bubbles. The nose is instantly powerful and complex, revealing the maturity of the wine, developing aromas of quince and apple, combined with richer notes of dried fruits. The palate shows a creamy, voluptuous and well-balanced structure. The long-lasting aftertaste boasts sumptuous almond nuttiness balanced with citrus freshness. The wine has a full-bodied structure, and pleasing maturity, without detracting from the overarching delicacy.

“Richer again, yet more on the savoury side. Dried fruits, lots of nuttiness, biscuity notes yet once again tightly coiled and intense – the quality of fruit with all this time on lees is a joy.”
- Ian Cook

Pol Roger Rosé 2006
An intense pink peppercorn colour with a fine stream of persistent bubbles. The nose has aromas of red fruits and summer berries. On the palate the first impression is freshness with notes of fragrant wild strawberry, this develops into creamy ripeness with a hint of vanilla. If the wine is allowed to blossom in the glass, a further layer of citrus aromas appears, with notes of grapefruit on the finish. The wine boasts a linear structure and rare finesse complemented by intensity of flavour. This is a Rose Champagne with great personality.

“The Pol Roger rosé style is pretty full on. Lots going on here with red apple fruit flavours, nuts and exotic spices. The most intriguing thing was how well it went with some excellent duck and full flavoured cuts of beef. I know some people can’t get enough Champagne, but matching it with a great steak – WOW – why not?” - Ian Cook

Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2004
This wine is a deep golden-yellow colour with a continuous thread of lingering bubbles. The elegant nose delivers intense and complex aromas, dominated by enticing notes of dried fruit, toasted almond and honey. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, boasting a powerful, rich structure, yet balanced with a refreshing acidity and flavourful notes of citrus fruit. The finish shows a remarkable length, with creamy notes of butter combined with rich fruitiness of Mirabelle plum and tart, ripe pear.

“Sir Winston is looking particularly dignified and refined in 2004, with a surprisingly primary, youthful air, yet all the understated poise that one can expect of this classic cuvée. A cascade of impeccably refined acidity swirls into a river of minerality that flows deep and swift all the way to the distant horizon. Effortless grace and youthful vigour lurk under that distinguished exterior.” Taster: Tyson Stelzer

“Dense grilled nuts nose, backward and youthful, and shows aromatic depth at the expense of immediate charm. The palate is rich, broad, and weighty, very concentrated, achieving a majestic style that’s biscuitty and powerful. Although accessible now it will certainly improve with more bottle age that will allow the flavours to unfurl. Long.” Taster Stephen Brook

Best Value under $20 by the dozen....
To view our favourite wines under $20 go to the back page of our Christmas brochure.

Best rose

St Andrieu Rose 2013
Cotes De Provence France
Single Bottle: $27.00
Dozen Bottle Price $24.00
It’s interesting to see many of France’s best vignerons being attracted to its south: Jean-Paul and Nancy Gignon of St Julien’s Chateau Talbot have transformed the winery and vineyards of Domaine St Andrieu in the Var. It’s directly north of Toulon in the foothills of the Alps, at an elevation of 380 metres. The rose, which bears the Cotes de Provence appellation, is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault that is clean, lively and pure with restrained savoury characters and a wonderful refreshing dry finish. Once again our favourite drinking Rose from Provence. FWC.

“a gem in a landscape of Liquorlands”
(Sydney Magazine, Jan 08)

At Five Way Cellars, we pride ourselves on the fact that we have never let a lack of space get in the way of stocking another good drop. And after 22 years in the business we think we know a good drop when we taste one!

A visit to our store in Five Ways, Paddington, reveals a vast array of the finest wines from Australia and overseas...more than 150 Italian wines alone. We have been at the forefront of introducing premium Italian wines to Sydney wine lovers since 1987. As well, you will find 40 varieties of Spanish wine and a discerning selection of wines from Burgundy, Alsace and Germany. Then there is the best Australia and New Zealand has to offer, with our passion for riesling, pinot noir and shiraz shining through. Indeed our store has become somewhat of a mecca for those wishing to seek out the “hard-to-find” and quality boutique wines.

“Best” need not equate with “most expensive” and we offer a selection that reflects both value and quality. Our staff offer the best advice in helping customers make the right choice. A delivery service is offered 6 days a week, free of charge to the metropolitan area for orders of one dozen or more.

