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David Ellis

POINT scoring with Grange:
here’s a worthy investment

IF you move quickly, you’ve still a chance to grab a bottle of a Shiraz that when reviewed in this year’s The Big Red Wine Book scored just one point below the most famous Shiraz of them all, Grange.

Wine critic Campbell Mattinson and wine publisher Gary Walsh shared their knowledge on over 1000 red wines, including more than750 new releases across all prices and styles, and rated wines in the book on price, value for money and investment potential; they awarded 94-points to the Tintilla Estate Patriarch Syrah 2007, just one short of the 95 they gave to the 2005 Grange. 

And remarkably the Tintilla is priced at just $60 a bottle, even though only 100 cases were made of only the second vintage of this flagship red.

Robert and James Lusby have been making Hunter Valley Shiraz for fourteen years, and decided a few years ago to make a Tintilla “Patriarch Syrah” from the most exceptional vintages, labelling it a “Syrah” in respect to early Hunter pioneers who’d brought-in Syrah vines (that we now call Shiraz) from France.

2007 was one of those years, with drought and sunshine leading to optimal fruit conditions to make a wine with concentrated flavours and potential for great life expectancy; winemaker James says they called it “Patriarch Syrah” as his father Robert had named his wines after his children, “and it seemed only fitting that the company’s flagship wine should be named after Dad.”

The 2007 has intense dark-berry, clove, dark chocolate and Hunter sweet leather flavours, and nicely integrated oak; one to enjoy with game dishes.

ONE FOR LUNCH: YARRA Burn has launched a first-ever Victorian premium vineyards Cuvée Riche sparkling wine, a style that leans towards being luscious and honeyed and is ideal with most party-room finger-foods from cheeses and olives to dips and tapenades. At just $19.99 this is a delightful toss-it-down drop for any celebratory occasion – or a Spring Sunday brunch.


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