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Latest Wine News

The Finest Victoria Has To Offer

Hey Wine Drinkers, 


 In a constant search for good wines this week, we found ourselves constantly heading back to our Victorian shelf. It's no secret that our border state is renowned across the globe for doing what Burgundy does best, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. 

Throughout the Yarra Valley, Gippsland, Mornington Peninsula, and other impeccable wine making regions throughout Victoria we see the ideal climate and geography for these grape varietals. Hot summers and cool nights make for out standing Burdunian expressions and this week we've hunted out some of the best wines being produced not only in Victoria but across the country. 


Often considered Australia’s best Pinot Noir, Bass Philip was named after Arthur Philip and George Bass. Both men of immense innovative spirit and willingness to succeed during the 19th century, and in 1979 the Bass Philip vineyards were planted with both Pinot noir and Chardonnay.

These wines are made in a classic sense whilst still being 100% biodynamic in production since 2002. The fruit from Bass Philip is of the highest quality with mineral rich soils throughout the vineyard. The winemaking is hands off, minimal intervention allowing these wines to shine wine vibrancy and complexity.

The wines of Bass Philip are timeless, built to age gracefully and also be enjoyed in youth. Tasting the wines of Bass Philip is a wondrous occasion in itself. 

Bass Philip Estate Pinot Noir 2016


The 2015 vintage has delivered red wines with varietal purity, fresh natural acidity, tangy minerality and overall balance: one of our best vintages. These are great wines from Bass Phillip, and they are all capable of mediumlong-term cellaring....... However, they are beautiful to drink now!! All the reds need one hour breathing after pulling the cork.

A complex mouthful of intense flavours. Balanced acidity carries through to the finish. Emphasis is in the middle plate: But with quite powerful tannins. This is a good food wine : a very easy drink.

Bass Philip Premium Pinot Noir 2014


While not quite as concentrated or powerful as the Reserve, the Premium Pinot Noirs have beautiful, black cherry, floral and gamey aromas, supple, velvety tannins, underlying smoky oak and great flavour length. The fruit is sourced from the low cropping low-input four hectare north-east facing vineyard at Leongatha.


 Increasingly biodynamic principles are employed in the vineyard. The overall philosophy is to "allow nature to drive the viticulture and winemaking processes". Natural yeasts, no filtration and extended time on lees are all par for the course. Winemaker Phillip Jones calls his Pinot Noir "precocious". He believes strongly in a gentle hand. Racking is kept to a minimum and no pumps are used in the winery. "The difference between good and great Pinot Noir is texture. Wine flows through a pipe like a fast running stream – at speed in the centre and slow on the sides – the sheer force created by the pump just tears the wine apart." The wine is aged in French Alliers oak for 12 to 18 months depending on vintage. Their "hidden power" is revealed after around five years of bottle age. A Cuvee Rare, which was aged in barrel for an extra six months, was produced in 2001. No Premium or Reserve Pinot Noir were made in c2006 A Bass Phillip Estate 21 Pinot Noir was the only single release, a blend of all the estate vineyards.

Bass Philip Reserve Pinot Noir 2016


Bass Phillip Reserve Pinot Noir shows remarkable puissance and elegance with gorgeous fruit density and beautiful silken tannins. It is a madly rare, profoundly intense and exquisitely balanced wine which reflects the nuances of an exceptional vineyard site. The Reserve is made from five rows of 'precocious' Pinot Noir vines in the centre of a closely spaced (9000 vines/hectare) north-east facing vineyard planted on silty loams. Since 2002 biodynamic viticulture has been introduced, resulting in fruit with more "energy and vibrancy". This has translated to wines with striking floral/spice characters and superb vinosity. Natural balance and optimum flavour development has been achieved through minimal intervention at all stages of winemaking. Over the last five years the real advances have been made in the vineyard.

Bass Phillip's low cropping bio-dynamically farmed estate vineyard at Leongatha, which produces the Reserve, Premium and Estate Pinot Noirs, is planted to 9000 vines per hectare and yields roughly 270 grams of fruit per vine. A typical ultra-fine Australian vineyard at 2000 vines per hectare will yield around 2.5 kilograms per vine. By comparison a Grand Cru Burgundy vineyard at 10,000 vines per hectare will typically yield around 500 grams per vine. In this context the production levels of the Reserve are extremely low. The unfiltered Reserve, matured for 20 months in new Alliers oak, is a brilliant example of Australian terroir showing plenty of concentrated spicy/black cherry fruit, savoury mocha oak and supple tannins. It is widely regarded as Australia's most evocative and characterful Pinot Noir.

