Celebrating The Best In Australian Wine
This last twelve months have seen a number of Australia’s most highly-regarded wineries celebrate significant anniversaries. Meet some of the long-serving vanguards of the Australian wine story, as Wine Selectors honours their accomplishments in our unique Gathering of Greats collection.
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The history of Australian wine is replete with names of distinction and character, pioneers who set out with a vision of what antipodean winemaking could be, and who tirelessly worked with the elements to produce wines of such quality that their names passed into legend.
From Goulburn River’s historic Tahbilk to “the man who saved the Barossa”, Peter Lehmann, these Australian wineries have endured fires, droughts and floods to stand among some of the very best producers not only in Australia, but in the world. And with over 800 years collective experience in the craft, it’s only right to celebrate their achievements.
It’s time to meet these Greats, thank them for their contributions… and wish them all many happy returns!
Tahbilk – A Timeless Jewel Of Australian Wine
Located in Nagambie along the banks of the Goulburn River, Tahbilk is considered one of the most beautiful and historic wineries in Australia. First established in 1860, it was purchased by the Purbrick family in 1925. Since then, five generations of winemakers have continued to build on Tahbilk’s reputation for quality winemaking. Today, as it celebrates its 160th anniversary, it is home to roughly 200 hectares of premium grapes, and maintains its status as one of the true icons of Australian wine.
Alister Purbrick, CEO of Tahbilk, acknowledges the efforts of family past and present, who have helped steer Tahbilk through changing times. “Tahbilk has long embraced innovation,” he says. “Grandfather Eric’s decision early on, to concentrate on table wines, is one example way back in the 1930s.” Alister’s daughter Hayley, meanwhile, is focussed on the future. “At the end of the day,” she says, “you have to have a sustainable business to produce great wines, you have to have community, you have to look after your environment and it all has to be in balance.” For Hayley, sustainability equates to longevity. “Our legacy is we want to make the best wines possible and leave something behind that future generations can be proud of.”
Our Gathering of Greats collection is honoured to present two of Tahbilk’s classic Rhône-style wines for your enjoyment: the Tahbilk Roussanne Marsanne Viognier 2017, a vibrantly fresh blend crafted from old vines; and the Tahbilk Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2018, a juicy and terrifically savoury GSM blend.
Tulloch Wines – A Triumph Of The Will
The Tulloch story began in 1838 with the arrival of James Tulloch from his homeland of Scotland. Pioneers of the Hunter Valley’s famed Pokolbin region for well over a century, the family has proven itself again and again with wines of unmistakable regional and varietal quality. Spearheaded today by J.Y Tulloch and his daughter Christina, Tulloch this year celebrates its 125th anniversary, with Tulloch name enduring as one of the greats of Australian winemaking through a portfolio of premium wines sure to be enjoyed for generations to come.
“The Hunter was a very different place when Tulloch was founded” explains J.Y. Tulloch. “Back then, making wine was just another agricultural way to make a living. The dominant industry was coal and no one really knew we were here, there was no such thing as a wine industry.” For J.Y., there’s a reason why it can take generations to establish a reputation for greatness. “Family is the only way you can make it work. To have a successful, sustainable wine company, you need passion, commitment and personality.” For Christina Tulloch, it’s about trust. “People understand Tulloch and the driving force behind us, which is making great wines for people to enjoy,” she says. “We know the future of the brand is safe.”
Our Gathering of Greats collection is pleased to present two of Tulloch’s signature varietals for your pleasure: the Tulloch Cellar Door Release Vermentino 2020, a lively and elegant expression; and the signature Tulloch Pokolbin Dry Red Private Bin Shiraz 2018 (valued at $55 RRP), a true top-shelf Shiraz to add to your cellar.
Bleasdale – Blessed By The Vines
Situated in South Australia’s Langhorne Creek, by the Angas and Bremer rivers that form the heart of the region, Bleasdale is one of the country’s most historic wineries. Founded by Frank Potts in 1850, today the Potts family maintains an enviable reputation for quality winemaking – a testament to the values and philosophy of their forebear – which has seen them bring home a multitude of awards, including a recent Jimmy Watson Trophy win, a wonderful prelude to their 170th anniversary celebrations.
Leigh Warren, General Manager of Bleasdale, reflects on the legacy of Frank Potts. “Our founder’s ingenuity and determination set the way for the six generations that have worked the winery since,” he says. “Our winemaking team do an excellent job, and in the last decade alone we’ve been awarded 55 Trophies, more than 200 Gold medals, and more than 300 Silver medals – the highlights of which have been in the last couple of years, winning the Max Schubert Trophy in 2018 and the Jimmy Watson last year.” And as for the future? “It is the goal of everyone who works at the winery,” says Leigh, “to ensure Bleasdale is still here in another 170 years!”
