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Brokenwood Wines
5 October 2023 | Awards and Accolades, Cellar Door, Winemaking | Brokenwood Wines

Meet Brokenwood Wines’ Most Iconic Wine Ranges

Guests at a Brokenwood wine tasting

If you've ever visited our Cellar Door, you'll know that Brokenwood Wines in the Hunter Valley is imbued with a rich history of good wine and great fun. Inside our winery are tokens of the past interspersed with celebrations of current vintages. Heralded a head above these exquisite wines are, of course, our iconic wine collections.

As you venture through our renowned winery, you'll discover the heart and soul of the Hunter Valley captured in our iconic wine ranges. Each range weaves together a rich tapestry of history, culture, and winemaking excellence that has paved the way for these award-winning wines.

From our flagship wines, the Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz and the ILR Reserve Semillon, to our classic homegrown Hunter Valley varietals, each of these quintessential ranges has shaped Brokenwood into what it is today – and continues to win over the palates and hearts of wine lovers worldwide. Let's take a closer look at each of these incredible wines.

Graveyard Shiraz: A Brokenwood Flagship Wine

The prestigious Langton's Classification of Australian Wine bestowed the Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz with the esteemed 'Outstanding' honour upon its first release in 1991. Remarkably, it remains the sole Hunter Valley Shiraz to hold this distinction and has ascended to the pinnacle of 'Exceptional' with each subsequent release.

The Langton's Classification's rigorous criteria, driven by objective market assessments, underscores the wine's excellence, prompting regular updates to ensure its continued acclaim.

The origin of the Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz’s name adds a touch of intrigue to its storied past. Initially designated as a cemetery for Pokolbin, fate had other plans, and instead, the vineyard bloomed. In 1983, it earned its debut as a single vineyard selection, boasting vines of Shiraz and Cabernet nurtured in the fertile, clay-rich soil, yielding low yields but an extraordinary concentration of flavours, crafting a signature premium wine style.

Today, the expansive 15-hectare vineyard exclusively thrives with Shiraz vines, each block named in the playful spirit that defines Brokenwood's character: Pa’s, 7 Acre, Bush, Duck’s, Road, Middle, End, Kat’s and Dog’s, State of Origin, Vegas, and Trees.

The 2021 Graveyard Vintage

After a brief hiatus in 2020, we are thrilled to welcome our 2021 Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz, marking its impressive 34th release. In the Hunter Valley, where grape growers eagerly anticipate the vintage, discussions revolve around one crucial factor: the weather. 

Last year’s weather brought a dramatic turnaround, breaking a four-year dry spell with the firm presence of La Nina, ushering in a season of abundant rainfall. By the end of October, Pokolbin had already surpassed its annual rainfall, ultimately receiving a bountiful 1030mm for the year.

The unpredictability of the weather kept us on the edge, as the possibility of not picking either whites or reds loomed due to the continuous wet days in late December. 

However, fortune favoured us as the sun emerged from behind the clouds. The cherished old vines of the Graveyard Vineyard were ready for their moment, and on the 20th of February, we harvested a crop of exquisite, fragrant Shiraz, a testament to the resiliency of the vineyard and the skilled craftsmanship of our winemaking team.

The 2021 vintage of our flagship Shiraz has been crafted with finesse, care, and the indescribable artistic touch of our exceptional winemakers. The use of large-format French oak highlights the delightful red spice and bramble fruit notes, allowing them to take centre stage. From the very first sip, the palate is treated to a supple and well-rounded experience, flowing seamlessly from start to finish.

This impeccable wine is available both online and at our Brokenwood wine tasting events. If you’d really like to immerse yourself in the history and rich culture of this most esteemed wine, we highly recommend our Soil to Cellar experience.

A 98-Point Wine

We were thrilled to see our latest Graveyard release rank exceptionally highly in one of the most prestigious wine awards in Australia. Our 2021 Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz received a sparkling 98 points in the 2024 Halliday Wine Companion’s Taste the Awards event, a truly exceptional result and one we’ll be proud of for years to come!

ILR Reserve Semillon: A White Wine Winner

Our second flagship wine is the unrivalled ILR Reserve Semillon, a sparkling gem for all white wine drinkers and a must-try for red enthusiasts looking to broaden their horizons. This one particularly shines at Brokenwood wine tastings, and for good reason.

This timeless aged white wine pays tribute to Iain Leslie Riggs, the driving force behind Brokenwood's expansion into the realm of exceptional white wines. Named after the man who joined our winery in 1982 and elevated Brokenwood to national and international acclaim, this iconic wine embodies the essence of passion and dedication that has defined our journey.

Crafted without any oak influence, the 2017 ILR Reserve Semillon underwent a meticulous winemaking process to ensure its distinct character. With low skin contact and neutral yeast, each bottle of this exceptional Semillon represents a labour of love. Originally released at 5 years of bottle age, this wine showcased a  perfect balance between bottle development and ageing potential.

Accolades and Awards

In recognition of its unparalleled excellence, the 2014 ILR Reserve Semillon earned the esteemed title of 'Best Semillon' in the James Halliday Australian Wine Companion twice.

