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Hey Wine Drinkers
After much anticipation, the 2016 vintage allocation of Wendouree wines is now available.
Wendouree is considered to be one of the most mythic wineries in Australia. The winery is not open to the public and they do not have a website. Only a very limited amount of wine is produced each year and is made available through an exclusive mail ballot. Those fortunate enough to find themselves on the list are sent a hard copy order form sometime in July. Order forms are often returned with strange crayon markings, leading to conspiracy theories as to how the wines – and their lucky recipients – were selected.
Having supported Wendouree for three decades, we are one of the few wine stores in Australia to receive an annual allocation of this cult wine – something we are honoured by. Wendouree is one of Australia’s most collected wines and it is difficult to secure little more than a few bottles each vintage.
Wendouree is located in the Clare Valley, South Australia. Their vines were among some of the earliest planted in Australia in 1893. The vines were grafted from the original James Busby collection held in Adelaide's Botanical Gardens (Busby is considered the father of the Australian wine industry, bringing the first vine stock to Australia from Spain and France). Wendouree has 28 acres of vines, all dry grown, meaning that they are not irrigated. Their stone winery and cellar dates from 1914, and remains almost unchanged, including original equipment.
The vineyard was initially purchased by Alfred Percy Birks (the same A. P. Birks from the label). His son Roly Birks took over in 1917. Roly retired in 1970 and sold the business, but after a rocky few years it was purchased by the family of the current custodians, Lita and Tony Brady. The Brady’s nursed the vineyard back to health and have been creating exceptional quality wine since.
Wendouree Shiraz 2016
MAXIMUM 2 PER CUSTOMER
Hey Wine Lovers,
With less than 2 weeks to go until our Sydney Wine Fair 2018 here in store, heaps of great new wines are landing on my desk and fast making their way onto the shelves.
I was lucky enough to be able to try 2 single barrrel, limited release wines from Vinden Estate with winemaker Angus Vinden. These wines were hand selected from single barrels at the winery that stood out among the rest as premium quality with complexity and balance.
This selection showcases the best barrel of Shiraz and Chardonnay from the 2017 vintage, with the Chardonnay showing great fruit aromas through to the palate with elegant oak influence underlying on a fantastic finish. The Shiraz is an elegant and perfumed example from the Hunter Valley, with great intensity on the palate whilst still allowing for a smooth, lengthy mouthfeel. My ideal food wine.
We've also welcomed to the store 2 wines from Konpira Maru. A Verdelho and a Nebbiolo/Semillon blend graced our shelves. Minimal intervention, zero addition winemaking using fruit sourced from South Burnett in Queenland in the 2018 vintage. Ripe, super expressive wines from Alastair Reed and Sam Cook, these wines are aromatic, fruit forward, and incredibly drinkable. The Nebbiolo/Semillon blend shows great red and pink fruit, backed by subtle Nebbiolo tannins providing a lengthy finish, while the skin contact Verdelho tastes a whole bouquet of fruits, almost like a tropical island in a bottle.
With tickets going fast for Sydney Wine Fair 2018 here at the Oak Barrel, we’ve been lucky enough to lock in over 18 of our favourite winemakers, importers, personalities from across Australia. With a vast range of wines to be shown on the day, we thought we’d give you a sneak peak of who’s going to be slinging some great wines on the day.
Tickets are available now. 21st July 1:30-4pm at the Oak Barrel 152 Elizabeth St Sydney 2000
The Other Right (SA)
One of Australia’s most exciting natural wineries, showcasing what can be done with great fruit, minimal intervention winemaking to craft these vibrant, exciting, and untamed wines.
Smallfry and Sparrow and Vine (SA)
Passionately biodynamic producing incredible wild ferment, skin contact whites, and exotic red blends. Keep an eye out for the 2018 Tangerine Dream.
A stunning range of wines from just out in Mudgee. All Stuart Olsen’s wines are handmade and crafted with great passion. A perfect example of how good NSW wine can be
Good Intentions Wine Co (SA)
Making wine down in Mount Gambier on soil from an inactive volcano, Good Intentions have been on the radar of any natural wine lover in Australia for a while, these are vibrant and juicy wines expressive of the area where they were crafted.
De Salis (NSW)
From the NSW cool climate of Orange we welcome De Salis, located over 1000m in altitude and focusing on classic French varietals, this famous Orange winery is renowned for their exceptional wines.
Domaine Simha (TAS)
Quite easily some of the best wines being produced in Tasmania belong to Domaine Simha. Undoubtable passion for sourcing the best fruit across the state and impeccable winemaking lead to Nav Singh’s premium quality wines on show
Swinging Bridge (NSW)
Tom Ward is one of NSW most talented and experimental winemakers, striving for the best wines he can make every single vintage. From Pinot Gris to Shiraz, the Swinging Bridge wines have always been an Oak Barrel favourite.
