Australia’s Most Expensive Wines: $250 Pinot Noir from Yering Station joins the fray

The price of Australia’s most prestigious wines – either by self-design or by sheer quality – is on a fast march. We have now reached a point where the extraordinary has become ordinary, or at least the new normal. A list of Australia’s Most Expensive Wines now makes for quite remarkable reading.

Price has long been a way for a new wine or new producer to stand out – set the mark high enough and publicity/notoriety/discussion is sure to be sparked. It’s a dreadfully easy way to add a bit of traction to your brand new footprint. The free oxygen awarded Torbreck, Ringland, Cloudburst, Powell & Son (among others) both over the years and in recent times is all the evidence anyone needs. Cloudburst, a new-ish producer out of Margaret River, marks its Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec with prices of $275 each. Powell & Son, a newish producer out of the Barossa/Eden valleys, has two wines asking $750 each.

But it’s certainly not just the brash and the new pushing the boundaries of price. The established names of Australian wine are leading the price push from the front. Indeed it’s both the establishment and everything after. This list is by no means comprehensive but it’s an insight into where the top-end of Australian wine has gone. The prices (and number of wines) in this list might be a surprise to some. These are per bottle prices.

Australian current-release wines listed at $150 and above:

Bass Phillip Premium Pinot Noir ($220)
Bass Phillip Reserve Pinot Noir ($590)
Best’s Thomson Family Shiraz ($200)
Bird in Hand MAC Shiraz ($350)
Bird in Hand Marie Elizabeth ($350)
Brockenchack William Frederick Shiraz ($150)
Brokenwood Graveyard Shiraz ($250)
Brokenwood Quail Shiraz ($180)
Calabria The Iconic Shiraz ($175)
Chateau Tanunda 1858 Field Blend ($300)
Chateau Tanunda The Everest Grenache ($195)
Chateau Tanunda The Everest Shiraz ($195)
Chris Ringland Randall’s Hill Shiraz ($240)
Chris Ringland Shiraz ($700)
Clarendon Hills Astralis Shiraz ($400)
Clarendon Hills Piggott Range Syrah ($200)
Cloudburst Cabernet Sauvignon ($275)
Cloudburst Chardonnay ($200)
Cloudburst Malbec ($275)
Coates Shin Zen Bi Syrah ($300)
Coldstream Hills Ampitheatre Pinot Noir ($150)
Cullen Kevin John Flower Barrel Chardonnay ($250)
Cullen Kevin John Fruit Barrel Chardonnay ($250)
Cullen Kevin John Moon Opposite Saturn Harvest Chardonnay ($250)
Cullen Vanya Cabernet Sauvignon ($350)
d’Arenberg The Old Bloke & The Three Young Blondes ($200)
d’Arenberg The Athazagoraphobic Cat Blend ($200)
Dalwhinnie The Eagle Shiraz ($170)
Calabria Family Wines The Iconic Grand Reserve Shiraz ($175)
De Bortoli Melba Cabernet Sauvignon ($160)
Domaine Simha Raja Pinot Noir ($275)
Domaine Simha Rana Pinot Noir ($175)
Dominique Porte Andre Cabernet ($180)
Gemtree SubTerra Shiraz ($180)
Geoff Merrill Henley Shiraz ($170)
Glaetzer-Dixon La Judith Pinot Noir ($220)
Glaetzer-Dixon La Judith Shiraz ($220) – Review
Grant Burge Meshach ($180)
Greenock Creek Roennfeldt Road Cabernet Sauvignon (circa $200)
Greenock Creek Roennfeldt Road Shiraz (circa $200)
Haselgrove Cruth Shiraz ($150)
Henschke Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon ($165)
Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz ($825) – Reviews
Henschke Hill of Roses Shiraz ($380) – Reviews
Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz ($225) – Reviews
Hentley Farm Clos Otto Shiraz ($150)
Hentley Farm H Block Shiraz Cabernet ($175)
Hentley Farm The Creation Shiraz ($175)
Hickinbotham The Peake Cabernet Sauvignon ($150)
Hillcrest Vineyard Cabernet Merlot ($150)
Hugh Hamilton Pure Black Shiraz ($180)
Jim Barry The Armagh Shiraz ($295) – Reviews
Kaesler Alte Reben Shiraz ($150)
Kaesler Old Bastard Shiraz ($220) – Reviews
Kilikanoon Attunga 1865 Shiraz ($250)
Kilikanoon Revelation Shiraz ($550)
Levantine Hill Samantha’s Paddock Cabernet Blend ($150)
Lou Miranda Estate Master Piero Shiraz ($150)
Magpie Estate The Malcolm Shiraz ($150)
Maverick Steiner Shiraz ($300)
McGuigan The Philosophy Cabernet Shiraz ($150)
McLaren Vale III Associates Giant Squid Ink Reserve Shiraz ($150)
Meerea Park Black Shiraz ($225)
Mount Pleasant Maurice O’Shea Shiraz ($250)
Mollydooker Velvet Glove Shiraz ($185)
Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon ($500)
Penfolds Grange Shiraz ($850) – Reviews
Penfolds RWT Shiraz ($250) – Reviews
Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay ($150) – Reviews
Pertaringa Yeoman Shiraz ($250)
Poonawatta The Centenarian Shiraz ($180)
Powell & Sons Brennecker Seppeltsfield Grenache ($275)
Powell & Sons Kraehe Marananga Shiraz ($750)
Powell & Sons Steinert Flaxman’s Valley Shiraz ($750)
Reschke Empyrean ($150)
Rusden Sandscrub Shiraz ($380)
Seppeltsfield Uber Shiraz ($150)
Sorby Adams The Thing Shiraz ($245)
St Hugo Vetus Purum Cabernet Sauvignon ($240)
St Hugo Vetus Purum Shiraz ($240)
Tahbilk 1860 Vines Shiraz ($298)
Taylors The Pioneer ($200)
Taylors The Visionary ($180)
Tempus Two Uno Pinot Shiraz ($150)
Teusner The Righteous ($150)
The Islander Estate Cygnet River Shiraz ($150)
The Islander Estate The Investigator Cabernet Franc ($150)
Torbreck Laird Shiraz ($830) – Reviews
Torbreck Les Amis ($187) – Reviews
Torbreck RunRig ($255) – Reviews
Turkey Flat The Ancestor ($150)
Two Hands Aphrodite Cabernet Sauvignon ($165)
Two Hands Ares Shiraz ($165)
Vasse Felix Tom Cullity Cabernet Sauvignon ($160)
Voyager Estate Tom Price Cabernet Sauvignon ($150)
Wild Duck Creek Duck Muck ($350)
Wolf Blass Platinum Label ($180)
Woodlands Benjamin Cabernet Sauvignon ($150)
Wynns Coonawarra Estate John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon ($150)
Wynns Coonawarra Estate Michael Shiraz ($150)
Yalumba The Caley Cabernet Shiraz ($350)
Yarra Yering Carrodus Cabernet Merlot ($250)
Yarra Yering Carrodus Cabernet Sauvignon ($250)
Yarra Yering Carrodus Merlot ($160)
Yarra Yering Carrodus Pinot Noir ($250)
Yarra Yering Carrodus Shiraz ($250)
Yarra Yering Carrodus Viognier ($160)
Yering Station Scarlett Pinot Noir ($250)

Today a new wine arrived on my desk. It’s by established Yarra Valley producer Yering Station. It’s called Yering Station Scarlett Pinot Noir 2015. It’s a new wine to me; there was also a 2013 release. It’s named after Nathan Scarlett (1975-2013) who was doing great viticultural things in the Yarra Valley, by many accounts. The asking price of this new Yarra Valley pinot noir is $250. The march continues. Australian wine, whether anyone likes it or not, is growing up, and putting itself out there.

