MHSOBA Winemaker Dinner Series




Melbourne High School Old Boys is a not-for-profit organisation.

Founded in 1907, its primary aim has always been the welfare of the school. Each year it grants scholarships and awards academic and general prizes for successful students. We are also instrumental in raising funds to assist the school on various building projects and help give the current students the best possible education. At every opportunity the association does what it can to uphold the school’s tradition and status in the community.
Each year we hold various events including 4 winemaker dinners to help raise funds for these projects. Since commencing these dinners, we have held 38 to date. The objective of the winemaker dinner is to interface excellent food with quality wines from a particular winemaker for the education and enjoyment of all our guests.
When selecting a winemaker for the dinner we are looking for a vineyard that can help with the following:

  • attend the dinner and speak about each wine accompanying the meal; one complimentary meal provided;
  • provide a variety of sparkling, white wine and red wine to accompany a 3 course dinner with canapés;
  • provide wine for consumption during the meal at $10 per bottle;
  • a capacity for guests to purchase wines at discount prices on the night;
  • arrangement of shipping if the wines cannot be taken on the night;
  • reimbursement to the MHSOBA of $2 per bottle for each bottle purchased on or following the evening with scope for marketing to members on our website for the following 12 months; and
  • 2 complimentary bottles of wine as part of the raffle on the night.

As a thank you for generosity, we would like to help promote your vineyard by using your logo on all email invitations for the dinner, on our website with a link to your web page and in our quarterly newsletter.
We look forward to working with you to make the next winemaker dinner a success.
Kind regards

Margie Burton
Event Manager
MHS Foundation for

1996 Chris Ringland “Three Rivers” Shiraz vs 1997 Andraos Bros “Grandfather’s Reserve” Shiraz

On November 20, 2010 there was a “wine-off” between two heavyweights at France Soir Restaurant in Toorak in Melbourne.

The contestants were the 1996 Chris Ringland “Three Rivers” Shiraz valued at over $800 vs the 1997 Andraos Bros Grandfather Reserve Shiraz which sells for $700 USD in the Middle East.

The Sommelier at the time agreed with us that Andraos Bros was the better wine.

His words were “This wine reminds me of the old school wine from the North of Cotes du Rhone. I love it”


Shinas Estate “The Guilty” Shiraz

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Shinas Estate "The Guilty" Shiraz

One sip and you’ll understand why this quality Shiraz is the guiltiest of pleasures. It takes time and attention to detail to deliver this juicy wine with fine tannins and a big, rich, velvety smooth package. Ripe shiny blackberry red. Voluptuous cherry, vanilla and peppery spice aromas and full-bodied flavours packed with smoky vanillin oak, cherry and strawberry fruits, chocolate and mocha all wrapped up in a big, rich, velvety smooth package. A juicy wine with fine tannins, the pepper detected on the nose kicks in again to make a welcome re-appearance on the powerful finish.

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Wine Review Panel opening night at Babushka on Tuesday May 22 2013

babushkaTuesday May 22 2013 was the first Wine Panel Review night at Babushka, and it was a very successful night; all 9 members found it very informative. A special thank-you to Paul Bishard for sharing his wine knowledge with everyone.

Please note that I will never criticise a wine if it does not make the required result. I will simply not mention it.

15 wines were looked at and here are the wines that were received well by the panel (in no particular order).

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2010 Leayton Estate Chardonnay from the Yarra Valley impressed all 9 members of the panel. Even non chardonnay drinkers said they would be happy to drink this wine. This is a solid chardonnay with the nose of stone fruit and butterscotch with oak in control. A complex chardonnay with big fruit and “old skool” characteristics.

Result: 8.3/10

2009 The Lake House Premium Reserve Pinot Noir is from Denmark in WA. It is an outstanding Pinot Noir that impressed all 9 members of The Top Australian Wines Review Panel. The nose of red cherry, earthiness, spice and vanilla. The palate of red berries, mocha and oak and a long spicy finish. A full bodied pinot that is highly recommended.

Result: 9/10

2010 Wanted Man Marsanne Viognier is from Heathcote in VIC. It was also a highly regarded wine by the panel. The nose of lemon curd and stone fruit. The palate had great spice elements of fennel, white pepper and peach. A very good food wine and highly recommended.

Result: 7.5/10

2007 Red Art Cabernet Sauvignon in from the Barossa Valley. It is an elegant wine with the nose of leather, red currant, meaty, violets and five spice. An intense palate of licorice, eucalypt, chocolate and olive flavours. There is a lot of complexity and an absolute pleasure to drink.

