2014 Citi NSW Wine Awards - October 2014

The newly released 2013 vintage of Running Stitch Cabernet Sauvignon was awarded a Silver Medal at the recent NSW Wine awards, earning it a place in NSW's Topwines, which were on display at "Outstanding on the Pier" at Walsh Bay in Sydney as part of the awards. This is a pleasing follow-up for the Running Stitch label after the 2012 won the Trophy for Best Cabernet at last year's event. The 2013 Silken Thread Petit Verdot also took out a medal at the awards.

The Key Review of Wine - October 2014

Menage a trois...

Quilty Black Thimble Mudgee Shiraz 2013: I love the roundness of the wine shot through with spikes of flavour that Des Quilty puts into his wines. It's like a plump lover with uninhibited erotic talents. I love it, both the wine and fond memories of a plump lover. 94 points, and for such a small production $28 is very fair value.

Quilty Running Stitch Mudgee Cabernet Sauvignon 2013: It's early morning cool clean air on the nose and light on entry. It's also cool on entry and, for Cabernet, light across the palate. It's gorgeous wine, every sip is delightful and full of sensuous pleasure. Light in one aspect, but has the Quilty touch of introducing depth in another. I loved it. 95 points, and well worth $32.

Quilty Silken Thread Mudgee Petit Verdot 2013: Kingston in the Riverland is the champion of Petit Verdot in Australia, but I've never been sold on it as a single varietal wine. Mr Quilty has indeed managed to weave a silken thread through the often green edged PV. 93 points and worth its $28.

Mudgee Wine Show - Setember 2014 - Trophy Most Outstanding Red Wine of Show

The 2012 vintage of Quilty Running Stitch Cabernet Sauvignon has been awarded two prestigious trophies at the 2014 Mudgee Wine Show, for the Most Outstanding Red Wine of the Show, as well as the Dave Robertson Memorial Trophy for best Cabernet. This cements even further the very high quality credentials of this wine after it took away the Best Cabernet Trophy at last year's NSW Wine Awards. The 2012 Black Thimble Shiraz and 2013 Silken Thread Petit Verdot also picked up medals.

Huon Hooke - Sydney Morning Herald, Good Food - February 2014

The best NSW wine to try now: Restaurants and consumers need to wake up to the fact there are excellent vintages coming out of NSW & ACT - and some of the best value wine in Australia. Building a cellar of NSW wines? Try these for starters: Quilty Running Stitch Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (Mudgee) $35, Clonakilla O'Riada Shiraz 2012 (Canberra) $44, Courabyra 805 Pinot Noir Chardonnay Pinot Meunier Brut 2001 (Tumbarumba) $65, Tertini Pinot Noir 2010 (Southern Highlands) $55, De Iuliis Steven Vineyard Shiraz 2011 (Hunter Valley) $40, Moppity Lock & Key Reserve Shiraz 2012 (Hilltops) $22, Bloodwood Schubert Chardonnay 2011 (Orange) $30, Lillypilly Estate Noble Blend 2008 (Riverina) $22, Robert Stein Riesling (Mudgee) $40, Capital Wines The Whip Riesling (Canberra) $19, Armchair Critic Chardonnay 2012 (Tumbarumba) $20, Centennial Vineyards Blanc de Blancs NV (Southern Highlands) $37, Scarborough Green Label Semillon 2012 (Hunter Valley) $22, Freeman Secco Rondinella Corvina 2009 (Hilltops) $35, Ross Hill Pinnacle Series Shiraz 2011 (Orange) $36, Trentham Estate Cabernet Merlot (Riverina) $14. 

Gary Walsh - The Wine Front www.winefront.com.au - January 2014

Quilty Running Stitch Cabernet Sauvignon 2012: Like a Rylstone Cowboy. Dried herb perfume, chocolaty, aniseed laced juicy black fruit, cracked black pepper - lick of vanilla nougat oak influence. Medium bodied, beautiful composure - almost silky with supple gummy tannin and well threaded acidity - all just so. Has an earthy / mineral quality and long finish. Interesting Cabernet - more about the region / site / vintage than the grape, perhaps, though that's no bad thing at all. Just over the line for a 94 point rating. 94 Points. Drink 2014-2022+.

Key Notes - December 2013

Quilty Black Thimble Mudgee Shiraz 2012: Such a lovely style that speaks of the region it originates from. It has flavours melting one into the other that swell in gentle eddies across the palate. 94 points and very good value at $28.

Quilty Running Stitch Mudgee Cabernet Sauvignon 2012: Good structure, it sits square at the beginning of the journey but then stretches out across the palate firmly but elegantly. 94 points and within value bounds at $35.

Rob Geddes - The Gold Book - November 2013

A few wines caught my eye this month. The NSW Wine Awards produced a lot of gold medals this year and it looks like we are headed for some excellent releases. One is Quilty Running Stitch 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Mudgee, affordable and delicious.

Huon Hooke - Sydney Morning Herald , Good Food - November 2013

"As chief judge, I was especially impressed by several wines. The Quilty cabernet is as good a Mudgee cabernet as you're ever likely to see. It has pristine fruit of ideal ripeness, and while the structure is firm, the tannins are not as hard or aggressive as they can sometimes be in Mudgee."

