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Vanya Cullen's definitive Australian six-pack

Publish Date: Not Available

Authored by: Vanya Cullen

Esteemed winemaker Vanya Cullen, of Cullen Wines in Western Australia’s Margaret River, lists six wines significant to the past, present and future of Australian wine.

Vanya Cullen's ultimate Aussie six-pack

1. 2005 Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Semillon

The 2005 Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Semillon is a unique Australian style that you won’t find anywhere else in the world – it’s particular to the Hunter Valley and to aged Australian whites.

RRP $150 | Hunter Valley | Tyrell's

2. Grosset Polish Hill Riesling

Grosset’s Polish Hill Riesling is the pinnacle of dry Australian styles with incredible acidity and ageing ability, and the fact that Jeffrey Grosset launched the screwcap in the Clare Valley with this great wine makes it even more significant.

RRP $60 | Clare Valley | Grosset

3. Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay

Leeuwin Estate has a long history with chardonnay. They’re modifying their style a little right now, but key to it are the vineyard, the quality of winemaking and the fruit power they always achieve. There are two different styles of chardonnay traversing Australia at the moment, the funky, matchstick style and the fruit-driven style, and both are as legitimate as each other. If you had to pinpoint a variety that has changed significantly over time, it would be chardonnay. We’re recognised for it around the world and under screwcap it ages beautifully.

4. Yabby Lake Block 2 Pinot Noir

Pinot noir was never really considered a wine for Australia, Burgundy was always better. But in recent years there’s been a real push to set the bar higher and understand the conditions pinot noir needs to thrive. Yabby Lake Pinot Noir is a top example of what we can achieve with the varietal.

RRP $95 | Mornington Peninsula | Yabby Lake Vineyard

5. Brokenwood Graveyard Shiraz

Shiraz is one of Australia’s best-loved varietals and the Graveyard Shiraz from Brokenwood has held its own over a long period of time, in terms of quality and style.

RRP $250 | Hunter Valley | Brokenwood

6. 2007 Woodlands Nicolas Cabernet Sauvignon

Margaret River cabernets are consistently amazing wines. Red wine quality is really about understanding how to make ripe wines with balance and a great tannin profile, and cabernet is constantly improving in terms of viticulture and treatment in the winery. Choosing the right wood and getting the tannin extraction right is making them more fruit-driven and aromatic, which makes them easier to drink now. The Woodlands Nicolas Cabernet Sauvignon is my pick to showcase this.      

RRP $240 | Margaret River | Woodlands 

*Don’t miss our video intro to defining Australian wine with Halliday Wine Companion reviewer Lak Quach.

The Defining Australian Wine series is produced with thanks to our brand partner Winery Lane, an online marketplace designed to unite wine lovers with our nation’s best independent winemakers. Watch Winery Lane’s Stephen Mobbs tackle the topic of what makes an archetypally Aussie wine.

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Special Value

Wines considered to offer special value for money.