Result: 7.4/10

2010 Vinrock Cabernet Sauvignon is from McLaren Vale. It has an intense nose and palate of deep black fruit, plum, prune and black stewed cherry.

Result: 7.6/10

2009 Bent Creek Black Dog Shiraz is from McLaren Vale and was very impressive. The nose and palate of black cherry, plum, ripe fruit, licorice and oak. It had good fruit balance and weight.

Result: 8.4/10

2009 Hugh Hamilton The Rascal Shiraz is from McLaren Vale. It has a fresh nose of black fruits. It is a spicy shiraz with good, rich fruits and length. It is a good reflection of the vintage.

Wine Tasting Dinner at Babushka Restaurant on Tuesday June 5 2013

It was another successful wine tasting dinner at Babushka Restaurant in Hawthorn, with the evening seeing a turnout of 27 people. I had 18 different wines for review and they alll did very well.

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2008 Hickinbotham Chardonnay with Aligote is from the Mornington Peninsula in VIC. An interesting blend with Aligote being the second biggest grape variety in France. It was a very fresh wine with a nice and creamy & buttery.

Score: 7.1 / 10

2009 Soul Growers Resergence Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz is from the Barossa in SA. It had big ripe berries with lots of spice and pepper and a long finish. A very good wine.

Score: 7.7 / 10

2009 Red Edge Tempranillo Monastrell is from Heathcote in VIC. It is a complex wine with rich fruit and good spice. A great food wine.

Score: 7.6 / 10

2009 Maygars Hill Shiraz is from the Strathbogie Ranges in VIC. It is an easy drinking wine. It is earthy with a good amount of spice.

Score: 7.5 / 10

2009 St Michael’s Limited Release Shiraz is from Heathcote in VIC. It is a deep, complex and rich wine. “Awesome”.

Score: 8.7 / 10

2008 Red Art Grenache Shiraz is from the Barossa Valley in SA. It is an excellent wine with good texture and a long spicy finish.

Score: 7.9 / 10

2009 Tyrrell’s Lunatiq Shiraz is from Heathcote in VIC and was a very popular wine. It is an outstanding wine with chocolate, berries, black spice, plum, cinnamon & spice. A very stylish wine.

Score: 8.3 / 10

2008 Dead Horse Hill Shiraz is from Heathcote in VIC. It is an earthy and savoury wine with bacon and the fruit is not dominating. It is a super food wine.

Score: 7.9 / 10

2008 Tatiarra Culled Barrel Shiraz is from Heathcote in VIC. It has a nice sweetness & spice to it. It is a great wine and well worth looking at.

Score: 8.4 / 10

2009 Mt Pleasant Creek Estate Shiraz Viognier is from Heathcote, VIC. It’s a simple and easy drinking wine.

Score: 7 / 10

2010 Heathcote Winery “Slaughterhouse Paddock” Shiraz is from Heathcote in VIC. It is an outstanding, stylish and gorgeous wine with great complexity.

Score: 8 / 10

2004 Downing Estate Shiraz is from Heathcote. This wine was sensational with leather, red cherry, cloves and aniseed. It is a good aged example of wine.

Score: 8.7 / 10

2009 Meehan Shiraz is from Heathcote in VIC. It is a medium bodies and soft wine with full of flavour and a nice smoky and meaty palate.

Score: 7.8 / 10

2006 Wanted Man “WM” Shiraz is from Heathcote in VIC. It has black fruit, cherry, spice, good acid, blackberry, pepper, cola & anise. An excellent wine.

Score: 8.8 / 10

2006 Kooky Village “Nutter” Shiraz is from the Barossa Valley in SA. This was the wine of the night. It was deep, complex, smooth, well rounded and everything else. It is the best wine I have had all year. Three people including myself gave it a perfect 10.

Score: 9.3 / 10

Boutique Wine Tasting Dinner, July 3 2013, Babushka Restaurant

It was another successful night at Babushka with 27 people attending our Boutique Wine Tasting Dinner; everyone had a great time. Due to many requests I have added an international wine into the mix and will continue to do so at each tasting. I will be showcasing South African wines for the time being as I have found them very impressive lately.

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Here are the results of the wine tasting:

1. 2008 Good Drop Shiraz

The 2008 Good Drop Shiraz is from Bendigo in VIC and was the wine of the night. It was recently awarded 4 stars at the Winestate 2012 World’s Greatest Shiraz Challenge.

