Tasting notes: Passing Clouds (Vic) shiraz-cabernet, pinot noir and chardonnay »

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Passing Clouds Graemes Shiraz Cabernet 2016

Passing Clouds Graemes Shiraz Cabernet 2016 [©Passing Clouds]

Passing Clouds FOH Pinot Noir 2016
Passing Clouds vineyards, Victoria
Graeme Leith
Passing Clouds FOH Chardonnay 2016


The story of Passing Clouds began in 1973 when Graeme Leith and Sue Mackinnon chose a life of challenge amongst the vines,  buying a site in the dry area north west of Bendigo. Their very first classic shiraz cabernet blend won gold at the Melbourne Wine Show and today's blend continues to develop even deeper, richer flavours.

Passing Clouds still makes all of their acclaimed Bendigo reds but has added an emphasis on cool climate pinot noir and chardonnay, sourced from their new home in the Macedon Ranges.

Each year Passing Clouds holds a special event in November to celebrate the grapes, harvest, winemaking which culminates in the release of their latest wines, including these three:


Graeme's 2016 Shiraz Cabernet

Bendigo's climate provides the perfect condition for the creation of this blend – the region being better suited to shiraz cabernet than anywhere else.

Arguably Passing Cloud's most well-known wine, it is certainly the one they have been making the longest. It is well known for its longevity, indeed it cellars for up to 30 years, however they prefer to drink it about ten years from the vintage date.

This is a blended wine and they are proud of that fact, great care was taken to create a wine greater than the sum of its parts.

This wine was looked at a few months back and the shiraz was found quite dominant. This often happens in this wine's infancy but now – hello cabernet!

Tasting notes: A lovely amalgamation of dark blackberry fruit from the shiraz and pure cassis from the cabernet, there’s black pepper and a whisker of classy French oak. The palate shows all that the Passing Clouds' team loves about Bendigo: fine tannins but plenty of them, a bigger Graeme’s but still plenty of fresh fruit and no jamminess – all these characteristics come together to make a wine that is approachable now, but will cellar happily for decades to come.

Alc/vol: 13.9%

RRP A$34 direct from the vineyard


Fools on the Hill 2016 Pinot Noir

Pinot noir is fickle, demanding to grow and Passing Clouds believes, looks its best in cooler climates. Macedon Ranges is the coldest grape-growing region in mainland Australia and is situated on a north-facing slope on the foothills of the Great Dividing Range.

The Passing Clouds  vineyard is one of the coldest sites in the country. It pushes the pinot noir to extremes

Tasting notes: cherry red colour. Intense, bright aromas of lively red fruit, spice and perfume. Well integrated, quality oak – there’s a touch of mushroomy, earthiness making for a complex, cerebral aroma. A juicy front palate is followed by an appealing firmness provided by the super fine tannins and natural acidity.

Alc/vol: 12.5%

RRP A$47 direct from the vineyard

Fools on the Hill 2016 Chardonnay

Chardonnay is remarkably comfortable growing in most regions across Australia but achieves a plethora of racy citrus flavours and cool climate edginess when grown in the Macedon Ranges.

Growing here atop a north-facing slope on the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, this vineyard is one of the coldest sites in the country. Passing Clouds' chardonnay is one with a line of searing acidity and a distinctly cool climate swagger.

Tasting notes: refined aromas of citrus, pear with integrated French oak. Notes of well integrated nutty/brioche oak, are complemented by white flowers and spice. The palate shows a certain generosity of fruit weight, with layers of fruit and oak. It has lovely, refined acid and phenolic grip.

The fruit drives through to the end of this super cool climate chardonnay.

Alc/vol: 13.0%

RRP A$47 direct from the vineyard


  • Macedon Ranges (Wine) (VIC)

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January 09th, 2018
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