Located in the foothills of the Hunter Valley’s Brokenback Ranges, Brokenwood was originally zoned as a cricket ground for the local community before being acquired by three self-professed weekend winemakers in 1970. Tony Albert, John Beeston and James Halliday were Sydney-based solicitors looking for somewhere to pursue a wine hobby when they established Brokenwood, the first vintage of which was picked in 1973. The famed ‘Graveyard Vineyard’ was the vacant lot next door, named so because council planners originally designated it (but never utilised it), as a cemetery. So it too was acquired by Brokenwood in 1978 and remains the sole source of grapes for the label’s flagship Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz. In 1982 Brokenwood expanded into white wine which coincided with the arrival of Chief Winemaker Iain Riggs. To this day, white wine continues to be a large part of Brokenwood's total production. From its humble beginnings, Brokenwood has grown to be an internationally recognised wine brand, with the flagship wines - Graveyard Shiraz and the ILR Semillon - being highly sought after each vintage. They have also expanded their vineyard holdings, with sites in Beechworth and McLaren Vale, as well as their traditional Hunter vineyards.
JAMES HALLIDAY - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
Has a little bit extra to the fruit line. While still speaking to the classic lemon-accented aromas and flavours, there is an extra edge of lemon/passionfruit sorbet. The drinking window will remain open for as long as you wish.
MIKE BENNIE - THE WINE FRONT
Each year for the past I-don’t-know-how-long, I go up to the Hunter Valley and do some bench tasting with the young wines of the season. Brokenwood is always on this trip. The young semillon wines seem to have prospered, particularly under the guidance of winemakers Stuart Hordern and Kate Sturgess. These are red hot talents. The 2019 ‘standard’ Hunter Valley semillon looked amazing as a very young, unfinished wine. And now, completed and in bottle, it is outstanding. This is a coup, built from skill and dedication. Blind tasted against peers for this review. Strong lemon-limey semillon of fresh and pristine feel, good intensity of fruit flavour, very brisk and tart acidity. It’s almost breath-taking in its limey tang, flushes out sweat under the eye sockets and generally delivers a very refreshing experience. The finish is clean, juicy and moreish. It’s a classic style done exceptionally well with good fruit flavour, quiet power, length and acidity in tow. Bravo.