Rated : NR Points

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246 Responses to “Australia’s Most Expensive Wines: $250 Pinot Noir from Yering Station joins the fray”

  1. Chris says:

    But what does it taste like..?

  2. john pearce says:

    Hope someone doesn’t tell their partner to go the bottle shop and buy a bottle of Crimson Pinot Noir and they get confused…that only sells for about$30 pb.

  3. Cactus says:

    I think there is a gap growing between the list price and the discounted price for some of these wines. There is also a few who flew too close to the sun and now the market wont bear it.
    – Lindemans trying to sell the Trio for $70 when the market price and discounters are $35
    – Grant Burge Meshach – $150 selling around the traps for $70-80

    Good luck to the producers who can market a wine and clear at a high price. Wine is a bloody difficult business and I don’t begrudge them.

    But for my humble tastes & means, once a wine goes past the $100/bttle mark, I usually drop it from my cellar. Just too many people making good wine elsewhere. Thanks to WF – and posters for help in this task.

  4. Red Bigot says:

    Cunning wealth re-distribution strategy.

  5. gd says:

    Unlike beer, wine is certainly not a proletarian drink and in our country we are very lucky to be able to drink it at a decent level for ‘proletarian’ prices. It is for the bourgeois at the very least in a global sense, generally because at some level it needs the right climate, first world logistics, storage etc for a fully fledged home industry that then only becomes affordable where it is produced. We should not get too upset when we see a ferrari of a product or (one at least made that way by marketing) that we can’t afford. Its not really in our collective hands. 😉

    • Cactus says:

      So GD – I like this comment. Some countries are worse than us to be sure in getting good quality wine at a good price. China is tough – I have really struggled seeing Australian wines like Penfolds Koonunga Hill on wine lists for $100/bttle. I think in Indonesia & Singapore wine can be expensive too? The US experience the cult Napa Cabs are very expensive too.

      • gd says:

        Thanks Cactus. I think most of Asia really and include any country that does not grow wine that has a hot climate and is not fully first world. Singapore (first world) is an anomaly because of the high taxation on alcohol. The old colonial idea with beer is to have something available to the lowest classes so they can sedate themselves and convince themselves they are happy. Wash away any ideas of revolution as it might be.

        The Riddoch is the only one I have bought at a price near $100. I own others but paid the old prices.

        • bastardbox says:

          “Singapore is an anomaly because of the high taxation on alcohol”. This is one of the great myths that is generally circulated here in Singapore by some retailers trying to gouge recently arrived expats. The tax in Singapore is an alcohol tax so it’s “high” on cheap wine but very, very low on expensive wine. The tax on a 14% alc. bottle of two buck chuck…$9.24. The tax on a 14% bottle of Grange…$9.24. I reckon you’re copping $100-$120 of tax on the Grange you buy in Australia. I sell Nick Glaetzer’s La Judith here. A$220 down under, S$184 here, and the currency is near enough to parity. Sorry to break the bad news but with 29% WET, Australia’s the high tax country on wine. Blame the colonials.

      • Gylesey says:

        Indonesia – wine attracts a 90% tax.

  6. mitcho10 says:

    I would love to know what the price on the 2013 Scarlet Pimpernel…I mean Pinot Noir was when it was released.

  7. redrich2000 says:

    Le Pinot Noir Scarlet!

  8. Meataxe says:

    All these wineries realise that the cost to make these wines is still the same, whether retail is $60 or $200. Makes the rest of the portfolio look reasonably priced (eg HOG vs Mt Ed).

    Veblen goods…just set the bait and wait for people to fall for it.

  9. Aaron says:

    There’s a few wines on the list that are probably reasonably priced for their provenance and quality, such as Mt Edelstone, Graveyard, Wynns John Riddoch, Jim Barry Amargh. There’s a few that have the provenance and quality but their prices are just out of reach for most – Grant, Hill of Grace and Bass Phillip in particular.

    The others, however, are questionable value given a lot are new wines (or wineries) to the market without a proven capability to age (although the quality may still be very high) – Teusner, Woodlands, Hentley, etc.

    There’s also a number I don’t think the quality of the wine justifies the price (I shall remain more silent on these) or that have had such steep jumps in price that the value can’t be seen at this time (Mt Pleasant anyone?).

  10. Gary Walsh says:

    There’s exactly two wines from that list I’d consider buying (and possibly will). The rest are jousting sticks for me.

  11. Gary Walsh says:

    Also, I think Levantine Hill should rate a mention for, let’s say, aspirational pricing.

  12. nicholaspeterpumpkineater says:

    What are your $30-$60 wines you’d prefer to drink over these? (Considering the value in this bracket)

    • Aaron says:

      Not sure these fit the $30 – $60 bracket but better value and must buys for me – Clonakilla SV and Syrah, Hillcrest Pinot and Chardonnay, a number of Tyrrell’s shiraz and semillon, stack of riesling from around Australia, Coldstream pinot and chardonnay (not the Amphitheatre), Hoddles Creek pinot and chardonnay, Pierro chardonnay, Cullen Diana Madeline, Mayer pinot, Standish shiraz, Kay Bros shiraz. So much really great stuff out there.

      • MichaelC says:

        Can’t understand the thumbs down. Agree emphatically with Aaron.

        Of Campbell’s list, only would be genuinely interested purchasing in Graveyard, John Riddoch and (possibly) Bin 707. Have little real interest in the rest at any price. Maybe the Bass Philip, but have never tasted one, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out. Best Thomson Family Shiraz in a similar boat.

        And if you want Barossa Shiraz, Spinifex La Maline ($70) hard to beat at any price. Which reminds me that I need to try the 2015! No need to pay $200 or more.

        Mount Edelstone Cabernet?

  13. Without wanting to overvalue or overstate Winefront’s importance … it’s possible that making a list of these wines will a) inspire some on the list to lift their prices even more, or b) inspire some who aren’t on the list to make sure they are next time.


