Welcoming Dalwhinnie to the CellarHand Portfolio

Named in 1973 after the Scottish Highlands town of his ancestors by founder Ewan Jones,  Dalwhinnie has had a long and illustrious history of producing some of the Pyrenees region’s best Chardonnay, Shiraz, and Cabernet. Patrick Walsh recalls going there back in the early 90s and having the famous BBQ rib-eyes and back vintages of Shiraz in the unique setting amongst the vines, and as a young sommelier at the time thinking life was pretty good! It feels almost a full circle moment from those days to be now charged with handling the distribution for this great estate as it heads into arguably its most exciting phase under new custodianship. 

Located just near Moonambel, the vineyard sits at 595 meters above sea level and is one of the most remote, and certainly highest, in the region. This unique ‘bowl of vines’ is located in a naturally undulating trough which falls away from the hills, forming an amphitheatre nestled into the ranges keeping things cool and creating a micro-climate given to producing wines of finesse as well as flavour. With Julian Langworthy now guiding the winemaking direction here I reckon Dalwhinnie is set to re-emerge as a superstar Victorian producer.’ – Patrick Walsh

For the first release, Jules has been able to dig deep into the archives to find some real treats for us spanning a range of ages. These back-vintage classics are a rare and exciting dive into the power and finesse of fine Victorian cool-climate reds that not only drink beautifully upon release but also come into their own over time in bottle. These bottles, available in minuscule amounts direct from the Dalwhinnie cellars, will not last long!  

One of the first ‘icon’ wines Jules forked out for as a very young winemaker was a bottle of 1996 Dalwhinnie Eagle, which sparked his lifelong love of the winery. When he first visited Dalwhinnie some twenty years later he found out firsthand how amazing the site is; it’s a breathtakingly beautiful vineyard where one can just smell the inherent quality standing in the sweetest little amphitheatre of grapey goodness with distinct hills within it, with different clonal material and a myriad of aspects that deliver the goods in different ways.  

‘For me, it’s as exciting a wine project as I have been involved with, as I think high altitude, dry-grown Victorian shiraz is where it’s at. Dalwhinnie cabernets are also a treat – distinctly medium-bodied and ethereally perfumed with fine tannin structure, that age in the most graceful of ways.’ – Julian Langworthy   


2020 Dalwhinnie Moonambel Chardonnay  RRP $70
Redolent of white peaches, melon and a nutty, cashew-like oak on the nose. The palate is wonderfully fresh yet expressive, with ripe stone fruits drawn together by fine natural acidity. The mouthfeel is creamy with a long and persistent finish. – Julian Langworthy  

Hand-picked fruit, whole-bunch pressed, wild ferment in barrel, matured 9 months in barrel on gross lees. Fogarty Wine Group winemaker, Julian Langworthy, knows a thing or two about chardonnay. Here, he delivers a complex and elegant interpretation, bringing flinty minerals, pristine sherbety lemon and grapefruit with pear, peach skin and almond flavours into a restrained, harmonious whole. Lithe, juicy and delicious now, with some way to go. 95 points.  Jeni Port, Halliday Wine Companion August 2022  

2020 Dalwhinnie Three Valleys Pinot Noir (TAS)  RRP $59
Deep garnet with a crimson hue and aromas of red berries, blood orange and dark cherry, this is a wine of intriguing complexity and charm.  Brightly fruited on the front palate, the core of this delicious wine shows concentrated plum, cranberry and sweet bergamot flavours, woven together with mineral acidity and fine, powdered tannins. – Julian Langworthy  

Medium depth purple-red colour, very bright and youthful, the aromas are of fragrant spices and red cherries: a really beautiful bouquet. The palate follows on from there and is intense and superbly balanced, with raspberry and red licorice added to the cherry. A subtle smoky patina from oak. Fruit-sweet core, and a long, long carry: a magical Pinot.  95 points.  Huon Hooke, The Real Review June 2022  

