We ask four wine pros for their cellaring insights to uncover hidden tips, vintage staples and future collection predictions.
What’s the most treasured bottle in your cellar? I’ve held on to a bottle of 2002 Stonyridge Vineyards Larose, Waiheke Island, New Zealand. This Bordeaux-style red was one of the last bottles given to me by my late father and being that he started me on this journey, I treasure it. I’ve since bought some current vintage and I say cheers to him every time I drink a bottle. A great cellar shows our journey through life.
Which do you predict will be the next big thing in cellaring? WineMinder – a cellar sensor that is an app with a sensor, which pinpoints the exact right time to open it. It’s a clever piece of technology that guarantees wine at its best.
What wine names do you see as future cellar staples? Mac Forbes and his team in the Yarra Valley are rocking the industry with their take on single vineyards and pushing boundaries with the EB Range (Experimental Batch) of wines. Bernice Ong and Julian Forwood from Ministry Of Clouds in McLaren Vale have the greatest knack of selecting the best fruit available, every time. Celestino Gaspari’s Zyme Amarone della Valpolicella from Veneto in Italy. And Jim Chatto, not only for his outstanding Tasmanian pinot, but because he’s the custodian of the Mount Pleasant vineyards in the Hunter. He is revitalising some of the styles, including wines from some of the original plantations.
Co-founder and CEO, Vinomofo
What’s the most treasured bottle in your cellar? I have a few 1999 Barolos and 2010 white Burgundies that would fight for the title, but it has to be the 1999 Clarendon Hills Liandra Syrah. It was one of our first deals on Vinomofo and has been much-enjoyed during a rare session with my two best mates, so it holds a special place for me.
What do you predict will be the next big thing in cellaring? Coravin [a device that allows people to taste a wine without pulling the cork]. I love the fact you can taste a great bottle and not worry about wasting the balance; perfect for individuals who boast serious cellar collections.
Which wine names do you see as future cellar staples? Apart from the usuals, I’ll be stocking my cellar with the new breed of rockstar winemakers like Sue Bell (Bellwether Wines), Andrew Thomas (Thomas Wines) and Peter Dredge (Dr Edge). They’re amazing winemakers doing interesting things.
Retail sales and events manager, City Wine Shop
What’s the most treasured bottle in your cellar? Not one, but many bottles purchased from my daughter Cecile’s birth year. She was born in 2011 – by no means a great cellaring year – so I plan to drink her vintage while the wines are youthful and show vitality. Every October we take great pleasure in opening plenty of interesting things for all the grandparents, aunties and uncles who help my partner Jessica [of Blackhearts & Sparrows Wine Purveyors] and I make a go of being busy wine professionals and parents at the same time.
What do you predict will be the next big thing in cellaring? I personally believe in, and am seeing a shift towards, mid-term cellaring for a lot of wine. Using red as the example, at around five to eight years, you have a delicious component of still-primary front-palate fruit sweetness, but any winemaking decisions like oak, whole-bunch or natural acidities are further integrated and tannins are beginning to soften. Sure, I occasionally drink things that still have plenty of cellaring potential, but I’m happy to acknowledge and celebrate that! And those mature characters that appear at 15 to 20 years can be an acquired taste that take time to appreciate and value.
Which wine names do you see as future cellar staples? 2013 Deep Woods Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River in WA. It’s hard to go past this giant-killer. Serve this blind, or their Reserve Chardonnay, next to any other Margaret River benchmarks and let’s see what people prefer. The 2015 Timo Mayer’s Pinot Noir and Syrah from the Yarra Valley. There is a refinement in technique and confidence of style with Timo’s 2015s that has been a pleasure to watch emerge. I look forward to putting away a few of his 2015 pinots and the small-volume syrah to recreate this magic again, starting around 2021.
Sales and marketing manager, Vigorous Bros
What’s the most treasured bottle in your cellar? Choosing one would be too hard, but I do have a bottle I’m most excited about seeing age and evolve. It’s a 2013 Eastern Peake Morillon Block 89 OBC Pinot Noir. It comes from a rare, ancient clone that possibly only exists in two vineyards in the world – here in Australia. It’s amazing now, but I can’t wait for this bottle to get another five to 10 years on it.
Which wine names do you see as future cellar staples? There are three local winemakers worth filling your cellar with now while they are still relatively unknown – thus reasonably affordable. Seek out Ben Haines, head winemaker at Mt Langi Ghiran, but also with his own eponymous label; Owen Latta who has his own Latta Vino wines alongside his family’s Eastern Peake label; and Nic Peterkin from Margaret River. Nic is the scion of Pierro Wines and Cullen, but has been making waves with his L.A.S Vino wines. All three are at the vanguard of exciting producers coming through the ranks.