Each fortnight, a panel of Liquor Barons wine experts meet to taste and review thirty to forty wines in an extensive blind tasting. The wines are discussed after each bracket with all points shared, recorded and collated in order to provide you with a selection of wine chosen on merit, not label or price, and presented to you each quarter in our catalogue On the Vine.

We offer you this guide of Liquor Barons’ top reviewed wines; ranging for $11.99 to $33.99 per single bottle and have included a tasting note about each for your enjoyment.

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A note from Rod

We’ve gone from overcoats to bathers in a week. Where was spring this year? Notwithstanding the weather, we have a great range of table wines for you here. There are some exciting whites; a very good rosé and smart red wines. Included are two pinots from the Yarra Valley, which are light, subdued and not juicy fruit bombs. We like them. We’ve also included an emerging white variety, a grüner veltliner (pronounced grew-ner velt-leaner). It’s an Austrian grape and for that reason, won’t be grown in our warmer regions. It can tolerate warm days but particularly enjoys chilly nights and therefore does well in the Adelaide Hills, Canberra and Tasmania.

It’s sometimes fermented in oak and aged in barrels to give it extra structure and complexity, but is mainly seen as a stainless-steel fermented, fruit-driven style. It’s a food wine and also capable of aging well in the bottle. Without your lederhosen on, you’ll probably find it tough to get your tongue around the name grüner veltliner, so do as the winemakers do, call it gru-ve (groovy).

Zum Wohl!
Rod Properjohn



WHITE WINE SELECTION

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Cullen 2016 Margaret River
Mangan Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

Vanya Cullen injects a lot of her own personality  into this wine from the Mangan vineyard and it shows winning a Two Hat rating from the 2018 Good Food Guide in recent months. Cullen was one of only two restaurants to achieve the rating in WA. Notice an inherent grassy and lemony personality of the grapes and an integrated nutty texture and complexity of oak fermentation. Drinkable now, or lock away for a few years and reap further benefit. 

$29.99 single
$26.99 each in any six

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Thompson Estate 2016 Margaret River
Chardonnay

A brilliant straw-green in the glass and the aromatics are redolent of peach and citrus with a little smoky oak. The palate is a wealth of information, there’s the inherent citrus fruit, nuttiness of oak, dry mineral texture, excellent length and a tart acid finish. Needs a couple of years to integrate and then it will totally seduce you.

 

$26.99 single
$24.99 each in any six


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Rieslingfreak 2017
No 4 Reverence of Riesling Eden Valley

John Hughes’s (no, not the car man) ambition is to make the best riesling he can, whether it be dry, sweet, sparkling or fortified. He’s doing well and this vintage in S.A. promises to be the greatest of his short career. No 4 is an Eden Valley wine and is austere and dry with lime juice, spice and teeth-rattling acidity. It’s in for the long haul.

$21.99 single
$19.99 each in any six

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Turkey Flat Vineyards 2017
Barossa Valley Rosé

This label has a fine track record and the latest vintage has all the attributes we enjoy in rosé. Light colour, freshness, cool in the mouth (low alcohol), relatively dry and a stimulating finish, which endear it to light summer luncheon dishes. The presentation is snappy as well.

$21.99 single
$19.99 each in any six

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Sidewood 2017
Sauvignon Blanc Adelaide Hills 

Trophy winner at Royal Melbourne and it’s a tough gig to win a gold medal there. A trophy is special. Fruit and balance are the key to this wine. Tropical fruit, lemon, freshly mown grass and a lovely finish enhance the mouthfeel. Serve with a crisp green salad and a quality goat’s cheese over lunch. 

$18.99 single
$16.99 each in any six


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Rocky Gully 2017
Riesling
Frankland River

This is the bargain riesling of the year from Frankland River. Fresh lime juice and apple flavours are topped up with the fragrance of citrus blossom and the wine is beautifully balanced by fruit sweetness. Sensational drinking this summer especially with light seafoods.  
 

