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Hand-selected wines from 500+
Australian wineries delivered to your door!

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Wine

Mount Pleasant 2017 Winery of the Year

A huge congratulations goes out to the Hunter Valley’s Mount Pleasant named as James Halliday’s Wine Companion 2017 Winery of the Year.

“Mount Pleasant’s place in the story of Australian wine is significant and we’re thrilled to receive this prestigious award,” says McWilliams CEO, Jeff McWilliam.

The iconic winery was established in 1921 by the legendary winemaker Maurice O’Shea, and in its 95-year history, Mount Pleasant has only ever had four chief winemakers.

Wine Selector’s co-Chairman and Hunter Valley Living Legend, Phil Ryan, was Mount Pleasant’s chief winemaker for 35 years from 1978, and handed over the title to the present winemaker Jim Chatto, on his retirement in 2013.

In addition to receiving the Winery of the Year, Mount Pleasant’s multi-award-winning 2009 Lovedale Semillon that was crafted by Phil Ryan, was named 2017 Semillon of the Year.

Other big winners include:
Winemaker of the Year – Sarah Crowe, Yarra Yering
Wine of the Year – 2014 Best’s Great Western Thomson Family Shiraz
Best Value Winery – Larry Cherubino Wines
Dark Horse Winery – Arlewood Estate
Best New Winery – Bondar Wines