    • Meataxe says:

      I have a rule that if an Australian winery has any current vintage table wine in its range that retails for more than $150, then they are banned – I do not buy any wine from that winery at all – even the cheaper ones.

      It’s possibly a crude rule, however things are getting too out of hand with ego pricing, and there is plenty of interesting wine around (especially foreign). Long term I feel ego pricing is the kind of business practice that gives the wine industry a bad rep (a luxury) and stops more of the general public from getting into wine.

  14. TiggerK says:

    Cloudburst too….

    Do we think Bass Phillip Reserve Pinot sells out every year? I know they don’t make much, but just wondering. I would assume yes? In which case not surprised if they keep increasing the price to see what the market will bear.

  15. john says:

    I think some of these comments are a bit unfair. Why shouldn’t some of these wines command a price equivalent to their peers from other countries? I see the prices for Napa cabernet and Burgundies to name just 2 regions are very high – these wines have earned their prices and consumers seem to accept that.
    Whilst we are all free to determine what we are prepared to pay for the wine we enjoy, it’s not right to begrudge a winery asking a high price for wine that “is very special” for want of a better term. Just remember when these wines are sold in retail that the winery receives about 25% of the purchase price – after tax and retail and wholesale margin. I don’t see any one complaining about the retailer making as much as the winery who made the wine.
    I would suggest that the cost of making very high quality wine from low yielding vines is very high indeed – possibly $30 to $40 per bottle in some cases, with initial costs such as pruning incurred about 5 years before a sale is even achieved!
    try something like this on a per bottle basis:
    grapes $7.50
    barrels $3.50
    bottle $1.50
    label $0.75
    cork $0.80/screw cap $0.12
    winemaking: very difficult to price because of cross subsidisation across a winery’s range, but should be $10++
    interest across 3,4, or 5 years: ?
    warehousing for 2+ years ?
    marketing + admin costs ?

    This all assumes a winery has access to the quality of fruit required to delivery the wine quality and the reputation required to capture enough buyer’s interest. Both of these things are normally built up over a very long time. Plus of course all the capital – land, equipment and buildings – necessary to grow/make/store the wine.

    Well I didn’t mean this to be a rant, but making fabulous wine is not a cheap process. And yes there are many many great value wines out there if that’s what one wants to drink, but if we want to drink great wine we have to be prepared to pay for it

    • Cactus says:

      In general I agree. Wine is a pretty shoddy business for returns.

      – People overinvest on the supply side because for many it is a romantic idea to make your own label or have your vineyard. That drives returns down in the industry.
      – You are up against the weather.
      – You get 1 product a year and it can be 2-3 years between incurring the cash costs and getting the cash revenue. Compare that to beer, where it is a maybe 6-week turnaround between production and sales. Its a cashflow disaster.
      – You have to choose varieties and hope they are in fashion in a few years time. People like Sav Blanc? Suddenly plantings of Sav Blanc explode. What if consumer shifts change back to chardonnay or Riesling?
      – For the most part you have to sell through the chains and they demand low prices or discount your brand. Or you invest in your own brand and that is costly and takes years.
      – you have forex risk if you try to sell overseas. When we had the parity party, those producers who geared up to o/s markets suddenly couldn’t shift the product.
      – Then the tax man takes his cut.

      So I don’t begrudge producers that after all the above – they go on to say – wouldn’t it be nice to make a bit of a return? They deserve it.

      But in the cut & thrust of capitalism as a consumer I can choose whether the offering is value to me or not.

      Given how hard it is – I think it is beholden on us to support a few of our favourite boutiques. Get on a few mailing lists – buy direct. Visit them directly. I also think those guys should reward their consumers who are loyal.
      – I like how Tyrrell’s sell their wine way before it is ready to drink to their list. This means they don’t have to finance 1-4 years of working capital. As a consumer I get it a bit cheaper.
      – I like Blue Poles idea of a En Primeur for MR. It hasn’t gotten up (yet). But it is a sound idea to help with cashflow.
      – I like wineries who have a special release wine just for cellar door or mailing list.
      – As a consumer I love Rockford and Wendouree as well for obvious reasons. I’m not a stonewaller (yet) – but I can see why they do what they do.

    • MichaelC says:

      Yep, agree with most of this John. Also reinforces my point that there is, in most cases, no real need to pay more than $70-75 for Australian wine at present. We all win at such a price. Anything more and you are likely gouging me, unless I see an argument for rarity and a flavour profile I cannot easily get elsewhere, and besides I have other arguably pointless things to spend money on, being a car enthusiast.

  16. Infidel says:

    Wendouree must wonder where they got it all so wrong.

  17. Aaron says:

    John, I tend to agree with many of your comments and wineries are certainly free to set pricing as they want. As I’ve said, I think there are wines on that list for which it is reasonable to charge a premium price due to their rarity and proven quality. I don’t think anyone would deny a winery a decent return on investment.

    But…we can make value for money calls. We can also call out when a wine is priced well and truly beyond its quality and has little to no track record. Burgundy can charge due to small supply and large demand, as well as history and a proven cellaring track record (admitting there are many duds as well). I don’t see that in many of the wines listed above.

    I suppose we all also get a bit touchy when a wine we have been loyal to, and in doing so contributed to its growing reputation, get priced beyond reach within a few vintages (hats off to Tim Kirk at Clonakilla).

  18. luca says:

    A few thoughts for everyone’s amusement …

    In both wine and coffee, what I am willing to pay special occasion money for is pretty much distinctive aromas that are specific to the particular crop. I don’t think I’m alone in being unimpressed by super pricey wines that are distinctive because they are big (and basically could have come from anywhere hot and been made from most things) or because the flavour is dominated by oak (which could be added to any base wine). Super ripeness and heaps of oak might be distinctive, but I don’t think that they show any real viticultural or wine making skill, nor do they reflect any particular site, variety or clone. These thoughts aren’t really new. I suppose what is kind of new is that we are now seeing wines made as a reaction to this old school of winemaking that go too far in the other direction. Specifically, I’m now seeing premium priced wines that are dominated by overly green whole bunch characteristics. If a wine is dominated by generic vegetal characteristics, it might be distinctive in the context of the Australian wine market, but this is not distinctiveness that I’m willing to pay over the odds for: it could be almost anything from almost anywhere if it were made in the same way. In other words, whole bunch is the new oak – add the right amount and it can make a good wine great; go overboard and you ruin everything. (Though I suppose that it is slightly different from oak in that stalks are presumably a helluva lot cheaper than new oak!)

