Tasting notes: Enjoy Best's Wines direct from the cellar door »

Wines with over 150 years of family love behind them

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Outside the Stable at Best's Great Western Vineyard

Outside the Stable at Best's Great Western Vineyard [©Best's Wines Pty Ltd]

Bin 1 Shiraz - Best's Wines, Great Western, Victoria
Best's Great Western commemorative book - celebrating 150 years
Cellar Door - Best's Wines, Great Western, Victoria
Best's winemaker Viv Thomson

 

Best's Great Western is one of the country's oldest vineyards, stretching back over 150 years. It's also one of Australia's oldest and continuously family-owned and operated wineries. Over this time, Best's has developed a reputation for crafting extraordinary wines with a penchant for longevity. 

At the cellar door in Victoria's Grampians region, this history is proudly displayed and you can even take a self-guided tour of the cellars below.  It's a fascinating glimpse into how wine has been made over the last 150 years and the people who built this iconic winery.

Of course, a cellar door is also for tasting and it's where you can savour the fruits of all that history in a glass. Here are some of the superb wines available to try and perhaps linger over, in our view, in one of Australia's most authentic cellar doors. 

 

2015 Great Western Sparkling Shiraz

Best’s Great Western Sparkling Shiraz was re-introduced at Best’s in 2006 after almost 20 years of absence. The sparkling shiraz style is synonymous with Great Western and has been made in the region since the early 1900s.

Best’s Sparkling Shiraz epitomises the regional characteristics with plenty of spice and plummy fruit characters. The base wine is left on yeast lees in bottle for 22 months or more and disgorged in the traditional method. The dosage liqueur for this wine contains a small quantity of very old Best’s Liqueur Muscat that gives the wine an added layer of interest and complements the style.

The wine is very dark purple with a ruby hue and creates a a rocky, but creamy purple mousse upon pouring and a fine persistent bead. The bouquet is a deeply scented nose of potpourri, bread dough, blackberries, pistachio nuts and blood orange. It's layered and complex.

On the palate is a rich and opulent mouthfeel with a creamy effervescence. The dark blue and plum flavours are held by silky tannins and an orange rind tang at the finish.

Alc/vol 14.5%

RRP A$35.00 (750ml bottle direct from Best's)

 

2016 LSV Shiraz Viognier

Inspired by the great shiraz wines of the Northern Rhone in France. This wine contains shiraz from the best elevated vineyards in Great Western and is co-fermented with a small amount of viognier. The viognier helps brighten the colour, lift the aromatics and polish the shiraz flavours on the palate.

The wine is dark red with a garnet hue with lifted notes of exotic spices, peat smoke, peppercorns and stone fruits. On the palate is a rhythmic symphony of plush blue fruit flavours and tangy spices with a graceful finish reminiscent of crushed velvet.

Cellaring: this wine will soften and form more complex aromatics and flavours over the next 15 years. 

Alc/vol 14.5%

RRP A$35.00 (750ml bottle direct from Best's)

 

2017 Great Western Bin No.1 Shiraz

Best’s Great Western as a 'shiraz house’ has gathered experience with the variety through the legacy of Best’s long winemaking history dating back to 1866. Bin 1 Shiraz is the wine that often gives people an introduction to the regional style of Great Western Shiraz.

Made predominantly from Best’s own vineyards and meticulously crafted with the same attention to detail as their icon wines, Bin 1 Shiraz represents the essence of Best’s winemaking ideals and the uniqueness of the Great Western region.

Bin 1 is a classic, cool climate, aromatic shiraz, made in a style that is perfumed, spicy and peppery, yet well balanced with no overt dominance of alcohol. It’s a great match with food, particularly dishes like spring lamb.

The wine is a deep magenta with a garnet hue and the bouquet an explosion of aromas – pepper, aniseed, cocoa, rose petals, plum and black olives – all vying for attention. A background of bay leaf and nutty oak adds to the complexity.

On the palate, plush and rounded red and blue fruit flavours leap forward and circle the tongue. The medium-bodied richness is highlighted with pops of savoury pepper then drawn out to a long finish with fine powdery tannins.

Cellaring: This vibrant and finely structured wine is great to enjoy now with food but will soften and gain complexity over the next 10 years.

Food match: ideal to drink with rare eye fillet steak and all the trimmings or the afore-mentioned spring lamb.

Alc/vol 13.5%

RRP A$25.00 (750ml bottle direct from Best's)

 

 2017 Great Western Cabernet Sauvignon

One of the greatest things about the Great Western wine region is its ability to successfully grow a broad range of grape varieties.

Shiraz may be the regional hero, but cabernet sauvignon from the area can lay almost equal claim. Best’s Great Western Cabernet Sauvignon is a fine example of the Great Western regional style, showing rich mocha and berry fruit with a solid mid-palate weight thanks to superbly concentrated fruit.

This wine is very dark red with dense crimson hue. The bouquet has high-noted varietal aromas of blackcurrant and tobacco leaf with subtle tones of cedar and cashew.