$17.99 single
$16.99 each in any six

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Ad Hoc 2017 Straw Man
Sauvignon Blanc Semillon
Margaret River

From Margaret River, this youngster is youthful and bright straw in the glass with a fresh lemongrass aroma and a delightful long palate. The fruit is a little reserved and marries well with the texture and lively acidity on the palate. Great food wine, especially with quickly seared squid pieces. 

$21.99 single
$19.99 each in any six

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Hahndorf Hill 2017
White Mischief Grüner Veltliner Adelaide Hills

A citrusy lollypop nose and a vibrancy of stone fruit, lemon and spice, drive this wine to a minerally dry finish. There’s an abundance of youthful fruit flavour here. Great addition to your summer drinking and dynamite with many fish or white meat dishes. Impress your friends with this emerging variety.

$21.99 single
19.99 each in any six


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Urlar 2016
Sauvignon Blanc Gladstone NZ

From Gladstone, north of Wellington and this location identifies different characters than you’ll find in Marlborough savvy. You won’t see tropical fruit or gooseberry, but more fruit sweetness at the start and a savoury herbal spine stretching long in the mouth to a very dry finish.

$23.99 single
$21.99 each in any six

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42 Degrees South 2016
Pinot Grigio
Tasmania

There are no surprises when a respectable pinot grigio pops up and we find it’s from Tassie, it’s a variety that loves a cold climate. There are fresh crunchy pears here, nectarine, some nuttiness, good acidity and a dollop of sweetness. Perfect with the local salmon gravlax.
 
$24.99 single
$22.99 each in any six

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Howard Vineyard 2016
Adelaide Hills
Pinot Gris

Reminiscent of stone fruit – pear, peach and then some citrus and apple. It’s light in body, long in the mouth and has enough austerity and acidity to enhance a creamy pasta dish. The cool Adelaide Hills seems suited to this Italian variety. Drink while it’s youthful. 

$22.99 single
$19.99 each in any six

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Sittella 2016
Margaret River Reserve Chardonnay

Although domiciled in the Swan Valley, Sittella has a vineyard in Wilyabrup and it provides some smart chardonnay fruit for this serious reserve wine. The wine has peach, grapefruit and melon beautifully interspersed with nutty textures, mealy characters and minerality. Fine young chardonnay that will age well over a few years.

$31.99 single
$28.99 each in any six



RED WINE SELECTION

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Faber Vineyard
2016 Malbec Ferguson Valley

From the beautiful Ferguson Valley east of Bunbury, this is surprisingly savoury and middleweight for a John Griffith’s red - he likes them big, bold and beautiful. The wine’s bright ruby in colour, has cherry, tobacco leaf and a spicy lift that stretches to a cleansing finish. The tannins are firm and add to the structure. Onya Griffo! 

$24.99 single
$22.99 each in any six

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2015 West Cape Howe Book Ends
Cabernet Sauvignon

A consistent quality performer from mature vines at Mount Barker in the Great Southern and at an attractive price. There is varietal blackberry fruit, a herbal lift, drying tannins, balanced oak and cleansing acidity. Will drink well over the next few years especially with some charred beef ribs.

$26.99 single
$24.99 each in any six


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Mac Forbes 2016
Yarra Valley Pinot Noir

Low profile and chaste. Light in appearance and very quiet on the nose, it builds momentum in the mouth with red berry, spice, structural tannins and nuttiness. Best with a roasted bird – guinea fowl, goose or turkey. And it’s not long to Christmas.

$29.99 single
$27.99 each in any six

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Hentley Farm 2016
Villain & Vixen Barossa Valley Shiraz

Clever label here, it says it offers an elegant red and not the blockbuster shiraz many consumers expect from the Barossa. It has good tannins, impressive blueberry fruit and richness, regional traits no doubt, but without the weight and intensity of many of its peers. Give it a bash.

$23.99 single
$21.99 each in any six

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Georges Duboeuf 2015
Beaujolais – Villages (Fr)

Here’s one of the prettiest wine labels you’ll see on our shelves and the wine itself is a rounded, elegant style, a gentle red wine with lovely juicy fruit and soft tannins. Chill it down a little over the warmer months ahead and it’ll be magic on Christmas Day, whatever you are serving. 