Tim Ward Wines (VIC)
Tim Ward’s range of wines are vibrant and expressive, with multiple different Pet Nat’s plus some tasty still wines, he’s not afraid of pushing boundaries with unique expressions of varietals.
With some great bubbles and still wines coming out of Tasmania, Moorilla has been at the forefront of quality Tasmanian wine for a while now. With talented winemaking and being involved in the local Tasmanian scene, they are one of the hottest names across the wine scene.
JED Wine Merchants (International)
When in need of great South American Wines, The Oak Barrel turns to JED Wine Merchants. A lineup of exceptional Argentinian and Chilean wines will, without a doubt, turn up on the day.
Tom and Sally Belford have put themselves on the map with their range of wines that are incredibly unique to the terroir that they farm. Their wines are handcrafted in small batch and they pride themselves on minimal additions.
Vinden Estates (NSW)
Angus Vinden is upon the top winemakers in the Hunter Valley and NSW. With a rich history based in the Hunter and a few single barrel bottles on show, they’ll speak for themselves.
Frankly Bob Wines (NSW)
Bob Colman’s passion for zero addition winemaking caught our eye with just how good his wines were. Crafted in small amounts in Blackheath, his range of vibrant and juicy wines always has us reaching for another glass
Jordy Kay (VIC)
One of the most exciting winemakers in the natural scene at the moment is Jordy Kay, with Spring Red and Alpine Riesling being some of the funnest wines we’ve had this year it’s safe to say we are on the edge of our seats to see what he’ll do next
Lo FI Wines (International)
We are really excited to have Lo Fi on board. They hand pick wines, with a passion for organic and biodynamic farming, from across the world to bring back to Australia and share with us. They’ll be bringing some of the most exciting, small batch, natural wines from across the world.
Konpira Maru (VIC)
With a range of vibrant, minimal intervention wines on for show is Konpira Maru. Cracking natural wines out of Victoria and fun, unique expressions that will take you buy surprise.
Virtuous Vine (International)
Sourcing out France’s best organic and biodynamically farmed wines, Charlie Simpson is one of Australia’s best importers, pouring a range of unique, interesting, and tasty wines on the day.
Yetti and the Kokonut (SA)
Some of the funnest wines we’ve seen all year, pushing the boundaries of natural winemaking is Yetti and the Kokonut. The creative winemakers from South Australia have made their status with delicious wine suited to every occasion.
This week we've tasting and filling up our shelves with some delicious, minimal intervention wines from both hemispheres!
Starting off on home soil we've got a new one from a shop favourite Ephemera. One of the most interesting Negroamaro's we've ever seen. Vinified like a white wine, this pours transparent in colour in the glass but the flavour is something else. Served lightly chilled this wine is perfect with a wide variety of dishes.
Over in Austria we've welcomed an awesome organic Gruner Veltliner from Michael Grindl to the shop. Working with what he calls 'closed circuit biodynamics', Michael won't use any elements outside of what is available at the winery. He uses his own livestock to replace machinery in the winery and crafts his own barrels from a nearby forest. This is one of the most expressive Gruner Veltliner's I've tasted.
Then to France, a brand new White Clairette from the biodynamic youngsters at l'absurde genie des fleurs. Minute productions of this incredible wine have become available and we were lucky enough to get our hands on some.
New Chenin Blanc from Domaine Bobinet in Saumur, Les Gruches is a bold, and structured style of Chenin with great textural mouthfeel and powerful flavours on the palate. A complex and elegant wine all around.
Our favourites in Bergerac, Chateau Lestignac, have released an fantastic new Sauvignon Blanc. with exceptional ripe aromas that are only unique to this climate and producer, definitely a white for all weather conditions.
And lastly, a biodynamic Vouvray Pet Nat from Le Facteur. Farmed on clay and limestone at 121 metres above sea level, everything is done by hand, everything is fermented indigenously with zero additions.
So there's six new wines that I am super excited to have in the shop, and with the quality of these wines, it's exciting to see what these progressive producers are going to do in the future.
If you love organic and biodynamic French wines, we've got a handful of tickets left to our Night of Biodynamic Wine tasting with Charlie Simpson from Virtuous Vine on Wednesday the 4th of July, this will be an in depth masterclass trying a range of incredible biodynamically produced French wine, definitely one not to miss
Hey Wine Drinkers,
Rain hasn't stopped the vino rush here this week and our little wine team is flat out. Amidst all the madness we managed to find a few quiet minutes this week to sit down and revisit a few of our shop favourites, as well as a new local addition to the store 'The Beast Skin Contact Verdelho' from the Hunter Valley.