Our recently released 2017 vintage drew in the 2023 Decanter World Wine Awards ‘Best in Show’ with 97 points, and stood side-by-side with our Graveyard Shiraz at the 2024 Halliday Wine Companion with an impressive 98 points. This was the second year running for our ILR Reserve to receive 98 points from Halliday, and we’re confident it will continue the streak in years to come.

Ken Gargett, certified wine aficionado and author at, boasts the 2017 ILR Reserve Semillon’s palate and aromas:

“The nose reveals early hints of development but there is so much more to come,” he says. “We have citrus, toast, lemon curd, hints of nuts, a touch of beeswax and glacéd fruits. Great intensity, and yet there is also immaculate balance. Such length! Fine acidity, this wine is just beginning what promises to be a glorious journey.”

The Hunter Valley, renowned for its exceptional Semillon production, offers the perfect synergy with the vibrant Sydney wining and dining culture. Our ILR Reserve Semillon boasts grassy fruit notes that gracefully lift both the nose and palate, making it an ideal match for those seeking a remarkable wine experience that stands the test of time.

Brokenwood Wines 2011 HBA Shiraz

HBA Shiraz: The Aged-to-Perfection

Ranked number 6 of 391 by Wine360, our 2011 HBA Shiraz is the perfect installment in our aged Australian Shiraz wines. Upon its release at the impressive age of 12 years, this remarkable Shiraz captivates red lovers with its deep colour and elegant brick-red hues.

As the wine breathes, secondary aromas emerge, offering delightful hints of iodine, sweet earthy notes, and dark chocolate, perfectly balanced by the subtle influence of French Oak. 

On the palate, the wine presents itself as a fine, medium to full-bodied expression of the art of winemaking. Christmas cake notes harmoniously intermingle with a persistent core of fruit, creating a truly indulgent experience. The seamless integration of oak and fruit add to the allure, culminating in a long and satisfying finish.

A Stellar Review

Standing proud with 96 points, the 2011 HBA Shiraz drew impressive remarks from Huon Hooke of The Real Review:

“Good depth of brick-red colour, tawny on the edges and showing its age,” attests Huon. “The bouquet is very earthy and savoury, with Bonox/beef stock, some clean leather hints, the primary fruit all having mellowed away by now. The wine is medium-full bodied and again very savoury on the palate, with lovely silky texture and drink-me-now charm. A complex, fully mature wine that will appeal to lovers of aged reds.”

Hunter Valley Semillon: A Timeless Varietal

Hand-harvested and with fruit that was immediately crushed, chilled, and pressed, our iconic Hunter Valley Semillons truly exemplify the best of the region’s remarkable white wines. Our 2023 Hunter Valley Semillon’s neutral yeasts were used for the fermentation in stainless steel for bottling in May of this year. 

Every one of our trademark Hunter Semillons is a delight to make and to drink. With vines and cultures built on the impressive Semillon-friendly grounds of the Hunter Valley, Brokenwood is becoming quite renowned worldwide for its impeccable Semillon structure, palate, and aroma.

As you sip this iconic white wine, you’ll be greeted by enchanting aromas of florals and lemongrass, setting the stage for a remarkable tasting experience. Savour the mouth-filling flavours of green apple and lemon pith, harmoniously balanced by a zesty acid backbone. The delightful interplay of flavours lingers on the palate, akin to the 2021 vintage, epitomising the classic essence of Hunter Valley Semillon.

A Prize-Winning Wine

We're thrilled to share that our 2022 Semillon was honoured with a Gold Medal in the esteemed 2023 TexSom Awards, a testament to the excellence and commitment that define our winemaking practices. 

More recently, our 2023 release gained exceptional comments from Campbell Mattinson of The Wine Front:

“When I first opened this it seemed fruit-driven and simple,” muses Campbell. “It is of course only a few months old. I sat in the glass for an hour or so and the nose remained estery and fruity, but the palate turned to stones, chalk and apples, with citrus blossom characters on full show too. There’s a dryness here, a noticeable amount of grip, and a confidence to the finish.”

Hunter Valley Shiraz: The Modern Classic

Moving back to red wines, the Brokenwood Hunter Valley Shiraz boasts modern classics in every release. Our current 2021 Hunter Valley Shiraz vintage is a clear winner, having secured 88 points and the Bronze Medal in the National Wine Show of Australia.

Upon its release at 18 months, the wine unveils a delightful and vibrant youthful hue. The aromas are a delightful interplay of fragrances, almost akin to floral notes, entwined with the gentle essence of vanillin and red fruit as you take your first sip. Though subtly in the background, the French oak contributes an array of flavours that lend this wine a splendid complexity and impressive length.

This classic medium-bodied Shiraz embodies the essence of finesse, with its finely woven, long tannins that gracefully linger on the palate until the very end. Every aspect of this wine harmoniously comes together, creating a sensory symphony that celebrates the artistry of our winemakers at Brokenwood.

