My Wine Guy
 

Virgin Hills Collection Mixed Pack

Virgin Hills

Our Price: $27.99 / bottle (RRP: $72.50) Case: 6 x 750ml

'Virgin Hills' ability to produce consistently fine wine for over a decade has earned it an icon status.'
James Halliday

  • Each case will contain one bottle of the following vintages. All bottles are under screwcap to ensure freshness and longevity:

    2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012

    Virgin Hills was the creation of the eccentric Hungarian-born sculptor and restaurateur Tom Lazar. Arriving from Hungary via Paris in 1952, he found a country and a wine industry, very different to the one we know today.

    Lazar was determined to change all that. He established the acclaimed Little Reata restaurant in Melbourne. Then in 1968, came his grand vision of Virgin Hills. Inspired, he bought 300 acres of rugged bushland high in the Macedon Ranges. Lazar saw an opportunity to expose Australian palates to something very different; black cherries.

    After laborious clearing, the soil revealed itself to be quite poor for cherries.

    Swiftly, Lazar had another grand vision. Decades before the term 'cool-climate wine' became popular, he abandoned the idea of a cherry orchard, planting Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Malbec, Merlot and Pinot Noir instead. He planned an Australian rival to the great Bordeaux wines he had grown to love in Paris. Lazar was prone to grand visions.

    The land suffers from frosts and occasional snow at both ends of the season (budburst and harvest time). To this day, it bears the viticultural classification of 'marginal vineyard'.

    Of course, we scarcely need mention that Lazar had no grape growing or winemaking experience whatsoever.

    After spending a vintage in the Coonawarra under the instruction of Owen Redman, Lazar produced the first Virgin Hills vintage. A blend of all the varieties in the vineyard, it stood out among Australian wines as being uncharacteristically subtle.

    Tom had great success with his early vintages, with the '74 Virgin Hills winning Gold at the International Wine & Spirit Competition, Bristol, UK, in 1981. This catapulted Virgin Hills into the spotlight. As Lazar refined Virgin Hills further, it rapidly won international acclaim and numerous awards. Judges worldwide rated it as a worthy competitor to the Bordeaux wines that inspired it. A marked contrast to the standard oaky Australian red, Virgin Hills won a devoted following, particularly in Victoria.

    Only one wine has ever been produced under the Virgin Hills label. From the beginning, the blends have varied subtly from year to year, adding to its mystique.

    To put it in context of great Australian Wine - here is what some of our most famed wine critics have said about Virgin Hills:
    "After more than 20 years of covering the wine beat, it takes a lot to get me gaga over a wine. It has to be either a tremendous bargain that I'm dying to share with you or a wine of such superb quality that just sipping it makes my nervous system tingle.

    I'm gaga over Virgin Hills. This relatively obscure Australian gem may be the greatest red wine you've never heard of. Until recently, I had tasted it only once. I wrote a short blurb about it a couple of years ago, but there was little available for the United States. I'm delighted to report that decent quantities are finally here and you should move on it before it disappears. ."
    Ben Giliberti, The Washington Post (October 1st, 2003)

    "An unforgettable, perfect red wine. I asked him what it was, but I should have guessed. Virgin Hills, 1975"
    Jeremy Oliver on tasting some back vintage Virgin Hills Wines.

    ’«When asked, to which vineyard would you point a French wine expert if you wanted to impress him or her with the capacity of Australia to produce a consistently fine wine over a decade? My answer in all probability would be Virgin Hills’«
    James Halliday

    'Virgin Hills has long held a special place in the hearts of many wine lovers, especially the breed that like to seek out obscure and hard to get'
    Huon Hooke, Sydney Morning Herald

    "Virgin Hills' ability to produce consistently fine wine for over a decade has earned it an icon status."
    James Halliday

  • Virgin Hills Cellar Selection Tasting Pack - Contains one bottle of each of the following wines (Be advised as selection may differ slightly from case to case, however we endeavour to make sure the contents match the vintages listed below):

     

    Virgin Hills 2003 Tasting Notes
    (Peter Howland Aug 2016)
    RRP $70

    A dense and complex nose of dark plums and cumin spice and a hint of coconut and lemon. The fine oak is barely noticeable but announces that the palate will be firmly structured by it.

    Sure enough, the palate leads with chocolate oak, and then allowing ripe cabernet black fruits. The merlot and shiraz fill out the mid palate with a smattering of Indian spices. The tannins are quite drying and dominate the length, but there is enough dark fruits and leathery weight to hold up. This wine is all about structure and savouriness. The tannins leave you puckering.