Bass Phillip's Reserve Pinot Noir can be incredibly complex and sinuous. It constantly evolves and changes in the glass. One instant it can smell of pure dark cherries, red plums and cranberries and then another moment frankincense, wood varnish and gardenias. Highly individual and often beautiful, it sings utterly of light and shade as much as it agonisingly flaws and triumphs. Phillip Jones navigates perilously close to the rocks. However a faith in terroir means accepting nature will bring along challenges and differences each year. In 2008 one barrel from the Reserve block was kept and matured in Alliers oak for 24 months before bottling. The 2008 Reserve Cuvee Rare is an atypical style.


Nestled in the Moorabool Valley of Victoria lies the Farr estate, another Australian name synonymous with premium Australian wines. The property was purchased by Gary and Robyn Farr in the mid 1990’s with Nick and Cassie Farr adding to the land with 2 more blocks in 2011.

Today Gary and Nick both craft wines from the estate, constantly driving each other as the wines get better and better. The pair are no strangers to wine fame with the By Farr and Farr Rising expressions picking up a multitude of awards on both home and foreign soil.


By Farr Tout Pres Pinot Noir 2016


‘With every year that passes, the Tout Près vineyard’s subtleness and delicate fruit structure are becoming increasingly pronounced in the wine. The bouquet fills the glass with spicy fruit, mineral elements and a hint of integrated French oak, with the darkness and essence of the Moorabool Valley true expressions of site. Integrated and intriguingly complex on the nose. Really want to dive in. Where the RP's pure fruit leads the way,

Tout Près is a true bouquet - rose petals, nutty oak, sweet spices, bunchy notes and red and darker berries. Like the nose, the palate looks so settled so young. Tannins are so elegant, too - silky and somehow dissolving yet present, framing the palate and giving lovely mouthfeel as those flavour impressions ripple through. Thrilling wine - intense, intricately layered and long, and so together. Beautifully composed in every sense.’ Nick Farr

By Farr Pinot Noir 2016


Named after Robin Farr (my mum) Fruit from the Côte Vineyard a close-planted parcel on an exposed slope, with hillsides facing north, northeast and east. This wine is pretty and so very perfumed. The Côte sites simply produce amazing smoothness and calmness that stretches the length of the palate, as with the GC.

The nose gives a pure and precise impression - red summer berries and rhubarb dusted with woody spice and with earth beneath. Immediate sense of intense, pure red fruit on entry, with texture of fine-grained tannin and fruit pulp. It's vibrant and has power yet there's a real calm evenness about the way it travel - shapely, direct and long - through the palate. Spice and salty tones come through on the zesty finish, and those fruit tannins lend it excellent poise.’ Nick Farr

By Farr Chardonnay 2017


‘Named after Gary Charles (my dad). The most exciting white from the 2016 vintage is without doubt the new GC Chardonnay by Farr. With all the knowledge that l have been able to extract from my father (not always easily) we created a high-density planting of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on an exposed côte. These hillsides facing east, north east and north will be the backbone of the Farr destiny for decades to come. This is our tribute to what ‘Gazza’ has achieved and provoked over 40 years not only in our region but for the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir of Australia.

The nose is pronounced - a strong, integrated aroma. Seductive but not flashy; evoking complex savoury/fruit interplay. Essentially, the smell of top-class Chardonnay. Ripe nectarine, lemon and grapefruit, with a suggestion of vanilla and pastry, perhaps hazelnut. The texture has a limey cling from the outset; intense and it really wants to take off - and does. Crackles with acidity. As with previous years, it streaks through with tremendous resonance and length through the finish. Remarkable how it leaves such a impression of intensity and detail while travelling at such scintillating velocity.’ Nick Farr


And to round out this heavily hitting, top quality Victorian line up it wouldn't be complete without mentioning the name David Bicknell. Gourmet Traveller’s Winemaker of the Year for 2017 at Oakridge, has released 2 wines for his small family winemaking project with Nicky Harris.

David has spent over 20 vintages in the Yarra Valley and has been the driving force of Oakridge’s success placing their wines constantly at the table with Australia’s best. With only 1 hectare of Chardonnay and 1.5 hectares of Pinot noir planted for the Applecross wines this small batch passion project for one of Australia’s best winemakers will almost certainly see high levels of praise throughout the wine world.