“Rich black fruit core, intense and concentrated”

“fruit nose, sweet, rich, good mouthfeel and balanced”

“now that’s a good drop!!!”

Average score: 8.7

2. 2009 Good Catholic Girl “James Brazill” Shiraz is from the Clare Valley in SA.

“Big, brassy, love it”

“very nice, strong, silky, nice after taste, peppery”

“good fruit, good balance, fine tannins”

“smooth, velvety & silky – very elegant”

Average score: 8.4

3. 2005 Peerick Viognier is from the Pyrenees in VIC. This aged Viognier was very impressive.

“nice nose, rich mouthfeel, spicy, lingering finish”

“good fruit and finish”

“very drinkable, smooth & refreshing”

“very pleasant wine”

“good acid, bright fruit, lovely intensity & length”

Average score: 8.2

4. 2002 D’Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier is from McLaren Vale in SA.



‘Very pleasant, big aroma with lots of fruit”

“lifted nose, intense fruit acid, nice vanilla finish, fine tannins, nice balance”

Average Score: 8.1

5. 2009 Barrister’s Block Cabernet Sauvignon is from Wrattonbully in SA.

I was very impressed with this wine and I personally think that this is an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon.

“blackcurrant, cassis, earthy, licorice”

“elegant, sweet fruit, dry finish”

“will be excellent with age”

“great taste, awesome with steak”

Average Score: 8

6. 2011 Diemersfontein Pinotage is from South Africa.

“chocolate, coffee bean flavour, cool, minty”

“sweet woody nose, smoky cigar, sweet acid, chocolate, vanilla”

“coffee, so different, incredible aromas”

Average Score: 7.9

7. 2002 Trevor Jones Reserve Riesling is from the Barossa Valley in SA.

“rich fruit, good acid, clean finish”

“lemon, lime, tang”

“complex and lovely”

“lime, spice, cumquat”

Average Score: 7.5

8. 2010 Condie Gwen Shiraz is from Heathcote in VIC.

“tastes beautiful, love the barrel taste”

“tastes like gold”

“tastes like it just came out of a wood barrel. Classy”

Average Score: 7.5

Boutique Wine Tasting Dinner at Babushka Restaurant, Tuesday July 31 2013

Top Australian Wines had a very busy night at Babushka, with 25 people attending our Boutique Wine Tasting Dinner.

Here are the average scores of all the wines from the judging of all the people on that night.

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1. 2010 Mother’s Milk Shiraz (Barossa Valley)

This was the wine of the night and here are the comments:

“Top Wine”
“A very nice shiraz”
“Soft delicate texture”

Average Score – 8.45

2. 2009 Lost Valley Cortese (High Country, VIC)

“nice, creamy texture”
“big finish, good wine”
“light, buttery, very good”
“a musk, melon nose. Apple palate and zingy texture”

Average Score – 8.2

3. 2009 She-Oak Hill Shiraz (Heathcote, VIC)

“full bodied, raspberry”
“a very nice shiraz”
“sensational wine”
“a real winner”

Average Score – 8.14

4. 2007 Domain Day Mt Crawford “One Serious Sangiovese” (Barossa, SA)

“a good one, well suited to the dinner as well – good balance”
“delicious with the beef”
“very nice”
“fruity & smooth”

Average Score – 7.9

5. 2008 Leayton Estate Chardonnay (Yarra Valley, VIC)

“enjoyable wine”
“oak, apple and apricot”
“heavy oak”
“very creamy texture with excellent length and good apple. Great fruit & oak balance”

Average Score – 7.76

6. 2010 Rob Dolan Cabernet Sauvignon (Yarra Valley, VIC)

“very well balanced, well rounded with grippy tannins.Dark fruits & awesome length”
“chocolate & plums”
“lovely wine, really enjoyable”
“earthy wine”

Average Score – 7.75

7. 2011 Ashbrook Estate Riesling (Margaret River, WA)

“I really like it”
“Enjoyed its dryness”
“Very easy wine to drink”
“Acidity, lime, dry”

Average Score – 7.64

8. 2010 Woongarra Estate “3 Wise Men” Pinot Noir (Dandenong Ranges, VIC)

“Heavy Pinot”
“Chocolate, pepper, Oak, good finish”
“Smells great, really enjoyed this wine”

Average Score – 7.64

9. 2009 Bellarine Estate Merlot (Geelong, VIC)

