Sydney Boutique Wine Fair 2011 at the Oak Barrel

The Sydney Boutique Wine Fair at the Oak Barrel took place during the Crave Sydney festival and featured a selection of small, family owned estates from around Australia. Guests had the opportunity meet some of the winemakers, learn about their range and try a selection of wines which are made in smaller amounts.

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair
The Oak Barrel Tasting Room

Mudgee, Orange, Canowindra were but a few of the wine making areas represented.  Over 20 stall holders showcased their selections, and with some wineries in attendance that don’t have a cellar door, the event was a rare occasion to taste and learn from the winemakers.

Eldridge Estate

Eldridge Estate is located in the Mornington Peninsula, 90 minutes south of Melbourne.

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair
Eldridge Estate range –  David Lloyd, winemaker/proprietor

PTG 11 is a wine that was just released the previous night. Made in the style of Passetoutgrain (PTG) from a blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Gamay, it sits between a rosé and a pinot and has a low level of preservatives. Slightly peppery on the nose with summer berries and more body than a rosé, makes it best served lightly chilled at 16 degrees. A very enjoyable drop.

2009 Eldridge Estate Gamay has a rich palate with some spice and tannins. The 2009 Eldridge Estate Pinot Noir Clone MV6 is light in colour but packs a good body with tannic finish. MV6 means mother vine and the number refers to the number in the ground. The 2008 Eldridge Estate Pinot Noir has more body than the MV6, with dark cherries on the nose and a rich long finish.

Patina and Diamond Creek Estate

Patina is a family-owned estate along the slopes of Mt Canobolas near Orange in New South Wales. The name refers to the colouration of copper and their range of wines have a striking label with a distinctive copper colour.

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair
Patina whites

Sharing the stand with Patina, is Diamond Creek Estate, a family owned and operated vineyard located on the northern slopes of Mittagong, in the Southern Highlands region of New South Wales.

The tasting spanned across both wineries and began with the Patina Sauvignon Blanc 2010, light with plenty of fruit and moved onto the Diamond Creek Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2008 which was a little too sweet on the palate. The Diamond Creek Estate Chardonnay 2008 is dry with good fruit and a bright finish. Patina Reserve Chardonnay 2007 is medium bodied, has a good mouthfeel and well balanced acid. One of the favourites on taste.

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair
Diamond Creek Estate

In the reds, Diamond Creek Estate 2006 Pinot Noir is very light with subtle fruit while the Patina 2006 Pinot Noir has good body, with a spice node and developed tannins – another of the favourites on taste. Patina Merlot 2005 has fine tannins with dark berries on the palate. Diamond Creek Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 is barrel aged in French oak for 12 months and exhibits lots of fruit, berries, an intensity with spice and lingers on the palate – another favourite. Shiraz Patina 2005 from Mudgee is distinctly peppery, full bodied, and well known in sommelier circles.

Patina Sticky Tea Riesling 2010 is described as a “happy mistake” when yeast was added to left over Riesling pressed skins. The result is an interesting lighter style of sticky with an iced tea flavour. Diamond Creek Estate Botrytis 2006 has subtle floral notes with a long, sweet finish on the palate.

Collector Wines and Nick O’Leary

Collector Wines produce small quantity wines sources from growers in the Canberra district. The wines are made near Collector on the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales. Nick O’Leary wines come from small individual parcels of fruit, sourced in and around the Canberra District.

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair
Collector and Nick O’Leary Wines with Alex McKay of Collector

Nick O’ Leary Riesling 2011 has floral aromas and a little sweet on the palate, probably better enjoyed with hard cheese. Bourke St Pinot Noir 2010 is a collaboration between Nick O’Leary and Alex McKay of Collector Wines (pictured). It has good fruit, full bodied on the palate with good pepper and spice. One of the favourite reds on taste.

Collector 2010 Marked Tree Shiraz has dark cherry on the nose, peppery and full bodied with a textured mouthfeel while the Nick O’Leary Shiraz 2010 has berry and spice on the nose and fine lingering tannins on the palate. Overall, an impressive range from both wine producers.

Freeman Vineyards

Freeman Vineyards was established in 1999 in the Hilltops region of New South Wales by Dr Brian Freeman, previously a professor of Wine Science at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga and they produce three exciting Italian style wines

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair
Freeman Rose Rosé and Fortuna Plus

Freeman Rondo Rosé 2011 is made from 100% Rondinella grapes that produce a dry style rosé inspired from wines of northern Italy. It is the only vineyard in Australia to have planted this variety. Rondinella means little swallow and the wine is made using the traditional saignée method resulting in a pale, dry, easy to drink rosé, with a little spice and lingering palate which make a great aperitif when served chilled.

Freeman Fortuna Pinot Gris Plus 2009 is a blend of Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Aleatico (southern Italian variety) and is inspired by white wines of the Friuli and Alto Adige regions of northern Italy.  A well balanced blend that has the palate weight of Chardonnay but a savoury mouthfeel.

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair
Jane Adams and Freeman Secco

Freeman Secco Rondinella and Corvina 2007 is the flagship wine made in the northern Italian method of drying grapes to raisins in a solar powered prune dehydrator then added to fresh grapes during fermentation. Aged in old oak barrels for two years in order to mature then bottle aged for an additional two years before release, this is a rich, full bodied wine with good tannins to enjoy with a meal.

