WineStar Wine of the Year 2016 
WineStar Red of the Year 2016


Wynns Coonawarra Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 @ $29.99 per bottle 

96 Points; James Halliday & (Special Value Star @ $45.00)
96 Points; Chris Shanahan; Canberra Times
96 Points; Ray Jordan (& Top 100); Wine Guide
95 Points; Jeremy Oliver; Wine Annual
95 Points; Ralph Kyte-Powell; SMH/The Age
94+Points; Mike Bennie; The Wine Front

Investment in the vineyards in the winery is paying big dividends, viticulturist Alan Jenkins and winemakers Sue Hodder and Sarah Pigeon with total control. The colour and sheer power of the varietal expression achieved at this level of alcohol is totally admirable; blackcurrant, blackberry and black olive are welded together with powdery tannins and perfectly judged oak. Drink By: 2048; Price: $45.00; Alcohol: 13.5%; Rating: 96 Points & Special Value Star; James Halliday; Wine Companion

The latest Wynns Black Label reflects one of Australia's longest running, most effective wine-improvement programs. Early this century Wynns winemaker, Sue Hodder, with viticulturist Allen Jenkins, began restructuring Wynns' massive vineyard holdings and, at the same time, deconstructing (then reconstructing) winemaking processes. A deep understanding of individual vineyard plots has enabled harvesting of multiple, comparatively small grape batches progressively at proper ripeness. A new winery built to handle multiple batches gave Hodder precise control over quality and style. We now see the results in all its varietal purity, elegance and strength in this, Black Label's 60th vintage. Rating: 96 Points; Chris Shanahan; Canberra Times

Another beautiful Coonawarra cabernet from this most famous of vineyards and labels. Silky smooth and immensely powerful. This is quintessential Coonawarra cabernet and why it is so revered. Loads of dark blackcurrant fruit with hints of plum and cedar. Silky smooth though firmish tannins with great oak integration. This is a wine that you will find for a ridiculously discount price if you look. Always mandatory. Rating: 96 Points & Top 100 Wines; Ray Jordan 

Stylish and particularly elegant, this complex and deftly composed cabernet reveals a heady, floral bouquet of black and red berries, fresh cedar/vanilla oak and earthy undertones that becomes more perfumed as it breathes. It’s smooth and seamless, unfolding a reserved presence of dark berry flavour tightly knit with polished, fine-grained oak and pliant tannins, delivering a firm but gentle mouthfeel and a lingering impression of harmony and balance. Drink: 2025-2033+ Rating: 95 Points; Jeremy Oliver  

WineStar White of the Year 2016 

Vickery Eden Valley Riesling 2016 @ $17.99 per bottle 

96 Points; James Halliday & (Special Value Star @ $23.00)
95 Points; Tony Love, Taste
94 Points; Gary Walsh; The Wine Front
Top 100 Wines; The Advertiser

From 15-17yo low yielding vines from the Zander, Mason and Riley Vineyards, each parcel fermented separately in stainless steel before final selection and blending. Gleaming straw-green; classic young Eden Valley riesling, its citrus aromas and flavours on the midpoint between lime and lemon, the acidity flowing calmly on in the wake of the fruit, purity the watchword. Drink by: 2031; Price: $23.00; Date Tasted: Aug 2016; Alcohol: 12.5%; Rating: 96 Points & Special Value Star; James Halliday Wine Companion

Carrying the prestigious name of one of Australia’s most renowned riesling craftsmen, the now (almost) retired John Vickery who mentors winemaker Phil Lehmann in the creation of this and a companion Watervale version, this exudes the purest of lemon notes in zest, flesh and leaf, beautifully ripe from four family-run vineyards and with exciting natural acidity in discreet balance. It’s a joyous aperitif. Rating: 95 Points; Tony Love, Taste

Textbook Eden Valley Riesling. It’s mineral with a subtle lavender perfume, spice, grapefruit and lime. Clean and direct, pure acidity and visions of mineral water flowing over stones, if you take my meaning. The finish is clean, crunchy and very long. Beautiful wine. Dead set bargain. You could even twist my arm to rate it one point higher, maybe. Tasted: July 2016; Alcohol: 12.5%; Price: $23; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2016-2029+; Rating: 94 Points; Gary Walsh - The Wine Front