  19. tj says:

    Yalumba the Caley $349…first vintage I know but I can’t see subsequents going down in price

  20. el crampo says:

    None of these wineries care about the 99.9% of consumers who can’t afford or choose not to buy these wines

    If you say no then whatever – What they worry about is the 0.01% of consumers who do – that’s not you – oh well

    Personally I love expensive wines that excite me so much I will pay crazy amounts for them

    • Jules says:

      Except, I’d argue that there’s signalling involved to customers who can’t afford to buy those wines, the idea as you know being to lift the prestige of the rest of the range.

    • Gary Walsh says:

      I think my ceiling price for a wine these days is around $300, and that’s a rare event. The odd lash at Montrose or similar Bordeaux. Aside that most of the Barbaresco/Barolo slots in at well under $150, which is still a bit of a big spend, but that’s life.

      As an aside, when you look at the supreme quality of the 2015 Standish Shiraz wines, they make most of those South Australian wines look sick for value (and often quality). I don’t mind wineries putting big prices on. Happy for some other drongo to buy them 🙂

  21. Aaron says:

    And I know it’s been mentioned, but there is the Vino Mofo outcome. I’m sure there’s been plenty of people burnt paying excess prices for some of these wines only to find them heavily discounted later on under a mystery sale. I’m not complaining as I’ve jumped on a number of these deals but it does show the folly of some of these marketing tactics. Get the quality, get the history, and then ask the price. Not price first.

    • Jules says:

      This particular wine may be new but, to be fair, Yering Station has a pretty long history of quality.

      Agree entirely with your first point re Vinomofo et al. They seem to be efficient clearing houses for this kind of thing. In a way, they may also be enabling more of it (aspirational pricing). If the winery knows they can use those channels without losing too much face, there’s less of a risk in giving it a go.

  22. A few more to add to the jousting sticks pricing list:
    – Glaetzer Dixon’s new aspirationally priced La Judith wines at $220/pop
    – Geoff Merrill’s Henley at $170. Haven’t seen one of those in a while.

  23. Infidel says:

    Considering the time and risk involved in bringing them to market, some of the old fortifieds seem ridiculously inexpensive in comparison.

  24. SeanH says:

    Great to see Yering Station memorialize the wine after Nathan, nice guy. And good to see the viti guys getting look in in the jousting stick stakes.

  25. tonyt says:

    There’s nothing wrong with a producer setting a price of their choosing. But like free speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequence, free market premium pricing doesn’t equate to freedom from comment and speculation over whether the wine deserves it. The higher you raise your head, the more of a target you present to those throwing tomatoes. It is what it is. Live with it or go cry in your pillow.

    I’m sick of people referencing old world high prices as justification for us to do same. Many possible old world examples have spent longer than our lifetimes and that of our forefathers earning that status. If our best wines are great enough to end the game of comparisons to the old world, then that comparison also includes their pricing. Hypocritical to want to avoid reference to old world comparisons in the glass, but jump to specific old world comparisons in the selling price.

    The wines that over time, truly earn their high priced status end up not copping barbs from the gallery. Look through this website. When the murmurs are loud over a price being aspirational, more often than not, the murmurs have eventually got it right.

    As for this wine, I tried a previous vintage. Gorgeous wine. Spectacular and selfless human being providing its name. I wish it all the best.

    • Aaron says:

      So agree with your comments in regards to old world wines. There’s often generations of work to get to where they are today, and perhaps a Millenia in some cases in gaining understanding of the great terroirs. We seem to have lots of great regions in Australia to grow vines, but few truly great vineyards.

      • MichaelC says:

        As you say, some vineyards in Europe go back to Roman times, or rather have been planted on or off for centuries, but I think there are, or will be, many, many world-class vineyards. Off the top of my head, just quickly and probably a reflection in part of my inherent tastes/interests, we have Hill of Grace, Mount Edelstone, Kalimna Block 42, 4 Acres, Steven’s Old Patch, The Old Hill at Mount Pleasant, older patches at Rosehill, Braemore, Justin in Frankland River, St. Peters/Imperial, the older vineyard/s at Best’s, Drumborg, Steingarten (pity they don’t seem to do this separately any more), the old Riesling vineyard at Crawford River, whatever patch Bass Philip Reserve comes from, etc. More will emerge. And Hoddles Creek of course :).

        I reckon most of these are right up there.

        • Aaron says:

          Agreed. We have some absolutely world class vineyards producing world class wines, no doubt. Clonakilla, Cullen, Polish Hill also come to mind. But they are still few in number when compared to the number of planted vineyards.

          What we don’t have is such a great understanding of our land built up over generations through experience and the ability to rate our vineyards into, for example, village, 1er and GC vineyards. We’re on that journey but I think we have some way to go. As you’ve said, the greatest vineyards may not have even been planted yet.

          Thousand Candles was a classic example of charging a high price for a wine from a poor vintage, without any prior history, from an indistinct vineyard. And we know what happened there.

      • tonyt says:

        We have quite an array of world class vineyards in Australia. Unlike some other of the world’s greatest vineyards, many cannot yet claim that passionate wine lovers in 50-100+ other countries scramble for these wines. It is no small achievement to make great wine from a great site you’ve painstakingly identified and established. It’s another thing entirely to have that message permeate throughout the globe.

        Many of us on here offer benchmark wines to foreign guests or take these wines abroad with us. They impress as we expect they might, but it is often the recipient’s first ever exposure to the name. DRC would still be under $2k for an assortment if nobody outside France had ever heard of it.

    • Jules says:

      Good stuff Tony.

      “If our best wines are great enough to end the game of comparisons to the old world…” That game will go on for a while yet. Not to say Australian wines can’t be/aren’t as good as old world wines, but because the old world wines have set the benchmark for so long as you say.

      Regarding “referencing old world high prices as justification for us to do the same”, the mistake often made in this case is making the judgement based on a comparison of quality, rather than demand. If you believed the demand for your Yarra pinot was as great as the demand for DRC, then you’d be mad not to at least try to charge accordingly.

  26. Nearly 50 Australian wines in the list so far, all with an RRP of $150 or higher.

  27. Infidel says:

    Vasse Felix Tom Cullity is $160.

    Cullen Flower Days are all $250.

  28. tonyt says:

    I love that we’ve nowadays got lots of very high priced wines, and wouldn’t have it any other way. The Australian wines that have raised the fewest comments on here for being north of $100 are wines that have either thoroughly earned that status, and/or have a demand that demonstrably, annually, exceed their supply.

    I know of more than one super priced Aussie wine where the owners claimed the demand clause, yet in reality gifted, exhibited or drank a fair proportion of the make themselves, and still had plenty left over. If you can own the fact that this is what you’ll do with the wine or that positioning exceeds demand in your prioritising, people will happily accept your openness. Don’t spout falsehoods. Lying to defend a wine is justifying the criticism that is claimed to be unfair.