Applecross Pinot Noir 2016


Harvest of the 2016 took place 8 days earlier, on March 4th under a fully netted vineyard. The crop level was 3.8 t/Ha with sugar at 13.3° baume, 3.4 pH and 7.2 g/L of acid.

Fermentation commenced naturally after 4 days and progressed steadily through the next 14 days with just the odd pump over and some hand pigeage towards the end to liberate the last of the sugar. We then left the wine on skins for a further 4 days of maceration before pressing and transferring to barrels.

We added one new barrel to the mix this year, therefore, just under 13% new, the rest all older than 4 years. The wine completed malolactic fermentation in late April, and was sulphured on lees, where it remained for 10 months until blending in late January. Other than SO2, no additions were made to the wine.

Applecross Chardonnay 2016


With better flowering conditions than the previous year and a netted vineyard, they were able to pick near perfect fruit at 3.7 t/Ha. The seasons’ warmer conditions led to harvesting 12 days earlier than 2015 on February 27th. Analysis at harvest was 12.2° baume, 3.2 pH and 8.0 g/L of acid. Ideal numbers.

After passively chilling the fruit overnight in a cool room, the wine was whole bunch pressed directly to 500 litre puncheons for fermentation. Fermentation occurred naturally and progressed to dryness over a three-week period. Once complete, the wine was sulphured on its fermentation lees, where it remained with monthly toppings until January 2017, when the vessels were blended into tank prior to bottling. Other than SO2, no additions were made to the wine.


Posted: 08/11/2018
Pierre Cotton - A Tasting with Beaujolais' Most Exciting Young Producer

Pierre Cotton has exploded onto the Beaujolais scene in recent years, with his wines made naturally expressing the terroir and showing great potential of his small organic site of the slopes of Beaujolais. Pierre is the 5th generation of the Sanver and Cotton family, and his vineyards rest of the most visually stunning area of all the Beaujolais’ crus, Brouilly. This family knows Brouilly inside and out, and Pierre tends to the old bush vines on the steep slopes of the Domaine.

Having worked all across France and discovering his passion for crafting natural wines of the purest expression, he returned to work with one hectare of his family’s land in the Cote de Brouilly in 2014. After acquiring several more hectares of land, Pierre is now in charge of the estate with vines planted in the Brouilly and Cote de Brouilly crus. All of his vines are farmed organically at a minimum in the rich, sun-drenched terroir of the sloping vineyards.

Pierre’s wines see no sulphur additions, his passion for quality, expressive fruit is evident in his wines as he crafts some of the most unique and delicious wines in all of France. It’s because of this that he is quickly becoming one of the most exciting and talked about winemakers across all of Beaujolais, with his wines being produced in extremely limited amounts.

We are lucky enough to be able to welcome Pierre Cotton, during his trip to Australia, along with a range of his delicious natural Beaujolais wines here to the Oak Barrel Cellar Room on the 22nd of November. It will be a night of tasting, discussing, and exploring the wines with Pierre Cotton, one of Beaujolais’ most exciting winemakers.

WHAT: Pierre Cotton - A Tasting with Beaujolais Most Exciting Young Producer
WHERE: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St, Sydney
WHEN: Thursday 22 November, doors open 6.15pm for a 6.30pm start
PRICE: Members $40 / Guest $50

Posted: 30/10/2018
Hewitson Wines: A Back Vintage Vertical Tasting

Since 1998, Hewitson has established themselves as an icon, not only of the Barossa but Australian wine as a whole. Nestled on Seppeltsfield road, Hewitson crafts classic Australian wines that express the soil and terroir of South Australia. Home to some of the worlds oldest vines, all the fruit is dry grown and sourced from single sites across Barossa valley, McLaren Vale, Eden Valley, and the Adelaide Hills.

One of the key points for the wines of the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale is their ability to age in both good and bad vintages, Hewitson is no exception to this rule. Due to the low yielding, old vines that the fruit is sourced, the grapes hold great complexity and balance, retaining great natural acidity and tannin.

Sourced from the private cellar of Oak Barrel Owner and Wine Expert Paul Downie, we have sourced some extremely exciting vertical flights to be discovered and enjoyed here at the Oak Barrel, including 2 wines from the famous 2005 vintage. This will be an tasting to discover how the wines of Hewitson age differently over time and how the vintages change the wines.

We will be tasting through vintages over ten years old of the highly acclaimed ‘The Mad Hatter Shiraz’, and from very old Mourvedre vines the ‘Old Garden Mourvedre’, join us for what will be a unique tasting of these historic Australian Wines.