“very pleasant”
“very good”
“nice olives & black pepper with nice drying tannins”

10. Cider Review – Sunshack Apple Cider (Mittagong, NSW)

“crisp & dry with a touch of sweetness. Perfect drink on the verandah on a summer day”
“Rounds off magnificently”
“Crisp, smooth, dry”
“Fresh, crisp, soft”
“Lovely, fresh & clean”
“not too sweet”

Average Score – 8

Boutique Wine Tasting Dinner at Almazett Restaurant, Tuesday August 14 2013

Top Australian Wines had moved its Tuesday fortnightly dinners to Almazett Restaurant in North Caulfield in Melbourne’s South Eastern suburbs.

A total of 23 people attended on the night and 10 wines were judged.

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Here are the results:

1. 2010 Sanguine Estate “Progeny” Shiraz (Heathcote, VIC)

This was the wine of the night.

“Great Value”

“fresh bright, good acid, good fruit”

“smooth, coffee, chocolate – sensational”

“perfect on the palate”

Average Score – 8.71

2. 2009 Half & Half Shiraz Monastrell (Barossa, SA)

“forest fruits, rich in flavour”

“lovely nose, rich thinck chocolate & cinnamon & blackberry”

“I really enjoyed this one”

“silky, smooth”

“prune, black pepper, chocloate, spice, cinnamon”

Average Score – 8.38

3. 2008 Neagles Rock Sangiovese (Clare Valley)

“fruit cake, spicy:

“nice aroma, beautiful flavour”

“very enjoyable”

“dry, spicy, perfect for winter”

“plum, nose smells sweet like ribena, sensational”

Average Score – 8.38

4. 2010 Good Catholic Girl “Hail Mary Full of Grace” Cabernet Sauvignon (Clare Valley, SA)

“smooth, amazing”

“very good”

“sensational wine”

“dry and oak”

“a real cabernet sauvignon”

“very ripe with lovely length”

Average Score – 8.31

5. 2009 Riverbank Estate Malbec (Swan Valley, WA)

“I really liked it”

“smokey, black pepper and spice”

“reminds me of a pine forest”

“love this wine”

Average Score – 8

6. 2009 Stella Bella Chardonnay (Margaret River, WA)

“lovely, big & styled with good oak”

“lovely and pleasant”

“nice and buttery”

“smooth and buttery”

“full flavoured”

Average Score – 7.91

7. 2009 Boekenhoutskloof Porcupine Ridge Syrah (South Africa)

“nice sweet taste”

“strong – I liked it”

“violets, spice & chocolate”

“plum – warms you inside”

“big with oak – like a Barossa”

Average Score – 7.95

8. 2011 Rieslingfreak No.3 (Clare Valley, SA)

“easy to drink. lime”

“just right”

“lime, orange blossom, oiliness, curd, minerally, good tang, intensity. Great length and persistence”

Average Score – 7.86

9. 2005 Domain Day “Mt Crawford” Lagrein (Barossa Valley, SA)

“blackberry burst, plenty of acid”

“more than decent”

“tastes Italian, sour cherries”



Average Score – 7.78

Golden Hawk Wines from Andraos Bros Winery

I wanted to bring to your attention an exclusive wine label which is made from Andraos Bros winery, exclusive to the Abu Dhabi National Hotel Group.

Andraos Bros is a small boutique winery in Sunbury, Victoria.

Their wines have not been readily available in the Australian domestic market until recently through Top Australian Wines.

Their wines have mainly been exported to the National Hotel Group & The Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi where Andraos Bros wines are highly sought after and fetch very high prices.

Andraos Bros have made some wine exclusive to The National Hotels Group with the Label “Golden Hawk Wines” and I will be reviewing 2 of these wines.

2004 Golden Hawk “Black Label” Cabernet Shiraz

Golden Hawk Wines
The colour of this wine has a deep core of plum with light plum coloured hues.

The nose displays ink, deep rich ripe plums, blackcurrant, cinnamom, oak, spice & vanilla.

The palate is oaky, strong varietal fruit with signs of aged integration and development with good tannin presence without domination.

It has good length and persistence.

It also has some leathery notes on the palate with red fruits on the back palate.

It is an excellent wine which is ready to drink now and would go very well with a slow roast beef sirloin with a strong mustard crust.

2004 Golden Hawk Shiraz

This wine has a deep ruby colour with a slight reddening of the hue.Golden Hawk Wines

The nose displays dried meats and olives as a secondary nose. Fruit in the backgound with evidence of plum, aniseed and some oak.