Equal parts Huon (for perfume), Derwent (for structure and poise) and Coal River (for fruit concentration) Valleys; fermented and matured separately for 10 months in large-format French oak. The Fogarty Group’s foray into Tasmania has facilitated a stunning new pinot for Dalwhinnie. A seamless union of its 3 valleys, this is a beautiful rendition of the elegance of 2020, delivering accurate, graceful black and red cherry fruits, set off with silky tannins. It’s delightful from the outset and will only blossom in the cellar.  94 points. Tyson Stelzer, Halliday Wine Companion August 2022   

2005 Dalwhinnie Moonambel Cabernet Sauvignon  RRP $118
Garnet with still a vibrant red rim, the nose is complex and full of life and the palate is fine-boned with lovely resolve. Drink now. – Julian Langworthy  

This hasn’t fleshed out yet but it’s still a gorgeous wine, the clear emphasis on line and length. Long sinewy tannins, defined fruit, succulent acidity and exotic notes of coal and box hedge and blackberry. Perfumed, vanillin, minty oak adds lift but never threatens to overwhelm; this is a fine wine. 94 points. Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front April 2007 

2009 Dalwhinnie Moonambel Cabernet Sauvignon  RRP $107 
Lovely colour, quite brooding and darkly fruited for the site. More pronounced tannins but fruit weight to go with them. Drink or hold short term. – Julian Langworthy  

Bright colour, vivid hue; restrained and savoury red fruited bouquet, showing struck quartz minerality and a suggestion of violet; the palate is medium-bodied, fleshy and engaging with bright acidity and savoury, chewy tannin providing length and freshness. 93 points. James Halliday, The Wine Companion January 2011 

2013 Dalwhinnie Moonambel Cabernet Sauvignon  RRP $107 
Amazing colour, full purples with lovely depth, ripe berry strays to cassis. The palate is vibrant and tight. Brambly fruits abound and very long. Drink or hold 5+ years. – Julian Langworthy  

Deep, bright, youthful purple colour which stains the glass. Dusty, dried herb and violet aromas, very youthful. Some mocha-like oak derived nuances. It’s very young and raw, unready, but the tannins are smooth and ripe, rounded and measured. It just needs time. Very impressive potential. One of the best Dalwhinnie cabernets I can recall. 94 points. Huon Hooke, The Real Review July 2016 

2018 Dalwhinnie Moonambel Cabernet Sauvignon  RRP $75 
Dark purple with red-black hues. Compelling and elegant aromas of cassis, fresh plum and bay leaf roll from the glass. Intense cassis, sour cherry and savoury dried herbs, with a powder fine tannin structure that pulls blackcurrant flavours long through the palate. – Julian Langworthy 

Hand-picked cabernet with small volumes of cabernet franc and merlot included. Batches were fermented on skins. Maturation and mlf conducted in French oak barriques (30% new) for 18 months. Classic Pyrenees cabernet all the way, albeit minus the usual level of eucalyptus/bay leaf. A very stylish cabernet (and friends) offering aromas of ripe black fruits, sour cherries, clove and leafy notes. Firm cabernet tannin structure, pulpy and still settling in when tasted 6 months before release.  94 points.  Jeni Port, Halliday Wine Companion 2022  

2012 Dalwhinnie Moonambel Shiraz  RRP $107
A lovely bright colour, with beautiful primary fruits, damsel plums and salted liquorice.  Powder-fine tannins well supported by classy French oak. Wine of the vintage for Dalwhinnie. Drink now at the peak of its powers! – Julian Langworthy  

The deep purple-crimson colour semaphores serious intent, thoroughly intimidating when you realise this is the fourth tier of Dalwhinnie’s shiraz releases; the intimidation continues with a black fruits, tar and liquorice bouquet of what is an unashamedly full-bodied Shiraz needing to be left alone until ’20. 95 points. James Halliday, The Wine Companion February 2014 

