‘Taste the Future’ – Barrel Tasting Event 

 

This is a rare opportunity to experience our wines at a unique moment in time. Join Axel Friend, our Chief Winemaker in the barrel room for this ‘Taste the Future’ event where you will be tasting wines not yet released and sampled straight from the barrel. This rare and personalised behind the scenes access also includes an insight into the art of blending, how wines are assembled and the chance to witness the evolution of a wine.

Your experience includes:

  • Gaining an insight into the impact on wine, of the time in barrel and across a range of barrel ages
  • Tasting selected wines in barrel undergoing maturation, with Axel our Chief Winemaker
  • Cellar Door tasting of a selection of bottled wines, including some not yet released
  • Exclusive chance to pre-order wines not yet released, at a special price.
  • Opportunity to select a bonus bottle*, with each case of 12 bottles purchased on the day.
  • Receive a complimentary glass of wine with lunch**

*   Bonus bottle of wine can be selected from our Premium range.

**  You may choose to stay for lunch at our winery restaurant after the conclusion of your tasting. If so, please let us know at the time of booking so that we can ensure that your table reservation is confirmed. Complimentary glass of wine can be selected from our Premium range.

Numbers for this unique tasting experience are limited.

Bookings essential.

  • Dates: Friday 4th October and Saturday 5th October 2019
  • Time: 11am
  • Venue: Narkoojee Winery, 220 Francis Road, Glengarry
  • Value: $35
  • Bookings: Please nominate which day you will be attending, and if you are booking for ‘Tasting only’ or ‘Tasting and Lunch’. Phone Jo or Brad at the winery on 03 5192 4257 or e-mail: wines@narkoojee.com . Payment for the tasting is required at the time of booking to secure your place.

 

Annual Winemakers’ Dinners at Matteo’s

 

 

Join us on this extra special occasion to celebrate Matteo’s 25th year at North Fitzroy, our 20th year of Winemaker’s dinners at Matteo’s and the retention of our 5 red stars in Halliday’s 2020 Wine Companion.  This celebration is in recognition of another remarkable year of our personal and professional relationship with Matteo and his staff and the spectacular food, service and wines we have enjoyed over the 20 years with our countless ‘Friends of Narkoojee’ who have supported us over this time.

Bookings essential.

  • Date: Saturday 7th, Friday 13th and Saturday 14th September 2019
  • Time: 7pm arrival
  • Venue: Matteo’s Restaurant, 533 Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy
  • Value: $145 all inclusive
  • Bookings: Phone Ardina or Brad at Narkoojee winery 03 5192 4257
Click here to download invitation and payment options.

 

Winter newsletter – wine pack offers

 

Our latest Newsletter is here and features notes from our Winemaker Axel Friend on the 2019 season, details of our new release wines and six winter wine pack offers. Whether it’s reds, whites, mixed or reserve wines, we’ve created the perfect pack to see you through this winter.

These offers are detailed below and are available until 31st July 2019. Orders can be placed through our website or by phoning our cellar door 03 5192 4257, with free delivery within Australia.

Download your PDF copy of our Winter Newsletter.

NEW RELEASES PACK 1
3 x 2018 Lily Grace Chardonnay
3 x 2018 Pinot Noir
3 x 2018 Sparkling Harriet Chardonnay
3 x 2018 Wild Rose
PACK SPECIAL PRICE $269 (Normally $336)
ORDER NOW

 

NEW RELEASES PACK 2
3 x 2017 Francis Road Shiraz
3 x 2018 Viognier
3 x 2017 Sparkling Shiraz
3 x 2018 Sauvignon Blanc
PACK SPECIAL PRICE $276 (Normally $345)
ORDER NOW

 

WHITE WINES PACK 
3 x 2017 Reserve Chardonnay
3 x 2018 Lily Grace Chardonnay
3 x 2018 Viognier
3 x 2018 Sauvignon Blanc
PACK SPECIAL PRICE $307 (Normally $384)
ORDER NOW

 

RED WINES PACK 
3 x 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
3 x 2017 Athelstan Merlot
3 x 2017 Francis Road Shiraz
3 x 2018 Pinot Noir
PACK SPECIAL PRICE $281 (Normally $351)
ORDER NOW