Wine education in the form of in-store tastings and workshops to enhance our customers' enjoyment and appreciation of wine have become a hallmark of our business as have the many dinners held with guest wine-makers from Australia and overseas.

Five Way Cellars - your fine wine retailer
At Five Way Cellars we believe there is more to a good bottle shop than shelves, fridges and cash registers. We are committed to sharing with our customers every aspect of wine enjoyment through tastings, educational wine workshops and memorable dinners. Our range of wines is carefully selected to reflect value and quality and showcases the best producers both here and overseas.

We are pleased to offer the following services:
• Free delivery to most areas of Sydney (1 case minimum).
• Accounts—both private and business.
• Party planning—cold delivery, ice, tubs, glasses, sale and return.
• In store tastings every Saturday.
• Gift wrapping and gift delivery.
• Wine workshops.

We can also offer expert advice on:
• Rare and unusual wines—we will endeavor to hunt them down for you.
• Cellar planning—what to buy and when to drink it.
• Food and wine combinations.
• Corporate requirements—boardroom drinks, in-house tastings for clients and staff.

Ring or email for a quote for your next function.

Would you like to be placed on our mailing list? Call 02 9360 4242 or Email:


While you are online, be sure to check out our Facebook page and stay up to date with all that is new in store including special releases, weekend tastings, wine courses and upcoming dinners.

The Oracle 2016/17

The Five Way Cellars Oracle 2016/17, Christmas summer edition, is out now - 24 pages of great wines, reviews and interesting reading. Australian wines plus imports, Champagnes and some great local spirits. Everything priced by the single bottle and by the dozen.

Outstanding Value Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

Wickhams Road produce (we think) the best value Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Australia. The Gippsland wines were particularly impressive this year. Both are sourced from a 17 year old vineyard on the side of an old volcano. The Hoddles Creek team now manages the site as well as making the wine, and this has seen the quality lift even further. We have ordered a big chunk but even so the wines will sell out - fill the cellar to avoid being disappointed when you come back for more later in the year. The wines will be open for tasting on Saturday 28th from 12-6 pm. FWC.

Wickhams Road Gippsland Chardonnay 2016
Best value Chardonnay in shop
From fruit grown at Nar Nar Goon in Gippsland in a slightly lower yielding vintage. Fruit is whole bunch pressed into old French oak, where it rests on lees for 6 months. Classic Chardonnay nose of melon and white stone fruit with a touch of spice and a little almond meal. Possesses fruit weight and depth rarely encountered at this price. Quite soft, generous and open up front but with enough fresh acidity and structure through the finish to keep you reaching for another glass. Hard to beat at the price. FWC.

“The Gippsland vineyard is managed (or owned?) by the team at Hoddles Creek. As ever, it’s a juicier wine than its Yarra Valley sister. I prefer the Yarra, but in terms of quality, it’s probably harder to split them. So de gustibus non est disputandum, and all that. Buy one of each and decide for yourself.
Nectarine, thyme, wheatgerm, ripe lemon and a subtle whiff of smoke. It’s tight and juicy, quite intense and mouth-watering, with a flinty feel and lemony acidity, a slight quinine-like hardness as a young wine, but plenty of length and persistence. Good now, better next year (2018). 91 points.” Gary Walsh, The Wine Front.

Wickhams Road Gippsland Pinot Noir 2016
Best value Pinot Noir
From the same vineyard as the Gippsland Chardonnay; guided through the winery to show maximum regional expression, has dark fruits and savoury finish. The fruit is sourced from our own vineyard in Gippsland. We travel down to Gippsland once a week to tend the vines. The wine is destemmed without crushing and left on skins for 25 days. The wine is bottled without filtration or fining. Franco d’Anna, Winemaker.

Light red in colour, with surprising depth of red and black fruit (cherry, plum, mulberry) on the nose alongside an inviting touch of brown spice and fallen autumn leaves. Silky and succulent mouthfeel but possesses ample structure and savoury character rarely seen at this price point. Delicious light to medium bodied drinking over summer. Punches well and truly above its weight. FWC.

