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Latest Wine News

French Wine Appreciation

For this special night we will explore and do a tour of France. Taste and unterstand the complexity of French wine. 

We will guide you through France to discover or rediscover wines from different appellations, villages and grapes varieties.

These tastings will be suitable for everyone who wishes to know a little more about wine. We will be trying a mix of different wines. It won’t be too technical a tasting but rather a night of discovery so you’ll be able to understand what’s actually making the flavours in your glass - and arm you with important dinner party/water cooler/pub chatter. It will also give you an appreciation of what styles suit you best (and how to get the best out of each glass!).

Truth is, there is no ‘best wine’, the best wine is the wine you like the most and that’s what we’ll be exploring. It doesn’t matter how much a bottle costs, inexpensive or premium, the tastings will be based on quality and focus on small growers and sustainable products.  

Come and join us for a fun night to discover (or rediscover) the world of wine around a good glass. Hosted by the Oak Barrel’s own wine specialist, we’ll go through seven (or eight) different expressions exhibiting a range of flavour profiles and from around the world.

WHEN: Thursday March 16th
TIME: 6:30pm to 8:15pm
WHERE: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St, Sydney CBD
PRICE: $25 for members; $35 for non-members
TICKETS: [MEMBERS] [GUESTS]

We’ll be trying:

Wine to be confirmed...

Wines are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. Tickets are transferable and non-refundable.


Posted: 12/01/2017
The Oak Barrel Picks

Thank you for all your support this year. This is our selection for some Christmas ideas and what we loved and enjoyed to drink this year.

Jousset 'Exile' Petillant Naturel Rose 2014

The Jousset style is lightly sparkling but lean and driven, with clean, pure fruit. Exilé has a very enticing rose colour and lushous red fruit aromas, with a great texture.

Bass Phillip 'Crown Prince' Pinot Noir 2014

‘Crown Prince’ is a drink-now style that can be enjoyed immediately with exotic food matches. Hidden dark fruit richness on the aroma with spice. Fills the mouth with full fruitiness, the sourness of cherry pips, firm natural acidity and a clean, alcoholic finish. Light tannins.

La Manufacture Chablis 2014

This wine comes from Benjamin Laroche, son of Michel Laroche. Light and silky fruit in the classic Chablis peach yoghurt spectrum, supported by lemony, zingy acidity. Good quality Chablis.

Lake's Folly Cabernet Blend 2007

The Lake’s Folly Cabernets is a blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, along with small amounts of Shiraz, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The majority of the Cabernet vines are now over 47 years old and produce concentrated, high quality fruit.

Magpie Estate 'Tight Cluster' Sparkling Shiraz 2012

Lovely deep colour with berry fruits, spice, hints of cedar, some subtle smoky notes and liquorice. With a fine mousse, the wine has some lovely bright and more aged Shiraz characters on the palate.  

Theulet & Marsalet Monbazillac 1982

One of a rare vintage from 1982. The brother of Sauternes. Situated on the south-facing hillsides of the Dordogne valley, a little further inland than the vineyards of Bordeaux, Domaine de Theulet Marsalet stands near the 16th century Château de Monbazillac.

 

 

 


Posted: 21/12/2016
Pet Nat Masterclass With Tim Wildman

 

This January we’ll be hosting a masterclass that we’re incredibly excited about: A Pet Nat Masterclass with Tim Wildman. In short, Pet Nat is a style of sparkling wine made in the style of a natural wine, it’s a category that’s gathering an incredible amount of traction. They’re making a lot of noise (not least with their vibrant labels…).

But do we really know what is it? What’s the difference between a Sparkling, Champagne and Pet Nat?

Pétillant-naturel or pet-nat is an informal classification for any sparkling wine made in the méthode ancestrale, meaning the wine is bottled before primary fermentation is finished, without the addition of secondary yeasts or sugars. This is in contrast to the méthode champenoise that is used to make Champagne and other more common sparkling wines, in which a finished wine undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle with additional yeasts and sugars.

