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Latest Wine News

Lucy Margaux 2017 Release

It's here! Another anwsome release Lucy Margaux from winemaker Anton Van Klopper, who is arguably one of Australia's best known and respected natural winemakers. Certainly a pioneer of the style - his wines are always highly sought after.

The wines are made using natural principles with no added anything except a small amount of sulphur at bottling. Anton’s wines are always interesting and quite often brilliant with an assortment of blends and styles released each year. The wines are fresh and sublime at all levels with his single vineyard Pinot Noirs of particularly high quality.

Anton Von Klopper of Lucy Margaux / Domaine Lucci is one of the most creative wine makers in the Australian wine industry. Having started out in restaurants as a sommelier he eventually found his way into the world of wine. Having completed his Oenology degree at the university of Adelaide he then spent several years working vintages around the world.

In 2002 Anton and his family purchased a property in the Adelaide Hills. Here he farms in biodynamic as well as taking small parcels from neighbouring vineyards. His wines have very quickly reached cult status and established Anton as one of the leaders of the Natural Wine Movement in Australia.

This year's outturn has now arrived in store and is available for purchase online.  

Wine available now in store and online: click here to see all the range 

Lucy Margaux Wildman Blanc 2016 / $29.95 per bottle ($24.25 in any 6 for members)

Lucy Margaux Gris Blush 2016 / $22.95 per bottle ($17.95 in any 6 for members)

Lucy Margaux Gris Gris 2016 / $29.95 per bottle ($24.25 in any 6 for members)

Lucy Margaux Vino Rosso 2016 / $22.95 per bottle ($17.95 in any 6 for members)

Lucy Margaux Little Creek Pinot Noir 2016 / $44.95 per bottle ($35.95 in any 6 for members)

Lucy Margaux Monomeith Pinot Noir 2016 / $44.95 per bottle ($35.95 in any 6 for members)

Lucy Margaux Catastrophe 2016 / $26.95 per bottle ($21.55 in any 6 for members)

Lucy Margaux Estate Pinot Noir 2016 / $49.95 per bottle ($40.45 in any 6 for members)

Lucy Margaux Merlot 2016 / $29.95 per bottle ($24.25 in any 6 for members)

Lucy Margaux 'Village Of Tiers' Pinot Noir 2016 / $29.95 per bottle ($24.25 in any 6 for members)


Posted: 12/04/2017
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 June 15th
TIME: 6:30pm to 8:15pm
WHERE: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St, Sydney CBD
PRICE: $25 for members; $35 for non-members

We’ll be trying:

To be confirmed..

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

Posted: 25/03/2017
World Wine Project At The Oak Barrel


The Oak Barrel has always striven to source the best wines from Australia and the world for our shelves and it’s in that spirit of discovery that we are introducing a new initative and event: the World Wine Project.

The World Wine Project will be the banner under which our very best international wine masterclasses and events will take place.

In the past twelve months we’ve featured masterclasses with wines from France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Georgia, Greece and others – and that search for quality and diversity will continue.

To celebrate the launch of the World Wine Project we’ll be hosting an international wine event – a mini-fair, if you will – celebrating wine from all around the world.

On Saturday 29 April we’ll be throwing open our Cellar Room doors to a host of wine experts and importers who’ve collated wines from all around the world. Over 60 different wines will be available to try from countries including (but not limited to) Italy, France, Spain, Austria, Germany, Portugal, Chile and Romania.

Amongst them are some truly great, interesting wines – wines we like to drink and share with good stories and philosophies behind the wine making.

At just $30 for members, and $40 for non-members we think it represents excellent value as well.

So What Is The World Wine Project Event?

Much in the style of our sold-out Illuminate: Sparking Wine Event in late 2016, the World Wine Project Event will be a two-and-a-half hour tasting event. Upon entry you’ll be loaned a glass for the afternoon and then make your way around the various stalls in our Cellar Room representing various countries. Your ticket price includes all tastings on the day.

There will be light nibbles provided for palate-cleansing, but we encourage you to plan to eat before and/or after the event.

Capacity is strictly limited, so book early to avoid disappointment.

WHAT: World Wine Project Tasting Event
 Saturday 29 April, 2017
TIME: 3pm to 5.30pm
WHERE: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St, Sydney CBD


As mentioned above, the World Wine Project will be an ongoing initiative for The Oak Barrel and alongside bigger events like the above, we’ll host masterclasses all year round.

The first two are already confirmed: a (now sold out) Japanese wine masterclass with the winemaker from Grace and a very special ‘through the decades’ tasting of France’s Jura style Vin Jaune with renowned wine judge and writer Mike Bennie.

