Tasting notes: Passing Clouds (Vic) 2016 vintages »

Savour Graeme Leith's shiraz-cabernet, pinot noir, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon

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Passing Clouds FOH Pinot Noir 2016

Passing Clouds FOH Pinot Noir 2016 [©Passing Clouds]

Passing Clouds Graemes Shiraz Cabernet 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.

The introduction of a train platform at the Passing Clouds cellar door makes it even easier to relax and enjoy a wine tasting and lunch. These are some of the wines you will find to taste at the new cellar door.  

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 it 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 pinot noir 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


The Angel vintage 2016

The Angel is a barrel selection of our finest, most elegant cabernet sauvignon barrels each year. After 12 months on oak, the selection process begins and each barrel is carefully sampled to determine whether it has made the cut.

When the barrels are selected they are aged for an additional four months, bottled in June 2016 and then aged in bottle for nine months. The resultant wine is a sophisticated and extremely age-worthy expression of a cooler-climate cabernet sauvignon.

Tasting notes: the best barrels of cabernet sauvignon in 2016 were all from the Serpentine vineyard. 33% of the blend enjoyed a post ferment maceration. The wine shows attractive perfumed aromas, pure cassis fruit, and the mid palate is juicy and attractive. Voluminous, mature tannins provide structure as well as demonstrating the ageability of this wine.

A bold Angel, reminiscent of the season, it has a long life ahead of it.

Alc/vol: 14.0%






  • Macedon Ranges (Wine) (VIC)

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