Deep garnet-purple in colour, the 2012 Shiraz Moonambel offers a gorgeous perfume of violets, aniseed and dark chocolate over a core of cassis, ripe blackberries and cedar plus a hint of spice box. Medium-bodied, fine, elegant and tightly wound on the palate, the youthful black berry and spice flavours have a great backbone of firm, ripe tannins and refreshing acidity, finishing long if still very primary. It should reward cellaring. Drink 2017 – 2027. 94 points. Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate February 2015 

2015 Dalwhinnie Moonambel Shiraz  RRP $96
Nice bright colour, a savoury spectrum of flavours with roasted sage and Jaffa cakes. The structure is fine and long and well supported by savoury fine tannins and cedar-like oak. – Drink or hold short term. – Julian Langworthy   

Dalwhinnie seldom misses the target, and certainly didn’t in ’15. This has Rolls Royce power, with no need to flaunt it. Black fruits of all descriptions have a (fruit) sweet edge that is quite delicious, the mouthfeel supple the palate of effortless length, French oak just a cog in the engine. 96 points. James Halliday, The Wine Companion February 2017 

2018 Dalwhinnie Moonambel Shiraz  RRP $75
Dark purple-black. A deep brooding nose full of violets, blood plum and baking spices. The palate is medium bodied yet powerful and expressive with dark fruits and mocha spice. A mouth-coating tannin structure and smoky oak frame this exceptional Pyrenees Shiraz. – Julian Langworthy  

Strikes a generous pose and colour. There’s some pretty smart attractive oak that is a big part of this wine’s appeal. It contributes added gravitas, with wide-ranging influences from prominent spice to a toasty, smoky, mocha overlay. The ripe blackberry, plum, aniseed fruit loves it. Mouth-coating and long.  95 points.  Jeni Port, Halliday Wine Companion 2022  

Sourced solely from the 1977 planted ‘Eagle Block’ that lies directly in front of the Dalwhinnie estate, the grapes were handpicked and cold-soaked before being fermented as a single batch with 20% whole bunches for ten days. The resulting wine was pressed and racked to 50% new French oak barriques and 50% one- and two-year-old barrels for a period of 20 months. Post maturation, careful barrel selection was made to showcase this amazing single vineyard icon in its truest and best form. 

2004 Dalwhinnie The Eagle Shiraz RRP $249
Wow what a wine! Primary, vibrant, fresh and fleshy-fruited. This is what Dalwhinnie Eagle is all about.  Layers of complexity all tied up with a sweet primary-fruited palate. Drink or hold. – Julian Langworthy  

Intense blackberry fruit with a mix of spice and savoury characters; very powerful, but not over-extracted; good oak and tannins. Worth the price? That’s for you to decide. 96 points. James Halliday, The Wine Companion January 2007 

It’s not hard to imagine this turning into a classic. The tannin structure is super-fine and super good, the fruit pristine and the profile of it spot-on. Chalky, cherried, tobacco-like, perfumed on the nose and in the mouth, balanced and utterly composed. Oak is integrated and unobtrusive. A wine of nuance rather than oomph. A wine of contemplation – not a wine to be passed over quickly. 95 points. Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front April 2007 

Deep red-purple, brilliant colour. Lovely fresh leather and dark fruit aromas, black cherry and hints of violets and liquorice. Nicely fleshy and smooth, with depth and elegance. Long carry. 95 points. Huon Hooke, The Real Review September 2011 

2018 Dalwhinnie The Eagle Shiraz  RRP $185 
A deep purple in the glass with flashes of crimson. Distinct aromas of baking spices, sandalwood and pepper unfold from the glass alongside dark berries and bramble. The palate exhibits super fine tannins which unfold layer after layer with dark fruits, cedar, red plum, forest floor, truffle and an exquisitely elegant, long finish. A wine for the ages that will reward long cellaring of five to twenty years. – Julian Langworthy  

The flagship red is a picture of elegance, with underlying strength and precision. Vibrant, dense plum red. Mediterranean spices, dates, blackberries and warm, toasty oak. Lush texture, with supple tannins make it imminently drinkable, but don’t be tempted – the best is yet to come.  95 points. Jeni Port, Halliday Wine Companion 2022