Our Flagship Wines
The Langton's Classification of Australian Wine was first released in 1991 and honoured the Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz with 'Outstanding'. The Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz remains the only Hunter Valley Shiraz in the Classification and was elevated to the highest category of ‘Exceptional’ and has remained for each release since.
The Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine has achieved such prestigious recognition because the criteria for inclusion are objective and market-driven, and the Classification is regularly revised and updated.
The Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz was named after original plans for the site which was to be a cemetery within Pokolbin, however it was never used as such. The first single vineyard selection for the Graveyard Vineyard was in 1983.
Originally planted with Shiraz and Cabernet, the heavy clay soil resulted in vintages of low yield but with extraordinary concentration of flavour in the berries, providing a distinctive and premium wine style.
Today the 15 hectare Graveyard Vineyard comprises solely of Shiraz and is broken up into a number of blocks named in good Brokenwood fun; Pa’s, 7 Acre, Bush, Duck’s, Road, Middle, End, Kat’s and Dog’s, State of Origin, Vegas and Trees.
As Brokenwood’s flagship wine, each new release is welcomed with the annual Graveyard Launch held in May. This exclusive event in the winery barrel shed sees around 300 guests on site for a day of beautiful dining, entertainment, and the first release tasting.
The ILR Reserve Semillon is named after Chief Winemaker and Managing Director Iain Leslie Riggs, who joined the winery in 1982. Iain has taken Brokenwood from a small 'hobby' winery into the national and international arena, and was the driving force in Brokenwood extending the range to white wines.
The ILR Reserve Semillon is an aged white wine that receives no oak. After tasting the wine over the first three years the decision was made to release at 5 years bottle age, in other words to have some bottle development but capable of aging further. In terms of winemaking it was a case of low (and now, zero) skin contact and neutral yeast. Unfortunately it also corresponded with a decline in cork quality to the point where Brokenwood had to colour sort every bottle before release. We finally moved to screw cap for the 2003 Semillon as it took an extra year to get the Georgian Green bottle for screw cap. Sporadic oxidation robbed us of up to 40% in some years and wasn’t a case of some wines being slightly lesser quality than others, once oxidized, Semillon’s are undrinkable.
After changing to screw cap seals, we decided to increase the age on release to 6 years. There could be an argument that it should be 7 or even 8 years before release, but at 6 there is enough bees wax and toast flavours to illustrate that the wine is on its way for long term aging.
The ILR Reserve Semillon has been awarded ‘Best Semillon’ in the James Halliday Australian Wine Companion twice, most recently with the 2009 vintage released in 2015.
The Hunter Valley is famous for Semillon production, and is a perfect fit for the nearby Sydney wining and dining culture with its grassy fruit lift on both nose and palate.