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    87.5 Tb
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History

Established in 1970, Brokenwood Wines has evolved from a weekend venture for self-professed hobby winemakers into one of Australia’s most reputable wine labels. Brokenwood was founded by a trio of Sydney-based solicitors ~ Tony Albert, John Beeston and James Halliday~ who paid a then record price of $970 per acre for a 10-acre block in the foothills of the Brokenwood Ranges. The original block - original planned as a cricket ground for the local community was planted with Cabernet Sauvignon  and Shiraz.

 

The first vintage was picked in 1973.
It was a labour of love for the partners, and the friends and families they conscripted to help, with the grapes being carried to the winery in buckets in the back seat of Len Evans’ Bentley. Brokenwood’s inaugural vintage yielded 75 dozen Shiraz-Cabernet. While none of the original partners claimed to know anything about viticulture, the wine received praise, and attracted a loyal following from its first vintage.

 

In 1975, a new winery was built to accommodate the growing production. The winery housed fermentation tanks and oak barrels, and, in dorm-style accommodation, the exhausted bodies of the many helpers who came to stay at Brokenwood, seduced the promise of clean country air, fine food, wine and company in exchange for help on the vineyard. Visitors helped themselves to a taste of the very limited and eagerly sought after boutique wine made by Halliday and his band of weekend winemakers from a table standing in the shade of the first floor balcony. Many of Australia’s most prominent wine identities ‘did their time’ in the vineyards at Brokenwood during the Seventies.

 

Growth was steady until the boom of 1978, when six new partners joined, allowing the purchase of the next door ‘Graveyard Vineyard. Designated as a cemetery by the local town planners, but never used as such, the block had been planted with Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon.

The heavy clay soil resulted in vintages of low yield, but with extraordinary concentration of flavour in the berries, providing a distinctive wine style that is still evident in the Brokenwood red wines. The Graveyard Vineyard created Brokenwood’s flagship wine, the Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz, which is still sourced exclusively from this one vineyard.

 

In the same year, Brokenwood sourced fruit from outside the Hunter Valley for the first time – Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra-which was blended with Hunter fruit to make a premium red, creating the style that has been synonymous with Brokenwood for the last 20 years.

 

In 1982, the company extended its range to include white wines - notably the jewel of the Hunter Valley, Semillon. With this broadened scope, the partners decided to consolidate further growth with a Chief Winemaker/Managing Director.

Iain Riggs joined Brokenwood in 1982, introducing new winery equipment and facilities specifically for premium white wine production. Brokenwood was now capable of producing high quality white wine, which, since 1983, has been a significant part of its total production.

 

Brokenwood’s Single Vineyard philosophy has grown to capture the essence (terroir to the French) of our premium sites throughout Australia. The first single vineyard selection for the Graveyard Vineyard was in 1983. Since then our Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz has gained considerable international recognition. The Langton’s Classification of Distinguished Australian Wine has it as the highest rated Hunter Valley red wine, in the ‘Exceptional’ category.

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Inside information

Iain Riggs has been passionate about exploring new premium regions to produce single vineyard wines, as each vintage allows, ensuing that quality will never be compromised. Our Single Vineyard Selection typifies Brokenwood’s focus on excellence and our passion for making great wine.

The multi-regional blend wines, such as the popular Cricket Pitch range, are sourced from premium regions throughout Australia to create a style that demonstrate balance, elegance and consistency.

 

While the size of the company has grown, the operation remains deliberately labour intensive, being the only way of assuring the individuality of the wines.

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10 different wines with 33 vintages

Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Brokenwood . In a tasting of  33 wines 

De Bortoli ‘Riorret’ ‘Lusatia Park’ Pinot Noir 2016 / This exciting Yarra Valley vineyard does Pinot Noir as well as it does Chardonnay, perhaps even more so. This is a cracker. Plums, earth, slightly sappy notes with some animal skin complexity. Licorice and dark fruits. Satiny tannins and excellent length. This is no simple Pinot; this is seriously good. Should age well for a decade or more. 