The Effects of Weather: A Near-Disaster for Our Grape Growing Season

The growing, harvesting, and crafting of this exceptional wine were again affected by the firm La Nina cycle that graced our region in 2020. As our Brokenwood Hunter Valley grape growers gathered for their pre-vintage discussions, the weather took centre stage in their minds. A dramatic shift from four dry years to a wet season unfolded. By the end of October, Pokolbin had already surpassed its annual rainfall, reaching an impressive 1030mm for the year 2020.

In the face of this rainfall abundance, the Hunter Valley found itself on the precipice of disaster, with the looming possibility of not being able to harvest either whites or reds if a few more wet days persisted into late December. However, the sun mercifully made its appearance, and the challenging weather took a favourable turn.

With tremendous relief, we witnessed the triumphant culmination of our efforts as all of our Hunter fruit was carefully handpicked by late February. This timely harvest bore fruit in the form of fine, fragrant Shiraz, a testament to the resilience and dedication of our winemakers. We couldn't be prouder of this remarkable outcome, delivering yet another exceptional expression of our Hunter Valley Shiraz.

Brokenwood Wines 2022 Cricket Pitch White

Cricket Pitch: The Crowd Pleaser

While not a flagship wine, we couldn’t complete this list of iconic Brokenwood Wines without mentioning our ever-popular Cricket Pitch range. Made with grapes harvested on home soil and with a long history beneath its belt, the Cricket Pitch range never fails to please.

2022 Cricket Pitch White Wine

The 32nd vintage of our esteemed blend, the 2022 Cricket Pitch White is a deliciously refreshing Sauvignon Semillon Blanc. The charming Cricket Pitch label graces the bottle, which made its debut in the 1995 vintage. This blend is an exquisite fusion of 67% Sauvignon Blanc and 33% Semillon, a result of combining grapes from various regions like the Murray Darling, Hunter Valley, Margaret River, King Valley, Orange, and Hilltops. 

At 11.5% alcohol content, we've focused on achieving lower alcohol levels, while ensuring the wine bursts with zesty fruit lift, a hallmark of our dedication to crafting wines of finesse and balance. Savour the harmony and delightful character of this unique Cricket Pitch blend, a true testament to the artistry of Brokenwood Wines.

2021 Cricket Pitch Red Wine

With harvests from South Australia and Western Australia, our most recent 2021 Cricket Pitch Red boasts crowd-pleasing flavours in its multi-varietal and multi-regional vintage.

Delight in the exquisite bouquet of this wine, boasting elevated notes of Cabernet fruit complemented by subtle vanillin oak undertones. The incorporation of Shiraz brings forth luscious dark fruit flavours, enriching the mid-palate with a touch of sweetness, while the ripe tannins enhance the wine's remarkable length and lingering finish. 

Although Cabernet may not exude an intense colour, this Cricket Pitch red captivates with its beautiful purple hue, making it one of the finest expressions within the range. As ever, this wine presents a delightful and enjoyable drinking experience, consistently living up to its reputation.

Discover the Icons at Brokenwood Wines

Whether you’re sipping and savouring at home or immersing yourself in the culture of Brokenwood Wines in the Hunter Valley, there’s no going wrong with these impeccable iconic wines.

Pay a visit to our winery in the Hunter Valley to taste these renowned wines in all their glory, or browse our online store to pick up your favourite bottles to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

Which wine varietals are the Hunter Valley famous for?

The Hunter Valley is renowned for producing exceptional Semillon and Shiraz wines. Semillon, a white grape variety, is a true gem of the region, known for its vibrant acidity and ability to age gracefully, evolving into rich and complex wines. Hunter Valley Shiraz, on the other hand, delights with its bold and distinctive flavours, reflecting the unique terroir and winemaking expertise of the area.

What is a wine range, and why is it important when choosing wines?

A wine range refers to a collection of wines produced by a winery, each representing a specific style, vineyard, or level of quality. At Brokenwood, we take pride in offering a diverse and extensive wine range, catering to various preferences and occasions. 

From our iconic Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz to our ILR Reserve Semillon and more, each wine in our range showcases the best of our winemaking craft and the distinct characteristics of different vineyards.

What is the price range for the wines in Brokenwood’s collection?

At Brokenwood, we believe in crafting wines that offer exceptional value and quality. Our wine collection ranges from approachable and affordable options to premium and iconic selections. 

Prices may vary depending on the wine style, vintage, and vineyard, but we strive to provide a diverse range of wines suitable for various budgets and preferences. Whether you seek everyday enjoyment or a special occasion treat, we have wines to suit every palate and wallet.

Can customers visit Brokenwood Wines for tours, tastings, or wine-related events?

Absolutely! We welcome wine enthusiasts and visitors to experience the Brokenwood spirit firsthand. Our Cellar Door, nestled in the heart of the Hunter Valley, offers guided wine tastings and tours, providing a unique opportunity to explore our iconic wine ranges and learn about our winemaking process. 

Throughout the year, we also host wine-related events and celebrations, providing a memorable and immersive experience for all wine lovers. Come join us and be part of our journey through the world of Brokenwood Wines.


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