Tasting notes: 2013 Brown Brothers Shiraz, Mondeuse and Cabernet »

A unique blend of varieties pioneered in 1954

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Brown Brothers cellar door, King Valley, Victoria

Brown Brothers cellar door, King Valley, Victoria

Brown Brothers 2013 Shiraz Mondeuse and Cabernet


Brown Brothers is one of Australia's First Families of Wine with their winemaking heritage starting back in 1889 in at Milawa in Victoria's King Valley.  The third and fourth generations are now keeping the tradition alive working within the business.

Going back in history, John Charles Brown was the second winemaker at Brown Brothers and considered a legend of Australian wine receiving an OBE for his contribution to the wine industry.

One of his favourite wines was the Shiraz Mondeuse and Cabernet, a blend that he first made in 1954. He chose to pick all three varieties at the same time and blend them together during fermentation giving a wine of considerable concentration, depth of flavour and aging capabilities. The wine lives on in the 2013 vintage and is still made utilising John Charles Brown’s methods. 

The mondeuse grape variety

Mondeuse hails from the Savoie district of south-east France, where it is renowned for its hardy nature, the generous crop it bears and the firm  flavours, deep colour and longevity of the wines it produces. It was brought to Australia early last century by the noted viticulturist of the time, Francois de Castella, and has been grown by the Brown family since the 1920s.

At Milawa it produces an inky, deep, tannic red wine when made as a single varietal. It needs the spice and sweet fruit of shiraz and the elegance of cabernet to transform it into the rich, flavoursome and complete wine that it is.

Winemaking process

This wine is still made with the method John C Brown pioneered in the 1950s where shiraz is placed first into the tanks for fermentation, followed by the cabernet sauvignon and then the mondeuse. This co-fermentation of varieties helps to integrate the flavours of the three and increases colour, flavour and tannin pickup during the process.

It is made from a blend of 50% shiraz, 25% mondeuse, and 25% cabernet sauvignon fruit sourced from Brown Bros' Milawa Vineyard. The fruit for the 2019 release was harvested on the 15th of March 2013 at baumé levels ranging from 14.0º to 15.1º

Following fermentation the wine spent almost two years in 13% new American puncheons and barriques. The balance in one and two year old oak. It was bottled with an alcohol of 14.5% a pH of 3.53 and an acid level of 6.2g/L

 Tasting notes

The 2013 vintage boasts an inky colour with purple hues. It has aromas of spice, liquorice dark plums and earthiness that dominate the nose and the  palate is rich, concentrated and intense with characteristic grippy tannins.

Cellaring:  If cellared correctly this wine will be great for another 12 years or more from vintage.

Serving suggestions: this richly flavoured red wine makes an inspirational accompaniment to full-flavoured slow-cooked dishes such as robust cassoulet, osso bucco, beef bourguignon or lamb shanks. Equally it would be magnificent with a whole fillet of venison roasted rare and served with crunchy roast vegetables.

Winemaker: Cate Looney

Alc/Vol: 14.5%

RRP: A$90 (750ml bottle direct from Brown Brothers)


  • King Valley including Milawa (VIC)

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April 30th, 2019
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