Wines to be tasted on the night

Hewitson The Mad Hatter Shiraz 2002
Hewitson The Mad Hatter Shiraz 2003
Hewitson The Mad Hatter Shiraz 2004
Hewitson The Mad Hatter Shiraz 2005

Hewitson Old Garden Mourvedre 2002
Hewitson Old Garden Mourvedre 2003
Hewitson Old Garden Mourvedre 2004
Hewitson Old Garden Mourvedre 2005
Hewitson Old Garden Mourvedre 2006

WHAT: Hewitson Wines Back Vintage Vertical Tasting 
WHERE: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St, Sydney
WHEN: Wednesday 21 November, doors open 6.15pm for a 6.30pm start
PRICE: Members $35 / Guest $45

Posted: 27/10/2018
Jilly Wines Best Vintage Yet 2018!

Hey Wine Drinkers,

If there's one thing that the Oak Barrel wine team loves it's top quality NSW wines. Jared Dixon from Jilly wines just so happens to make some of the best we've tried! Based in New England, Jared sources premium quality fruit from local sites and the central ranges of NSW with a focus on producing wines that are expressive of their terroir. 

These wines have been crafted from fruit from Toppers Mountain at 900m above sea level, Wallington vineyard in Canowindra, and Gordon Latta's vineyard in New England sitting at 600m above sea level.

Jared's wines are producing in incredibly small quantities with immense attention to detail whilst maintaining a minimalist intervention style of winemaking. His passion towards quality fruit allows his wines not to require the use of conventional additives and gives them a unique sense of place. 

This 2018 release of 5 wines might very well be the best wine Jared has ever made and we were lucky enough to get our hands on some. He is proof that NSW wines can compete with the top wines made across Australia, keep it up

Jilly Lone Ranger Chardonnay 2018


Sourced from both the Toppers Mountain vinyeyard and the Wallington vineyard. Whole bunch pressed to old French oak barriques and second fill French oak hogsheads. Barrel fermented. Weekly battonage. Racked once prior to bottling.

White & yellow citrus fruits, with spiced quince, grapefruit & pomelo. The weight seems effortless, with coiled acidity, that is fresh, tight & pure. The second half of the wine, is where the complexity emerges, drawing you in, then out, with it’s long, linear finish & mouth watering freshness.

$44.95 or $35.06 in a members mixed 6

Jilly Lone Ranger Gewurztraminer 2018


Sourced from Toppers Mountain vineyard. 70% whole bunch pressed to new French oak puncheons. 30% fermented on skins for 3 weeks then pressed to old oak. Full MLF. Racked once prior to bottle.

An aromatic lift of fresh Turkish delight, dried crushed florals, smokiness, & fine ground spices. Mid weight mouthfeel, with a mid palate lift of crunchy, spice, tropical fruit, (guava, custard apple), before a complex, drying finish. Made for the table.

$44.95 or $35.06 in any members mixed 6

Jilly Cactus Shiraz Viognier 2018


Sourced from Gordon Latta’s vineyeard. 90% Shiraz 10% Viognier. 100% whole bunch fermented for 2 weeks. Basket pressed to old oak. Then racked once before bottle.

Spiced dark cherry, blue & black fruits. Weight is medium, the viognier providing veins of acidity, giving freshness, purity & focus. Restrained complexity, that will unfurl with time, with fresh, fine tannins to close. At 600mtrs ASL,this is an exciting new wine, that showcases the exciting potential of the New England region. Don’t miss.

$54.95 or $43.16 in any members mixed 6

Jilly Miami Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon 2018


Sourced from the Wallington Vineyard, a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc & 50% Cabernet Sauvignon which was whole bunch fermented for 2 weeks and then basket pressed to tank. Racked once before bottle.

$36.95 or $28.76 in any members mixed 6

Jilly Field Blend 2018


Sourced from Toppers Mountain vineyard. A blend of Nebbiolo, Shiraz, Tempranillo, Tannat, Pinotage, Tinta Cao, Touriga, Barbera, Gewurtzraminer, Chardonnay, Viognier and Petit Manseng, this was all picked into a bin on the same day. 100% whole bunch fermented. Stomped 3 times during fermentation then pressed to old oak. Racked once before bottle.

One in, all in here, with the resultant wine a mix of sweet, sour, savoury, dark fruits. Medium bodied, with black & red cherries, a lick of dried spices & enough funk to raise James Brown from the grave! It’s the complexity & sheer drinkability here, that calls to mind Aristotle’s quote ‘The Whole is Greater, than the sum of it’s parts’.

