New Release Bargains at any price

Bargains at any price

Barry Weinman: 28th May 2021

When it comes to reviewing and recommending wine, perspective is everything in my opinion. There are three steps that I take to reduce bias and improve objectivity.

Firstly, there is a panel of tasters for that taste together. There needs to be consensus amongst the tasters before a wine makes it to the pages of the Western Suburbs Weekly or to this website. The core panel is made up of;

John Jens: A wine industry veteran and proprietor of Lamont’s in Cottesloe.

Dr Brendan Jansen MW: The Master of Wine is the most difficult and prestigious wine qualification.

Terry James: With a fine palate and sharp wit, Terry provides a consumer’s perspective and keeps the rest of us honest.

Secondly, we taste several wines of a similar style together, so that their relative merits can be compared. It is not uncommon for us to taste 20 wines of the same variety at a tasting.

Finally, we taste blinded to what the wines are, so that we are not influenced by the maker or the price of the wine. This can lead to some remarkable results.

In a tasting where the majority of the wines were above $50, two wines stood out for quality and value. Shingleback’s Red Knot Shiraz and the Classified GSM are incredible bargains at $12 and $18 respectively from Dan Murphy’s.

In its own way, the new Tom Cullity ($180) is also extraordinary value on the world stage.


Shingleback – Red Knot – Shiraz – 2019. Sweet, ripe, vibrant fruit the main focus on the nose. The palate has excellent mouthfeel, with the fresh acidity and supple tannins and oak adding depth and balance. Superbly made and excellent drinking, this is a tribute to Australian Shiraz. 92pts – $15.

Shingleback – Red Knot – Classified – GSM – 2020. More depth, with high quality ripe, fragrant fruit supported by supple oak. The palate is quite taut initially, but the fruit excels on a finish that has excellent balance. Medium term cellaring an option, or drink with a rich pork ragout. Brilliant! 94pts – $19.

Vasse Felix – Tom Cullity – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2017. Taut, restrained and shy, with hints of mint and gentle berries. The palate is spectacular. Seamless, silky and fine, with intrinsic power and great depth. Amazing now, but best in 20 years+. Equal to the best of Bordeaux at a fraction of the price! 97pts – $180