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Recent Press and Reviews

Gary Walsh – The Wine Front July 2008

Benwarin Shiraz 2005

I probably didn’t give this wine the amount of time it deserved, but I knew from the first sniff that I liked it. Sometimes you just know.

It smells of plum, blackberry, Hunter earth, a touch of mint and roast beef. On the palate medium bodied with lively refreshing acidity, fine tannins and flavours of blackberry and earth. Good finish. Balanced, charming and lovely to drink - a great wine for the dinner table (and emphasis on this as a statement of approval).

Jeremy Oliver – Gourmet Traveler Wine April/May 2008

2005 Benwarin Sangiovese, Hunter Valley
Sangiovese might ultimately make a name for itself in the Hunter, a region suited to spicy, medium-weight dry red wines of perfume and structure. Earthy, dark and meaty, it has a leathery bouquet that already shows plenty of evolution. There’s more fruit evident on the slightly sour-edged palate, its spicy, plum-like flavour knitting neatly with quite a phenolic, powdery extract. It finishes with shape and length, and with the refreshing acidity so characteristic of the variety.


Toni Paterson - Wine What To Drink 2008

Benwarin Verdelho 2006

Benwarin is a tiny producer in the Hunter Valley establishing a big reputation. Its wines are affordable, flavoursome and downright delicious. This prizewinning Verdelho is rounded and soft with mouthfuls of ripe fruit salad flavours. It is very well balanced and incredibly drinkable.

Toni Paterson - Wine What To Drink 2008

Benwarin Chardonnay 2006

:Benwarin is a tiny Hunter producer making a big noise with the quality of its wines. This Chardonnay follows the highly awarded 2005 vintage and it is certainly a worthy successor. The flavours are rich and luscious with ripe pineapple nuances, and an enlivening acidity makes them simply mouth-watering. It is a bright, flavoursome wine, well worth seeking out.

Ken Gargett - Don't buy wine without me 2008

Benwarin Shiraz 2005

"These guys were grape growers until a few years ago, then went to their own label. Whether that was brought about by the glut or a cunning long term plan hardly matters- they have shown that you can enter the market successfully with an array of decent wines at excellent prices. This one's the pick, for mine. I have strong suspicions that in time, the '05s from the Hunter, both reds and whites, will be very highly regarded."

Lincoln Scott - - September 6, 2007

Benwarin Semillon 2006

"A subtle nose, showing classic lines of lemon and slate, a swathe of green grass and half a twist of lime. There is lemon and grass on the palate too, a bit of sherbet, fleshy like very light grapefruit, finishing dryly with a bit of pith. It has got acid and good balance, quite fruity really and very easy to drink. A great summertime tipple."

Rated: 90 points

Huon Hooke - The Sydney Morning Herald, Good Living - March 27, 2007

Benwarin Verdelho 2006

"A typical verdelho, without excessive sweetness or fatness, it won two trophies in a week at different wine shows. Some herbal, slightly sweaty aromas lead into a lively but juicy palate of good fruit intensity. 89/100"

John Lewis - The Newcastle Herald - January 2007

Benwarin Semillon 2006 & Benwarin Shiraz 2004

The Wine is green- tinged pale straw and has lemon zest and green pea scents. Crisp, zippy grapefruit flavour shows on the front of the palate and mineral characters, underlaid with a whisper of toast and honey, feature on the middle palate. Spicy acid comes through on the finish.

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Campbell Mattinson - The Wine Front - February 2007

Benwarin Chardonnay 2005
"Stylish wine. Smells fruity and pure, perhaps a little waxy and lemony and then, on the palate, lusciously fruity, all pineapple and lemons. The thing I really like about it though is that it pulls in tight on the finish, giving it a completeness. It's a fun wine, but it's been put together with thought and care. Drink: 2007-2008. 89 points."

Toni Paterson – Wine Diva Wine of the Month – February 2007    

Benwarin Verdelho 2006                                                "Filled with mouthfuls of fruit salad flavours, this wine is just delicious to drink.  It is smooth and soft with no jagged edges making it very easy to enjoy.  So if you are looking for a casual white to suit a myriad of occasions and food styles, then Benwarin Verdelho is a great choice. Look out for their 2005 Chardonnay which is also fabulous."