$54.95 or $43.16 in any members mixed 6

Posted: 24/10/2018
Brave New Wine with Plenty of 2018 Goodness!

Hey Wine Drinkers,


 Well one of the most exciting times of year is here, 2018 Brave New Wine release!

Yoko Luscher-Mostert and Andries Mostert create some of the most exciting natural wines in the Australian wine scene. With a wealth of wine industry experience between them (think WA, Yarra Valley, Italy, NZ), Brave New Wine is about delicious, unpretentious wines that are made to be drunk. 

All of the wines are minimal intervention with natural fermentation, no filtration or fining, and a focus towards high quality fruit made to be expressive. Each release has proved to get better and better, this 2018 release has 10 incredible releases that we will most certainly be drinking all throughout the summer. 

With Pet Nats, delicious Rieslings, the loved Gewurlitzer, and several others, the team at Brave New Wine has crafted some of the best wines we've seen all year!

Brave New Wine Glitter Us Pet Nat 2018



Petillant Naturel of Vermentino, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling. Refreshing spritz, complex herbaceous nose with pleasing pretty, moreish, palate.


$36.95 or $28.76 in any mixed 6

Brave New Wine Nat Daddy Pet Nat 2018


Skinsy Sauv Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Gewurz and Grenache co-fermented in a sexy melange, finishing in bottle with no additives at all for a fizzy climax.

Bright watermelon colour. Fruity, funky nose with ripe guava, negroni, cranberry and smashed strawberries. Sour plum, dried cranberries and apricots. Electric balance between fruit/funk/fizz with a moreish finish. Smash it.


$34.95 or $28.76 in any mixed 6

Brave New Wine Sunshine and Hercules Riesling 2018


Aromas of lemon verbena, lime blossom, and sweet beeswax. Tight acidity, fine chalky texture with crushed limes, preserved lemon, and wet granite minerality. Complex with a deliciously long finish. Single vineyard and organic fruit (though it's not certified). Fermented in both amphora and French oak puncheons.


$36.95 or $28.76 in any mixed 6

Brave New Wine Bouche Riesling 2018


Bush vine Riesling from Frankland River. Ceramic Egg fermented and matured on Lees for 6 months. Wildly aromatic, rich, full.


$41.95 or $34.16 in any mixed 6

Brave New Wine Savant Garde Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2018


60/40 Sauvignon Blanc to Semillon, 1/5 fermented in brand new French oak Puncheon. 6 months on lees. Crunchy, smashable, SSB for the natty heads AND their Nan.


$29.95 or $23.36 in any mixed 6

Brave New Wine Andiamo! Vermentino 2018


Vermentino fermented on skins for almost two weeks. Quenching, delicately spiced, aromatic, textural.


$36.95 or $28.76 in any mixed 6

Brave New Wine Gewurlitzer Chardonnay 2018


Chardonnay fermented on Gewurztraminer skins before being basket pressed to seasoned oak. Pretty potpourri/ nose, pithy, fine tannin.


$36.95 or $28.76 in any mixed 6

Brave New Wine Ambergris Pinot Gris 2018


Pinot Gris left on skins, with twice daily punch-downs, for three weeks before being basket pressed to spent oak. Toffee apple and s’mores on the nose, iced tea and texture in the mouth. A wine that will tick so many boxes.


$37.95 or $29.66 in any mixed 6

Brave New Wine Maison Derriere Pinot Noir Chardonnay 2018


Pinot Juice fermented on Chardonnay bunches pressed to older barrels. Wild and crazy, strawberries and cream.


$59.95 or $47.66 in any mixed 6

Brave New Wine Rude Boy Grenache Shiraz Vermentino Tempranillo 2018


Grenache, Shiraz juice fermented on Vermentino berries, plus a splash of tempranillo. Juicy, peppery, slurpable, succulent light red built for chilling and chilling out.


$29.95 or $23.36 in any mixed 6

Brave New Wine Pi Oui Pinot Noir 2017


Single vineyard (Denmark) tended by us. Dry grown and hand-picked. Natural whole bunch ferment in an open top oak Tyne after long carbonic maceration. One small portion lovingly hand plucked by hand and fermented as whole berries in puncheon with head board knocked out. Basket pressed to older French puncheons for 11 months with no racking before being bottled with no fining, filtration and no additives besides a small amount of sulphur.

Wild plum, sour cherry, wet ironstone gravel, pepper berries and mocha. Sexually slippery palate like very fine kirsch filled chocolate, native bush in a winter storm and firm stalky tannin grip.