To host this masterclass, we’ve asked the help of one of the most knowledgeable people in the Pet Nat industry, Tim Wildman. A winemaker making his own Pet Nat (Astro Bunny and Dark Side), he also developed a website dedicated to the subject: pet-nat.com. He also teaches and is graduate Master of Wine (MW), one of the higher qualifications in wine.

We’ll be trying:

Fusée a Bulles 2015 (Australia)
Astro Bunny 2016 (Australia)
Jousset Bubulle Montlouis Pet Nat 2014  (Loire Valley, France)

Jauma Pet Nat Blewitt Springs 2016 (Australia)
Jousset Exilé Gamay 2014 (Loire Valley, France)
Domaine Simha Pet Nat (Australia)
Orsi Vigneto San Vito 'Sui Lieviti' Sparkling 2014 (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Dark Side 2016 (Australia)

WHEN: Friday 20 January
TIME: 6:30pm to 8:15pm
WHERE: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St, Sydney CBD
PRICE: Sold Out

Wines are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. Tickets transferable and non-refundable


Posted: 15/12/2016
Gift ideas for Christmas + Pet Nat Masterclass

With Christmas and New Year around the corner, we have put togehter some last minute stocking fillers (including one of the best bang-for-buck Chapagnes in Australia we reckon).

We are also very excited to announce a Pet Nat Masterclass (thats natural sparkling wines) for 20th of January. Click here for more info that.

Champagne  Leon Launois

 

This perfectly balanced Champagne beguiles the senses with a fine bouquet of green apples, pears and slight hints of biscuit. This is an Oak Barrel exclusive import.

Sorrenberg Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2015

Sorrenberg produce some of the most sought after wines from Victoria, and we were able to get our hands on a little extra this year. This is an impressive Australian white wine. The 2015 vintage is 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon. It's big and bold, with gooseberry, passionfruit, kiwi fruit, with aromatic herbal notes on the nose. The floral elements continue on the palate with lime zest. This is a really well balanced, clean, and crisp wine -- a perfect accompaniment for sea food on Christmas Day!

Huia Pinot Noir 2013

For us, no party is complete without a Pinot Noir. We've chosen a classic with a twist -- definitely not your average Marlborough Pinot. The Huia exhibits bright and juicy red fruits with a touch of smoke on the nose. The palate has dark cherries, blackberries, warm spices (cinnamon), chocolate, and vanilla balanced by a moreish savoury earthiness. This wine is perfect for your slightly richer meat dishes (or roast vegies).

Bursting Bubbles by Robert Walters

 Bursting Bubbles: A Secret History of Champagne and the Rise of the Great Growers is both a new history of Champagne (that challenges the traditional histories that have been told of the region) as well as a voyage through the region from North to South, visiting many of the greatest growers along the way.

 


Posted: 14/12/2016
Rose Time + New Release From Jauma

With summer around the corner, it is time for a nice Rose - and studies are showing that Rose is on the rise with we Australian drinkers! We've selected a few of our favourite roses, covering a few different styles:

Jules Dry Rose 2015

Fresh, zippy, tight, red fruit oriented and with a saline/metallic mineral bite, you'd be pretty hard pressed to find anything giving the true French rosé experience for this price.

Minuty M Rose 2015

A magnificent wine of pleasure, one of the most popular drink in South of France. The aromatic harmony of grenache and cinsault offers some notes of peach and candied orange. the mouth is fresh and round.

Swinging Bridge #004 Rose 2016

This release from Tow Ward is a barrel fermented Pinot Noir Rose. With lees stirring and limited sulfur additions, it is a wine that expresses the savoury and textual elements of Rose. The wine is unfiltered and unfined.

Vinden Headcase Rose 2016

The wine is bone dry which refreshing ripe fruit on the palate. The final blend is: 52% Merlot, 35% Shiraz (saignée), 10% Semillon, 2% Alicante Bouschet, 1% Touriga Nacional

Hey Rose! 2016

White floral and citrus aromas on the nose. A fresh and vibrant wine, perfect for summer BBQs.

