Category Archives: Wine

Artisans of Champagne at Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

The Artisans of Champagne are a group of 17 growers who are the true craftsman of the region. They have banded together to form a unique society because they share a similar philosophy of how to best create champagne of passion and distinction.

Enjoy the cuvees of The Artisans over a long Champagne lunch as we explore their wines paired with local artisan produce of Victoria, presented by Champagne Ambassador Kyla Kirkpatrick, aka The Champagne Dame. We are featuring 6 wines from the group from the houses Pierre Paillard, Huré Fréres, Christophe Mignon, Savart, Alfred Gratien and Vilmart & Cie.

Sunday 18th March 1-3PM
Canvas House – 137 Buckhurst Street, South Melbourne
Tickets $199.00
Purchase tickets

Patritti 2016 PetNat: Wine Review

All the cool kids are drinking this naturally sparkling wine. Even though its ‘new’, as with most things grasped by hipsters it is an ancient and natural product, but without any hint of irony. Its a form of fizzy wine which is bottled before the completion of fermentation. As the yeasts consumes the sugar, turning it into alcohol, the yeast creates carbon dioxide which causes the juice to become spritzy. With a Pet-Nat, the live ferment is trapped inside the bottle . This method of winemaking is known as méthode ancestrale or Pétillant-Naturel (natural sparkling) or Pet Nat for short.

Patritti Pet Nat


Patritti is actually based in Adelaide city suburbs, but the fruit for this is Trincadeira from Barossa and adds sweetness and natural acidity. Essentially being an ‘unfinished wine’ the Patritti Pet Nat still has yeast lees in suspension. So leaving the bottle upright a day or so prior to opening minimises the cloudiness.

Aromas of wild strawberries, with a definite funky spiciness and a herbal edge. On the palate its lightly spritzy, noticeable sweetness but balanced with acidity. Red berries, cranberries. The Patritti Pet Nat reminds me of that strawberry yogurt that I left in the fridge for a week too long, but still decided to eat the fizzy creamy berries goodness. Serve the Pet Nat slightly cooler than room temperature, and its freshness and slight sweetness makes it super tempting on a warm summery evening.

Alcohol: 12.5%
Price: $25
Region: Barossa Valley, SA
Source: Provided by producer

Wirra Wirra Spring Releases

Springtime in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia is always a glorious time. Blossoms burst from the trees, magpies swooping, and vines begin their journey to vintage. The higher altitude of the Hills usually means mild days, and somewhat cool and frosty evenings. One day can be glorious sunshine, followed by torrential rain.

Wirra Wirra Adelaide Hills

Adelaide Hills

So with spring comes the new 2016 releases from many wineries. Wirra Wirra wines, based in McLaren Vale (which is just next door) have just released their Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Both of which are sourced from the Adelaide Hills wine region, and specifically the coolest sub-region of Lenswood.

Wirra Wirra 2016 Riesling

Wirra Wirra Riesling

Around South Australia there are many well known Riesling regions. Clare Valley has its intense citrus characters, Eden Valley in Barossa displays a little more slatey ‘minerality’ (whatever that means). But further along the Mt Lofty Ranges in Adelaide Hills, the Rieslings often have quite distinct perfumed floral characters.

With the 2016 Wirra Wirra Lost Watch Riesling it is this floral, old fashioned rose aroma, that leaps from the glass. This is rounded out with gorgeous turkish delight confectionery, not that its overt. Fresh red apples add more complexity.

On the palate there’s lots of lively acidity, and a bit of green apple crunch. Hint of citrus, but more of the lemon verbena herbal characters. The Wirra Wirra Lost Watch Riesling, is very typical of Adelaide Hills, and perfect for sping time enjoyment.

Alcohol: 12.5%
Price: $24
Region: Adelaide Hills, SA
Source: Provided by producer

Wirra Wirra 2016 Sauvignon Blanc

Wirra Wirra Sauvignon Blanc

One of the main varietals in Adelaide Hills is Sauvignon Blanc. Despite the sauvalanche of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc we see here, the Adelaide Hills and Tasmania provide some vigorous competition.