$41.95 or $34.16 in any mixed 6

Brave New Wine Klusterphunk Chardonnay 2017


Whole bunch natural fermentation, pressed to older French oak barrels for 6 months on gross lees then transferred to ceramic egg to soak up some cosmic magic for a further 5 months under flor, bottled with no fining and filtration with only a small amount of sulphur.

Lifted spicy nose – curry leaf, cut hay laksa mint, sea spray and fresh beeswax. Tightly focused preserved lemon front palate which lifts to nutty, waxy and creamy notes at the back driven by a line of frisky natural acid.


$34.95 or $28.76 in any mixed 6

Posted: 18/10/2018
Sherry and Fortified Wine, A Masterclass with Ian Barr

Few styles of wine are enriched with such a history as Sherry and Port. Sherry is considered one of the worlds most unique expressions of wine production and is linked closely to the history of all Spanish wine. Dating all the way back to the 9th century BC, fortified wines were often the tipple of choice across the centuries for the likes of the Ancient Romans, Christopher Colombus, William Shakespeare, and many others.

In more recent times, the title for Spain’s favourite wine has been a tough duel between Rioja of high quality and the ever traditional varieties of Sherry, along with more new world wine countries experimenting with sherry-like wines. Spanish Sherry lost popularity in the global market, only made worst by the phylloxera plague.

The wine producing region of Douro in northern Portugal produces the famous Portugese fortified wine Port, and shares a very similar history to Spain’s Sherry. Douro is the third oldest protected wine region in the world, striking great popularity in England in 1703 as French wine was not as readily available and the added alcohol to Port made it easier to ship and store for long periods of time.

Again Port wine has seen a drop in sales globally, and currently has less presence in the market. However both Sherry and Port along with other styles of fortified wine are still being produced at an exceptionally high quality and are not only delicious to drink on their own, but there is without a doubt a style to suit any food dish, from the bone dry Fino Sherry to richly sweet Tawny Port, each style punches well above its weight.

Join us on the 8th of November for a masterclass here at The Oak Barrel across a vast range of different Sherry and fortified wines hosted by Ian Barr, one of the countries top experts on fortified wine after multiple trips through Spain and Portugal, to discover how unique these styles can be.

WHAT: Sherry and Fortified Wines: A Masterclass with Ian Barr
WHERE: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St, Sydney
WHEN: Thursday 8 November, doors open 6pm for a 6.30pm start
PRICE: Members $40 / Guest $50

Posted: 15/10/2018
Borachio has our Summer Drinking Sorted

Hey wine drinkers!

This weather has not got the Oak Barrel wine team down just yet, we were very excited to get our hands on two brand new 2018 releases from the Borachio team. Pash Rash and Flat Out have returned better than ever. A cloudy, fizzy, straight pressed pinot packed with flavour, texture, and vibrancy, and also a light, fruit forward red blend full of watermelon and bright cherry notes, perfect served chilled. 

Next Thursday we are welcoming Peregrine Wines headwinemaker Nadine Cross to the Oak Barrel Cellar room for an in depth tasting through one of Central Otago's finest wineries. Tickets are selling fast so be sure to get in quick, they can be purchased here

Borachio Pash Rash Pet Nat 2018

Straight pressed Pinot Noir from Borachio, filled with loads of tropical fruit and a bunch of candied citrus, this one has party written all over it.

Borachio Flat Out Red Blend 2018

Proper summer time drinking, easy, refreshing, and ever so moreish. Killer stuff from the Borachio team!

Posted: 11/10/2018
Illuminate : A Champagne and Sparkling Wine Event 2018

“Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!” – Dom Perignon, the moment he discovered Champagne.

It's a quote from the 1600s that carries through to today and Champagne is a wine that has marked more than a few of the landmarks in our lives. A wine that epitomises celebration and excellence, it’s a style that embraces innovation whilst staying rooted in strong traditions.

It is with this exploratory spirit in mind that we invite you to join us at Illuminate : A  Champagne & Sparkling Wine Event at The Oak Barrel this November. 

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 50 of the best International and domestic Champagnes and sparklings wines, this will be an impeccable way to welcome in the festive season.

Your ticket price includes entry and all your tastings for the day. Upon entry you'll receive a glass for the day and then you can make your way around the various tasting tables, each with their own unique sparkling wines and stories.