    Virgin Hills 2005 Tasting Notes
    (Peter Howland Aug 2016)
    RRP $65

    This wine is at its prime and I suspect it will be for another decade to come. The nose has that elusive frankincense and sandalwood character of exceptional Northern Rhones; the malbec is lifting these spices out of the shiraz. There is also a similar aged cabernet note mingling too.

    The palate is generous and incredibly complex. There are sweet plums and blackberries, to sweet tobacco and sandalwood, to smokey roasted capsicum and dark chocolate (the really high cocoa kind.) The tannins are reminiscent of such chocolate too with a firmness of style. This wine is a great balance of savoury spices and aged oak notes, with developed fruit characters. The finish is stamped with the signature fine tannin structure and lingering leathery complexity. All class.

    Virgin Hills 2006 Tasting Notes
    (Peter Howland Aug 2016)
    RRP $65

    The nose on the 2006 is statement in cabernet. There are dark blackberries and snow peas. A vanilla note sweetens these notes and lemon myrtle adds to the complexity.

    A ripe and generous Virgin Hills with a subtle vanilla note lifting the dark chocolate, blackberries and black cherries. One of the riper examples from this vineyards, the flavours are rich and forward. This more masculine style has the firm, stylish tannins, but has a generous dark plum opulence. Some great spice dances throughout and the structure holds very firmly on the finish. This is built to last and will probably be at its best in 2030's.

    Virgin Hills 2007 Tasting Notes
    (Peter Howland Aug 2016) RRP $65

    This wine takes its time to open up. It's in no hurry, so take your time with it. There are some salty plums sitting under black pepper and sandalwood. The weight of earthy fruit and french oak is lifting out.

    The palate is a madhouse of stylish oak and plums and orange peel and black pepper and cumin and dark cabernet fruit, get acidity and sticky tannins. There's so much packed in there that I suspect over time different things will show themselves at different times (both in a decanter and by slowly whittling down a dozen of these over the next decade or so). The consistency of sticky tannins are the mark of optimum ripeness and of quality. In my experience the orange and herbal notes develop into cigar tobacco and leather characters. I think this will be a very classy wine over the next 2 decades.

    Virgin Hills 2010 Tasting Notes
    (Peter Howland July 2017)

    A spicy nose with exotic spices of cardamon and cumin and raspberry jam. The palate is hitting the sweet spot of age, with a great balance of earthy complexity, cigar notes, new leather and some brightness of cherries and herbs. The structure is so elegant, with very fine tannins, and fresh acidity lifting the red fruits. The Malbec is shining in this wine with juicy exotic fruits in the middle and the cabernet is tying it all together beautifully. A good one.

    Virgin Hills 2012 Tasting Notes
    (Peter Howland July 2017)

    This nose begins with bright peas from the cabernet and red fruits (raspberries) from the Merlot. A dandelion note permeates through. The palate eases into complexity of beans, dandelion, blackberries and bright cedar. As a five year old wine, the components are in good harmony, but still quite youthful. The cedar oak is integrated well, and is the first to begin some secondary ageing characters with the earthy notes from the cabernet and shiraz in this blend. Earthy herbal notes intermingle with lean darker fruits; a tight wine at the moment. The structure is very smooth and stylish. This wine will age very beautifully and very slowly.

  • "After more than 20 years of covering the wine beat, it takes a lot to get me gaga over a wine. It has to be either a tremendous bargain that I'm dying to share with you or a wine of such superb quality that just sipping it makes my nervous system tingle.

    I'm gaga over Virgin Hills. This relatively obscure Australian gem may be the greatest red wine you've never heard of. Until recently, I had tasted it only once. I wrote a short blurb about it a couple of years ago, but there was little available for the United States. I'm delighted to report that decent quantities are finally here and you should move on it before it disappears. ."
    Ben Giliberti, The Washington Post (October 1st, 2003)

    "An unforgettable, perfect red wine. I asked him what it was, but I should have guessed. Virgin Hills, 1975"
    Jeremy Oliver on tasting some back vintage Virgin Hills Wines.

    When asked, to which vineyard would you point a French wine expert if you wanted to impress him or her with the capacity of Australia to produce a consistently fine wine over a decade? My answer in all probability would be Virgin Hills
    James Halliday

    'Virgin Hills has long held a special place in the hearts of many wine lovers, especially the breed that like to seek out obscure and hard to get'
    Huon Hooke, Sydney Morning Herald

    Virgin Hills' ability to produce consistently fine wine for over a decade has earned it an icon status.
    James Halliday



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