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Wine

We are family

In today’s world of corporatisation and multinationals we firmly believe family-owned and operated businesses should be applauded and celebrated. We also believe that great wine is made by people, not corporations.

It’s thanks to the dedication of wineries like the 12 members of Australia’s First Families of Wine that we can all enjoy some of the world’s best wines. Like Wine Selectors, they stand for independence and authenticity and share our long-term commitment to the future.

Join us as we celebrate their passion with an exclusive collection of iconic wines especially chosen by the families and our Tasting Panel.

Meet the families

This year has also seen the launch of our unique Australia’s First Families of Wine Speed Date Tastings. Held so far in Brisbane and Melbourne, these events have been a great success and have certainly put a spin on a typical wine tasting!

Guests took the chance to enjoy engaging conversations with family members or winemakers as they moved around the 12 tasting stations. With over 40 wines available, there was plenty to enjoy including some of the families’ iconic wines such as the Henschke Giles Pinot Noir, the Campbells Barkly Durif and the very special Brown Brothers Patricia Chardonnay.

If this sounds like an event you’d like to be part of, our next Australia’s First Families of Wine Speed Date Tasting will be held on Sunday 19 June 2016 at the Shangri-La Hotel at The Rocks in Sydney.

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Wine
Yalumba's Magic
In celebration of the Yalumba Galway Vintage Malbec 2012 being the Wine Selectors Wine of the Month for May, we chatted with Robert Hill-Smith, Yalumba’s Chairman of the Board and 5th generation owner. Malbec is really stepping out from its role as a blending partner and looks set to become a mainstream favourite – what makes your Galway Vintage Malbec 2012 so special? We know the vineyard and I see Malbec as a forgotten part of heritage. I loved many of the Mildara Cabernet Shiraz Malbec from Coonawarra and only Bleasdale seem to be having a serious dip. The time was right and given its juiciness and accommodating mid-palate we thought it was time to partner our Galway Vintage Shiraz with another Barossa beauty at an accessible price. Yalumba is in Angaston, a village at the entrance to the Eden Valley, and you also have vineyards in other parts of the Barossa Valley– why are these regions so great for making wine? We know both regions backwards, so that’s a start! Far from being a one trick pony the Barossa and Eden Valley have many sub-districts that favour various styles. Not many regions can make world-class fortifieds yet 15kms away grow classy dry Riesling and Viognier of greatness. Established over 160 years ago, Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family-owned winery – it must be such an honour to be a part of its history and its future? It is if you don’t think about it too much! With it comes a variety of positives and issues, but we respect our vineyards, our people and our community whilst we seek to craft interesting quality, fine wines. As a 5th generation of the Hill-Smith family, did you ever consider a career in a field outside the wine industry? Of course! Every long-haired 18-year-old rebel in the 1970s wanted to do anything other than join the family. They were great years, and whilst I studied, sport was a huge part of my life as was the penchant for beer, wine and song. However, the smell of the ferment cellar reeled me in and I haven’t looked back. You have three daughters, are they planning to join the family business? There is no pressure and no rush. If they do then that is a bonus for me. They show some talent, they like wine and are keen to soak up a lot of information, so you never know. Yalumba is a member of Australia’s First Families of Wine – why is this association of families so important? We need to share our wine history with the world to put Australia and its styles and aspirations into context – we do it with our family stories and characters. What can you see as the future of Australia’s wine industry? Ultimately very positive, but not without much, much more hard work. We make great wines across many varietals and regions, however, Australia needs to work harder to get our fine wine story across and make the world take us even more seriously. Making a success in the wine industry takes a lot of hard work and dedication – what advice would you give someone looking to start a career in wine? As a winemaker, have a theme, be a specialist and be very good at it. It takes more money and more time to do than anyone wishes, but the end game justifies the patience. What’s your ‘go to wine’ when you’re a home relaxing with your family? We have many – Pewsey Vale Riesling, Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache, Dalrymple Pinot and many, many more! May is Aussie Wine Month – is Yalumba holding any special events to celebrate? We are be conducting a few events but May is also time for the London Wine Fair and Vinexpo in Hong Kong, plus we are planning the launch of some new vintages of special wines and mature releases. Every month is busy, busy, busy!
Wine
Dream Vertical With Tahbilk
Words by Paul Diamond on 6 May 2016
Most can appreciate that survival in the wine game is no walk in the park. Exposure to the vagaries of weather, economics, politics and trends are all factors that can sink a wine business quicker than you can grow a vine. Despite that, Australia’s wine industry is filled with impressive stories of families going into business, surviving decades, flourishing and producing beautiful liquid all the way. The story of the Purbrick family is one and the 150+years they celebrate goes beyond impressive and lands somewhere in the inspirational ball-park. Tahbilk is an Australian success story that is not talked about enough and whilst they were anointed ‘winery of the year’ by Halliday recently, the family’s contribution to the Australian Wine landscape is sadly underrated. It could be the ebb and flow of wine fashion, but rarely do you read or hear that the Purbrick family are the custodians of the oldest and largest holdings of Marsanne on the planet. The family could have quite easily shifted their focus to Sauv Blanc during the 1990s and chased profit, but they stayed the course, realising the importance of the long game, heritage and just how glorious Marsanne can be. From their entry level wines to the complexity of the 1927 Vines, the Tahbilk Marsanne is world beating and they have been making it for well over a century. As part of the celebrations of the 150th release of their 1860 Vines Shiraz, Wine Selectors Tasting Panellist Adam Walls and myself travelled to Tahbilk and joined 4th Generation CEO and Chief Winemaker Alister Purbrick for a tasting to explore and revel in this Australian wine treasure. A special place Tahbilk is located along the Goulburn River within a mosaic of billabongs, creeks, waterholes and wetlands that in turn create a special meso-climate that is cooler and milder than that of the surrounding area. The sandy loam soil contains a high concentration of ferric-oxide that imparts unique characters in the wines and manifest themselves in different ways across their impressive range, particularly Marsanne and Shiraz. The vertical begins We started the tasting with 1927 Vines Marsanne and the bracket, dating back to 1998, reinforced how delicious these wines are. Picked young with relatively low acidity, the fruit is allowed to oxidise and then is pressed. The free-run is simply fermented, producing a fairly neutral wine that, like Riesling, develops its characters in the bottle. The younger wines have aromas of beeswax, lanolin and spiced lemon curd, whilst on the palate they are soft and elegant with citrus cream, minerals and apples. As these wine age, all the flavours and aromas remain, but they deepen and as each year passes, they develop layers of beguiling flavours. Standouts were the 2005, the 2000 and the 1999, but all were unique and special. Next came Shiraz, one of the first varieties planted at Tahbilk in 1860. Half a hectare of those gnarled, resilient old vines have survived and become some of the oldest pre-phelloxera Shiraz in the world. Accordingly, this glorious plot is recognised as one the 25 great vineyards of the world. When the vintage conditions are perfect, the fruit from these vines becomes the Purbrick family flagship ‘1860 vines’ Shiraz. This four-wine bracket was a true celebration of history and it was hard to fathom that as these vines were just sprouting, the foundations were being laid for what still remains today as the operating winery and cellar. Critics greater than I have rated the Tahbilk 1860 Vines Shiraz amongst the world’s great reds and I have to agree. Earthy, old-school aromas billow out of the glass and manifest as complex and bright red and black fruits laced with spices and herbs. In the mouth, the experience is almost overpowering - intense but elegantly balanced fruit lines driven by cherry and blackberry. The 1860 Shiraz, just like the vines that they come from, are made to last and reflect winemaking that has changed little since Alister’s grandfather Eric Stevens was at the helm.
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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