    Apologies to Yering this debate is in their thread. It is to be the case simply because it is an example that is here and now. We often bemoan when a long thread seems to ignore the subject wine at hand, but the reality is it has facilitated a discussion among passionate friends. Not a bad thing.

  29. Fred says:

    Campbell you stirrer you! Now, do you really want to fire us all up? Then put the score for each wine next to the wine, then we’ll really see who’s swimming naked. Worst score/price gets the annual Gold Dust Sprinked on Turd Award, as a subtle form of encouragement to not to repeat their world class pricing/crap wine mismatch.

  30. el crampo says:

    There are three factors at play here – as mentioned

    1. Brand positioning – and I rarely hear about Europe. Normally it is ” we want to be considered as one of the best in the hunter and if broken wood graveyard is $200 then we need to be”

    2. We have to recognise there is a weird wild world out there – talk to a Torbreck rep and the stories of guys who get a case of Laird Magnums delivered to each of their six houses” blow your mind. People – may less on-line engaged – are demanding this stuff

    3. Other markets in the world really do respond to this in ways Australians struggle to understand

    I agree with tonyt here – do it with the best of intentions and be honest

    At the end of the day a $200 bottle in a single wooden box is no different to a $75 wine with two reidel glasses in fancy pack – both $200 gifts

    I think all of these wines need to be cross referenced with volume – the high volume and very expensive wines are truly impressive

    The rest are high profile niche plays for various reasons – but irrelevant to most

  31. el crampo says:

    Another angle…I am Yering Station and I have

    1. An excellent and busy cellar door saying they can sell a limited release luxury wine
    2. Export department saying the same
    3. An owner wanting to keep up with the other top Yarra estates
    4. A winemaker who loves making no expense spared wines
    5. A worthy person to honour

    Why wouldn’t you make this wine?

    • simon1980 says:

      El crampo, you could probably add…

      6. A $700/nt hotel in the grounds, with cashed up guests, who like to drink the “best wine from the estate”…

  32. el crampo says:

    forgot about them!! yes indeed – the best customer of all!

    they should have planted a “Clos” in the middle with the hotel on all sides – would have killed it

    stayed there once in 1997 and loved it / awesome / said I be back for sure every year….but never have…no fault on the hotel

  33. grog says:

    Also consider that in some markets, it is not about quality but more about how much it costs. So ignoring other aspects, commercially it is smart if you know your market.

  34. Fred says:

    Also Kaesler Old Bastard $220 and Two Hands Ares $165. Pretty reasonable for icon bottling prices compared to the peer group plus 20 odd year histories attached to both.

  35. Meataxe says:

    There was an idea from the Thousand Candles 2011 that summed the situation up nicely – would the winemaker purchase these wines at RRP?

  36. john says:

    what about value, nobody has mentioned value? Are any of these wines good value?

  37. Anthony says:

    Thousand Candles the holder of the lifetime jousting sticks award for worst value. The top MR cabs (Cullen, Woodlands) are probably fair value, but pretty subjective.

  38. monkeyboy says:

    Is the Seppelt 100 Year Old Para worthy of inclusion? Or are we excluding fortifieds?

    How about Mount Pleasant 1880, 1921, 1946 & 1965 Single Block Shiraz?

  39. Gary Walsh says:

    Single block wines are $125.
    I don’t think we should include fortified wines.

  40. I set an arbitrary starting point of $150. There are now 60 in the list.
    Which is more than double what I thought there might be.
    I haven’t included fortifieds and won’t, but will look at a separate post/list for both fortifieds and sparkling sometime soon.

  41. zigtag says:

    Kellermeister The Meister Shiraz $250.

  42. Aaron says:

    Teusner would have a stack more at $150 or more. Mollydooker velvet glove. Seppeltsfield uber Shiraz. I think the Langmeil Freedom Shiraz is $150 now. I reckon there’s stacks out there we haven’t considered yet.

  43. Aaron says:

    I do wonder with these wines why some of the wineries bother having a Reserve now. Eg: Coldstream Reserve Pinot but then an Amphitheatre at twice the price. Strange marketing.

  44. zigtag says:

    Drinking a Blue Poles and compiling a list of wine i’ll most probably never taste. Some seem to be special release depending on vintage.

    Penfolds Bin 169 $350
    Penfolds Bin 144 Chardonnay $150
    Coates Shin Zen Bi Syrah $300
    Torbreck RunRig $250
    Torbreck Les Amis $175
    Kilikanoon Revelation Shiraz $500
    Kilikanoon Attunga 1865 Shiraz $250
    Clarendon Hills Piggott Range Syrah $200
    d’Arenberg The Athazagoraphobic Cat $200
    d’Arenberg The Old Bloke & The Three Young Blondes $200
    Levantine Hill Colleen’s Paddock Pinot Noir $200
    Levantine Hill Estate Melissa’s Paddock Syrah $200
    Levantine Hill Samantha’s Paddock BDX $150
    Chateau Tanunda The Everest Shiraz $195
    Chateau Tanunda The Everest Grenache $195
    Chateau Tanunda 100 Year Old Vines SGM $150
    St Hugo Vetus Purum Shiraz $240 ($216 for friends!)
    St Hugo Vetus Purum Cabernet $240
    Hugh Hamilton Pure Black Shiraz $180
    Calabria Family Wines The Iconic Grand Reserve Shiraz $175
    Grant Burge Meshach $155
    Dalwhinnie The Eagle Shiraz $170
    Henschke Cyril $165
    Voyager Estate Tom Price Cabernet $150
    Magpie Estate The Malcolm Shiraz $150
    Brockenchack William Frederick Shiraz $150
    McLaren Vale III Giant Squid Ink Shiraz $150
    Dominique Portet Andre Cabernet $180
    McGuigan The Philosophy Cabernet $150
    The Islander Estate The Investigator Cabernet Franc $150
    The Islander Estate Cygnet River Shiraz $150
    Reschke Empyrean $150
    Haselgrove Cruth Shiraz $150
    Lou Miranda Estate Master Piero Shiraz $150

  45. zigtag says:

    Sorby Adams The Thing Shiraz $245

  46. themodwolf3 says:

    Any whites or sparkling so far?

  47. tonyt says:

    el Crampo,

    Love your point about the mega-high spending free wheeling customer base. They certainly DO exist, and some of the sales and events that garner some of this kind of trade have even meant that producers who top out at around $100 a bottle miss out on the action because they can’t supply this space.

    That said, a large proportion of these wines are wines where a vast proportion of the make is still lying unwanted quite some time after release. That I’ve seen with alarming regularity.

  48. AFB says:

    Consider, as a slightly different angle on this question, resale value – or lack thereof – and what it says about any notion that Australian wine might be an “investment”.

    Those who are purchasing “The Laird”, just for instance, are not the same people as those who, 20 years ago, invested heavily in great Burgundy and Bordeaux (even if only at the time so they would have a lot to drink), and have now seen (by accident or design) a ridiculous return on their cellars. The same goes for Grange and Hill of Grace, I suppose.