There is no grape variety that offers better value for money in Australia than riesling; which particularly shines in the Clare and Eden valleys of South Australia. Phil Lehmann, talented son of the late Peter Lehmann, makes excellent examples in both regions under the Vickery label, which pays tribute to arguably Australia's greatest-ever riesling maker, John Vickery, who is a consultant in the making of these wines, The 2016 releases are both excellent, but for me the Eden Valley wine just edged out the Watervale example, although it was a photo finish. It is slightly rounder, maybe a little more adult, while retaining the essential citrus and acid elements. Just lovely. Winsor Dobbin  

WineStar Bargain of the Year 2016

Bleasdale Bremerview Shiraz 2014 - $16.99 per bottle 

Top Gold Medal - National Wine Show 2015
(96 Points) - National Wine Show 2015
Gold Medal - Royal Sydney Wine Show 2016
(95 Points) - Royal Sydney Wine Show 2016

Gold Medal - National Wine Show 2016
(95 Points) - National Wine Show 2016

Gold Medal - Royal Melbourne Wine Show 2015
(95 Points) - Royal Melbourne Wine Show 2015
Gold Medal - Royal Adelaide Wine Show 2015
(94 Points) - Royal Queensland Wine Show 2016
96 Points - James Halliday Wine Companion 2016

Destemmed to open fermenters, 15% whole berries, short cold soak, 9-12 days on skins, pressed to new (15%) and used French oak. Top gold National Wine Show ’15, gold Adelaide Wine Show and Melbourne Wine Awards. This is right in the heart of medium-bodied shiraz, black cherry, plum and blackberry fruits encased in a silken web of tannins, and a fleeting glimpse of French oak. Yes, it's $20. Alcohol: 14% alc; Price: $20.00; Drink to: 2030; Rating: 96 Points; James Halliday Wine Companion 

Bargain alert here. Lovers of high quality South Australian Shiraz at affordable prices, walk this way. Blackberries, Xmas spices with a little black pepper thrown in, low-key vanilla oak in support. Medium to full bodied, smooth mesh of fine powdery tannin wrapped around blackberry and dark cherry fruit, a wee bit of smoky oak and salted beef to add a savoury dimension, and a ripe plump finish of fine length. Goes very well. Tasted : Jul16; Alcohol : 14.5%; Price : $20; Closure : Screwcap; Drink : 2016 - 2022; Rated : 93 Points; Gary Walsh; The Wine Front

A delightful Langhorne Creek shiraz, with a sweet, violet-like and spicy perfume of cassis, mulberries and dark plums backed by creamy cedary oak and a whiff of cracked pepper. Medium to full-bodied, its elegant, pristine expression of brightly lit berry/plum fruit and cedary oak extends down a dusty, loose-knit spine towards a stylish finish of refreshing acidity. Exceptional value. Drink by: 2022-2026+; Rating: 92 Points; Jeremy Oliver  

WineStar Sparkling of the Year 2016

Veuve Fourny Blanc de Blancs Brut 1er Cru - $49.99 per bottle 

Veuve Fourny is a small family-owned estate business offering great value for money. Three vintages plus older reserve wines spend 2½ years on tirage, with a low disgorgement dosage. A flowery bouquet with citrus zest, hints of spice and toast; a long, intense palate with some nutty/biscuit notes before a vivid, fresh finish. This is a lovely, lissom Blanc de Blancs. Rating: 95 Points; James Halliday, Weekend Australian

Emmanuel and Charles-Henry Fourny craft wines of great purity from their old, organic vines in the premier cru village of Vertus at the southern end of Champagne’s Cote des Blancs. Beach-fresh, linear and very fine, with white peach, crunchy apple, taut lemon fruit and salty minerality. Price: $85; Rating: 94 Points; Tyson Stelzer; Champagne Writer of the Year