When: Saturday 24th November 2018
Time: 1pm to 4pm
Where: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St. Sydney CBD
Tickets:    $35 for members (CLICK HERE);    $45 for guests (CLICK HERE)

We will be tasting Champagne & Sparkling from these Winery's and labels on the day

Champagne Deutz 

Lino Ramble Pet Nats (Fiano & Nero d’Avola)

Freeman Pet Nat (Rondinella)

Caledonia Blanc de Blancs Ancestral Method

Ziro Prosecco Brut NV 

Canella Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene 2016 

Ca Dei Zago Prosecco Col Fondo 2016 

Enrico Gatti Franciacorta Brut NV 

Lini Lambrusco NV 

Marcarini Moscato d Asti 2017 

Dawning Day Pet Nat 2018

Jarretts Sparkling NV

Jarretts Prosecco NV

Tertini Blanc de Blanc 2012

Tertini Blanc de Blanc 2016

Champagne Gremillet Brut Rose NV

Champagne Gremillet Blanc de Noirs NV

Jete Sparkling Cuvee NV

Jete Sparkling Rose NV

Jete Grand Vintage

Delamere Sparkling Cuvee

Delamere Sparkling Rose

Delamere Sparkling Cuvee 2014

Delamere Sparkling Blanc de Blanc 2012

Airlie Bank Sparkling

Punt Road Sparkling

Stefano Lubiana Sparkling

Hattingley Valley Rose

Champagne Jaquesson 741 NV

Orsi Sa Vito Pignoletto Sui Lieviti 2016 

Carolina Gatti Bolle Corsare NV 

Carolina Gatti Tredicisette NV 

We reserve the right to change the lineup depending on availability

Posted: 11/10/2018
Brand New Lucy M Release!

Hey Wine Drinkers,

This is one of the most exciting releases I've been anticipating this year. Anton Van Klopper produces some of the best natural wines across the globe, he is extremely passionate about wines of the purest form with all of his wines being vinified without any additions whatsoever.

With fruit of the highest quality, farmed without any harmful chemical substances, this winemaking allows Anton's wines to be expressive, wild, and all around delicious!

Tasting through this release with Anton, I was seriously impressed. The wines are lower in alcohol, retaining fantastic acid and freshness. These are exceptional natural wines that are made to be enjoyed, bright and juicy. 

Lucy M Cabernet Franc 2018



Carbonic fermented cabernet franc grown on petrified schist and aged in Jarra wood 2400L Foudre. The franc is luscious rich and has a very subtle.

Lucy M Out of Control 2018



It amazes me the pinot noir can be so delicate and light and have so much beauty. This wine is out of control.

Lucy M Pinot Gris Pet Nat 2018



A light sparking pink wine from pinot gris. The gris is from soils on black schist and goes directly into bottle near the end of primary ferment. It is disgorged and has a light sparks and pretty persimmon characters.

Lucy M Pinot Blanc 2018



While bunch pressed Pinot Blanc grown on petrified schist and fermented and aged in ceramic eggs. It is a lean precise wine.

Lucy M Sangiovese 2018



Carbonic fermented Sangiovese grown on petrified schist aged in a small 1300L 80year old Foudre. It is bright, spicy and rustic

Lucy M Wildman Blanc 2018



Wildman Blanc is Sauvignon Blanc grown on sandy clay, fermented open with whole bushed and occasionally foot trodden then aged in vitrified ceramic eggs. It is an orange wine with tight tannic structure.

Lucy M Gamay 2018



Gamay grown on petrified schist. Carbonic fermented for 18days and aged in 6 year 2000L old french oak Foudre. The wine is light delicate and etherial.

Lucy M Sauvignon Blanc 2018



Grown in black sandy soil over slate. Whole bunched pressed Sauvignon Blanc, aged on 30year old 4500L Foudre, a tight textural wine with subtle savouriness.

Lucy M Vin de Soif Gamay 2018



Early harvested Gamay carbonic fermented for a short time and aged in Enox to be a super bright pretty light rose.

Lucy M Gris de Florette Rose 2018



Juice fermented on skins and Stalks to make a pretty light pink wine.

Please note, the wines made by Anton Von Klopper – and the farm which he owns – will be referred to as Lucy M in all communication by The Oak Barrel moving forward.

Posted: 26/09/2018
Warm Weather, Fun Bubbles

 Hey Wine Drinkers, 


 With a string of great weather here in Sydney, the whole Oak Barrel's wine team has happily slurping down a range of great sparkling wines. This week we've hand picked 6 of our favourite new arrivals to the shop from Aussie soils and beyond. 