Working our way through vintages from 1959 to 2008, it will be fascinating through bottles from our vault. Full details on that tasting event here.


Click on a country name to discover the wines we currently have in store. (Some out of stocks are back in/coming back in. Give us a call in store if you've got any inquiries or requests.)

South Africa

The World Wine Project events are 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 and are sure that everyone will act like grown-up adults and have a thigh-slapping good time as a result. Tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable.


Posted: 21/03/2017
Intimate Winemaker Masterclass With Nav Singh Of Domaine Simha

Meet the man behind the label and one of Australia’s most dynamic winemakers: announcing an intimate masterclass with Nav Singh, owner and winemaker of Tasmania’s cult Domaine Simha label, this April.

The label was launched just a few years ago by Singh and partner Louise Radman, but Domaine Simha hit the ground running. In virtually no time at all their wines are being enjoyed around the country by some of wine’s most discerning drinkers, and in top restaurants across Australia and the world.

Their wine is made in micro batches, just two or three barrels of each. Utilising Tassie’s cool climate, the winery is at the forefront of natural and living wines from the state.

Singh has worked for a long time in Australia but he honed his skills in the prestigious wineries of Burgundy and Bordeaux, particularly in Pomerol in France (Chateau Le Pin and Vieux Chateau Certan). It’s an ‘apprenticeship’ that many winemakers seek, but few are afforded to opportunity.

His methods embrace harvesting by lunar cycle on fruit and flower days and include whole bunch wild fermentation with traditional pigeage, maturation in custom demi-muid oak and clay amphorae and basket pressings. There are bottled unfined and unfiltered.

As an added bonus, alongside these stunning wines Nav will be sneaking in a bottle of his own Sud Poliare Rare Barrel age gin – a stunningly pure spirit that has swayed more than a few ‘non-gin’ drinkers.

Join us to drink and laugh with Nav, who’s not only one of our favourite guests here at The Oak Barrel but one of the best storytellers our Cellar Room has ever hosted. 

When: Thursday 6th April
Time: 6:30pm to 8:15 pm
Where: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St. Sydney CBD
Price: $20 for members; $30 for non-members
Tickets: [MEMBERS] [GUEST]

 We’ll be trying:

Domaine Simha Pet Nat Riesling 2016 ($36.95)
Rani Riesling 2016 

Raya Sauvage 2015 ($85)
Rao Chardonnay 2016 ($94.95)

Field Blend Blanc ($44.95)
Field Blend Rouge ($44.95)
Lionheart Amphora Pinot Noir 2016 ($64.95)
Beauregrad Amphora Pinot Noir 2016 ($64.95)

Rama Pinot Noir 2015 ($89.95)
Sud Polaire Rare Barrel Aged ($159)

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

-Paul Hervy

Posted: 17/03/2017
Real Wine From Canary Island

Envinate, which means 'Wine Yourself', is the collaboration of four winemakers from Spain whose journey has led them to some small vineyards of Western Spain.

Laura Ramos, Jose Martínez, Roberto Santana and Alfonso Torrente are four friends who met while studying oenology at the University of Miguel Hernández in Alicante in 2005. Sharing a similar philospphy, they set out explore the ancient, Atlantic influenced terroirs of Western Spain.

Finding themselves in regions including Ribeira Sacra and the Canary Islands, the idea was to let each single parcel situated on Volcanic soils fully express itself through old-fashioned farming and wine-making methods.

Each parcel is vinified separately with a percentage of grapes undergoing skin contact and they are blending together after a time in barrel and stainless steel.

We have two expressions in store now: both wines are a blend of the many different native white and red varieties such as Marmajuelo, Listan Blanco or Vijariego Negro, which work beautifully for this type of farming and winemaking.

Taganan is both name of a village and a local term for steep slope. Fantastically interesting wine with a fascinating back story. Click on a bottle for further information of each style.

Wine available

Envinate 'Taganan' Blanco 2015

'Touch oxidative on the nose: nutty, slightly smoky, with a touch of sea salt. The palate is full, fresh, and complex. Ripe citrus and stone fruit with lashings of buttered toast and lean and flinty minerality. The complexity is to be expected: Albillo for perfume, Malvasia for its fruit character, and Listan for that velvety texture.'

Envinate 'Taganan' Tinto 2014

 'Blend of the many different native varieties, vinified separately in a mix of concrete tanks and small open containers. The result is a juicy and utterly drinkable red, with plenty of fresh red fruit, spiciness and food-friendly acidity.'