John Fordham – Sunday Telegraph  - January 2007

Benwarin Shiraz 2004

"Spicy, medium bodied red from the lower hunter valley where the variety enjoys flagship status. Sweet berry flavours enhanced by a combination of new and old French and American oak."

Japan Wine Challenge Magazine 2006

Benwarin Chardonnay 2004

“Fresh and bright appearance showing a light yellow gold colour and good clarity. Fresh and oaky on the nose with good spiced tropical fruit tones. The palate is clean with good fine acidity to balance the rounded fruit flavours. Lingering, the flavours combine well in the aftertaste. Medium length finish.”

Lincoln Scott – – January 2007

Benwarin Chardonnay 2005

“A pale yellow in colour. The nose showed lemon and pineapple, green fruits and a hint of matchstick. The palate is quite fruity and juicy, lemon and citrus fruits, with fine spice of acidity keeping the wine strong and proud. It is also nicely balanced and well structured - quite a fine wine really and for what its worth, I reckon it is a better wine the 2004 version. Rated : 89 Points”

Murray Almond – – December 2006

Benwarin Hunter Valley Shiraz 2004
”Dark Garnet in colour. The aromatic nose has a pronounced moccha character when freshly opened, with additional airing some earthy notes and spice characters came through with semi sweet fruit. The palate is nicely smooth with fruit and oak combining well bringing forward more of the berry characters. Medium fine tannin and a nice long finish.
A nicely flavoured Hunter Shiraz that is enjoyable now and will reward some cellaring.
Quality: 92/100 (Excellent) Value: Excellent"

Grant Dodd – The Wining Pro – December 2006

Benwarin Sangiovese 2005
”The earthy Hunter regional style would seem a nice fit for Sangiovese. It should work ,and it does here with this wine from relative newcomer Benwarin. This is earthy  and cherried with touches of leather and spice, framed by some grippy, angular tannins and rounded off with the typically dry, savoury finish of Sangiovese.”

Gary Walsh – – December 2006

Benwarin Shiraz 2004

“Aromas of cherry/berry, smoke, pepper, vanilla and a distinct (but attractive) earthy beetrooty character. On the palate a typical medium bodied Hunter style with sour red berry/cherry, earth and spice flavours. Gentle tannins and tangy acidity. Has a slight metallic edge on the finish. I like the slightly rustic Italianate feel of it, and that, coupled with the low alcohol, make it a wine I’d prefer to drink over many on most nights of the week.

Rated : 89 Points”

Kylie Lang – Brisbane News – November 2006

“At last – a Verdelho that’s not fat, oily and flabby…The 2006 Benwarin Verdelho is a stunner – clean and crisp with its melon and tropical fruit aromas bursting out of the glass.  The wine has good length (on the palate) and is not overly sweet with 4-5g of sugar (half that in most Aussie verdelhos).  It’s the quality of the fruit that drives the intensity and gives a subtle, natural sweetness.”

Grant Dodd – The Wining Pro – November 2006

Benwarin Verdelho 2006

“This quite delicious Hunter Valley Verdelho might well be the best example of this variety yet produced in the region. Sexy passionfruit, musk and tropical fruit aromatics, with a zippy, punchy palate of explosive young citrus and tropical fruit flavours, pleasingly avoiding over-ripe notes and oilyness. Drink this over the next year whilst it is still so vibrant and fresh. Lovely stuff.”

Points 93

Jim McMahon - Club Life – November 2006

“And so, onto this month’s wine recommendation for your club, and this time I’ve selected a white wine from Hunter Valley based Benwarin Wines, their 2006 Verdelho.  The colour is straw yellow with the nose offering a glass of fruit flavours that wash up on the palate.  This is a young wine with pleanty of varietal fruit flavours and clean, crisp acidity on a dry finish, and incidentally won the current vintage verdelho trophy at the 2006 Hunter valley Wine Show.  Enjoy!”

Campbell Mattinson - Winefront - October 2006

Benwarin Shiraz 2004 ($18):
Big earthy, almost vanillin nose. Powerful introduction. Choc-cherry influence – lots of fruit, and quite a bit of integrated oak. Palate backs it up. Smooth plums and musk and nice, even, soft-in-the-mouth, juicy fruit. A winner. Great price too. Drink: 2008-2016. 92 points.