We've been enjoying the return of the Basket Range Red to the store, the South African Testalonga Baby Bandito Keep on punching Chenin, Anton van Kloppers 2017 Village of Tiers Pinot Noir, and a Pineau d'Aunis Gamay blend from one of our favourite biodynamic Loire Valley producers Laurent Saillard. Safe to say all these wines went down a treat.
It's full swing events season here at the Oak Barrel with loads of new wine tasting nights to be enjoyed. There's less than a handful of tickets left for our Natural Wine Appreciation on Tuesday and Pinot Showdown on Thursday next week. We've also have Charlie Simpson from Virtuous Vine showcasing a range of his handpicked, biodynamically farmed wines from France at our Night of Biodynamic Wine 4th of July. We'll also be cracking a few bottles of Cos d'Estournel 2006 along with a range of back vintage French and Australian wine at our Back Vintage Tasting of French and Australian Wineries on the 10th of July. Phew.
To top we're buzzing with excitement for the annual Sydney Wine Fair on the 21st of July. 20 wineries will be showing a range of wines from Australia and across the world here at the Oak Barrel and you'll have a chance to chat to the people behind these incredible wines. The full lineup of wine pouring legends is available on http://sydneywinefair.com.au/
Tickets are available here
A night of tasting some incredible back vintages of classic Australian and French wines featuring the 2006 vintage of one of St Estephe and Bordeaux’s most highly acclaimed Chateau’s ‘Cos d’Estournel’.
Cos d’Estournel was founded in 1811 by Louis Gaspard d’Estournel and is one of only 15 estates to obtain the ‘Second Growth’ ranking in the 1855 Bordeaux Wine Official Classification.
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most highly planted grapes across the world, with incredible aging potential. Wines from Cabernet have the ability to last for several decades from high quality grapes and winemaking. Cabernet aged correctly develops incredibly unique flavours never found in younger wines.
Alongside this magnificent Chateau Cos d’Estournel 2006, we will also be exploring back and current vintages of classic premium Australian wineries such as Domaine A, Yarra Yarra, Balnaves, and Mildara, as well as the current release of Goulee de Cos d’estournel, another cuvee produced by this famous estate.
Hosted by the Oak Barrel’s owner and wine collector Paul Downie and in house wine director Joe Perry, this will be a unique opportunity to taste these rare wines and discover the beauty of aged wine alongside their younger counterparts.
We will also be closing out the night with a blind pour of one of our favourite reds with the opportunity to try and guess the grape varietal, vintage, and place of origin with the closest guess being rewarded with a bottle of Chateau Climens Sauternes 2006 to take home!
Wines we will be tasting:
Stoney Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
Stoney Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Yarra Yarra Cabernets 2001
Grace Farm Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Goulee de Cos d’Estournel 2015
Balnaves The Tally Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Mildara Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Cos d’Estournel 2006
Mystery Blind Pour Wine (RRP $500)
WHAT: A Tasting of Back Vintage Wine From Cos d'Estournel and Classic Australian Wineries
WHERE: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St, Sydney 2000
WHEN: Tuesday 10 July, 6.15pm for a 6.30pm start
PRICE: Members $50 / Non-Members $60
TICKETS: [Members] [Guests]
Charlie Simpson from Virtuous Vine is one of Australia’s best importers for French organic and biodynamic wines, sourcing great quality, small winemakers from all across the country.
Charlie’s passionate about hand selecting wines that express place, respect the viticulture in farming, and encourage minimal intervention winemaking to craft unique and delicious wines.
Organic and biodynamic winemaking practices are becoming more and more common in the winemaking world today based off the research of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner. With a natural approach to making wines by giving back to earth what the earth gives to you, using holistic farming, minimal intervention, native yeasts, and no fining, filtration, or additions, the practices allow winemakers to create wines expressive of the terroir which they are grown.
With France having such a rich history in the natural wine scene throughout every region, there is certainly a lot to explore.
On Wednesday the 4th of July, we’ll have to opportunity to sit down with Charlie and explore a unique range of wines from his portfolio as he talks us through biodynamics, the importance of minimal intervention winemaking, and how it truly represents the area in which it’s farmed.
This will be a fun and informative night with 8 great wines to taste, tickets are on sale now and going fast.
