Sydney Cellar Door – NSW Food and Wine Festival 2015


Sydney Cellar Door is held as part of NSW Food & Wine Week and showcases different wines from around the state to promote all the great produce we have in NSW.

Now this is my style of event…. lovely Sydney summer day, beautiful wine tasting from around NSW and some interesting gourmet food to complement the wine.



The atmosphere is simple a delight, but hey we are here for the wine, so I won’t keep you waiting. I start with the….

Tulloch Pokolbin, Dry Red, Shiraz (2013), Hunter Valley


The wonderful aromas of red fruit and plums along with the typical earthy herbs associated with the Hunter along arouse the taste buds while little hints of chocolate complete the aromatic experience. The berries and plum flavours of this medium bodied wine continue through on the palate with the intense fruit flavours being supported by spicy notes which linger and fresh tannins. A wonderful start to the afternoon.

Tyrrells, Vat 8, Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon (2013), Hunter Valley


This is an amazing wine and I just couldn’t go past it. I have tried the Vat 9 Shiraz at a British Chamber of Commerce Function and at a Polish themed party I went to last year (check out my review here).

This time it is the Vat 8, a blend of Shiraz and Cabernet. The Shiraz portion comes the section of the winery which produces riper and more muscular flavour profiles, whilst the Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a vineyard at the foothills of the Brokenback Range called Pokolbin Hills Estate.

The wine is rich and heavily perfumed as ripe fruit aromas pierce the air leaving some smoky notes in their wake. The Shiraz provides the full flavour of ripe blueberries and blackberries with some hints of liquorice, spice and silky vanilla, while the Cabernet plays a wonderful support role adding power and structure to the wine. You will go a little weak at the knees with this beautiful wine.

Montrose ‘Pietra’ Sangiovese (2007), Mudgee


This is a little gem, founded actually by the Belgiorno-Nettis and Salteri families (of Transfield fame) and is now owned by Robert Oatley Wines (you probably know from the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race). Anyway onto this wine; Pietra in Italian for ‘stone’, which relates to the soil in the vineyard which is aptly named given the quartz and limestone structures inherent in the soil which deeply influence this lovely wine.

The wine showcases the rich intense aromas of cherries with earthy and dried herb notes on the nose. On the palate, the fresh fruit flavours are balanced with a deep savouriness and complemented with soft tannins and fresh acidity and of course a bite of the oak on the finish.

Warrumbungle, Blowfly, Peitit Verdot (2008), Northern Slopes


This wine is a great Petit Verdot (no blend) which is a rarity. The rich ripe deep dark berry flavours and spice is intense and is typical of the full-bodied Petit Verdot with a flourish of black pepper spice notes in the finish and a very well-integrated tannin structure.

Bunnamagoo Estate, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (2010), Mudgee


I walk across to this stall after I had purchased my wagyu burger (see next section) and the lovely guy at the stall recommended this to pair the burger.

The beautiful medium bodied wine has the deep aromas of coffee, chocolate and blackberries and continues through to the palate with the full fruit flavours of dark plums and cherries with the deep smoky earthy and spice notes through to the finish.

De Beaurepaire, Victor Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon (2007),  Rylstone (Mudgee)


I had a good chat with the folks here. They noted the history on how they ended up at Rylstone. They were informed of the limestone in the soil structures and of course Cabernet grapes love limestone, so it was a very conducive spot for wine growing.

The wine had a wonderful aroma of blackcurrant (cassis), mint, some smoky and spicy earthy elements which provided a wonderful introduction to the wine. On the palate the fine-grained lengthy tannins and subtle streak of vanilla. The wine has a wonderful intense flavour and is well structured.

De Beaurepaire ‘Captain Starlight Series’ Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Rylstone (Mudgee)


The wine is a wonderful blend of three traditional Bordeaux style varietals. The wine showcases the appetising aroma of red berries and some blackcurrant notes. On the palate there is a wonderful fusion of the berry fruit flavours, dark chocolate and spice notes and the distinct bite of French oak and soft tannins to round out the wine. I do prefer the Victor Reserve, but this wine is a good wine to take to your local BYO restaurant.

Artemis Riesling (2013), Southern Highlands


The aroma of fresh limes dominates this wine. The rich citrus flavour continues on the palate with fresh zesty minerality. The wine is perfect for a seafood dishes with its notable length, intensity and citrus notes. I do pair it with a fish pie (see next section) and this is the only white wine I have for the afternoon.

Nugan Estate, Manuka Grove Vineyard, Durif (2010), Riverina


Now this is one varietal you don’t normally come across, the Durif. It is a rich and robust red grape variety which is well suited to the warm and dry conditions of Riverina.

The noticeable aromas of ripe blackberries,  plum and cherry with hints of liquorice and all-spice. This full-bodied wine with a palate of dark cherries and preserved plums, dark chocolate, earthiness and spice. The wine has soft tannins to support the fruit with some youthful fine acid to round out the structure.

Ross Hill ‘Pinnacle Series’ Cabernet Franc (2012), Orange


This was such an amazing wine (I used up all of my final tokens on this one). The Cabernet Franc is similar to the Howard Vineyard Cabernet Franc (from Adelaide Hills) which tasted a few years ago.

Its vibrant with hearty wine with intense flavours of blackberry, fig, pepper and mocha The aroma of earthy tobacco and spice. On the palate this medium bodied wine has the most amazing intense flavours of cassis, cherries, plums and lovely hints of deep mocha with an overlay of oak. The peppery spice finish rounds out the experience.

Dining (Food Stalls)

I settled on the Wagyu Burger from Gooree Park (Mudgee).


The wagyu beef patty is tender and succulent with the wonderful juices interacting oh so well with the smoky onions, rich aioli and relish while the rocket leaves a bright pepper flavour in your mouth while a firm but plush burger encased the burgers to provide a lovely tasting experience.



The fish pie (wonderful ocean trout, crunchy corn and potato) is a unique blend of the oily trout, the texture crunch of the corn and the creamy potato base. It pairs perfectly well with the Riesling on this summer afternoon.


Unfortunately I was so full after my burger and pie that I couldn’t sample anything else. But in any case I took some lovely pictures of some other stalls just to get your taste buds rolling.

There were some amazing Hot Dogs and Mexican food….


Gourmet Fish Sticks and Salads…



Some lovely dumplings….


Fantastic selection of olive oils and balsamic vinegar from Pukka Estate…



Delicious rich oysters which were huge….


There was some lovely woodfired Pizza too….



So ends another beautiful year of the Sydney Cellar Door at NSW Wine Week! I always love it.

1 comment

Leave a Reply