Gary Walsh - Winorama - October 2006

Benwarin Verdelho 2006

Aromas of tropical fruit salad, pear, musk and spice with a touch of flinty reduction. On the palate there are flavours of fresh pineapple, mango, apple and spice. Really attractive fruity flavours here with nothing too heavy. It has some weight on the palate with a light glycerol texture but overall is fairly crisp and fresh. Spicy apple finish. Lovely wine and a snip at only $15.

Rated : 91 Points

Marray Almond - Winestar - September 2006

Benwarin Hunter Valley Chardonnay 2004
Trophy Winner 2006 Hunter Valley Wine Show - Best Chardonnay, Any Vintage.

The wine had partial barrel fermentation, the alcohol is 13.5%. Straw-gold in colour. peach and melon on the nose, with oak evident but not obvious. Medium weight palate showing some malo hints. Loevly natural fruit sweetness combine with quality french oak bringing some pinesapple notes in with the other fruit characters. Nicely balanaced with good breadth across the palate before a medium long finish. Delicious drinking now and probably suited to medium term aging.
RRP $16
Quality: 93/100 (Excellent) Value: Exceptional

Benwarin Hunter Valley Chardonnay 2005

Gold Medal Hunter Valley Wine Show $RRP 16.
The wine was partially barrel fermented in new french oak and has 13.2% alcohol. Medium-pale straw colour. Melon and grapefruit on the nose. the oak is sensed rather than experienced. The palate is relatively medium-bodied for a chardonnay, with still with rich flavour with nice acid evident reinfocing the fruit. The palate has lovely balance, nice breadth across the palate before a cleansing finish. No fat or butter on this one, just nice fruit flavours, character and finish. I think is best in the medium term. Extraordinary value for a chardonnay.
RRP $16
Quality: 92/100 (Excellent) Value: Exceptional

Benwarin Hunter Valley Verdelho 2006
Trophy Winner 2006 Hunter Valley Wine Show - Best Current Vintage Verdelho
Trophy Winner 2006 NSW Small Winemakers Story - Best Verdelho.
Marketing rep Allan Bagley was in the UK for a Wine Australia Tasting When I spoke to hime and Jancis had been by again, while tasting the Trophy-winning Verdelho she discussed that it was the first time the show had awarded a trophy to a verdelho. She said that she couldn’t understand why some judges have such a negative attitude toward verdelho – she really likes it - and that it is a variety which the Hunter should promote more.
The wine is sourced from the estate vineyard at Mistletoe Lane in Pokolbin. The alcohol is 13.7% and the bottle is naturally sealed in screwcap. Tropical fruit characters hightlight pineapple and paw paw with very good spicy tropical characters. Very nice balanced palate structure with a hint of butteriness but not to overdone. Great breadth across the palate and a great long finish.

RRP $15
Quality: 93/100 (Excellent) Value: Exceptional

Jancis Robinson -

- September 2006

"I was particularly pleased to have the chance to taste a range of wines from Benwarin of the Hunter Valley whose wines did particularly well in last month’s Hunter Valley Wine Show.  Allan Bagley has been growing vines on some prime land around Pokolbin for years but has only had his own label since 2003. Talented and particularly conscientious young winemaker Jim Chatto makes the Benwarin wines at the large contract winery he runs (as well as producing fine wine under his own label) and has done a very good job."

John Fordham - Sunday Telegraph

-September 2006

"Benwarin is a relatively new Hunter Valley label that's going places in a hurry.  At the recent Hunter Valley Wine Show, 2004 Benwarin Chardonnay ($16) and 2006 Benwarin Verdelho ($15) - knockout wines made for owner Allan Bagley by Jim Chatto at First Creek winery - collected trophies ahead of some of the Hunter's better-established names.  And a few days later, the verdelho collected a trophy at the NSW Small Winemakers judging."

James Halliday - Australian Wine Companion

2007 Edition

Benwarin Wines starstarstarstar

2005 Semillon:  Classic young Semillon from a great vintage, stacked with lemon/lemongrass flavour, yet retaining finesse; long palate; give it the time it deserves.  Rating 93 Drink 2015

2005 Verdelho:  Lively, clean, and fresh; clearly expressed varietal fruit salad; also line and drive.  Rating 91 Drink 2008.