From Australia we've welcomed the 2018 Delinquente Tuff Nut and Weeping Juan Pet Nats, and brand new 2018 Yetti and the Kokonut pet nat also. All tasting stunning and great to see our Aussie producers knocking it out of the park.

From further abroad Claus Preisinger's, one of Austria's top biodynamic producers, St Laurent Ancestral has returned alongside Alessandro Viola's (Sicily) spectacular Blanc de Blanc cuvee and Spanish natural winemaking icon Mariano Taberner's delicious 'Enjoy Ancestral'

Enjoy Ancestral Cueva by Mariano 17

Get ready because the next cuvee of creative brilliance from Valencian super star Mariano Taberner is ready to go.
The second wine we're releasing from Mariano's outstanding set of 2017s is the Enjoy Ancestral and it's tasting like a supple, fruity dream.

Mariano adores making new cuvees each year from his limestone dominated vineyards around the village of La Portera, just west of Valencia, and in 2017 he has made 'Enjoy' and 'Enjoy' Ancestral.

Both cuvees are made with white grapes, Macabeo and Tardana, and then with a small addition of Bobal lees. The white fruit is slowly pressed, extracting just a little colour and then the additon of the deeply coloured red lees makes a wine that is pure peach.

The 2017 Enjoy Ancestral was blended before being run to bottle where it finished fermentation, prior to being disgorged. It's now a round, fruity and perfectly summery diamond.

I keep talking about this, but I'm just so deeply fascinated by the effect of these incredible, young limestone soils on finished wines - they really do make for more-ish drinking and have been doing so for almost two thousand years. This D.O. Utiel-Requena is based on some of the earliest recognised terroir in Europe!

- Notes from Campbell Burton

Delinquente Weeping Juan Pet Nat 2018

Naturally sparkling, it's unfiltered but light, delicious, and so much fun. Spritzy and yeasty, with bracing acidity bouncing off sweet dark plums and berries, this ragtag blend of grapes from the Riverland is sure to bless your palate but maybe it'll get you into some trouble too.

Delinquente Tuff Nutt Pet Nat 2018

From the winery: Originally from Puglia, the boot heel of Italy, Bianco d'Alessano has made its new home on the sun drenched banks of the River Murray and is the only planting of the variety in Australia! Easy drinking, packed with tropical fruits - and a little spritz to make you smile - pop the top and embrace the weirdness.

Claus Preisinger St Laurent Ancestral 2016

A highly aromatic dark skinned grape variety that draws similarity to Pinot, Claus' interpretation is meaty and raw, juicy and wild. Think black tea meets forest fruit. While St Laurent is absolutely everywhere in Austria, it remains a highly underrepresented grape variety here in Australia. We're proud to bring in one of the best examples we've come across in some time, made with patience and minimal sulphur.

Very light rosé touch, on the nose with white currant, some peach and mango, discreet and charming, a light green spice comes to some coriander, cool and fresh. On the palate very creamy and subtle perlage, fine and light, with a juicy acidity, again peach, mint and lychee, fresh fruit dominates the palate, a fine sparkling wine without yeasts and with a lot of drinking flow!

Alessandro Viola Blanc de Blanc Metodo Classico 

Alessandro Viola was fascinated in wine from an early age. His father was a grape grower and after a few vintages of self-teaching he decided to get a formal education and study oenology. The idea that nothing needed to be added or taken away from the wine if the grapes, soil and winemaking was exact and done well. After his university degree he worked in the north of Italy and then for a larger winemaker on Mt Etna, however he never forgot the wines he had made before, without anything added and made by hand. He cultivates 7 hectares of organic vines in the north-western part of Sicily near Alcamo. We are delighted to be bringing Alessandro’s hand made wines to Australia. His style is unique and his commitment to organic practices and no additions is something to behold.

Yetti and the Kokonut Pet Nat 2018

2018 started with a heat wave in early January and all the vines in South Australia felt it. We bank on this vineyard in the southern Barossa as our first pick of the season and a good guide for what to expect that vintage. We have picked it this year on 28th of January and were very happy when the fruit came off. Like last year, this Pet Nat is 50% pinot blanc, 50% pinot meunier picked from the same vineyard on the same day. The pinot meunier is always a touch riper then the pinot blanc.

Definitely less explosive then last year!!! Very happy with result.
Fruit upfront, very pretty first and second palette, driven by red fruit like blue berry, black berry and white over hanging flowers characters. Best to be enjoyed on a sunny day in the park with your best friends


Posted: 19/09/2018