Score: 95/100

16d 1h ago

 Wallace Shawn / Wine Investing Consult, Wine Dealer (Luxembourg)  tasted  2 wines  from  Brokenwood . In a tasting of  28 wines 

“Aussie tasting with almost 30 wines - the best one was Torbeck Run Rig 1998 - 98 points / A substantial wine, traditional in many ways but amazingly up to date as well. Very dark and bright in colour. A wide, ripe and open nose with wild mushrooms, blackberry, cherry, pepper and cherbs aromas. Full-bodied and well-balanced with silky tannins and exotic fruit that goes on and on. This Aussie is a grand, sumptuous and concentrated and will not get any better with time. Which is good, because it is hard to resist now. ”

1y 4m ago

 Jasmin Foster / Sommelier, Pro (United Kingdom)  tasted  2 wines  from  Brokenwood . In a tasting of  23 wines 

“Torbreck's RunRig is the estate's flagship wine, made from extremely old vines from eight separate premium Barossa plots.

The RunRig 1996 combines the sheer fruit intensity of some of the finest Shiraz vines of the Barossa with European elegance - the small percentage of Viognier adding real vitality - and hence the best of both worlds.

Torbreck is named after a forest in Scotland where winemaker David Powell once worked as a lumberjack.

1y 6m ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Brokenwood . In a tasting of  30 wines 

“A true masterpiece by Gérard Chave - Hermitage 1990. Chave is known for opting for blending Syrah from their 15 ha vineyards on the Hermitage hill. Their philosophy is against single vineyard wines since blending guarantees more complexity in the wine. In this superb wine this is clearly indicated by the tremendous complexity. Syrah from Bessards is giving rich fruit intensity and concentration to the wine while Méal more depth in flavours and bouquet. Rocoules adds finesse in structure and length along the floral tones. L’Hermite contributes peppery earthy tones and colour. Péléat gives wildness and firmness in structure whereas Diognières provides colour and the savoury tastiness. Gérard Chave himself has compared this top vintage to 1952 and 1961.
Fine looking bottle. Decanted for two hours. This beautiful Hermitage has a deep, dark and seductive colour. On the nose amazing aromas of blackberry, vanilla, herbs and refreshing minerals. The palate was remarkably rich and long and less tannic than expected. The finish was super-long and pure with pleasant sweetness and rich, earthy flavours. This is the essence of Syrah with a long life span ahead.

1y 7m ago

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  13 wines  from  Brokenwood . In a tasting of  13 wines 

“Brokenwood was one of the very first boutique wineries, making a major splash in a vinous landscape very different from today's. It was begun by three Sydney wine-obsessed solicitors, James Halliday, John Beeston and Tony Albert. Albert is sadly no longer with us but the others are going strong and, of course, both have also ventured into wine writing. They bought land that many locals scoffed at for a price unheard of in those days.

Iain Riggs
The key event in the Brokenwood history was the arrival of a young winemaker, Iain Riggs, 28 years ago. Riggsy, as he is known to all, is now a Hunter fixture and heavily involved in many aspects of the wine industry outside of both his winery and region judging at many shows and integral to the Len Evans Tutorials to mention just two. Prior to Brokenwood, he had won a Bushing King trophy during his time at Hazelmere in McLaren Vale (with a white wine the only person to achieve that to this day) and also Bleasdale in Langhorne Creek. ”

1y 8m ago

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Brokenwood . In a tasting of  45 wines 

“My results from the Fine 'Best of Australia' competition (still to add the William Downie Pinot to the system). A fascinating event and huge thanks to Pekka for instigating it. Look for the full story in a forthcooming isssue of the magazine.”

4y 1m ago

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Brokenwood . In a tasting of  21 wines 

“Sandro Mosele makes an array of top pinots on the Mornington Peninsula and this is a winner. Savoury with forest floor, earthy, animal hide and smoky notes, this is primeval pinot. Exciting and visceral.”

4y 9m ago

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Mon Plaisir Chardonnay 2007, Peter Michael Winery
Brut Millésimé 2008, Palmer & Co
Bon Pasteur 2005, Le Bon Pasteur
Laurence Graff Reserve 2009, Delaire Graff
Les Laurets 2014, Baron Edmond de Rothschild