 

ECONOMY PACK 
3 x 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
3 x 2018 Sauvignon Blanc
3 x 2018 Chardonnay (Tumbarumba Vineyard)
3 x 2017 Athelstan Merlot
PACK SPECIAL PRICE $269 (Normally $336)
ORDER NOW

 

RESERVE WINES PACK 
3 x 2015 Isaac Reserve Shiraz
3 x 2017 Four Generations Merlot
3 x 2017 Reserve Chardonnay
3 x 2017 Reserve Pinot Noir
PACK SPECIAL PRICE $406 (Normally $507)
ORDER NOW

Old favourites return, briefly

Harry Friend, in a reflective moment, recently advised that merlot can be a trifle capricious. He felt that in the manner of a true European grape variety, merlot tends to produce great wines every three years or so.  We obtained very little merlot from the 2016 vintage and did not make any wine from this variety. By contrast, vintage 2017 is one of outstanding quality for merlot, and for other varieties as well.  This has allowed Axel Friend, our winemaker, to create two splendid versions, The Athelstan Merlot (named for his grandfather who was the first generation Friend at Narkoojee) and the Four Generations Merlot, reflecting the continuing heritage of the Friend family at Narkoojee.

In late October I had the honour to represent Narkoojee at the Annual Gala Dinner of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, of which Narkoojee is a proud sponsor. Held in the Sofitel on Collins, the food was excellent, the music was wonderful and the wines, provided by Narkoojee, were very well received. The highlight among the wines undoubtedly was the 2017 Athelstan Merlot, many guests commented on its quality, with the words ‘stylish’ and ‘elegant’ being widely used.

I believe that this is a very fine wine. If you have enjoyed our Narkoojee merlots in the past, or would like to get to know them, I suggest that you order quickly. The 2017 merlots have only been released for a month but already one quarter of our stock has gone.

As many of you know, Narkoojee makes small quantities of fine pinot noir. Three years ago we undertook a new planting at Glengarry to augment our supplies, but wines from this planting are still some way off. The 2017 vintage was small but of very high quality. The 2016 Premium Pinot sold out some months ago, but the 2017 version of this wine is wonderful and is now available. With small quantities and high demand it might be all gone by Christmas. So get in now!

Ken John

Introducing the 2016 “The Harry” Shiraz

 

Regular Narkoojee followers would be aware of the pivotal role played by Harry and Val Friend in the establishment and development of the Narkoojee wine business. It was Harry’s father Athelstan, a dairy farmer, who in the 1940s purchased the property named “Narkoojee” a local Koorie term meaning “place of flowers”. It won’t surprise you to learn that as a young man Harry developed a great interest in wine and the first experimental planting of vines was undertaken in 1980. The results were very encouraging and following his father’s death Harry acquired the property from his siblings, gave up his career as an Engineer and with his wife Val committed to establishing a commercial wine business.

The capital required necessitated the establishment of a corporate structure with a limited number of shareholders all sharing the vision. The first commercial planting was of 5 acres in 1990 and this has grown to the point today of Narkoojee having 33 acres under vine. Along the way a state of the art winery was built and more recently a restaurant. Harry was of course the founding winemaker and from the outset Narkoojee has not compromised in its commitment to produce wine targeted at the quality end of the very competitive wine market. Thanks to Harry, and more recently his son Axel who is now the chief winemaker, this commitment has been realised in abundance as reflected in trophies and medals from wine shows and wine writers’ accolades, including the prestigious 5 red star rating by James Halliday, the doyen of Australian wine commentators. It has been the company’s practice to name selected wines after Harry and Val’s grandchildren – Lily Grace, Harriett, Isaac and Max and more recently to honour Val by naming our three superior wines the Valerie range. To date Harry has resisted having a wine bear his name but he has now been overridden. The catalyst was the superb 2016 vintage of shiraz and Axel’s determination to set aside the best 2 barrels and make a wine in honour of his father. The wine has been fermented by wild yeasts indigenous to the vineyard and matured in 100% new oak barriques. The richer and more flavoursome characteristics arising from the warmer 2016 season have facilitated the integration of the new oak. A beautiful wine named the 2016 “The Harry” Shiraz.

