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Fine Wine Partners: The DNA of premium Australian wine in four estates

Promotional feature.

Grant Burge, St Hallett, House of Arras and Petaluma are key players in Australia’s winemaking history. These premium estates are part of Accolade’s Fine Wine Partners, and their wines should be staples in any wine lover’s cellar.

In 1838, 11 years before the first Shiraz vines were planted in South Australia’s Barossa Valley, the Linder family was making fortified wine from a shed under the St Hallett name. For its 182 years since, the winery has been owned or part owned by a member of that family.

In the same year the Bordelais were ranking the 1855 Médoc Classification, the Burge family landed in the Barossa from England and began to make wine. Five generations later, Grant Burge (born 1951) shaped another of the valley’s leading estates. Not forgetting his family’s heritage, Grant named his top Shiraz after his great grandfather, Meshach. It is a wine collectors’ favourite and rated ‘Outstanding’ in Langton’s Classification of Australian wine.

One of the many advantages of the long history the Burge and Linder families enjoy in the Barossa is access to old vines. St Hallett’s Blackwell Shiraz and Grant Burge’s Meshach are testament to this, with 100% of the fruit coming from vines planted by generations before – some vines dating back 134 years, to 1886.

Roughly an hour’s drive south of the Barossa is the Adelaide Hills, where Brian Croser established Petaluma in 1976. Over the next 25 years Croser built up this estate to one of Australia’s most recognisable names, and was inducted into the Decanter Hall of Fame in 2004 due in large part to the exceptional wines he made here. Petaluma’s Yellow Label Coonawarra Cabernet blend has been ranked ‘Excellent’ by Langton’s, and the Chardonnays – particularly the single- vineyard Tiers and Piccadilly Valley bottlings – are much sought after.

Last but by no means least, House of Arras is part of modern Tasmanian winemaking history – the culmination of more than three decades of Ed Carr’s commitment to producing the highest quality sparkling wine. Carr, Australia’s most awarded sparkling winemaker, sources cool-climate fruit from the island’s south and east coasts and prioritises lengthy lees ageing in bottle. House of Arras has become Australia’s most awarded sparkling wine, rivalling the best in the world.

The highly anticipated release window of August to November is sure to have fine wine lovers around the world eager to secure an allocation of these estates’ top wines. Registering interest is strongly advised due to production levels. Contact: info@finewinepartners.co.uk

St Hallett, Blackwell Shiraz, Barossa Valley, South Australia 2015

93 points, Huon Hooke, tasted in 2018

Deep, inky, dark chocolate and earthy bouquet. Black fruits are there but submerged. The palate is firm and quite high in tannins, while the finish rolls on and on. A deep, intense Barossa Shiraz with a full body and chunky structure.

Grant Burge, Meshach, Barossa Valley, South Australia 2012

95 points, Gold at Decanter World Wine Awards 2019

Cooked dark fruit and violet aromas. Flavours of ripe dark plums and cherries with velvety tannins, plus juicy and fresh acidity to balance. Developing beautifully with much more to come.

Petaluma, Yellow Label Chardonnay, Piccadilly Valley, Adelaide Hills, South Australia 2016

92 points, Tina Gellie, tasted for Decanter in 2020

An enduring name from the high-altitude, cool-climate Piccadilly Valley. Beautifully fresh and lively, with piercing acidity on an elegant palate of crisp green apple, meadow flowers and aromatic herbs.

House of Arras, EJ Carr Late Disgorged, Tasmania 2004

98 points, Susie Barrie MW, tasted for Decanter in 2019

A truly magnificent wine. Incredibly fresh for its age, it is intensely savoury, with notes of truffle, cream and lemon curd. Long, with the capacity to age for several years, this is a special occasion wine with a price-tag to match.

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