    In the case of Grange, Hill of Grace, and the great French, retail price is now set in an attempt to match the market (although query whether that succeeds, with Grange’s resale price for recent vintages falling behind retail). After all, why let others have all the fun?

    The French regions, however, matured decades ago (at least). The market doubtless would not bear the introduction of new chateaux or a new “super-Petrus” or “super-La Tache” (can you even imagine such a ridiculous concept?). But in Australia, room is seen for expansion.

    I habitually watch Langton’s auctions several times a week, to see what’s moving and what isn’t. Probably a bad habit, but anyway.

    I’ve seen a regular stream of Vanya being sold (usually only a couple of bottles at any one time, pretty much ever since it was released, and never for anything like the $350 RRP; including buyer’s premium the price per bottle is probably just under $300. I’ve also seen Langton’s trying to sell off what I think is their own stock of The Laird (several vintages I think) and having a great deal of difficulty getting anything like the retail price. There is currently a dribble of Bass Phillip Premium, which I suspect is also Langton’s own stock.

    On the other hand, I’ve seen only tiny quantities of Graveyard (usually off-vintages), and no Thomson Family, nor any of the Yarra Yering Carrodus range.

    So the question becomes: are those who buy wines like The Laird even interested in their resale value? After all, why pay that much for a bottle with no guarantee of provenance? It’s not like they’re bargain-hunting. I suppose they might go for the Wine Ark Provenance Program, but still that seems unlikely.

    Point is, the rash of new “prestige” wines are for conspicuous consumption only. This makes you wonder whether any Australian wines, even those which have always been in the top quality flight, are capable of any serious appreciation. I think the answer must be, at least these days, no. Drink up.

    • Trav says:

      I think you are correct about the bass Phillip on langtons. 2014 vintage they would now be trying to get rid of.

      I wouldn’t have thought too much Oz wine is bought for investment unless you get onto a flyer like the serrat sv a couple of years ago. I have a personal view that a lot of the wine on langtons is direct from wholesalers or wineries using it as a sales channel. It’s a win for consumers and brands as they clear stock without damaging the brand and punters can pick wines up at roughly 80% of normal price.

      • AFB says:

        “a lot of the wine on langtons is direct from wholesalers or wineries using it as a sales channel” – yes. Some do it en masse.

        “unless you get onto a flyer like the serrat sv a couple of years ago” – praise be to the JH marketing machine. He needs to pump up bargain wines like that that more often. Perhaps he could use this thread to identify which wines *not* to award “Wine of the Year”.

        (Not to diminish the Serrat, which I am sure is a lovely beverage.)

  49. Trav says:

    I picked up a couple of 2015 Bass Phillip premiums last week. That should be on the list. It and MM are the only Australian wines I spend north of 100 for.

  50. I’m still sorting through the most recent suggestions but, for now, the list has topped 70 … with a bullet.

  51. Gylesey says:

    Jacob’s Creek Limited Edition Shiraz Cabernet ($180)

    Mitolo Marsican Shiraz ($200)

    And Australia’s only $150+ sparkling (??):
    Clover Hill Cuvée Prestige Late Disgorged Blanc de Blancs ($150)
    EDIT: Arras have re-released an ultra late disgorged EJ Carr:
    House of Arras Ed Carr 20th Anniversary Late Disgorged 1998 @ $350!

    • I’m not going to add the JC Limited Edition SC on the basis that it was a one-off. I classify this under novelty, or at least as a wine that sits to the side of the list above.

      The Mitolo Marsican is an interesting though. I know nothing about it. Has it been released? What is it?

      • Gylesey says:

        Well I have serious doubts the Jacobs Creek Limited Edition will be a once off. Given you reviewed it less than a week after the passing of the man it was supposedly made to commemorate. I’m sure it will be made again if they manage to sell enough of it. And how many of those on the list started life as a “once off”? I’d suggest a fair few, certainly the Meerea Park Black did.

        On the Mitolo Marsican, I have no idea, Tyson featured it in his top 100 list yesterday:
        “To Frank Mitolo, this inaugural release from a couple of standout barrels from a single vineyard in Willunga is the culmination of
        everything that Mitolo is about. I had the privilege of being the first to taste it, alongside Matthew Jukes, at a secret rendezvous
        with Frank and winemaker Ben Glaetzer in a bar in Adelaide.”

        • Thanks for that. Will look out for it 🙂

          It’s amazing how many extra points/stars a product routinely gets when the reviewer is aware that he/she is the first to taste/hear/see/experience it. Which isn’t to say that the new Mitolo isn’t a fabulous wine, because it may well be. But the first-mover-reviewer-advantage is quite a phenomenon.

          As soon as a second release of the JC LE SC appears, I’ll add it to the above list.

  52. Nobby Stiles says:

    From my locale and to add to the Marie Elizabeth:

    Bird in Hand MAC Shiraz $375
    Bird in Hand Lalla Sparkling Pinot $175

    And my absolute favourite: a book and a bottle of Adelaide Hills Shiraz Cabernet for 3 grand:

    I love Hills wine and am all for it rising in profile but I’m not sure there are many more hard to explain prices than these. But greater minds than mine may well be at play.

  53. monkeyboy says:

    What about the Granddaddy of them all – the 2004 Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon Ampoule from Penfolds on sale @ $168,000(which is normally priced somewhere between $600 – $1000 a bottle).

    • The ampoule can’t be included but the Block 42 possibly can be. In two minds. Think the list above should be kept to “regular releases”, if not necessarily annual releases.

      • MichaelC says:

        Yes, agree. They might not be released every year, in fact they probably shouldn’t be released very year (unlike Grange).

      • monkeyboy says:

        Sorry was being a little facetious with the Ampoule comment 😉

        At $168K an ampoule, for that money, we could purchase all the wines listed and maybe just have enough change left for a deposit on a granny flat or student accommodation…somewhere

  54. This list has now been sorted into alphabetical order, to make it easier to navigate.
    There are now 98 wines on the list, all table wines, all (of course) Australian. No fortified or sparkling.
    98 wines at $150 or greater.
    Please let me know if you discover any others.

  55. camhaskell says:

    Awesome work CM.

    Very interesting reading. I’m with GW on a couple of things. Firstly, a few cabs and pinots aside, I wouldn’t dream of buying the vast majority of wines, and quite a number of them, I’d just rather not drink. And for that money? Etna, Barolo, Barbaresco every damn day of the week.

    Secondly, I find it pretty nuts that to my mind Chardonnay is the best performed grape in oz over the last decade or so, across the country. And yet there’s very, very little in there, in favour of what could be unkindly called a surfeit of anachronistically styled of Shiraz.