Posted: 15/03/2017
Vin Jaune Through The Decades Masterclass

The Oak Barrel always been a big lover and supporter of the famous French wine region Jura, a love evident by our collection of bottles from the region.

As part of the Jura range, we have source a particularly nice collection of Vin Jaune, which includes some very old vintages. Vin Jaune is a style of white wine from the region which is barrel aged for six or seven years under a film of yeast called the voile. It is sometimes compared to dry sherry, although it is not a fortified.

We have been watching and picking up these bottles for a long time for the store and we’ve always enjoyed introducing them: there’s such a great story behind each of these bottles. They have all some specific character and every producer has this own touch, it’s part of what makes Vin Jaune such an interesting, unique drink.

So, in true Oak Barrel style, we figured: why not open a bunch of them to share? And so we are, in a massive Vin Jaune masterclass that will include vintages back to 1959 (!). It happens as part of our World Wine Project series of international wine discovery.

We’ll discover first hand difference between producers and how they’ve aged over through the decades.

For such an event, we’ve roped in Australia’s own Jura expert and renowned wine writer Mike Bennie. A walking ambassador for the region Bennie has spent time every year for the last past seven years in Jura and has met all the producers.
Bennie has written for most of Australia’s best publications – wine specific or otherwise – and is also a freelance presenter, wine judge and event promoter.  We’re stoked to have him host the night and share his wine knowledge with us.

WHEN: Thursday 27 April
TIME: 6:30pm to 8:15pm
WHERE: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St. Sydney CBD
TICKETS:Sold Out (Click a link to purchase)

What we’ll be opening to taste:

Jean Bourdy Chateau-Chalon Vin Jaune 1959 ($1200)
La Pinte Vin Jaune 1986 ($310)
Didier Grappe Vin Jaune 2005 ($150)
Tissot Chateau-Chalon Vin Jaune 2008 ($220)
Michel Gahier Vin Jaune 2008 ($120)
Domaine Marne Blanche Vin Jaune 2008 ($130)
Octavin Foutre dEscampette Sparkling 2015 ($70)

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


Posted: 04/03/2017
Japanese Masterclass With Grace Winemaker Ayana Misawa


The Oak Barrel will have the honour of hosting Japanese winemaker Ayana Misawa for a very special masterclass Friday 31 March.

The interest in Japanese drinks is increasing exponentially (recent sales and tastings are proof of that) and while there is a lot of talk about whisky and sake, there is a huge amount of potential for Japanese wine as well.  

Misawa will be presenting wines from her Grace brand, which are very limited in Australia. She’ll be talking about the Japanese wine culture, its history and its future as we sample a range of vintages of her creation.

Koshu is the dominant variety here, a grape which was first cultivated over 1,000 years ago in the Caucasus Region in Asia Minor. It came to Japan together with Buddhism via the Silk Road through China. It localised itself and became native to Japan and when winemaking started in Japan in 1874, it quickly became not only the main, but also the most important variety.

Grace Winery (“Chuo Budoshu” in Japanese) was established in 1923 in Katsunuma, the birthplace of Japan’s wine industry an ongoing wine hub for the country. The company believe “good wines come from grapes which bear the characters of the place they originated from”.

Winemaker Ayana Misawa is the daughter of Shigekazu Misawa, the company’s President and a pioneer of the Koshu variety in Japan.

This will be a fascinating, entertaining night and we’re delighted to be able to offer an evening with such intimate access to the winemaker. Strictly limited tickets.

WHEN: Friday 31 March, 2017
TIME: 6:30pm to 8:15pm
WHERE: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St. Sydney CBD
PRICE$20 for members$30 for non-members

We’ll be trying the following wines:

Gris de Koshu 2015
Koshu 2015
Koshu Toriibira Vineyard 2015
Koshu Toriibira Vineyard Cuvée Misawa Private Reserve 2009
Koshu Toriibira Vineyard Cuvée Misawa Private Reserve 2012 
Koshu Toriibira Vineyard Cuvée Misawa Private Reserve 2015
Koshu Akeno Vineyard Cuvée Misawa 2015
Kayagatake Rouge 2014

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

Posted: 03/03/2017
Shobbrook New Wines: Cider range


The new releases from Tom Shobbrook have just landed – and they are amazing.

A blend of fruit and grape juice, he did it last year with this Riesling/Cherry – but with less than 5 percent cherry. This new release has somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of pear in each wine, the rest Mouverde (for the red) or Sauvignon (for the white), making this a very interesting little outturn.

As well as being delicious, these have come in at a very accessible price. Tom has a habit of creating new fashions in Australian drinking, and this works pretty well in a glass!