 

More Rose available (click here

 All the wine from Jauma are now available in store and onlineClick here to see more 

 


Posted: 08/12/2016
Introducing Ephemera Wine + New Patrick Sullivan Wines available now

Rhen Dodd is a very promising Australian winemaker - a man to watch for the next few years as he is already making some cracking wine. Some of you might have crossed him at our Wine Fair this past June, he was showing these beautiful wines, and now we'd like to introduce him officially.

In anither life, Dodd was a Melbourne-based wine buyer. He decide to jump and moved to Beechworth in Victoria's north, to work as assistant winemaker for Jamsheed - one the best winemaker in the region and the state. Dodd's been learning the best way to craft wine with mentor Gary Mills since the 2014 vintage.

Under the name Strenua, Dodd and his business partner, Dale Wheeler are farming organically and with Biodynamic prinicapls. Their own small Syrah plot in Chum Creek, Yarra Valley produces beautiful Syrah and Chardonnay.

This year he's taken it a step further with his wife to launch Ephemera, a small project using Vermentino grapes from Chalmers Vineyard and Nebbiolo from Domenica Vineyard. These are awesome wines in very limited quantities.

Under the name Ephemera - where he is sourcing the grapes from others - Dodd is not trying to make the same wine every year but to experimented a lot of different batch, and that's what makes these so exciting.

Wine available: (click on the picture for more info)

Ephemera Vermentino 2016

Ephemera Nebbiolo 2015

Strenua Syrah 2015

 All the new release from Patrick Sulliavan are available. (Click here)

We still have tickets left for our Jura Masterclass (tickets available here) tonight. Last wine tasting of the year.


Posted: 30/11/2016
Introducing Chevre Wines For Summer

Flagons of skin contact Pinot Gris? It must be summer...

First, a quick story about Jordy Kay. Jordy started working in vineyards on the Mornington Peninsula when he was 15. At 17 he left school to pursue a career in winemaking and took part in his first vintage in the Margaret River.

Vintages in Austria, Portugal and Tasmania followed, before our man Kay became assistant winemaker at Jamsheed in the Yarra Valley (at an astonishingly young age). Jamsheed's Gary Mills played a big hand in mentoring Jordy over the years, who taught himself chemistry and biology through books before studying winemaking and viticulture properly. 

Jordy started working on his own venture in the Mornington Peninsula in the winter of 2014 - it was the beginning of Chèvre Wines.

In 2016 he purchased a vineyard and moved to the Otway Ranges. He now farms everything himself on his own property and a few other vineyards nearby that he leases, with a focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. (The first of these new wines will be released in the Spring of 2017.)

Kay farms naturally while trying to minimise the use of copper and sulphur by turning to more delicate organic alternatives. "Healthy vines equal healthy wines" is the philosophy here. The optimal soil and above soil ecosystem is attained by using various composting methods, spray preparations and indigenous plant integration.

We've just taken delivery of two very exciting bottlings (one of which is the aformentioned two-litre wine vessel), which are available now:

Chevre Pinot Gris 2016 (Flagon)                                                                

Chevre Pinot Noir 2015

Thanks for Jordy and Lo Fi wines for sharing their notes.

We have still some few tickets available for our Jura Masterclass next week with Laura Seibel from Doamine La Pinte - click on the image below:

 


Posted: 23/11/2016
Last call for Illuminate Champagne And Sparkling Wine Event + Free Tasting The Other Right

With only a few tickets left to this Saturday's Illuminate Champagne & Sparkling Wine Event, we are very pleased to confirm a new exhibitor. Australia's Architects of Wine will be pouring this Saturday, a very talented new producer.

We're also excited having two of the best growers in Champagne: Champagne Agrapart and Bereche.

“Pascal Agrapart embodies the best of the artisan tradition in Champagne, and his wines show it.” - Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate.

To remind you about the event, hosted at our Sydney CBD store, it will be a chance to experience historic, traditional Champagnes alongside the new world of Sparkling from Australia and other parts of the world.

With a selection of over 40 of the best International and domestic Champagnes and sparklings, this will be an impeccable way to welcome in the festive season.

Your ticket price includes entry and all your tastings for the day. 