2004 Chardonnay:  Very well-made; gentle stone fruit with a drizzle of citrus; particularly good length and balance.  Rating 90 Drink 2008

2003 Shiraz:  Distinctly regional earthy, leathery overtones to light-to-medium-bodied red fruits.  Not forced to be something it isn’t.  Rating 89 Drink 2008.

2005 Rosé:  Rating 86 Drink now

Matthew Jukes - Decanter, July 2006

On Hunter Semillon:  The finest wines show electricity and nerviness in the glass.  High-tensile lime juice fruit and nerve-jangling acidity combine to make one of the most alluring and refreshing styles of complex white wine on the planet.”  

Benwarin 2005 Semillon starstarstarstar

Very fresh, subtle, lime juice fruit, elegant and long”.

Toronto Life - May 2006

Benwarin 2005 Semillonstarstarstarstar

Hunter Valley sémillon can be strident for those with softer sensibilities, making this an ideal introduction to the genre. Reserved but classic green fig–mango fruit, petrol, lime and chestnut flavours in a mellow, mid-weight frame, with a long, clean finish. Pour with tuna, sushi. (Canada) - May 2006

Benwarin Semillon 2005 starstarstarstar 
Benwarin is a small Pokolbin producer with a quest for quality. This has that classic appearance of light straw with a green tinge. Hints of honey on the fairly muted nose give way to laser-like citrus and white peach flavours.



Recent Announcements

6 October 2010

Benwarin 2010 Verdelho Wins Trophy in the NSW Wine Awards

The 2010 Benwarin Verdelho was one of 9 wines awarded a trophy at the NSW Wine Awards. These Trophy winners were chosen from the NSW Top 40 Wines, which were selected by a panel of 20 highly regarded wine judges, including Huon Hooke (Chair), Iain Riggs, Peter Bourne, Philip Shaw, Mike De Garis and Nick Bulleid MW. These expert palates whittled down over 800 wines to this impressive shortlist. The Benwarin 2010 Verdelho was awarded the trophy for the best young white, other varieties.


October 2009

Benwarin Sangiovese Wins Trophy at Wine Style Asia Awards

The 2006 Benwarin Sangiovese was one of only 8 wines awarded a trophy at the prestigious Wine Style Asia Awards.  The Wine Style Asia Awards are held in conjunction with the Wine for Asia exhibition in Singapore.  This is a truly international event, with 377 exhibitors from over 30 countries, including France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Chile, Argentina, the USA, and New Zealand, as well as Australia. This recognition follows the success of the 2005 Sangiovese, which was listed as one of the best wines in Australia under $20 by Jeremy Oliver.  the 2006 Sangiovese will be released in Australia in April 2010, along with the 2006 Shiraz and 2006 Fiasco Sangiovese/Shiraz blend.

NSW Small Winemakers Wine Show 2006

- Another trophy for Benwarin Verdelho

The Benwarin 2006 Verdelho was awarded the trophy for Best Verdelho at the NSW Small Winemakers Wine Show 2006. This is the second trophy for this wine in 1 week. Is this the most decorated Verdelho in Australia?

Benwarin's total haul was 9 medals including a gold medal for the 2006 Verdelho and silver medals for the 2005 Semillon, the 2004 Chardonnay, and the 2005 Sangiovese.

Benwarin Wins 2 Trophies in the Hunter Valley Wine Show 2006

We are very pleased to report an outstanding result for Benwarin at this year’s Hunter Valley Wine Show.  We won 8 medals altogether, including 3 gold medals and 2 trophies. The trophies were:

  • Best Chardonnay of Any Vintage in Show:  Benwarin 2004 Chardonnay
  • Best Current Vintage Verdelho:  Benwarin 2006 Verdelho

This is the first time a trophy has been awarded for a verdelho.  The 2005 Chardonnay also won a gold medal and was runner-up for a trophy for its class. This year’s show was very special because the judging panel included Jancis Robinson MW, the highly respected UK wine writer and broadcaster. 


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