The wines we'll be tasting are:
Mas De l’Escarida Fair Virar 2016 – Gamay Pet Nat (Ardeche)
Hausherr Sunngass 2012 - Riesling/Pinot Gris (Alsace)
Berrux Le Petit Tetu 2014 – Chardonnay (Burgundy)
La Pinte Savagnin 2008 – Savagnin (Arbois, Jura)
Kreydenwiess Grimaudes Rose 2016 – Grenache (Rhone Valley)
100% Cotton Brouilly 2015 – Gamay (Brouilly, Beaujolais)
Ribiera Causse Toujours 2014 – Grenache/Cinsault/Syrah (Languedoc)
Zelige Caravent Uno Scugnizzo A Ny 2014 – Alicante (Languedoc)
WHAT: A Night of Biodynamic Wines with Virtuous Vine
WHERE: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St, Sydney 2000
WHEN: Wednesday 4 July, 6.15pm for a 6.30pm start
PRICE: Members $35 / Non-Members $45
TICKETS: [Members] [Guests]
Hey Wine Drinkers,
Heading on over to Victoria, another 7 new wines graced our shelves. Introducing Yume wines to the Oak Barrel with four incredible unique expressions of some interesting varietals. Grapes are carefully sourced between the Yarra Valley and King Valley. Creative use of winemaking techniques caught our eye to produce these super tasty wines, including semi carbonic, 10 day skin contact Petit Manseng, Saperavi pressed off after only 4 hours on skins like a rose, Semillon carbonically macerated with 18 days on skins then aged under flor over winter, and Syrah made into a rose with bursting aromas suited to a decanter. Wow. Well it's been a pretty busy week with loads of great new wines land in store this week. From the Margaret River we have welcomed in the new vintage of two of our favourites from Dormilona wines, the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Chardonnay. In true Dormilona fashion these wines are wild fermented with absolutely no fining, filtration, or additives. Fantastic expressions of Western Australian natural wine.
And finally, three new premium wines sourced and made from the Denton Hill which stands alone in the middle of the Yarra Valley. With the first wine being Chardonnay, but not your typical Chardonnay, this wine is aged for 2 years without topping up the barrel, developing a flor yeast over the top. This flor yeast contributes incredible oxidized characteristics of almond and Parmigiano. We also seeing an impeccable expression of Yarra Pinot Noir, with this premium fruit grown on site. Fermented on wild yeast with no fining or filtration, this is a bold, textural expression with fantastic length. Lastly, we see Nebbiolo, made by a name we are all to familiar with 'Luke Lambert' who's craftsmanship with Nebbiolo is becoming widely famous in Australia. This wine is bright, and elegant with length and tannin to match even the boldest of dishes. It will surely age for decades.
It’s about that time again, after the roaring success of last years SOLD OUT event, we are announcing our 2018 Sydney Wine Fair held right here at the Oak Barrel on the 21st of July!
We’ve rounded up our some of the Oak Barrel’s favourite winemakers and personalities for a day of showcasing some of the best wines in Australia and across the globe. This is surely not one to miss.
With a driving focus in the natural wine scene, they’ll be pouring a huge range of organic, biodynamic, and sustainable wines with your chance to rub shoulders with the winemakers and people who are passionate these handcrafter, minimal intervention wines.
All tickets purchased allow you unlimited options for tasting these great wines with snacks provided. It’s sure to be a day of great knowledge, great wines, and great vibes as we open up the Oak Barrel’s tasting facility and get set for a buzzing afternoon, tickets won’t last long.
Hey Wine Drinkers,
As a natural wine there are very few words that you like to hear more than 'New Jauma Wines'. Well here they are. It is definitely no secret that James Erskine from Jauma is one of the most talented and passionate natural winemakers in Australia at the moment.
His commitment to minimal intervention, biodynamically practiced winemaking shows through his incredbily tasty wines. This release features 3 wines.Danby is back and juicy as ever, Grenache being a favourite of James's he does it very well, with a bit of carbonic maceration it turns into this watermelon and strawberry like juice that is just too hard to not to slurp down.
We we're also super stoked to see the newest chapter of VHS wines landed in store, incredibly creative Saperavi acidified with Davidson plums with intense aromas of dark berrys and rich herbal notes. Sam continues to impress after his first two chapter releases and quickly becoming an Oak Barrel favourite.
Saperavi acidified with Davidson plums. Fresh and fruit with loads of black fruits on the nose and palate. Amazing unique aromas with lots of herbaceous notes.
An incredibly different approach to this native Georgian grape
We are also exciting to be hosting an event around Pinot Noir. Pinot Showdown will explore a range of different wines fromall across the globe highlight the history and different winemaking methods of this historic grape. With the current interest in quality Pinot Noir tickets are currently selling quick. This event will be held in the Oak Barrel tasting room and tickets can be purchased here