From Bendigo via the Yarra Valley

Balgownie Estate has cellar doors in both Bendigo and the Yarra Valley. Wines from both sites are available to taste at both venues, which is lovely as there are lots of wines to like here, at very good prices.

There is a wine club which offers discounts of 25% on wine when purchasing 2 dozen or more in a calendar year, and members can choose their own dozen (down to individual bottles) which is a nice feature and one of the reasons our crew is comprised of multiple Balgownie Platinum Club members…

NV Cuvee: A lovely sparkling wine with green apple flavours and a lovely light golden colour in the glass. A really good value sparkling wine. $15.75 per bottle for club members.

Black Label Pinot Gris: Orange-Pink in the glass, thanks to some time on skins. The nose is pleasant without being forceful and smells more like pears than apples on the Pinot Gris scale. The flavours begin sweet and dry at the same time which makes for a quite interesting wine. We like it a lot. $18.75 per bottle for club members.

2016 Sauvignon Blanc: Although there is some acid in the palate, the passionfruit flavours nicely guide the acid through the palate. The length of this wine is very nice, lacking only in some complexity compared to other wines. One of our favourites. $18.75 per bottle.

2015 Sparkling Shiraz: This wine is something of an enigma, as far as sparkling red wine goes. The colour is almost black in the glass with purple bubbles that look almost impenetrable. The mulberry colour is darker than Temperanillo which is quite a statement. Some chocolate flavours are present in the palate which is otherwise very dry throughout. Unfortunately the length is a bit short, so a second taste is required to work out what this wine is trying to say…

2016 Shiraz-Cabernet: 55% Shiraz comes through in the peppery notes in the bouquet and palate with the two wines integrating very well together. Not as impressive as the Tahbilk Old Vines blend, but certainly very nice and good, easy drinking.

2015 Black Label Shiraz: This wine looks very good in the glass, with strong colour, only slightly brown at the edge. The palate is mouth-filling with good, complex flavours but not a lot of tannin structure. A small amount of Viognier has been mixed in with the Shiraz and it has been seamlessly integrated. This wine is very much ready to drink now and due to the lack of tannin may not improve too much beyond the next few years. Open it a good half hour before drinking though because it really improves the experience.

Cabernet Franc Syrah: It is not common to find Cabernet Franc in Australia (see an earlier post on this topic) but wines like this do go some way to doing the variety justice. A very drinkable wine, not as smooth as Tahbilk Cabernet Franc, but the addition of the Syrah really helps with the overall experience. $21.75 per bottle.

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