A special label has been prepared with each bottle individually numbered, a presentation box option is being finalised which will also make this a wonderful gift idea. The cellar door price is $160 per bottle, a price reflecting the very limited stock of a rare and outstanding wine worthy of the name “The Harry”.

Halliday 2019 – A Valerie Year

 

The always anticipated Halliday Wine Companion results were released on Thursday 2nd August 2018. Once again, the quality of Narkoojee’s wines was fully recognised, in particular, the exceptional quality of our cool climate shiraz and our continued status as a five red star winery.

A very sage commentator described our Halliday 2019 review as ‘A Valerie Year’ for Narkoojee and we couldn’t agree more. A great recognition for one of our founders, Valerie Friend. Further, this reflects the outstanding scores achieved for our 2015 Valerie Shiraz, 2016 Valerie Shiraz and 2016 Valerie Pinot Noir.

We also offer the 2016 Maxwell Reserve Cabernet that has been very well received by Halliday. Continuing the family theme, this wine is named for Valerie’s grandson Maxwell Friend.

A major difficulty is that we only have 20 cases left of this much vaunted 2015 Valerie Shiraz. We encourage you to secure your order before stocks are fully depleted.

A tale of two wines

 

Preference and subjectivity are the hallmarks of all sensible wine chat.  To that end I recently attended a surprise blind tasting of two red wines.  Naturally, opinion around the table varied regarding which wine each taster preferred, in terms of a comparison of styles and pricing.

Firstly, a rich almost lushly fruited wine with a level of sophistication that indicated a provenance of high quality with an apparent cool climate origin.  My only wish was that the wine was a touch longer on the palate.  Nevertheless, a wine of substance to be appreciated and enjoyed.The second wine was more moderately fruitful, of mid-weight and beautifully balanced.  It certainly displayed appropriate fruit and fine tannins, and to my mind was a wine of great harmony that would be even more attractive with food.

So; decisions and preferences were announced. All agreed that both were very fine wines, but final choices differed. I personally enjoyed the style and balance of the second wine which, among other things, I think I described as ‘sexy’.

Then the labels were revealed, to much surprise. The first wine was the 2016 vintage of a greatly admired Victorian label, certainly amongst the most revered expressions of shiraz in Australia.  The second was our current 2016 Narkoojee Francis Road Shiraz selling for about a third of the price of the first wine.

I am delighted that our Narkoojee premium level wine stood up so well against an icon of the industry. Narkoojee has two levels of shiraz above the Francis Road; the Isaac Reserve Shiraz and at the elite level the Valerie Shiraz, both of which are superb, cool climate styles, representing bargains at their price.

The wines included in this offer have not yet been reviewed by James Halliday because of the lag, but they are all from very good vintages.  The most recent reviews for our shiraz wines are: 2013 Valerie Shiraz 96 points, the 2014 Valerie Shiraz 95 points and the 2013 Isaac Reserve Shiraz 94 points.

I believe the wines speak for themselves and encourage you to embrace this Spectacular Shiraz Case Offer*.

Ken John
Narkoojee Director

 

* Case includes:

2016 Francis Road Shiraz x 6
2015 Isaac Reserve Shiraz x 4
2015 Valerie Shiraz x 2

Offer only valid until Saturday 30th June 2018

Narkoojee Newsletter – Winter 2018

Our latest newsletter includes:

  • A summary of our ‘New release wines’
  • Season 2018 – ‘Yet another excellent year’
  • A fabulous selection of ‘Wine Packs’  – only available while stocks last
  • Our Restaurant’s Winter Trading Hours

Click here to view

If we have your home and/or postal address details on our mailing list, we trust that you will receive your copy in the first week of June 2018.

Happy reading.

New at our Cellar Door

Brad King has recently joined us here at our Cellar Door in Glengarry. He’s extremely passionate about all aspects of wine, but most particularly education and guiding others along the wine tasting journey. His training has taken him through the Burgundy region of France, the home of chardonnay and pinot noir. For those of you in the Gippsland area you may recognise Brad from his previous position as Fine Wine Manager at Dan Murphy’s.

