A couple of years back we had the chance to live in Sydney, Australia. While we had always enjoyed Australian wine, it was this experience that transformed us. The sheer boldness and flavor of the average Aussie Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon is IMO simply unmatched elsewhere. Of course, there was bad wine to be had but by and large our wine experience was positive.
While we were living in Sydney, one of my wife’s colleagues suggested we visit Hunter Valley and go to the Brokenwood Winery. We did and enjoyed the experience immensely. For those of you who haven’t been, Hunter Valley is a gem a few hours from Sydney. It is one of the premier wine growing regions in Australia and is known for its Shiraz. Not only is the wine wonderful, the scenery is absolutely gorgeous. Below is a picture from just around the corner from Brokenwood.
Brokenwood was founded in 1970 by three lawyers from Sydney on a 10 acre piece of land that was originally a cricket pitch, hence the name of the wine. The winery is much larger now and sources its grapes from elsewhere as well as growing them locally. Brokenwood in my opinion, makes some great wine that easy not too hard on the wallet and taste wonderful. We tasted some great wines when we visited and bought some to bring back with us stateside. Then, a few weeks back I got an email from Old Bridge Cellars, importers of Brokenwood in the US. They were trying to get rid of some inventory that was cosmetically damaged – torn and stained labels etc. It was too good to pass up and I bought a case of red which came with two bottles of the 2006 Brokenwood Cricket Pitch.
Now, we have had this wine before (different vintage) and thought it was good nut not great. Maybe it was because we don’t have access to great Aussie reds or maybe it was this vintage but this particular bottle was stunning. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese and Shiraz. All the grape varietals work beautifully together. It was bold but went down cleanly. The color is a deep purply-red. The taste is just slightly peppery but it is so smooth. Definitely worth trying if you can get hold of a bottle.
Now that I had this wine, I was thinking that there are some 2004/2005 vintage Brokenwood Shiraz’s sitting in our Harry Potter closet (closet under the stairs used for wine storage). I think it may be time to pay them a visit.