Nick Brown’s top 5 wines
to pop away in a dark place
Fourth-generation wine grower Nick Brown has every reason to celebrate. His family’s winery All Saints Estate marks its 150th anniversary this month, an extraordinary milestone confirming the Wahgunyah landmark as one of Australia’s oldest wineries. Together with his siblings Eliza and Angela (below), Nick has much planned for the sesquicentennial weekend on May 3 & 4, 2014.
The Browns are relative newcomers to All Saints, buying the landmark winery in Wahgunyah on the banks of the Murray River in 1992. The original Scottish owners George Sutherland Smith and John Banks started growing vines in 1864, in the midst of a gold rush in Victoria’s north-east. Just nine years later, All Saints Estate won Australia’s first gold medal for winemaking at the London International Exhibition.
The three dynamic Brown siblings inherited the estate when their father Peter passed away in 2005. Peter was one of the original Brown Brothers of Milawa.
Visitors to the estate during May will be able to see historic memorabilia and photographs in the cellar door, while tasting All Saints’ precious 100-year-old Museum Muscat and Museum Muscadelle ($1000 a bottle) and the family’s new Antique Label range – the Old Vine Shiraz ($69) picked from vines planted in 1920 and the French-style Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre ($42) – fermented in the estate’s original wax-lined vats and pressed in an 1883 wooden basket press.
Like any wine maker, Nick is proud of his own vintages, but he also enjoys collecting wines for his personal cellar. These are his top 5 picks for popping away in a cool, dark place for a few years…
1. Dominique Portet 2008 ‘Andre’ ($150)
This wine is a beautiful blend of Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Heathcote Shiraz. It’s built to age and has been touched by a Frenchman (wine maker Dominique Portet) so it’s full of style.
2. Wendouree 2000 Shiraz/Malbec ($67-$80)
My Mum introduced me to this wine years ago. Although it’s great when young, it develops gracefully and shows pretty aromatics right through its lifespan.
3. Tamar Ridge Riesling 2013 ($16-$20)
From cool climate Tassie, this delicious white is crisp and aromatic when young but when cellared for a few years it changes personality to become more complex and rich in style. The high natural acidity assists in its longevity.
4. Jasper Hill 2009 ‘Emily’s Paddock’ ($94-$143)
This shiraz/cabernet franc is big and bold when young but has great aromatics and will reward you well when cellared by becoming silky smooth. Perfect for an open fire during winter.
5. Lightfoot and Sons 2012 Chardonnay ($24)
From Victoria’s Gippsland, a relatively new region, this is a subtle wine when young but develops in the bottle beautifully, providing rich flavours of melon and peach.