We are delighted to welcome Brad to Narkoojee and to share with you his thoughts on three of our most popular wines below.

We are also letting you know that stocks are selling rapidly so we encourage you to get in quickly.

2017 Lily Grace Chardonnay  “I simply couldn’t make a list of Narkoojee wines without including Lily Grace Chardonnay. This wine already has a cult following and delivers flavours well above the price tag. I believe this is one of the best I have seen, it has something to offer for all palates and is great to match with food. Get some while you can”.

2016 Pinot Noir  “I adore well made pinots, it can however be hard to find great quality at an affordable price and this doesn’t disappoint. Wonderful complex and juicy bouquetrich and generous palate with terrific length. This is sure to be one of our fastest selling red wines this year”.

2016 Francis Road Shiraz  “The 2016 vintage of this magnificent shiraz makes me believe we have our next cult wine in the making. With the 2016 vintage being quite warm this is a much bigger wine than your typical cool climate Shiraz. Perfect wine to have with dinner or Friday afternoon drinks with friends”.

 

 

In praise of our 2015 merlots

In praise of our 2015 Merlots

 

Mention the word ‘merlot’ and my mind drifts to some of the best wine regions of Bordeaux.  First, the Médoc region, where cabernet sauvignon is king and merlot, with the help of malbec, cabernet franc and petit verdot, is reduced to a support play.  Think Château Latour, Château Margaux and Château Haut Brion. Then Saint Émilion, smaller than the Médoc, with merlot around 60%, cabernet franc 30% and cabernet sauvignon 10%. Think Château Cheval Blanc and Château Ausone. In neighbouring Pomerol, the dominant variety is merlot, with a little cabernet franc, a reflection of the region being further inland with a more continental climate. Two of the most important Châteaux here are Petrus and Le Pin. These produce arguably the most expensive, and maybe the best, wines in the world.

From there we return to Gippsland and the 2015 The Athelstan Merlot, released in late 2016 and disappearing rapidly from our stocks. This wine is widely regarded at the winery as one of the best merlots we have ever made.

For my part, I can only agree: in my opinion, our 2015 merlots are certainly the best merlots we have made. Mind you, they follow other illustrious wines.  I was fortunate to try recently the 2004 The Athelstan Merlot, the only merlot selected in James Halliday’s Top 100 wines of 2007 with a rating of 95 points.  The delicious part of the story is being able to relay how well that wine has aged since 2007.  It was, and is, a beautiful example of balanced, flavourful, plummy, mature cool climate merlot.  It remains a great credit to Harry Friend’s winemaking skills and Axel Friend’s vineyard management.

The 2015 The Athelstan Merlot is a creation of Axel’s, with Harry looking over his shoulder.  Altogether another great example of how this much-maligned variety produces wines of sophistication, charm and elegance with a long life, yet enjoyable now.  It surpasses the great 2004!

It is timely to also mention our 2015 Four Generations Merlot has also been released.  Celebrating four generations of the Friend family’s association with the terroir of Narkoojee, first as a dairy farm for Harry’s father Athelstan and now through Harry, Axel and Axel’s sons Maxwell and Isaac.

The Four Generations is only made in suitably exceptional vintages – initially 2004, then 2009 and now 2015 – from selected parcels of fruit with a high level of new French oak.  It is a sophisticated, balanced and noble wine with great structure and length and is only available in limited quantities. We suggest it is absolutely worthy of a place in your cellar, and can be enjoyed now but will handsomely repay further bottle age.

To complete our merlot story, we must also acknowledge our 2015 Cabernet Merlot which takes us full circle back to the concept of emulating the red wines of the Médoc in Bordeaux.   The wine is a stylish and harmonious blend with fine oak tannins, elegantly rich fruit and a satisfying long textural finish.

These wines are available now for your purchase, but they won’t last long. In particular, stock of the first of these three to be released, The Athelstan Merlot, is nearly all gone.

Ken John
Narkoojee Director