Wren Estate

OUR Awards

Achievement Our Award

top 10 best new winery

Owner/winemaker Michael Wren was a flying winemaker across multiple continents 

before joining Esporao, one of Portugal’s leading wineries. He was particularly struck 

by the use of stone lagares: the large, shallow (knee-deep) fermenters that facilitate 

foot treading or stomping of red varieties, resulting in wines of great colour and richness 

with a soft palate. He found a 14.5ha vineyard planted in 2002 to multiple clones 

(and rootstocks) of shiraz, and makes individual block wines using replica lagares with 

great results.

The blend of three single blocks all saw new or second-use

French puncheons, 25-50% whole bunches, foot-trodden,

then cool-fermented. A distinct change of pace to a supple,

medium-bodied palate, still in the overarching savoury style

of the Wren Shirazs. Red and black fruits are woven through

a wine that carries its alcohol well.


Wren Estate’s 2018 Elementary Shiraz features some intriguing

aromatics: Mexican chocolate, red raspberries and black licorice.

It’s full-bodied, supple, and powerful (15.5% alcohol) yet carries

its alcohol well. The tannins are ripe and creamy in feel, turning

silky on the long finish. I’d opt for drinking it over the near term,

as its balance is a bit precarious but the wine is delicious now.

Single block picked late Mar, foot-trodden, 3 weeks on skins

post-ferment, matured for 12 months in American hogsheads. Deep,

dense colour; the texture and structure are good, the bouquet and

palate singing the same part of the same song. Briary, brambly,

black fruits, integrated tannins on a long journey, the length and

outcome decades away.

Fermented in beeswax-lined concrete vats, 30% whole bunch,

foot-trodden, 3 weeks on skins post-ferment. Maturation for

12 months in French puncheons has produced significant oak

influence. Trenchantly full-bodied, it has a savoury

(more than tannic) makeup to the layers of black fruits.

It’s impossible not to give these two Wren Estate single block

wines their due.

Fermented with 20-25% whole bunches, 2 weeks on skins post-ferment,

12 months in a mix of new and predominantly old American barrels.

An energetic wine, with one foot in the big end of town, the other in lesser

congestion. The mix of red and dark fruits and supple tannins

makes the plot work well. Not sure I understand the pricing of this wine.

From a single block that Wren says produced the prettiest

wine of all the shiraz blocks in ’18, a view I entirely agree with.

Picked mid-Mar, foot-trodden, cool-fermented, 2 weeks on skins

post-ferment. It’s spicy and borderline juicy, the mouthfeel

welcoming. No use looking for oak – it didn’t see any.

Trophy – Best Red Wine (Other)

Merlot thrives in these conditions. The cool nights keep

the flavours fresh and bright and the warm days produce

depth, weight, and soft tannin all combining with wonderful balance

welcoming. No use looking for oak – it didn’t see any.