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A bounty of bling
“The Royal Queensland Wine Show is one of the first in the series for the year and it’s a real honour judging alongside some of our industry leaders,” says Nicole. Over 4 days, 26 judges, including new chief judge David Bicknell, tasted over 1,801 entries from 243 wineries from across Australia. “Yes, that is a lot of wine,” says Nicole. “With my fellow panellists I judged everything from Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Sparkling to Muscat, Cabernet and red blends, but I was especially impressed by the 2014 Shiraz, 2015 Semillon and 2015 Pinot Noir brackets.” “What is really exciting is that the House of Arras 2007 Grand Vintage from Tasmania made history by becoming the first Sparkling to take out Grand Champion Wine of Show,” says Nicole. “And to further reinforce its consistency and the excellence of Tasmanian Sparkling, the same wine was named Best Wine of Show at Sydney. And again, this was the first time a Sparking had won the major award since the show’s inception.” Royal Brisbane Wine Show 2016 Trophy winners include: Brokenwood Wines 2009 ILR Reserve Semillon – Best Semillon of Show, Best Mature White of Show, Best Single Vineyard White of Show and RNA Best White of Show. Yabby Lake 2015 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir – Best Pinot of Show, RNA best Red of Show, Best Single Vineyard Red of Show and Best Young Red of Show. Norfolk Rise Vineyard 2015 Shiraz – Best Shiraz of Show While the House of Arras took out the top prize at the 2016 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show, the other big winner was the Chalkers Crossing CC2 Shiraz 2014 with Trophies for Best Shiraz, Best Value Red, Best Single Vineyard Wine, Best Red and Best Small Producer Wine. The Hunter Valley maintained its reputation as the nation’s top Semillon producer with Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Semillon 2005 taking out the Trophy for Best NSW Wine. Brokenwood Wines 2009 ILR Reserve Semillon won Best Semillon and Best Mature White, while Best Value White was awarded to De Iuliis Wines for their 2016 Semillon. Nicole Gow and fellow Tasting Panellist Adam Walls attended the trade tasting, which allowed them the opportunity to taste the entire range of wines. “It’s always exciting to taste the entries of the Sydney Royal Wine Show and this year was no exception,” says Adam. “For me, the thing that really stood out, and was a common thread through all of the wines I tasted, was that they had great vibrancy and acidity that made them immensely drinkable. From the biggest, richest reds to the lightest whites, they were all mouth-watering, vibrant and full of energy.” “So many of the wines were a mid-weight style which really reflects the way people are enjoying their wines, “ Nicole says. “ There were some smart alternative and food-friendly whites, and a great diversity of elegant Chardonnays showing a lot more experimentation and refinement from all of the regions.” Enjoy exclusive access to some of the Gold medal winners from the KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show for just $17 a bottle.
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What's in a label?
Words by Mark Hughes on 19 Aug 2017
I recently had the privilege of watching the legendary Liverpool FC towel up Sydney FC in a soccer friendly in a private suite at ANZ Stadium courtesy of Claymore Wines . The Clare Valley winery is owned by Adelaide doctor Anura Nitchingham, who became a lifelong Liverpool fan while attending university in the northern England city back in the 80s. Since founding his own winery, he’s been able take his fandom to the next level with the Claymore Wines Liverpool FC range , hence the invite to the match. During the half-time break, with the Reds comfortably leading 3-0, I observed a young couple at the bar looking through the range of Claymore Wines on offer. “Can I try the Purple Rain Sauvignon Blanc …I just love Prince,” the young lass asked of the barmaid. “I’ll have the London Calling,” said he, seemingly unaware of the varietal. It’s a Cabernet Malbec blend, by the way, and a good one, having recently won Platinum  at the Decanter World Wine Awards. Besides football, Anura’s other great love is music. So instead of having wines like a ‘single vineyard Shiraz’, Claymore’s labels bear the name of some of Anura’s favourite songs and albums, such as the Dark Side of the Moon Shiraz, Joshua Tree Riesling and Voodoo Child Chardonnay. “I just wanted to have some fun,” Anura tells me when I ask him the reasoning behind the labels. “After all, wine is meant to be fun, right?” Marketing Wine to Millennials
While it does seem fun, Claymore’s labels seem to fly in the face of traditional wine marketing, where the producer’s logo is consistent across all their wines and information such as varietal, origin and vintage is first and foremost. “It was a struggle early on because the inconsistent branding was deemed anti-marketing,” admits Claymore’s general manager, Carissa Major. “But once we explained the story, we had a more personal conversation with the customer. Now, people come to our cellar door, pick up a Bittersweet Symphony (Cab Sav) and say, ‘this is from my generation, I get it’. The labels were never meant to be a gimmick, they are the sound track to Anura’s life. But marketing-wise today, they present exciting opportunities rather than barriers.” Recent studies from California State University help explain the marketing swing. Researchers looked at the fastest growing buyer market in wine – millennials – people born after 1980, so termed because they hit maturity at the turn of the millennium. This generation is cashed up, brand savvy and, most importantly, they are on the verge of overtaking baby boomers as the biggest buyers of wine. The university study found that millennials prefer wine labels that are brightly coloured, less traditional, more graphically focused and feature creative brand names. If you’re a wine producer listening to a baby boomer marketer, maybe it’s time to think outside the box. The story of Fowles Wine’s Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch is a great example. The label shows an art deco-style image of a lady in her finery out for a hunt. “My wife designs the labels and we actually took advice from a leading marketer about whether this was a good idea. Their response? No!,” explains Fowles Wines owner, Matt Fowles. “We ultimately disagreed and released the wines, but it was useful advice in the sense that it was liberating. We thought, if there is no place in the market for this, then we should just do the designs we really love, so we did. It was all a bit of fun and, surprise, surprise, they sell well.” Art for art’s sake
Riverland producer Delinquente Wine Co. has taken label art in an even more contemporary direction channelling a punk ethos on their wines such as The Bullet Dodger Montepulciano and the Screaming Betty Vermentino. “The starting point with the artwork for Delinquente was to do something very different to traditional wine labels, but also to represent things we have a passion for, like street art and alternative culture,’ says winemaker/owner Con-Greg Grigoriou. “The art represents our ideas and allows us to connect with people in an interesting way. We all know a ‘Screaming Betty’, or would at least like to party with her. So they have taken on a life of their own.” Not everyone is a fan. Seventy-nine-year-old wine critic James Halliday described Delinquente Wines as setting “the new low water-mark” for labels in Australia. But he likes their wines. And that’s the thing, the wine has to be good to get the buyer to keep coming back. These days, wine is fashion and bottle shop aisles are the catwalks. Marketing a label is just as important as the wine inside the bottle. Get both right and you could just make it. Traditionalists will most likely continue to stock their cellars with family crested bottles. The millennials crave new and exciting. As for me, I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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