Drinks Adventures

The unrivalled value of rare fortified wines

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Episode notes

If you caught the doco-style episode I did on McWilliam’s Wines in 2020, you’ll know the company has been a market leader in fortified wines pretty much since forever.

McWilliam’s is now owned by Calabria Family Wines. And far from seeing fortifieds as a dying part of the industry, you would have heard last episode that Bill, Michael and Andrew Calabria actually see a lot of potential in them.

They recognise that a new generation of drinkers are now getting introduced to fortifieds via Australian whiskies that have been finished in tawny, apera, topaque and muscat casks.

Thanks to Calabria’s investment, McWilliam’s has relaunched its Hanwood Estate range of tawny fortifieds with refreshed branding that takes some cues from whisky, with age statements front and centre.

McWilliam’s senior winemaker Russell Cody and assistant winemaker Mel McWilliam are ‘custodians’ of the fortified barrel collection at the Hanwood Winery, including the 30-Year Old material that is considered Very Rare.

In this special episode, produced in partnership with McWilliams, Russell and Mel talk about the resurgence of these historic wines, and the evolution at Hanwood to making Tawny fortified in a slightly drier style. 

You’ll learn how tawny is best consumed, and why you shouldn’t call it ‘port’ – which Russell himself is still wrestling with.

And you'll hopefully come to understand that the rarest fortifieds present incredible value, when considered against the sky-high prices of extra mature whiskies, for example.

The McWilliams Hanwood Estate Tawny Collection includes the following:

  • McWilliam’s Classic 5-Year Aged Tawny (RRP $20.00)
  • McWilliam’s Grand 10-Year Aged Tawny (RRP $28.00)
  • McWilliam’s Rare 20-Year Aged Tawny (RRP $80.00)
  • McWilliam’s Very Rare 30-Year Aged Tawny (RRP $175.00)

Click here for further information.