The palate has good acid structure with ripe tannins not dominating and fruit roundness.

This wine is ready to drink now and is an excellent food wine.

These wines are not available in Australia but I wanted to share these outstanding wines with you for your information.

Top Australian Wines “High End” Wine Tasting Dinner at Os Kitchen & Wine Bar

Os Kitchen & Wine Bar, Hampton on Thursday, August 23, 2013

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of having my high-end boutique wine tasting dinner at Os Kitchen & Wine Bar at 531 Hampton St, Hampton. A total of 24 people attended.

What made me choose this restuarant is that the food and service here has always been outstanding.

I would like to thank the owner of Os Kitchen & Wine Bar, Alastair Dobbs, for allowing me to hold my event there and for cooking such an amazing menu to suit the wines. I would recommend this restuarant to anyone who is looking for outstanding quality & service.

Here is the menu and the wines that were on offer last Thursday:

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Seared scallops, cauliflower puree, lemon butter

2007 McLeish Estate Semillon Hunter Valley

2002 Andraos Bros Chardonnay Sunbury

Smoked duck breast, braised duck leg, caramelized pear & sage

2010 Paradigm Hill L’Ami Sage Pinot Noir Mornington

Hand cut pappardelle, ragu romagnola

2009 Soul Growers Esperanza Cabernet Sauvignon Mourvedre Barossa

2009 Tatiarra Caravan of Dreams Shiraz Heathcote

Rack of lamb, mustard seed & olive crust, roasted winter vegetables

2006 Kooky Village “The Nutter” Shiraz Barossa

2008 Gaelic Cemetery Shiraz Clare Valley

Isle of Mull Cheddar

2000 Andraos Bros Grandfather’s Reserve Shiraz Sunbury

Here are the results of the wine tasting dinner with some comments from the attendees:

1. 2000 Andraos Bros Grandfather’s Reserve Shiraz (Sunbury, VIC)

“Tastes as good as Hill of Grace”


“Classic old style wine, beautiful”



“Wine of the night”

Average Score – 9.28

2. 2006 Kooky Village “The Nutter” Shiraz (Barossa Valley, SA)

“Big and spicy”

“That’s my style of wine”

“A high level of wine and great value”

“Strawberry heaven”

“love it”

Average Score – 8.48

3. Soul Growers Esperanza Cabernet Sauvignon Mourvedre (Barossa, SA)

“I really enjoyed it”

“excellent with food”

“fantastic taste”

“excellent, strawberry, cinnamon, loved it”

“great aftertaste, well rounded, goes down like velvet. Mourvedre shines through”

Average Score – 8.46

4. 2008 Gaelic Cemetery Shiraz (Clare Valley, SA)

“something to drink all night”

“smooth and excellent, really special shiraz with unique new flavours. It brings shiraz to a new level”

“love it”

“smooth, big, excellent”

“more than good”

Average Score – 8.41

5. 2009 Tatiarra Caravan of Dreams Shiraz Pressings (Heathcote, VIC)

“I thoroughly enjoyed this wine”

“Beautiful nose, great spice, excellent with food”

“Soft and long. Well balanced”

“Enjoyable wine. Loved the flavours”

“Great depth”

Average Score – 8.29

6. 2010 Paradigm Hill L’ami sage Pinot Noir (Mornington, VIC)

“complexities showing”

“In one word “nice” and with great colour, spicy flavours, wonderful with duck from the berry flavours from the wine. One of the most beautiful colours I have ever seen with a Pinot Noir”

“gorgeous, spicy, love it”

“the slight smokiness on the back palate worked brilliantly with the smoked duck”

Average Score – 8.06

7. 2002 Andraos Bros Chardonnay (Sunbury, VIC)

“I have never liked chardonnay but I enjoyed this very much”

“Pinot of chardonnay. Love the colour, amazing taste that lingers, Surprised and impressed”

“Amazing, so much depth”

“nice warm flavours, very new and perfect for winter. Great golden colours, butterscotch flavours”

Average Score – 8.04

8. 2007 McLeish Estate Semillon (Hunter Valley, NSW)

“I really appreciated it”

“Very enjoyable. Loved the acidity and various flavours”

“Only being a sav blanc drinker, I really enjoyed this wine”

“Beautifully rich & layered”

“Delightful, beautiful long palate, great colour”

Average Score – 7.86