The Mudgee Region is the third largest grape-growing region in NSW and one of the oldest wine regions in the state.
This May, Pyrmont Festival has returned for the seventh consecutive year with a giant 10-day program which showcases the best that this stunning region has to offer.
The Wine Pig popped along to experience both the country charm of the Mudgee wine region and meet some of the most iconic winemakers from the area.
Here were our highlights.
Bunnamagoo Estate Wines: This fabulous winery focuses its efforts on individual and traditionally-made wines, with the grapes sources from its two vineyards both in and nearby to Mudgee. The very friendly Tom talked us through the bottled they’re most proud of – and for the rest, we have an excuse to take a trip!
Top picks: The 2014 Chardonnay was a clear favorite for The Wine Pig. The old French barrel fermentation alongside the traditional winemaking method really brings out the delicate oaky stonefruit flavours.
Burnbrae Wines: One of the oldest wineries in Mudgee, with the lovely Trine and Andy having recently taken over the vineyard from her parents Tony and Jill, and its cracking wines make it a standout in the region. They’ve got a brilliant selection of wines, ranging from a fruity and citrusy Pinot Gris right down to a spicy Shiraz… and even some beer.
Top picks: The 2014 Shiraz is spicy with some subtle oak and plenty of dark berries.
Di Lusso Estate: Mudgee’s iconic and extremely wonderful Di Lusso Estate produces a fantastic range of Italian-inspired wines. Any visitors should definitely swing by the stunning cellar door and absorb the views of the valleys while sipping on some wine. And for those who maybe want to stay a little closer to home should pop over to their stall at this weekend’s event – marvel over the wine and say hi to Rob!
Top picks: Di Lusso’s 2014 Sangiovese is light and supple with lashings of sweet raspberry and cherry. Delcious!
Huntington Estate: Back in 1969 Bob Roberts shoved a few thousand sticks in the ground and hoped they would grow. And it worked! Huntington Estate has an impressive collection of both the whites and reds, with something to suit every type of wine enthusiast. The Wine Pig has been lucky enough to sample a few of their wines in the past and it’s wonderful to see how they always continue to develop and impress further.
Top picks: If you’re looking for something a little different, the juicy, oaky 2015 Semillion Chardonnay is a fantastic pick and certainly one of our favorites.
Moothi Estate: Boasting one of the highest cellar doors across the wine region, Moothi Estate’s sundrenched grapes have given a wonderfully diverse collection – across three collections – of fabulous estate-only grown wines.
Top picks: The 2012 Moothi Estate Chardonnay is crisp and fresh but balanced beautifully with a creamy texture muddled in with mild oak.
Petersons of Mudgee: A swan around a Mudgee-based wine festival wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Jamie at the excellent Petersons of Mudgee. We’ve been lucky to be able to swing by the cellar door a couple of times before, and these wines never fail to delight and excite the palate. We highly recommend a visit to both the stall and the cellar door!
Top picks: The light and incredibly cleansing 2015 Verdelho is packed with tropical and citrus fruits while the elegantly smooth 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is packed full of black juicy berries and dark chocolate notes.
Robert Stein: The iconic Robert Stein produces some exceptional wines, making winemaker Jacob somewhat of a celebrity of the region. It’s trademark Riesling is one of the most talked about wines from the whole area and even challenges the best of the best from Australia’s classic Clare and Eden Valley region. And what’s even better is he doesn’t stop there, the whole range is outstanding and every wine needs to be sampled.
Top picks: The crisp 2015 Riesling was obviously a highlight with its citrus tones and touch of sweetness. Meanwhile The Wine Pig is also a big lover of, and can highly recommend, the newly-released rich and bold 2012 Reserve Cabernet.
Slowfox Wines: The fresh and vibrant Slowfox Wines handpick and handmake all their wines. The boutique winemakers haven’t yet opened their own cellar door, but its close on the horizon and we’re excited to pop in for a visit when its up an running… especially to taste some of Slowfox Wine’s highly anticipated Malbec!
Top picks: These guys are wonderfully proud of their lovely 2012 & 2013 Blends – Merlot (50%), Cabernet (40%) and Petit Verdot (10%) – and we were also pretty bowled over by the spicy, fruity 2014 Shiraz.
As Australia’s iconic wine, Shiraz continues to go from strength to strength. There are at least 25 different wine regions which produce the excellent varietal – from the infamous Barossa Valley in South Australia to Queensland’s Granite Belt or Tasmania’s Tamar Valley, the variations are huge.
This much-loved blockbuster wine is a mammoth export for Australia, shipping all over the world, is sometimes mistaken for being super-ripe and jammy when in reality, a fantastic Aussie Shiraz screams elegance in every aspect from the medium-bodied tannins to the spicy but smooth notes.
The Wine Pig wants to offer a huge congratulations our top 5 Shiraz wines, and their producers, which have all managed to blow us with their varied and equally delicious versions of what is truly an amazing wine.
For the Shiraz lover in all of us.
Clonakilla – 2014 Hilltops Shiraz
A February head wave in 2014 intensified the sugars, colours and flavours in the grapes in the Canberra region meaning the 2014 version of this delicious wine is the ripest and the blackest since the epic 2009 vintage.
But there is no complaining here!!
The wine is spicy and vibrant with black cherry notes yet mature, with its firm fine tannins and smooth structure.
Kaesler – ‘The Bogan’ Reserve Shiraz Vintage 2012 Barossa Valley
The Barossa Valley is famous for its big, bold reds, and Kaesler’s wines are no exception.
It’s full-bodied and brave with lashings of black cherry complemented by full ripe plums with a sprinkle of dark chocolate spiciness to keep your tastebuds standing to attention.
Anyone looking for a smooth, sophisticated Shiraz HAS to sample this beauty!
Lou Miranda Estate – Golden Lion Shiraz, Vintage 2014 Barossa Valley
The very dark and intense purple colour was surprising at first, but also refreshing.
The robust spicy and peppery notes and full dark fruit quickly blew The Wine Pig away, as did the hints of rich dark licorice.
This wine was a sheer delight to drink, so much so that we made a conscious effort to sip slowly and really take in the deliciousness which is this great Shiraz.
It’s warm and inviting like a big hug by your favorite jumper on a cold day, and elegant enough to be a treat but smooth enough to be enjoyed on any occasion. Great work!
Huntington Estate – 2009 Special Reserve Shiraz
The 2009 version of Huntington Estate’s Special Reserve Shiraz is right up there with the best of the rest – an amazing feat for a Mudgee-based vineyard!
It’s complex and exciting with strong purple-red hues – it’s juicy and deep with some earthy notes and smooth, fine tannins.
Huntington Estate themselves promise it’s excellent in the cellar, with the ability to age even further for another 15 or so years, or its beautiful to drink now.
Gemtree Vineyards – 2013 Ernest Allan McLaren Vale Shiraz
From Barossa’s smaller neighbor, McLaren Vale, this is everything a wine-lover could want in a Shiraz – punchy, fragrant, medium-bodied and delicious with a silky smooth finish.
And as if it could even get any better… ALL of Gemtree’s wines are organic and biodynamic.
And the name… Wait… what? Well we can vouch for Gemtree here, this wine is literally ernest, and we LOVE it!