AustCham Wine & Cheese Night

18 March 2016 was the “AustCham Wine & Cheese Night – A Taste of Australia” at the Grand Hyatt Singapore. Bob the Minion of Wine Exchange Asia (WEA) asked me to help out at their booth pouring and helping with any sales. AustCham hold these nights a few times each year, the next one is “A Taste of Australia and New Zealand” in August 2016.

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The approach that WEA took on the night was very different to the other distributors who showed current releases from their portfolios whereas WEA showed 6 vintage Australian Reds, the feedback on the night indicated that this was a very good idea, lost count of the number of people who said we had the best booth, it was definitely the two us pouring, the term “A good face for radio” comes to mind!

The Wine

wdt_ID Wine Photo
1 Name: Henschke Keyneton Euphonium
Vintage: 2012
Region: Barossa and Eden Valleys, South Australia
Varietal: 65% shiraz, 20% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot and 5% cabernet franc
Alcohol: 14%
Colour: Vibrant deep crimson
Aroma: Cherry and blackberry with hints of spice, liquorice and possibly cedar
Flavour: Full-bodied well balanced palate with an abundance of fruit
Tannin: Fine
Finish: Long

Comment: Very popular, all of the tasting bottles were finished well before the other wines.

Always a high quality wine, good to drink now and will also replay cellaring
2 Name: Clarendon Hills Moritz
Vintage: 2007
Region: Clarendon, McLaren Vale, South Australia
Varietal: Syrah
Alcohol: 14.5%
Colour: Opaque deep crimson
Aroma: Blackberry, black pepper and spice with hints of smoke
Palate: Full-bodied combo of blackberry, pepper and spice
Tannin: Savoury
Finish: Long

Comment: Great wine, took a bit of encouragement to get people to try it, well not too much! Really like the balance and structure. A good value wine considering its quality.
3 Name: Grant Burge Meshach
Vintage: 2006
Region: Barossa Valley
Varietal: Shiraz
Alcohol: 14.5%
Colour: Deep garnet, still has a youthful vibrancy
Aroma: Blackberry, dark stone fruit, dark chocolate and spice, with a hint of mint
Palate: Full-bodied, bold fruit and spice flavours
Tannin: Firm, developing tannins
Finish: Long

Comment: Meshach is usually a great wine when given time to age and this will be no different but, IMHO, this vintage is still young. This was the wine that divided people, they either liked or disliked it, there was no middle road. Expecting this to be a great wine when it reaches maturity.
4 Name: Hazyblur Barossa
Vintage: 2004
Region: Barossa Valley, South Australia
Varietal: Shiraz
Alcohol: 15%
Colour: Deep purple
Aroma: Nice mix of blackberries, plums, black pepper and spice
Palate: Jammy full-bodied balanced palate
Tannin: Fine
Finish: Long

Comment: Not a well-known winery, surprised most people. Definitely one of the favourites. One to drink now
5 Name: Hewitson Private Cellar
Vintage: 2008
Region: Barossa Valley, South Australia
Varietal: Shiraz Mouvedre
Alcohol: 14%
Size: Magnum
Colour: Vibrant deep crimson
Aroma: Dark plum, blackberry and spice, maybe a hint of chocolate
Palate: Great balance of fruit and spice
Tannin: Savoury
Finish: Long

Comment: Great wine, was amazed at how many people were worried about the bottle size, but it was another very popular wine. Good balance of fruit and spice, with savoury tannins and luxurious long finish. This is still quite young and will repay patience, if you can wait, if not, enjoy!!
6 Name: Tahbilk Eric Steven Pubrick
Vintage: 2002
Region: Nagambie Lakes, Victoria, Australia
Varietal: Shiraz
Alcohol: 13.5%
Colour: Dark crimson
Aroma: Earthy combo of dark fruit, cherry and spice with a hint of cedar
Palate: Nice balance, full-bodied with a sweet finish, not as big as the South Australian wines
Tannin: Fine / Smooth
Finish: Long

Comment: This was least popular wine on the night. IMHO I believe that it was overpowered by the company. Known as the wine that really established Tahbilk as a producer of merit. Subsequent vintages are apparently improving, therefore they must be pretty good, as this is a very good cool climate Shiraz.

Oz’s Wine Reviews


It was an interesting night, lots of mainly educational and informative wine questions and comments, but what did surprise me was that there was one wine that did not notch up even one sale on the night, the Tahbilk.  The 2002 Tahbilk Eric Steven Pubrick Shiraz is a good wine, but seems that the South Australian wines (which are ALWAYS better than the wine from Victoria, yes I am from South Australia so might be slightly biased) which are traditionally bigger than the ones from over the border were what people were after.

I was also surprised by the significant number of people who were concerned about buying wine in a magnum. The reason was not that they had an issue with the amount of wine in the bottle but the fact that once it was opened that they would have to finish it, something about it being un-Australian to leave wine in the bottle, obviously they drink alone too often!

Ranking by Sales

The ranking, by number of sales on the night was as follows:

  1. 2012 Henschke Keyneton Euphonium Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc
  2. 2008 Hewitson Private Cellar Shiraz Mouvedre (Magnum)
  3. 2006 Grant Burge Meshach Shiraz
  4. 2007 Clarendon Hills Moritz Syrah
  5. 2004 Hazyblur Barossa Shiraz
  6. 2002 Tahbilk Eric Steven Pubrick Shiraz

My picks on the night were the 2007 Clarendon Hills Moritz and the 2008 Hewitson Private Cellar, both drinking well now and will repay patience, if you can wait.



2 thoughts on “AustCham Wine & Cheese Night

  • March 29, 2016 at 08:21

    I hate these blogs, it always leads to more memberships of wineries and more wine than I need!! Great Job Oz.

    • March 29, 2016 at 08:22

      Thanks Mate. Always glad to help the Australian Wine Industry!


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