Brokenwood on show: every wine they ever made

It’s day two of Brokenwood’s 40th birthday celebrations here in the Hunter Valley today and pretty much every wine they ever showed is on display (see above).  Just a little overwhelming, but what an opportunity!

So how to proceed?  Not going to get through all of them by a long chalk.  So for starters, rule out the wines I tasted yesterday  – verticals of ILR Semillon, Brokenwood Graveyard Shiraz and HBA Shiraz (a McLaren Vale/Hunter Valley blend).   I’m foiled from the get go because a magnum of Graveyard Shiraz 1986 excites Chief Winemaker Iain Riggs  – “much better than anything we tasted yesterday.”  Got to taste that!  It’s my third tasting of this wine in 2 weeks and, sure enough, it’s showing more depth of supple red cherry, chocolatey fruit, very Pinot Noir.  I’m loving that style of Hunter Shiraz.  Excellent.

OK, focus Sarah.  So I decide to pursue my theme about great priced Aussie wines that really shine with age and determine to trot through the “basic” Semillons (the 1999 my stand out).  Easy, but little did I know that, as with ILR Semillon,  Brokenwood sometimes makes single vineyard Semillons.  Nor did I realise that their first Semillons were wood aged.  Also that they have some late harvest Semillons. 

In fact there are a heap of wines of which I’ve never heard, including The Mistress Block Shiraz from Hunter Valley, Pinot Noirs from Beechworth and the Yarra, Nebbiolos, Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Roussanne; the list goes on.  And what about the novel Pinot Noir/Shiraz blend I tasted last night – a cracking example of the new breed of winsome reds made Beaujolais style with a bit of carbonic maceration.  It’s all fresh picked fruits, lifted flowers and pepper, without a trace of oak.   Once more, proof positive of the irrepressible Australian spirit of adventure around wine, something I’d like to see projected more widely back home.

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