Food & Wine Weekend at Tarnwarndcoort Homestead, country Victoria

The word “Tarndwarncoort” is based on the ancient Gulidjan tribal language, used by indigenous people to describe the undulating hilly landscape the property sits upon. First settled in 1840s, the building is one of Victoria’s heritage buildings and a great getaway off the Princess Highway not far from Colac in country Victoria.


Day 1. Six of us settled into an evening of tasting excellent wine and cooking great food. Started with two aged Rieslings. A 2006 Pizzini Riesling that was drinking beautifully with lovely developed characters, touch of sweetness, and rich mouthfeel. Also had a 2004 Leasingham Bin 7 that was more developed and had less fruit, but still a good wine.

Four Great Wines to match our Cape Grimm dry aged Prime Rib


1999 Bests FHT Shiraz, Great Western, Victoria, Australia
Brick red colour. Glorious nose of violets, milk chocolate, confectionary and dark plums. Superb rich and concentrated mouthfeel with great length. Spice, ripe brambly fruit, vanilla soft tannins and anise all combine to flood the senses. Great wine. Tasted blind, several friends thought this was a Barossa wine and found it difficult to believe such a rich wine could come from Western Victoria. Drinking beautifully now, it can keep for a few more years yet. 96/100.
The quality of this wine is surprising given the difficult vintage conditions with a spring frost wiping out almost 80% of the premium fruit.


The 2004 Langmeil Freedom Shiraz and the 2004 Peter Lehman Stonewell Shiraz made an interesting comparison. Both fabulous wines showing the best qualities of premium Barossa old vine fruit with great intensity, lovely dark berry fruit, spice and creamy oak. The Stonewell showed a little more elegance with nuances of red berries, dark chocolate and dusty tannins. The Freedom was a little bigger and richer with lovely dark chocolate and earthy characters. Both great wines! 95/100

The 2007 Cullen’s Diana Madeline Cabernet Merlot Petit Verdot was another beauty. I suspect we opened it 10 years too early, but the wine opened with a few hours breathing. Lovely flavours of blackcurrent, cedar, and vanillan oak. Very elegant and seamless. A delight to drink. 95/100. Keep. Drink 2017-2020.

All 4 bottles disappeared far too quickly! Hence the Berocca came in handy the next morning……..

Tomorrow we dine at Brae restaurant run by our favourite chef Dan Hunter.


Another 2 Great Wines Unmasked

Grange and Frredomimage

1985 Penfolds Grange Hermitage

Served masked. Brick red colour with large onion skin rim indicating extensive bottle age. Nose of maraschino cherries, plums, dark chocolate, mocha, cream, spice and vanillin oak. A beautiful nose that indicated this wine was something special, hinting of a Grange. Palate with lifted acidity, soft fruit that was possibly past it’s best, soft dusty and drying tannins. Long persistent finish. Really enjoyable drinking!! My guess, Grange of 25 plus years…..pleasantly surprised when unmasked! Wine had recently been recorked by Penfolds recorking clinic. Drink now. 95/100 (scored 90/100 by Robert Parker in 1990.)

2004 Langmeil 1843 Freedom Shiraz

Bright reddish purple colour with small onion skin. Spicy nose with cherry and chocolate malt. Soft mouthfilling palate. Rich but still closed, needing more time to open. (Nose and palate continued to develop and improve over the next three hours.) Very refined palate with bright red berry fruit and soft drying tannins. Very French in style with great length, mouthfeel and persistence of flavour. Something about old vine wines! Assessed by all 4 tasters as something very special, very very drinkable and a top wine. Drink over the next 2-5 years. 98/100

Shiraz vines for the Freedom planted in 1840s with only a few acres remaining. Grapes are dry grown, hand picked and yields only 1.5 to 2 tonnes per acre. Aged in French oak for 2 years. Winemaker, Paul Lindner.