The Wirra Wirra Hiding Champion Sauvignon Blanc, shows vibrant citrus, lime zest and a little tropical zing. The palate has lots of acidity and quite intense flavours which last. Citrus and grapefruit flavours dominate, with a little dollop of grassiness.

And not a hint of ‘cats pee on a gooseberry bush’, like our kiwi friends.

Alcohol: 13%
Price: $24
Region: Adelaide Hills, SA
Source: Provided by producer

Effervescence Tasmania

Effervescence Tasmania 2016 returns over four days from 3 – 6 November 2016, showcasing world-class sparkling wines, Michelin-starred chefs, award-winning winemakers and experts. This year, we’re privileged to have legendary chefs Tetsuya Wakuda and Jacques Reymond participating – Tetsuya in the Grand Degustation dinner and three-course local producer lunch, and Jacques in The Essence of Effervescence lunch at Quamby Estate.

Author and wine expert Tyson Stelzer will host a Champagne and Tasmanian Sparkling Wine dinner and masterclasses, and some of our leading winemakers, Dr Andrew Pirie (Apogee), Ed Carr (House of Arras) and Louisa Rose (Jansz) are on the pour. Add to that the Effervescence Tasmania festival’s decadent garden party, Bubbles and Beats event and food-matching masterclasses for the ultimate food and wine weekend.

More information at  

Vickery 2016 Riesling: Wine Review

John Vickery is the accepted doyen of Riesling in Australia, with an illustrious career covering fifty years and innumerable awards. The Vickery Rieslings he has crafted from Watervale and Eden Valley in South Australia are the epitome of this variety.

Vickery Rieslings are made in partnership with talented winemaker and family friend Phil Lehmann, so that John’s winemaking methods and knowledge will be preserved and passed on for generations to come, for the benefit of all lovers of classic Australian Riesling.

Vickery Eden Valley 2016 Riesling

Vickery Eden Valley Riesling

The Vickery Riesling from Eden Valley has lovely aromas of lime zest, and some floral prettiness. Palate is fresh and lively with lemon citrus, with a slately edge.

Flavours last and the mouthwatering acidity suggests some great cellaring potential for those who adore aged Rieslings.

Alcohol: 12.5%
Price: $23
Region: Eden Valley (Barossa), SA
Source: Trade tasting


Vickery Watervale Riesling

Vickery Watervale 2016 Riesling

The Vickery Riesling from Watervale shows the typical freshness on the nose, with some aromatic white floral characters.

The palate is similarly lively like the Eden Valley, and also with a steely component. Possibly a little fuller in the mouthfeel. Pure and delicious.

Alcohol: 12.5%
Price: $23
Region: Watervale (Clare Valley), SA
Source: Trade tasting

Wirra Wirra 2014 Woodhenge Shiraz: Wine Review

McLaren Vale doesn’t have a Stonehenge, but it does have a Woodhenge.  Wirra Wirra’s late owner, Greg Trott, wanted to build a post and rail fence of herculean proportions. It uses massive red gum timber sourced from the Flinders Ranges, with some of the pieces weighing over three tonnes!  But slightly less colossal is the Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz.

The Wirra Wirra 2014 Woodhenge Shiraz shows great regional style, and displays what McLaren Vale does so well. Lots of plush ripe fruit, but also showing moderation.

On the nose there are aromas of warm spices including cinnamon, milk chocolate, and dried fig. On the palate its luscious and warming. Fleshy ripe plums, ripe mulberries, and chocolate coated liquorice. A hint of sweet oak. Medium to full bodied, with flavours showing restraint but still lasting in the mouth and tempting you for more. Its all supported by powdery tannins adding more texture.

The Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz is sterotypical McLaren Vale Shiraz, and a great example of it.

Wirra Wirra Woodhenge




Alcohol: 14.5%
Price: $35
Region: McLaren Vale, SA
Source: Provided by producer