When: Saturday November 19th
Time: 3pm to 5.30pm
Where: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St. Sydney CBD
Tickets: $30 for members (CLICK HERE)$40 for non-members (CLICK HERE)

 WINES

Agrapart (France)
Larmandier (France)

Bereche (France)
Andre Jacquart (France)
Architects of Wine (Australia)

Jean-Cédric Deguy (France)
Comte Audoin de Dampierre (France)
Pierre Moncuit (France)
Moondarra (Australia)
Jousset (France)
Akarua (New Zeland)
Andre Beaufort (France)

Leon Lenois (France)
Tertini (Australia)
Gremillet (France)
Mt Moriac (Australia)
+ more...

The Champagne Fair is open to over 18s only and strict RSA regulations will apply. List of exhibitors may change due to unforeseen circumstances. We ask and expect all our punters to respect our Fair Play Policy (available here) and are sure that everyone will act like grown-up adults and have a thigh-slapping good time as a result. Tickets are transferable and non-refundable.

We will be pouring the new realease wines from The Other Right this Friday between 4-7pm. More info about the winemaker (Click here)

Head to our Calendar for all our upcoming events.


Posted: 17/11/2016
Wine Appreciation Thursday 12th January

For this edition of our regular Wine Appreciation class we will review some of the icons of Australia. We will sample some reds and whites and visit some important regions including the Barossa Valley, Tasmania and Margaret River.

The concept of these glasses is to help understand what it is in your glass, learning more about the main grape varieties and regions of Australia. 

These tastings will be suitable for everyone who wishes to know a little more about wine. We will be trying a mix of different domestic wines. It won’t be too technical a tasting but rather a night of discovery so you’ll be able to understand what’s actually making the flavours in your glass - and arm you with important dinner party/water cooler/pub chatter. It will also give you an appreciation of what styles suit you best (and how to get the best out of each glass!).

Truth is, there is no ‘best wine’, the best wine is the wine you like the most and that’s what we’ll be exploring. It doesn’t matter how much a bottle costs, inexpensive or premium, the tastings will be based on quality and focus on small growers and sustainable products.  

Come and join us for a fun night to discover (or rediscover) the world of wine around a good glass. Hosted by the Oak Barrel’s own wine specialist, we’ll go through seven (or eight) different expressions exhibiting a range of flavour profiles and from around the world.

When: Thursday January 12th
Time: 6:30pm to 8:15 pm
Where: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St. Sydney CBD
Tickets: Sold Out

Wines are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. Tickets transferable and non-refundable.


Posted: 05/11/2016
Bordeaux Masterclass

Bordeaux is one of the most famous names for wine. Well known for its gastronomy, architecture and of course all the vineyards. With 54 appellations in Bordeaux, right bank, left bank, grand cru or 1er cru classee, it can be a bit daunting and confusing trying to decipher the difference in complex rules and classifications.

For this Masterclass, we will go through everything, with our Bordeaux specialist guiding us.

Our host, Daniel Airoldi, is the importer of Airoldi Fine Wine and is a specialist in Bordeaux. He is Bordeaux born and bred and knows the area (and its quirks) like the back of his hand. 

When: Thursday November 10th
Time: 6.30pm to 8.15pm
Where: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St. Sydney CBD
Tickets: $40 for members (CLICK HERE) ; $50 for non-members (CLICK HERE)

Chateau Turcaud Entre Deux Mers 2014
Chateau Flamand-Bellevue AOC Bordeaux 2015
Chateau Beynat Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux 2014
Chateau Le Meynieu Cru Bourgeois Haut-Médoc 2010
Chateau Lavillotte AOC St-Estèphe 2012
Segla, (2nd wine of Ch. Rauzan-Ségla), Margaux 2009
Chateau Belregard-Figeac Grand Cru St-Emilion 2010
Chateau du Tailhas Pomerol 2001
La Dame de 11 heures Grand Cru Classé, St-Emilion 2011
Clos 56 Pomerol 2012

Wines are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. Tickets are transferable and non-refundable.


Posted: 26/10/2016