“Today the Fairbank wines represent some of the most exceptional value for money wine in Australian wine” Jeremy Oliver, The Australian Wine Annual
“Makes magnificent Shiraz with both texture and minerality from Bendigo” Andrew Jefford, Financial Times
If you haven’t tasted the wines of Mel Chester at Sutton Grange in the southern tip of the Bendigo wine region, do yourself a favour. Mel is one of the most talented young winemakers in Australia and she has been crafting the wines of this small estate since 2016, whilst also impressively managing all other elements of the wine business. The winery organically farms it’s 12 hectares of wines and produces a modest 6000 cases. These are split across two levels, this first level under Fairbank and the upper tier of Sutton Grange.
Her focus here is for nuanced, fresh, savoury and balanced reds (Shiraz and Sangiovese the most of it) and alternative white varietals from France (Viognier) and Italy (Fiano) that suit the drier Central Victorian climate
The Syrah is a knockout and a scream for value. The spice and mineral complexity and satiny texture belies its price point. Pepper, graphite, brown spice, clove, plum, dark berry, and a hint of choc. For Shiraz lovers, this is one to put on your radar. Will go well with charred or smoked meats, particularly lamb with herbs or olive tapenade.
Aside to the Syrah, we need to give mention to Mel's Field Blend White 2020. It is one of the most delicious and interesting whites we've tried in years. It is a blend of underrated varieties, Viognier and Fiano, that when combined, make an utterly drinkable, textured and refreshing white. The varieties are picked on the same day, so some slightly under ripe Viognier that adds exotic fruit, texture and spice, while the Fiano delivers a saline and slatey feel and plenty of structure. Enjoy with almost any Asian cuisine. If you would like some of this, please just order at the same price and send us an email requesting some.
We hope you enjoy these wines from a genuinely exciting, quality and authentic small Victorian producer. Finally, they are worth a visit if you venture toward Castelmaine/ Bendigo area and are currently hosting Longrain as a winery restaurant pop up.
Here is a recent article that is worth a read for those picking up the wines.
Tom and Dan