    • MichaelC says:

      Absolutely with you too Cam. Said much the same awhile back. Limited interested in any of these wines, even at 30-40% of the price.

    • tonyt says:

      That’s easy to explain. There are producers on this list who’s principal reason for existence is as a participant in certain other international markets, or to at least see a high proportion of their make go offshore, or to be domestic but to have one or more flagship labels that go offshore.

      These wines might taint our perusal of the overall list, because their composition and pricing isn’t intended to bear any resemblance to domestic examples of what wine types we do well, or what is a fair price.

  56. Now up to 99 – for the moment.
    I just added a Chris Ringland wine. It’s hard to find exactly what Chris Ringland routinely releases, and at what price, and (not that it’s necessarily relevant) whether or not it is sold in Australia.
    Does anyone know? What does the wine formerly known as Three Rivers now cost to the mailing list?

  57. Willard says:

    Hi CM, perhaps to round out a hundred…

    The Greenock Creek Roennfeldt Road Cabernet was on tasting at their cellar door last week for $195. This was the 2011, line priced with the Shiraz of the same year.

    I’ve no idea if this is lower than normal pricing given the vintage, or what a member might pay.

  58. MichaelC says:

    Hobbs sneak in some $140 Shirazes on their site, which retail for $150 at Artisans of the Barossa. So I think these don’t count, yet, but getting mighty close!

  59. tobias ansted says:

    The wine that started the thread doesn’t appear to be on the list…

  60. Jules says:

    I could see this list forming the basis of a sort of reverse Langton’s classification. Classifying based on degree to which RRP expectations were not met by actual price paid by the market.

  61. nick21 says:

    it s now very easy to understand why the statistics show that consumption of Domestic still and sparkling wine is decreasing, and Imported wines increasing.
    whilst there are a large number of wines on that list that justify their price tag, some prices are ridiculous, and it is hard to understand how they could sell a single bottle.

  62. nick21 says:

    … and the scary part is that you could swap the labels on about 20 of those shiraz, and no-one would be able to tell the difference. Zero personality.

  63. SierraDelta says:

    My first post here and it will be about this.

    In terms of aspiration based pricing, does the Mollydooker Velvet Glove get a look in?

    $185/bottle –

    I almost want to spend a few hours trawling through RRP on the various websites to see who else crosses the $150 threshold.

  64. Brucer says:

    I thought Magpie estate The Election was around the $60 mark, not $150.

  65. I can’t add it to the list just yet, because it’s a couple of years from release, but I’m told that Old Plains has an ultra-limited wine in the works that will be priced at $500 per bottle.

  66. Added Pertaringa Yeoman Shiraz ($250).

  67. David H says:

    Rockford Basket Press Shiraz?

  68. rds1 says:

    Sorby Adams is $150 rather than $245

  69. Ste667 says:

    I guess Wynns Michael Shiraz needs adding. Same price as the John Riddoch.

  70. michael_cooke says:

    If these are supposed to be regular / annual releases should the Vanya be on the list? So far only a one off & only supposed to be released in “special” years.

    • Good question.
      If it’s definitely a ‘one off’, then no.
      If it’s released regularly but sporadically, from special vintages only, then yes.
      If that makes sense.

      There are probably several wines in the list above that are ‘one offs’ but policing it isn’t all that easy.

  71. Steven S says:

    Two more for the list:
    Star Lane Winery Elements Shiraz @ $450
    Two Hands My Hands Shiraz @ $500

    • Star Lane has a shiraz at $450???
      I’ve seen it all now.

      Funnily enough Star Lane actively promotes itself as a Halliday “Five Star Winery” but I doubt they still hold that mantle.

      • Gary Walsh says:

        Star Lane seems to be a vinomofo specialist these days. It’s probably $450 so they can sell it at $100 or similar…

        • luca says:

          What should be pointed out in fairness to star lane is that their $450 Shiraz is fermented in red gum (and, I assume, also undergoes elevage in red gum). This is an interesting investigation for Australia and, at Australian labour rates, I have no doubt that a custom redgum barrel probably cost them $1.6bn. So at least they have some gimmick that they can point to as plausibly justifying the price. Whether it tastes any good is entirely another question and I’d be quite interested to read a tasting note on it.

          Another exercise that I think would be really interesting is to assemble all of the big SA Shiraz on this list in a blind tasting, invite the winemakers over and see if they can pick their own wines out from the lineup.

  72. Brucer says:

    Sons Of Eden 2012 Autumnus Eden Valley shiraz. $350.
    Their website says its a wine from only exemplary harvests.

  73. Brucer says:

    I was looking for a review on Yalumba The Caley, I ended up here. Dont they want you guys to review it.

    • Gary Walsh says:

      None of us (well, I wasn’t invited) had time to spend two days in the Barossa to taste one wine, I suspect. Maybe they will send it to CM or MB.

      • I’m trying to get hold of it but so far it’s proven impossible. Still trying.

      • Mike Bennie says:

        I was invited, but the event was shrouded in secrecy, so I didn’t know what I was going to be doing/tasting in Barossa, so it felt ludicrous to go to the Barossa for two days for an unknown. When it was intimated it was one wine, doubly so. It is very hard to justify time and find an ROI for both parties when you don’t know the context of what is being tasted, nor who to pitch it to, or where to write it up for relevance sake. When it was revealed as this, The Caley, of course I am curious, but I will wait for a sample or for an open bottle when it is shown in Sydney or similar. Or in a broader context tasting in Barossa with wines of Yalumba or more on deck. It seems to be another one of those ‘you have to taste it with the wine maker/in situ’ kind of wines, I guess….

  74. nick21 says:

    haha, I forgot about the old “My Hands” shiraz.
    firstly, I actually quite like Two Hands, they make some pretty pure Barossa shiraz.
    however, I went to a blind horizontal a couple of years ago of Two Hands wines, from the 2008 vintage. To be honest, it was pretty hard to tell one from another, but I certainly remember the “My Hands” came in 4th, behind the Zippy’s Block, the Bella’s Garden, and I think the Ares. (from memory there was about 7-8 wines shown.)
    The poor old HK merchant was very disappointed that his $500 wine wasn’t impressive, pretty sure he wouldn’t have sold a bottle that night!!!!
    The Honkies couldn’t understand why anyone would pay $3000 HKD for an Aussie shiraz that didn’t have HoG or Grange on the label haha
    The “My Hands” is still floating arounf HK and Macau, heavily discounted, and not much north of $200 now.

  75. monkeyboy says:

    The latest Kalleske newsletter and order form has their 2015 Biodynamic Barrel Project @ $150/bottle.

    Third vintage for this release.

  76. Jamie Pettigrew says:

    I didn’t realise Cyril Henschke had leapt up so much as well.

    Magnums of Michael shiraz 1998 were ending up in Hong Kong for $80. Thought the label had been put to the corporate sword. $150 is laughable.