Mac Forbes
Loaded with Depth and Purity: The Single-Vineyard 2015’s

Order form attached

“2015 was simply a gorgeous year to be a vine and as a consequence, the wines are stunning. With consistent rain through winter and spring, we entered the 2015 growing season with a good
platform of soil moisture which is always critical. Warm days and moderately cool nights followed into summer which allowed a successful flowering and fruit set meaning yields were up on the disastrous 2014 season (incredibly low yields). Disease pressure was moderately low and as a result most vineyards offered amazing vitality. Early signs of the 2015 vintage are of wines with great energy, precision and structure. Harmony and perfume are also qualities we are associating with all the wines from ’15.”
Mac Forbes, September 2016

“I’m going to make a prediction: I reckon that before long Mac Forbes will be recognized as one of Australia’s greatest winemakers (I suppose he may already be...). His wines are fantastic, and they represent an important facet of Australia’s future fine wine dimension. I know this might sound a bit hypey, but I’m just so impressed by what he is doing.”
Jamie Goode,

“I still find it interesting that his [Mac’s] first instinct when he finally put his name on a bottle of wine was to write it in lower case. Good and important enough to stand behind and put his name on the bottle; but not that good and important enough. The bottle designs have just been updated and his name has moved to all upper case. It is time.”
Campbell Mattinson,

The Wines:
The winemaking specs are almost identical for all the Pinots: hand-harvested, some percentage of foot-stomping, wild ferments, a small quantity of whole bunches (10 per cent on average), maturation for approximately 11 months in oak and bottling without fining or filtration. The Chardonnays are whole-bunch pressed and fermented in mostly mature wood. All wines are again bottled under the avant-garde Ardea seal.

The Chardonnays:

Hoddles Creek currently is Forbes highest vineyard in the Upper Yarra, at 270m, and his only site on the volcanic red soils. These soils offer a strong contrast to his other sites. This tiny, north-facing vineyard is planted in a slight arc and is protected by forest on three sides. Its water holding capacity allows the site to be dry grown. While bestowing focus and clarity, this is a site that offers a more open structure and more fruit compared with the more linear style of the Woori Yallock below.

“Planted ’97; hand picked, crushed, wild fermented in new and used French oak, 9 months sterile filtered. Exemplary tension drive and finesse; natural minerally acidity runs through the palate. Re tasting highlights juicy grapefruit flavours. 130 dozen produced. 96 points. Drink now to 2027.”
James Halliday, Weekend Australian, October 2016

“Our only vineyard on the prominent red soils of the upper Yarra. This wine continues to be the definition of purity and focus as the ripe beady thread of acidity carries the fruit impeccably.” MF

This in many ways is the ‘yin’ to the Woori’s ‘yang’. A very, cool, pure wine with white florals, citrus pith & coiled, crunchy fruit. The acidity here is tight & linear with a fresh, chalky palate that is loaded with mineral & oyster shell characters. Rich & fine boned it will unfurl its charms over the next 3-4 years. Mouth-watering! FWC

As it is with Pinot, so it is with Chardonnay. This unique vineyard, planted in 1995, produces stunning Chardonnay fruit in both warmer and cooler years and captures much of what Mac is seeking in terms of suitability of variety to site.

“Over the last years we have been busily reworking a small section of Chardonnay that now makes up this wine. This site has a following because it has a refreshing chalky savoury finish. Grown on deep siltstone, ultimately the structure and shape of this wine defines the site. ” MF

A much different beast to the Hoddles with a depth & complexity that is apparent from the outset, with it’s white stonefruit, meal & subtle nut nuances, it oozes power & structure. Tasted next to an ’09 Woori Chardonnay its future is well defined, with grilled stonefruit’s, meal & complexity to come. The overall picture is one of elegance & refinement. Highly recommended. FWC

The Pinots:

Located in the lower Yarra, this 1.6ha vineyard is planted to MV6 clone on Schwarzmann rootstock. The vines were planted in 1997 on a thin layer of grey loam over clay at an elevation of 85-126m. Having jettisoned most of the lower Yarra sites, today Coldstream is Mac’s warmest Pinot vineyard, largely owing to its westerly aspect. Hence it is the first picked every year.