Atlas Wines

Atlas Wines is a boutique wine producer, with Adam Barton making wine from premium fruit sourced from the Clare Valley and neighbouring Barossa Valley.

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair
Atlas Wines – Adam Barton, winemaker

Atlas 172° Riesling 2010, (the number refers to the GPS coordinates of the vineyard) is made from a 60 year old vineyard in the Clare Valley. This is a crisp Riesling with citrus and floral notes. Atlas Section 32 Shiraz 2009 is earthy with intense fruit and good tannins coming through on the finish. Atlas 429° Clare Valley Shiraz has good fruit, hints of blackcurrants and has a full body with complexity. Atlas 516° Barossa Shiraz has more generous fruit than its Clare Valley equivalent and builds in depth of flavour. Atlas Shiraz Mataro 2009 is a blend of 65% Shiraz and 35% Mataro from the Barossa. This is a more textural and savoury wine, with ripe cherries on the palate. A great range of reds from a small producer who is passionate about his craft.

Vines and Venues – Louee and Gilbert

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair

Gilbert by Simon Gilbert Pinot Grigio 2010 from Orange has stone fruit on the palate, good acid and hints of citrus, a lighter style of white to enjoy at any time. Sourced from Orange but made in Mudgee, Gilbert by Simon Gilbert Riesling 2010 is zesty and fresh, releasing citrus flavours mid palate. Louee Tongbong Chardonnay 2005 is bunch pressed, aged in French oak for 9 months then matured for 3 months on lees. Citrus notes with a little spice and vanilla, this is one of the favourites on taste. The Louee Late Picked Riesling 2010 has a botrytis character but not overly sweet, with apricot notes and a lemon and lime finish.

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair
Louee Reds and JeanPaul Buhagiar

In the reds, Louee Nullo Mountain Pinot Noir 2008 has red berries and cherry on the nose with dark cherry and mulberry on the palate with a mocha finish – a red that has plenty of character. Louee Rumkers Peak Shiraz 2006, with pepper on the nose and woody spices on the palate is another favourite of the tasting.

Heathvale Wines

Heathvale wines are grown and made in Eden Valley in South Australia. The Heathvale property had been producing wine in the late 1800s and after the March family moved there two decades ago, they commenced replanting the original vineyards and began producing wine in 2008.

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair
Trevor Marsh and Heathvale Wines

The 2010 Heathvale Eden Valley Riesling is a dry style with fresh citrus overtones and good length, a Riesling that is prone to ageing very well. We tasted the 2011 Heathvale Eden Valley Riesling as well which is fresh and zingy, almost with a lemon sherbet mouthfeel.

The 2008 Heathvale ‘The Angry Rabbit’ Shiraz Cabernet takes its name from this story. The wine has berry fruit on the nose, good length and a smooth palate. The 2008 Heathvale Eden Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a more serious wine than the Angry Rabbit and has underpinning oak and fine tannins, a complex wine that opens up as you drink it. Another of the favourites on taste. The 2008 Heathvale Eden Valley Shiraz is only made in exceptional years, had a velvety texture and is equally enjoyable as the Cabernet.

Tertini Wines

Tertini Wines are located in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales near the historic village of Berrima. A relatively young vineyard, with the first plantings in 2000, the first vintage was produced five years later and won a Gold Medal and Trophy. Tertini is made up of Tertini Wines and Tertini Reserve, the latter producing Arneis wines, an Italian white grape variety originating from Piedmont.

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair
Robert Kay and Tertini Wines

The 2008 Tertini Riesling has strong citrus aromas with a clean dry finish on the palate. The 2009 Tertini Reserve Arneis is made from 100% Arneis in exceptional years and yields a wine that has stone fruit aromas and flavours, and a fragrant and aromatic wine. The 2007 Tertini Pinot Noir is easy drinking, has good weight with an earthy and savoury aroma.


Sydney Boutique Wine Fair
Canobolas-Smith (Orange) – Chalker’s Crossing (Hilltops) – Robert Stein (Mudgee)

Word around the tasting room was that the Canobolas-Smith Estate Chardonnay 2006 was a must-try and the best of the Chardonnays on taste. Aged for twelve months in French oak casks, it has an intense palate with a long finish. Dubbed as a “pure Chardonnay that is not pretending to be something else”, it’s crisp and dry, and has plenty of fruit flavour.

Other Wines

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair
Golden Ball Wines, from Beechworth

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair
Swinging Bridge Wines – Canowindra NSW 

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair
Protero (Adelaide Hills – SA), Castagna (Beechworth) and Adam’s Rib

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair
Cheese and nibbles during the tasting

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair
Winemakers signing the plaques for the Oak Barrel

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair
Julian (Oak Barrel),  Trevor March (Heathvale), Simon (Oak Barrel)

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair

Much like the Sydney Whisky Fair held recently at the Oak Barrel, the Sydney Boutique Wine Fair was a well organised event and the timing of the session was sufficient to allow guests ample time to taste and learn from the winemakers.

The Sydney Boutique Wine Fair was held in the afternoon of Saturday 22nd October 2011, part of the Crave Sydney festival, in the tasting room of the Oak Barrel wine store in the CBD.

For a photo gallery of the event, visit Gourmantic on Facebook and “Like” the page.

Gourmantic attended the event as media guests.

Sydney Boutique Wine Fair

The Oak Barrel
152 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Photography by Mr Gourmantic.

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.