  77. Meataxe says:

    That Two Hands Holy Grail 2016 is displaying as $706.73, special en primeur price in a 6 pack. Bargain! $150 cheaper than Grange!

  78. One of the more interesting aspects of the above list is just how few of these wines are sent out for critical review. Some of the wineries listed above don’t send out any samples of any of their wines, so fair enough, but most of them do – but some choose not to have their “best” wine critiqued. You’d have to guess it’s because they know that a fair amount of smoke and mirrors are needed to have the wine appear in its best light.

    Even well-established – and much-loved – brands like Penfolds, Moss Wood, Henschke, Brokenwood and Yalumba, among others, no longer send out their “best” wines. Yesterday Vasse Felix told us that they won’t send out Cullity.

    Back when I first started in wine reviewing even Grange was sent out as a press sample. Times have certainly changed.

  79. Gary Walsh says:

    Just ordered a bottle of the 13 Cullity. $160 + $19 postage for a single bottle. NOBODY PUTS BABY IN THE CORNER 🙂

    • Graped says:

      I’ve tasted it… it’s very good… if a little more bold than I’d like… you should really be getting 2 bottles for what you paid… that would be about right

    • john says:

      cheap freight for MR to Sydney.

      I did enjoy Campbell’s comment and honesty in putting it out there.

      It’s hard to bag Grange after the helicopter flight to Magill, amazing lunch, tasting 71 Grange, the charm of PG, and the ego boost of being in the same room as x, y, and z.
      I’m thinking of how I can manage my next releases to maximise the critics’ feedback. Well I think I’ll start by engaging a certain PR company and then ….

      • MichaelC says:

        I dare say that, after all the helicoptering, etc., if you gave an, um, honest appraisal of the ‘special’ wines and they weren’t reviewed as hoped for, you wouldn’t be seeing the inside of a helicopter for some time … unless they were going to throw you out of it.

  80. Jamie Pettigrew says:

    Two in the list are on offer in Hong Kong for $40 to $50 Aussie retail. Didn’t buy either . Both older releases so not sure of the story .

  81. AFB says:

    A recent article by Max Allen on mentions the Caley and the Tom Cullity, then notes that “And the third of these Australian super-reds …? All will be revealed in a couple of weeks, when one of the country’s leading producers launches a new hush-hush high-end wine that takes the idea of blending to an unusual extreme.”

    One can’t help wondering who it is. Wynns?

  82. Scallywag Award goes to Max Allen for that one.

  83. Cactus says:

    Penfolds and multi-vintage; multi region blend? The best of 2010 & 2012?

  84. Jamie Pettigrew says:

    I’ve got Hadi Bin Reserve 909 Old Vine Barossa Shiraz for $500 AUD in Beijing supermarkets. The Hadi 709 Cabernet Shiraz is $150.

    Does this wine exist in Australia ?

  85. Gemtree Subterra Shiraz added. $180.

  86. Calabria The Iconic Shiraz ($175) added.

  87. Added: Poonawatta The Centenarian Shiraz ($180)

  88. john pearce says:

    Wasn’t sure where to post this – the ratings system thread is closed.
    However, with much fanfare I say “move over 5 Red Star ratings” we now have “The Real Review Certificate of Excellence” whereby HH and Bob Campbell will award said certificate annually to help
    “build and reinforce a winery’s reputation. Certificate of Excellence recipients are determined by a proprietary algorithm, which takes into account the rating and recency of reviews by The Real Review team over the assessment period. To qualify, a winery must have a minimum number of commercially available wines reviewed and maintain a minimum rating average.”
    Watch this space.

  89. john pearce says:

    One more for the list.
    Gibson Bin 60 Cabernet Shiraz $300.
    From HH article seems its released as a 10 year old so presumably 2008 vintage.

    • Gary Walsh says:

      Very good. Thankfully, Barolo and Barbaresco remain *fairly* reasonable, though for how long, I don’t know. Monfortino and the odd second growth BDX remain my only lavish wine spends these days. It’s lucky I love gin, amaro, and beer so much.

      • Jamie Pettigrew says:

        Yes, Barolistas are still blessed. Agreed, after a financial windfall, Monfortino is the only top end of town I’d consider.

        I fear rises too but change my mind here often. I’m thinking there’s so much potential in winemaking and vineyard management in the region we may be OK? My first visits to the region Barbaresco was very hit and miss. Even Barolo, dirty winemaking and old barrels.

        I opened three Langhe nebbiolo 2016’s ( Vajra, Maurino, Cascina delle Rose ). Wow! All the same price as elemental Bourgogne Rouge but lightyears ahead in personality and interest.

        • Gary Walsh says:

          There will always be good and affordable wines of character, but some hallowed MGAs will go up and up, I feel. Agree that Langhe Neb (not least in 2016) kills Burgundy at the same price point! No match, albeit different things.

          • john pearce says:

            I think all this underlines how important sites like this are.
            If you buy the “safe” quality wines like Penfolds, Henschke, Bordeaux classified growths etc. you will pay through the nose.
            There are equivalent (if not better or more interesting) wines to be found at prices that don’t lead you to bankruptcy.
            Someone has to identify them for us and you guys do the business.
            Why anybody would buy a dozen of Mt Edelstone or RWT now when they could buy (say) Marius for less than half the price is beyond me – but they have to know about the alternatives and be prepared to trust the judgment of the scribe – and their own palate for that matter – so many people like a wine far more when they see the label!

            • Jamie Pettigrew says:

              I agree there. If you know what you like, a little bit of knowledge goes a long way these days.

            • Jules says:

              “Why anybody would buy a dozen of Mt Edelstone or RWT now when they could buy (say) Marius for less than half the price is beyond me – but they have to know about the alternatives and be prepared to trust the judgment of the scribe…”

              Why anybody whose primary involvement with wine is as a consumer/enthusiast would think this isn’t a great situation and want it to continue for a long time is beyond me. 🙂

              Henschke, Penfolds, Burgundy etc buyers: I love you! Keep doing what you do!

    • Lee says:

      Yep, great article. I’m pressing on with Dolcetto and Cinsaut, it makes far more sense to me to try to make good peasant Wines with the right peasant varieties, not with artistocratic ones.

  90. Perfect place to put this article too. Nice one.

  91. john pearce says:

    For those who want to get in early and order their allocation:

    Mills Reef has just announced the release of a new “icon wine range” featuring two reds from the 2013 vintage, each with an NZD $350 price tag.

  92. Jamie Pettigrew says:

    Kellermeister’s icon range had my jaw drop at ADL Duty Fre.

    $175 got the Rocamara Grenache and $250 for the Meister Shiraz.

    Same price as cellar door upon checking so no duty but a hell of a profit for the airport duty free shop


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