On the palate dense mid-weighted plush, black fruits with assertive but smooth and velvety tannins giving direction and length.

Cellaring This youthful wine is a great expression of the variety in Great Western. It is possible to enjoy this wine now with food, but it will soften and gain complexity over the next 5-20 years.

Food match: the perfect accompaniment to a Chinese spiced roasted pork belly.

Alc/vol 13.5%

RRP A$25.00 (750ml bottle direct from Best's)

 

2017 Gentle Blend (Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat, Gewurtztraminer)

The blend is inspired by the great classic white blends of the noble white wine varieties in Alsace, France. Made from grapes sourced off our own riesling blocks with pinot gris, gewurtztraminer and muscat from a passionate local grower.

Best’s also has a long history of producing superb blended aromatic white wines including some of these varieties.

In colour the wine is very pale straw with silver hints with a bouquet of lifted aromas of lychees, pears, rose petals, curacao orange, cucumber and star anise.

On the palate the width and creaminess is bought by the white fruit flavours of pinot gris. This is held into line with the crisp citrus of riesling and the savoury cucumber and orange peel of the muscat.

The gewurtztraminer adds some sweet floral characters and bounces around between the other flavours. It finishes dry and begs to be tasted again.

Cellaringl: the aromatic characteristics of this wine are best appreciated in the short to medium term, but this wine will gain complexity over the next ten years or so.  Drink now to 2028.

Food match: great with spicy Asian food.

Alc/vol 11.5%

RRP A$28.00 (750ml bottle direct from Best's)

 

2017 House Block Riesling

Our House Block Riesling is made from grapes sourced off our ‘House Block’ directly behind the winery. Planted in 1978, this block typically produces highly aromatic and delicately flavoured wines.

The riesling fruit flavours were so good in 2017 that they were picked slightly earlier than usual, and separated in an amazing parcel of fruit from the House Block in order to produce a different style of riesling with a more Germanic tasting profile (often called a Kabinett style).

This wine is airy pale straw with silver hints with a bouquet of lifted lemon blossoms with hints of kaffir lime and bergamot.

On the palate there are succulent preserved lemon and lime flavours. The ball of fruit sweetness is balanced by the creamy acidity. It finishes fresh and fragrant.

Cellaring: our rieslings have previously shown an ability to gain further complexity and aged regional characters as time goes by. Drink to 2032

Food match: stinky washed rind cheese.

Alc/vol 10.0%

RRP A$35.00 (750ml bottle, direct from Best's for Best's Concongella wine club members)

 

2017 'Old Vine' Pinot Meunier

The Millers Burgundy vineyard, first planted in 1867, is made up of mostly pinot meunier and a little pinot noir. This unique vineyard block is treated with meticulous care and in good vintages this block is made into a ‘single block’ wine. The grapes are handpicked and hand sorted, hand plunged in open vats and aged in French oak barrels.

The Best’s Old Vine Pinot Meunier is the ultimate wine that speaks of place and it has a cult following, particularly in the wine community and the wine trade where people understand how rare this varietal planting is.

This decade, Best’s Great Western ‘Old Vine’ Pinot Meunier has been made in 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016 and 2017. In other years the fruit goes into the Best’s Great Western 'Young Vine' Pinot Meunier or the pinot meunier/pinot noir blend.

The wine is deep crimson with a ruby hue and has a bouquet of dried rose petal and culinary spices forming part of a deep-scented aroma.

On the palate are glacé cherries with savoury spicy notes bound in a harmonious marriage with the lingering velvet structure.

Food match: Try it with dried morel mushrooms rehydrated in melted Irish butter, tossed with a dash of cream and homemade pappardelle pasta.

Cellaring: this wine is beginning to reveal its charms, yet the old vines of pinot meunier typically produce wines that develop complexity yet retain their freshness for 20 years or more.

Alc/vol 12.5%

RRP A$45.00 (750ml bottle, direct from Best's for their Concongella wine club members)

 

VINTAGE NOTES

Vintage 2015: a moderate season with no real hot spells. Very cool nights and warm days ensured the grapes ripened fully but retained all their natural acidity. Quality is very good, but crops were reduced due to the dry weather and spring frosts.

Vintage 2016: The vineyard set off to a rapid start with ideal conditions for budburst and a warm spring for fruit set. The summer was mainly warm and dry. There were a few hot spells, and some vines suffered a little heat stress, but adequate foliage ensured the vines remained healthy. The earlier than normal vintage period provided good ripening and harvest conditions with clear warm days that cooled off at night.

Vintage 2017: fantastic winter rains set the vineyards up for ideal spring growing conditions that saw great flowering and fruit set. The mild summer conditions and long ripening period (with some timely small rain events) ensured that the fruit matured in near perfect conditions for harvest. A vintage that has more resemblance to those of the 80s and 90s than the vintages of this century.

Read more about Best's celebratory book on their 150 history here »

Regions

  • Grampians (Wine) (VIC)

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May 14th, 2019
 
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