Both components of each wine are fermented separately and blended together before bottling.

So who is Tom Shobbrook?

“Tom’s winery is situated on the family vineyard in Seppeltsfield in the Barossa Valley. Tom returned to Australia after working in a winery in Tuscany for a few years. When he came home he decided he wanted to make wine differently using minimal intervention to let the wine speak for itself.

Under the name Didi, Tom also makes a range of Italian-influenced natural wines, using fruit bought from local growers and farming with organic methods. Tom’s vineyard is biodynamic, with minimal intervention and very small amounts of sulphur added.

These are beautiful and complex natural wines. Tom is one of the best natural wine producers working in Australia today.”


Wine available 

Shobbrook Cider White (Sauvignon + Pear) 2016

Shobbrook Cider Red (Mourvedre+Pear) 2016



Posted: 02/03/2017
Argentinian Wine Masterclass

Argentina, it’s the country of Malbec.

One of the biggest producers of wine in the world, the fifth biggest if you want to be specific, Argentina’s wine economy is driven by Malbec, a grape originally introduced by French immigrants.

While that’s the common understanding of things, as a country with a wide array of soil types, elevation and fluctuations in weather, its wines are unique and startlingly varied between regions. They also grow Torrontés (a Spanish variety), Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay and other international varieties.

It’s going to be quite stimulating to dedicate a whole masterclass evening to a country with a culture so strongly infused with wine.

To understand more about the culture, winemaking, and the difference between Malbecs grown in Argentinian regions, this evening will be presented by Tom Egan: winemaker, importer and owner of Jed Wine company.

Tom was born in Australia and studied winemaking here, but decided to travel the world and discover its wine regions. He has spent a lot of time in Argentina and completed a few vintages. After falling in love with the country and spending a few solid years working in the industry, he is now importing some the best and most interesting Argentinian wines into Australia.

In doing so he’s also supporting a lot of smaller winemakers that would have never been considered for some of the top Australian restaurant wine lists without him.

Tom will be sharing his stories, laughs and comparisons of time spent in Argentina to his stints in France and other regions of north and south America. 

When: Thursday March 23th
Time: 6:30pm to 8:00 pm
Where: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St. Sydney CBD
Tickets: SOLD OUT

 We’ll be trying:

Amalaya Torrontes (Salta)
Susan's Balbo Torrontes (Mendoza)
Chacra Pinot Noir (Patagonia)
Zorzal Terrior Unico Malbec (1350m, Mendoza)
Mil Piedras Malbec (1150m, Medoza)
La Posta "Paulucci" Malbec by Laura Catena (950m, Mendoza)
Bodega Noemia "A Lisa" Malbec (550m Patagonia)
Bodega Colome Estate Malbec (2000m, Salta)
Bodega Colome Autentico Malbec (2400m, Salta)

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

Posted: 22/02/2017
Spanish Wine Masterclass: The Mediterranean Coast

Following the success of our Spanish Glacician Masterclass earlier this year, we're back with one of our favourite Spanish importers, Lachlan Barber from Movida, to help us discover another part of the wonderful wine-mad country Spain.

This time we will guide you through all the Spain’s border with the Mediterranean’s east, departing from the Catalan regions and heading down to Andalucia.

The Spanish Mediterranean coast is familiar to most due to the abundance of beautiful beaches, amazing food and iconic holiday destinations.

Long before it was colonized by British and German tourists, however, the area was being frequented by the Romans, who, just like the current visitors, brought with them a strong desire for locally-produced alcohol.

Starting from Emporda in the Pyrenees, we'll be tasting our way through the various Mediterranean appellations of Spain, through Penedes, and Montsant (just outside of Barcelona), to the richly fruited, powerful wines of Manchuela and Alicante.

We’ll touch on the varietals and regions that have established themselves as modern powerhouses, as well as some of the now rare and obscure relics which hark back to the Roman viticultural traditions.

WHEN: Thursday 20 April
TIME: 6:30pm to 8:00pm
WHERE: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St. Sydney CBD
TICKETS: Sold out

We’ll be trying:

Suriol Brut Nature Cava 
Bodegas Ponce ‘Reto’ Albilla 
Espelt ‘Quinze Roures’ Garnacha Gris 
Rafa Bernabe ‘Benimiqua’ 
Bodegas Ponce ‘Buena Pinta’ Moravia Agria 
Celler Comunica ‘Vinya Goretti’ Carinyena 
El Wanderer Carinyena 
Bodegas Ponce ‘Estrecha’ Bobal
Espelt ‘Airam’ NV

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


Posted: 17/02/2017