Well here we go. Beautiful drinking chardonnay at a sensible price. Crisp and fresh but has a bit of spunk about it. A sparkling wine like this makes me wonder why I bother with anything else. It’s beautiful fizz. Pears, crisp green apples, yeasty bite, a flush of rose petals and excellent intensity of flavour. It’s brimming with life, gently creamy and awash with scent. There goes the afternoon. Hunt it out. Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front

Created from three consecutive vintages plus 20% older reserve wine, all chardonnay. It spends over 30 months on tirage, the dosage 6g/l. Straw-gold, it has a flowery bouquet, then a powerful and generous palate, with a mix of Meyer lemon and biscuity notes on the very long and dry, yet vibrant, finish. Rating: 94 Points & Top 100 Wines 2016; James Halliday, Weekend Australian  

WineStar Import of the Year 2016

Benevelli Piero Langhe Nebbiolo 2015 @ $27.99 per bottle 

Benevelli Piero is situated in Monforte d'Alba in the heart of Barolo Langa. The estate is a committed to preserve the traditions and not abandon the teachings of those who came before them, at the same time supplement this knowledge with the use of modern technologies. 

If there was one wine that bowled me over on my recent trip to Italy, then hands down it was the Piero Benevelli Langhe Nebbiolo 2015. This wasn't the most expensive wine I tasted on the trip...What blew me away is that this wine has serious complexity, structure and Nebbiolo fruit tannins that made me do a double take when I tried it. No doubt the great 2015 vintage in Barolo played it's part in this. It was amazing wine and as soon as the wine past my lips I twisted Massimo’s arm for a large allocation for the Australian market. Mondo Imports

The eagerly awaited sequel to the lovely 2014, and all the others. It’s a very young and slightly raw wine, and while it’s probably meant to be enjoyed young, I’d either throw it into a decanter for a couple of hours, or pop it in the cellar for another couple of years: it makes a big difference. Anyway, as at now, it’s red fruited and perfumed, showing some sweet aniseed and spice, along with a whiff of new leather. Medium bodied, brightly lit and vibrant, with red cherry and red berry flavours, light chalky tannin, and a long gently sweet finish that’s perfumed and very fine. Remarkable wine for the money. Drink: 2017 - 2025+ Rating: 93+ Points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front

WineStar Bargain Import of the Year 2016 

Pipoli Zero Aglianico Del Vulture 2014 @ $16.99 

What a cracking wine this is even before we get to the relatively low price and superlative value equations. It 'looks' like a super premium in more ways then one. 100% Aglianico del Vulture from 50 to 60 year old vines grown on volcanic soil to produce an intense deep ruby colour, a nose of cherry, aromatic herbs and vanilla and wonderful balance. And the Wine Front review ensured we struggled to keep up with demand. So much interest and charm for so few dollars. Italy 1. France 0. Bert Werden

Wow this is a good bottle of wine for under $20. Bitter chocolate and almonds, violets, smoking volcanic rocks and blood, not least blood plum. Medium bodied, rich fleshy ripe chalky tannic palate with gentle acidity, all that almond, dark chocolate and dried herb, a perky kind of raspberry freshness and flavour, and a long finish plump with tannin and … expectation of the next mouthful. Brilliant. If you like Italian wine, if you kind of like ‘natural wine’, then get onto this immediately. In the immortal words of Starsky “Do it. DO IT.” Drink: 2016-2018; Price: $19; Date Tasted: Aug 2016; Alcohol: 13%; Rating: 92 Points; Gary Walsh - The Wine Front

This puts me in mind of a pinot noir on steroids, with its complex perfumed aromas of cherries and plums, along with perfumed rose petals. Ripe flavours of stewed plums, hazelnuts and chocolate are nicely balanced with juicy acid and assertive, chalky tannins. There's a slightly bitter, dried-herb finish that adds extra character. Ben Thomas; The Weekly Review

WineStar eGiftVouchers - Now Available

The WineStar eGiftVouchers are a wonderful and very convenient gift idea.

Follow the link to purchase a Voucher to your preferred value and the eGiftVouchers is emailed to the recipient along with your message, at a time and date of your choosing. The recipient can spend some or all of the voucher at WineStar just like a credit card. As you may imagine, these have been extremely well received! 

WineStar Wine of the Year - Previous Winners 1997 - 2015