Clive Hartley

A visit to the Grampians and Great Western is a great day out. The cellar door experience at Best’s is a highlight with 3 different options of tasting “flights” and, if you go on the first Saturday morning of each month, a chance to tour the underground cellars. It’s a historic site, established in 1866 and home to some of Australia’s oldest and rarest grape vines planted in their famous Concongella vineyard.

But it is the quality, affordability and diversity of the wines they produce that makes Best’s a real treasure and a great all-rounder.

Take their Great Western Pinot Noir 2023 ($27) for example. It is a savoury, dried herb driven wine on the nose with dark red fruits on the palate. It delivers value for money, compared with other Victorian pinot noirs.

Best’s Foudre Ferment Riesling 2023 is a rich wine that displays a lot of originality. It has peach and honey aromas as well as touches of minerals, lemon rind and apple. It’s a complex wine due to extended skin contact and fermentation in a large Austrian oak Foudre (barrel). I rated it as ‘outstanding’.

Their 2023 Rosé is full of cherries and hints of bubble gum. It’s light, juicy and fresh. Maybe not the time of year to drink, but with it being stored under screwcap it will be fine for spring!

Made like a pinot noir, the Young Vine Pinot Meunier is a light, stylish red that sits between a pinot and a gamay. The vines were planted in 1971 taken from cuttings of the original 1868 plantings by Henry Best. It’s a lovely wine.

Finally, the company have just released their icon wine, the Best’s Great Western Bin No 0 Shiraz ($85) and it is a beautiful, elegant red. It displays blackberries, cassis, cedar oak with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. The refined and elegant palate is juicy and more medium bodied than full, making it approachable now. However, this wine has the reputation to age well. A good friend of mine shared his 2007 Bin 0 recently and the wine still had some primary fruit on the nose, with a smooth and elegant palate.

Clive Hartley is an award-winning wine writer, educator and consultant. Check out his fortnightly radio show on Hepburn Community Radio called “put a cork in it”.  Want to learn more about wine? Try his book the Australian Wine Guide (7th ed) – available for purchase from Paradise Books in Daylesford or through  his website –