“Perhaps surprisingly, our only lower Yarra site is the lightest and most perfumed of all our pinots this year. Often the warmer sites result in lighter wines due to the faster ripening (meaning less days of tannin development). Also being a warmer site, this now incorporates more whole cluster adding increased freshness and perfume.” MF

“ From pinot noir vines planted at Coldstream in 1997. Wild fermented before going into oak for 11 months. Sealed with an ardea closure. It’s a dry, serious, savoury style. It feels thoroughly uncompromised. Herbs, peppers, wheats and cherries come cleated with tannin. It oozes complexity and yet it flows; it’s like a well-crafted plot. A wine of quiet intensity. 94 Points. Drink: 2016-2025.” Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front.

The lightest & shyest pinot in the range, it has a real savouriness to it, along with brown spices & red cherry, some mineral notes around the edges, courtesy of its coiled youthful acidity. There is a brightness & playfulness here that belies the wines tension & structure. Persistence, purity& elegance are the keys, and while drinking now is immediate pleasure its structure will reward time in the cellar. FWC

Yarra Junction is our coolest site located in the far eastern Yarra Valley, just next to Wesburn. Situated on gravelly soils, this north eastern site receives cooling influences off the surrounding mountains and is protected from the afternoon sun. Yarra Junction will appeal to those who prefer a more immediately accessible style. It offers femininity and fragility almost within the context of a classic European Pinot. MF

Bright & fragrant, it oozes fresh strawberry, caponata & sour cherry notes, with some woodsy/ brown spices and mineral notes. Always the most open of Mac’s Pinot’s upon release, it’s juicy, fleshy red fruited palate is a delight with a persistent, gently-spiced finish. It’s delicious drinking now & over the next few years. FWC

“Wesburn was unloved until a few years ago. Planted in 1981, this vineyard, in the far eastern reaches of the Yarra (just before Warburton), sits in the fringe ofwhat many consider marginal
viticultural land. It is these sites that truly inspire us and have the potential to make our most exciting wines. The site sits on our beloved siltstone clay soils at the foot of Mount Bride (1000m)
which offers cooler nights and mornings. The resultant extension of the ripening period expresses itself by way of far greater tannin depth, high notes and fruit weight. Sometimes walking the fine line reaps rewards.” MF

“MV6 clone planted ’81; hand picked, 10% whole bunch, part foot stomped; matured for 12 months in used oak. Clear, bright crimson-purple; fragrant red and black cherry fruit on the bouquet; complex, savoury sour cherry palate, echoes of stemmy whole bunch. 170 dozen produced. 95 points. Drink now to 2025.”
James Halliday, Weekend Australian, October 2016.

For me this wine rivals the Woori Yallock vineyard as Mac’s best. It has a structure & muscularity to it that is woven into the wine. Darker colour, crimson, black cherry, with subdued red florals & wafts of cherry and spice. The palate is where it really gets its mojo on, with a complex & layered array of dark red fruits building weight & power, yet never feeling heavy or overdone. The waves & layers of flavour keep coming reaching a crescendo in a fine long finish. Structurally it’s firmer than the other wines & this will reward cellaring. Very Limited. FWC

“At 1.36ha, the School House block, owned by the Fergusons, has been leased by Mac Forbes Wines since 2012. The south facing aspect delivers relief to the vines from hot northerly winds. This unique vineyard, planted in1995, produces stunning fruit in both hot and cooler years and captures much of what we are seeking in terms of suitability of variety to site.” MF

Mac Forbes continues to extract gold from this, his best vineyard. Bright cherry colour, with a lifted nose of red fruits & florals, before a palate that is dominated by spice, mineral & dark cherries, all woven into a powerful, coiled structure. It has the focus, persistence & muscle to put itself in the frame with the Yarra’s best & is rapidly gaining the track record in the cellar to prove it. Don’t miss it. FWC

Single Bottle Price: $105
Dozen Bottle Price: $95

A winemakers’ gin that is quintessentially Barossa. A creative infusion of 12 botanicals, distilled with premium quality Barossa grape spirit, delivering a unique flavour profile that captures the essence of Barossa in every bottle. Traditional juniper and vibrant South Australian citrus lead the sophisticated flavour that delivers warmth, structure and a robust mouthfeel. Our pioneering use of toasted French oak in the distillation delivers hints of vanilla, a generosity and robust mid palate weight, just as it does in a fine wine.



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