The team of experts at Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine have criss-crossed the country visiting hundreds of Cellar Doors to determine the standouts in every region. – Gourmet Traveller Review, May 1, 2014. STAR CELLAR DOOR – Merindoc Cellar Door, Shelmerdine Family Vineyards (03) 5433 5188, www.merindoc.com.au Stephen Shelmerdine chose to explore the southern parts of the Heathcote region, which is to say, the cooler, lumpier parts.
Here, you’ll find giant granite iceberg formations with just the tops visible, populating the green hills. It’s a world away from the rich, auburn copper Cambrian soils to the north. The best way to grasp the difference is to taste his Merindoc Single Vineyard Shiraz. The vibrant purple colour – Heathcote’s signature – is there along with the plummy sweetness of red, bright fruits but the structure and the tightness of the wine offers a real point of difference. The hard, cool landscape also makes an excellent foil for linear white wines with a stunning floral Riesling and Viognier.
Shelmerdine uses his cellar door at Tooborac to also show his wines from the Yarra Valley where he has an established vineyard, so a visit here is rewarding in more ways than one. OUTSTANDING WINE: 2010 Willoughby Bridge Heathcote Shiraz, $29