Our Gathering of Greats collection brings wine lovers two examples of Bleasdale’s commitment to wines that express the true character of Langhorne Creek: the Bleasdale The Wild Pear Verdelho Sauvignon Blanc 2020, a bright, refreshing blend; and the Gold medal-winning Bleasdale Mulberry Tree Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, a fresh, youthful, and excellently balanced varietal example.
Château Tanunda – A Barossan Original
Considered the birthplace of the Barossa, Château Tanunda was first established in 1890 and its majestic bluestone winery was the region’s first. Home to some of the valley’s oldest vine plantings, its roster of winemakers has read like a veritable Ivy League yearbook. Today, under the dedicated stewardship of the Geber family, it has attained to new heights of prestige here and internationally, celebrating 130 years of crafting some of the country’s finest wines from among the highest-quality grapes to be found anywhere.
The significance of the anniversary is not lost on owner John Geber. “Being part of celebrating 130 years of Château Tanunda is an incredible milestone for the company, and for the Barossa in general,” he says. “Just thinking back at the 500+ winemakers who have chalked their names in the rafters of the Château, it is phenomenal for my family to be adding our own chapter.”
Our Gathering of Greats collection is thrilled to offer up to your palate two wonderful instances of Château Tanunda’s winemaking mastery: the Château Tanunda Grand Barossa Dry Riesling 2019, an approachable and flavoursome varietal expression; and the Château Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz 2018, an iconic Barossan Shiraz and deserving 3 x Gold medal-winner.
Peter Lehmann – Pride Of Place
During the 1970s, the Barossa wine industry was in crisis. Through the efforts of one passionate winemaker, the eponymous Peter Lehmann, winemakers of the valley were able to band together to pull their region through one of its most challenging times. Unsurprisingly, the winery that bears the Lehmann name – which celebrated its 40th anniversary within the last twelve months – has itself attained legendary status as a centre of unyielding commitment to the fruits of the Barossan vines, and the resulting wines are widely celebrated as being among the very best produced here in Australia.
“We’re proud to have celebrated four decades of Peter Lehmann,” says John Casella, who helped bring the winery back to Lehmann family ownership in 2014. “It’s a true testament to our winemakers, growers, and the Barossa community. We’re committed to the brand, the region, and our grower family as we continue to uphold the strong relationships Peter Lehmann forged back in 1979 – we look forward to continuing his remarkable legacy well into the future.”
Our Gathering of Greats collection recognises the achievements of Peter Lehmann with two award-winning expressions of their towering winemaking skill: the 2 x Trophy and 4 x Gold medal-winning Peter Lehmann Margaret Semillon 2012 (valued at $45 RRP), and the deeply satisfying, Gold medal-winning Peter Lehmann H&V Cabernet Sauvignon 2017.
Sandalford – A Long-Lived Luminary Of Australian Wine
One of the oldest and most distinguished names in Australian wine, Sandalford is practically Australian wine royalty. First founded in 1840 after Queen Victoria granted Western Australia’s then-Governor General, John Septimus Roe, 4,000 acres of land along the river in Swan Valley, it is today overseen by the Prendiville family. Under their leadership, Sandalford continues to be masters of the Swan Valley and Margaret River regions, and today – as they celebrate their 180th anniversary – their reputation for producing wines of surpassing character and quality remains unimpeachable.
Grant Brinklow, CEO of Sandalford, shared that “2020 is an amazing milestone year for Sandalford given we are celebrating 180 years since we commenced operations in the Swan Valley, 50 years since our first vines were planted in Margaret River, and 30 years since the Prendiville commenced full ownership.” Indeed, there is much to celebrate! “Whilst we have an amazing history as not only one of the oldest and most prestigious wineries in Western Australia but one of the oldest companies across all sectors,” says Grant, “we are extremely positive and optimistic about the future and the company’s plans under the continuing ownership of the Prendiville family over the next few hundred years.”
Our Gathering of Greats collection celebrates Sandalford with two wonderful examples of their considered approach to the winemaking art: the Sandalford Chardonnay 2018, a superb regional expression of one of Margaret River’s varietal stars; and the Sandalford Cabernet Merlot 2018, a classic regional blend that will surely impress.
A Toast To The Best In Australian Wine
Without doubt, the Australian industry would be unrecognisable without the presence of these celebrated names, and Australian wine lovers are all the richer for their sustained brilliance. Celebrate their anniversaries with us with the Gathering of Greats collection, as featured in our Shared Sensations Festive Catalogue. A never-before-offered suite of spectacular wines that showcases the achievements of these extraordinary names, it’s yours to enjoy for only $18 a bottle. Also included is a free Tasting Booklet, giving you expert insights into the flavour and aroma of these delectable expressions.
From everyone here at Wine Selectors – happy anniversary to the Greats, and here’s to the years yet to come!