$20.99 single
$18.99 each in any six


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Dandelion 2015
Lioness of McLaren Vale Shiraz

Typical warm region shiraz here with ripe plum, mulberry, cherry, cinnamon, vanilla  - all Christmas cake characters and a dollop of chocolate adds some generosity to the flavour.  If drinking this and other reds over our hot summer, chill slightly for more enjoyment. 17 degrees is ideal for this wine.

$22.99 single
$19.99 each in any six

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Three Dark Horses 2016
Grenache McLaren Vale

If you’ve had a few dark horses let you down over the recent Spring Racing Carnival, this package won’t, it’s a winner. From 80 year old bush vines in the McLaren Vale, it is plump and intense with very ripe fruit and has a chalky tannin finish. Terrific with some fat juicy sausages char-grilled on the barby this summer.

$21.99 single
$19.99 each in any six

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Artwine 2015 ‘Leave Your Hat On’ Montepulciano Clare Valley

This Clare Valley red is lively with red berries, plum and garden-fresh herbs. It’s medium weighted with a good length of palate, chalky tannins and a savoury edge. It’s a modern Oz red wine. Aussies love to use nicknames for almost everything and affectionately call this Italian variety Monty.

$33.99 single
$29.99 each in any six


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Empirica by Castelli 2014
Uvaggio GSM Great Southern

Mid brick red colour with vibrant aromatics and squishy fruits across the palate, aided by some savoury spice and a smidge of earthiness. Gritty tannins add to the structure. The aim here is to emulate a Rhone blend of GMS and Castelli have done pretty well from cool Great Southern fruit. 

$28.99 single
$26.99 each in any six

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Rocca Ventosa 2016
Terre di Chieti Sangiovese (It)

You must open this when you next serve your favourite pizza. Bright ruby in colour with red berries and spice with a savoury middleweight palate that lingers to a satisfying finish. A screwcap is a definite plus on imported wines. This is as fresh and delectable as a Neapolitan pizza straight out of the oven..

$11.99 single
$10.99 each in any six

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Journey Wines 2016
Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 

This is a very pale ruby colour with distinctive cherry fruit balanced by some gentle spicy oak and fine tannins. The flavours linger deliciously to a cleansing dry finish. Absolutely brilliant with Peking duck. Chill slightly and serve at 15 degrees for optimum enjoyment.

$32.99 single
$29.99 each in any six

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Torzi Matthews 2015
Schist Rock Barossa Shiraz

Hey, for those who indulge in ripe red wines we haven’t forgotten you. This is a cracker at a bargain price. It’s generously fruited, spicy, has sweet vanillan oak, gentle tannins and a soft finish. It’s a modern Barossa shiraz that will suit the nostalgic Barossa consumers, as well as the new kids on the block.

$21.99 single
$19.99 each in any six



You'll find on the vine wines at these stores

Liquor Barons Carlisle
88 Bishopgate Street
P: 08 9361 1335

Liquor Barons Claremont
12 Ashton Avenue
P: 08 9384 6458

Liquor Barons Dalkeith
133 Waratah Avenue
P: 08 9386 8749

Liquor Barons East Fremantle
48 George Street
P: 08 9339 3037

Liquor Barons Herdsman
Shop 5, 1 Flynn Street
P: 08 9387 4222

Liquor Barons Marmion
Shop 16, 19 Sheppard Way
P: 08 9447 6744

Liquor Barons Mosman Park
2A Stuart Street
P: 08 9384 2804

Liquor Barons Nedlands
Shop 27, Broadway Fair 88 Broadway
P: 08 9386 6093

Liquor Barons Ocean Reef
Shop 5, Ocean Reef Shopping
Centre, Marina Boulevard
P: 08 9307 6487

Liquor Barons Swanbourne
103 Claremont Crescent
P: 08 9384 2111

Liquor Barons Wembley Downs
Shop 1, 11 Bournemouth Crescent
P: 08 9245 2484

Please Note: On the Vine Spring Edition runs from 1 December 2017 to 28 February 2018.
While stocks last. Pictures for Illustration purposes only.
Prices may vary in country areas. Some products available only at selected stores.