Best Cabernet Sauvignon in NSW / ACT - 2013 Citi NSW Wine Awards

Quilty 2012 Running Stitch Cabernet Sauvignon has been awarded a gold medal and the prestigious Riedel Australia Trophy for Best Young Cabernet Sauvignon at the 2013 Citi NSW Wine Awards. This stamps it as the best currently available Cabernet produced in any NSW region from vintages 2010-2013.

Over 700 wines from 90 wineries in NSW were judged by some of Australia's finest judges, headed by Huon Hooke. Trophy and gold medal winners were announced on Friday 1st November at an awards luncheon at The Sebel Pier 1, Walsh Bay, Sydney. 

Les Concours des Vins du NSW 2013

"Where NSW wine meets the French palate". A competition hosted by the French-Australian Chamber of Commerce with a judging panel of prestigious French sommeliers, winemakers and wine writers headed by Franck Moreau, Group Sommelier Merivale Group. 287 wines from 56 NSW wineries entered, and Quilty's 2011 wines picked up the following recognition:

- Highest rated, Alternative Varieties (any vintage) - Quilty 2011 Silken Thread Petit Verdot

- 2nd highest rated, Cabernet Sauvignon (any vintage) - Quilty 2011 Running Stitch Cabernet Sauvignon

James Halliday 2014 Wine Companion

Black Thimble Single Vineyard Mudgee Shiraz 2011 - 91 Pts: Bright deep crimson, the bouquet offers smoky oak as a dominant feature with blackberry, tea and bramble on display. The palate is medium-bodied and vibrant, with gravelly tannins in tune with the fruit. Drink by 2018.

Silken Thread Apple Tree Flat Mudgee Petit Verdot 2011 - 90 Pts: Bright colour, and an effusive personality, with dark cherry and floral violet notes coming to the fore; the palate is juicy, with a moderately long finish. Drink by 2017.

The Barefoot Review - www.barefootreview.com.au

Barefoot provides an up-to-date listing of wines reviewed at various price points. As at the end of April 2013, Quilty's 2011 Black Thimble Shiraz (96 points) was the highest rated wine under $70, of 70 wines tasted. Only one wine in the over $70 (up to $115) category rated higher. For an up-to-date list at any time go to www.thebarefootreview.com.au.

Chris Shanahan - Relax Magazine, The Canberra Times - April 2013

Quilty Silken Thread Mudgee Petit Verdot 2011: The late-ripening Bordeaux variety petit verdot gives colour and complexity to blends with cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot. However, recent genetic research, writes Jancis Robinson, puts it in a separate vine family, including little known varieties, ardonnet, gros verdot and petit verdot faux. Like the Bordelaise, Australian winemakers tend to blend petit verdot away. But Des Quilty and others let petit verdot stand alone. At a recent tasting of lesser known varieties, Quilty's version appealed to a range of first-time petit verdot tasters. Not as deep as some I've tasted, perhaps because of the cool vintage, it delivered ripe, juicy flavour on a pleasingly elegant palate.

Chris Shanahan - The Canberra Times - February 2013

Quilty Black Thimble Shiraz 2011: ****4 Stars - Des and Emma Quilty make just 450 cases of wine a year, handplucking the best possible grapes from the most interesting parcels of land. In this instance, Des Quilty made just 175 dozen bottles from low-yield vines in the hills just south of Mudgee. Now Mudgee is generally a warm area but this wine shows a pepperiness normally associated with much cooler places - suggesting the influence of the unusually cold season. There's a bit of magic to this medium-bodied, idiosyncratic wine.

Gary Walsh - The Wine Front www.winefront.com.au January 2013

Quilty Running Stitch Cabernet Sauvignon 2011: Carries a lot of perfumed musky coconut, coffee nougat and vanilla oak - almost like a Rioja - but there's layers of mixed berries and cherries to go with it. Medium bodied, fresh and clean with supple tannin and good length of flavour. Silky texture, seductive oak. A little spice and strawberry in the aftertaste. Much to like here, and if you don't pre-judge it, and take it as a red from somewhere, rather than a straight-laced varietal Cabernet, then there's perhaps even more to like again. 92+ Points. Drink 2014-2020.

Gary Walsh - The Wine Front www.winefront.com.au January 2013

Quilty Patchwork Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot 2011: Cabernet from the high bits of Cudgegong and Petit Verdot from the lower bits down at Apple Tree Flat. 298 cases made.

Peppery, musky, coconut and nougat, perfumed, mixed berry fruit. Medium bodied, acidity a little sharp, ripe, creamy, yet chalky tannin, some warmth and a decent length. Interesting wine. Likely to improve given a little bottle age. 90+ Points. Drink 2014-2019.

Winsor Dobbin - The Grape Hunter www.thegrapehunter.com.au January 2013

Quilty Black Thimble Shiraz 2011: The wines made by Des Quilty are impressive across the board but I particularly enjoyed this soft and elegant shiraz, which is made in tiny quantities. Made from fruit grown in tough, gravelly soil in a particularly difficult vintage, this is something of a triumph with a touch of the Rhone about it. There's a gratifying amalgam of ripe berry and delicatessen notes, some earth and spiciness, too. It's a wine of impeccable balance; a savoury siren.

Max Crus (aka Simon Hughes) - Grape Expectations - January 2013

Quilty (Apple Tree Flat Mudgee) Silken Thread Petit Verdot 2011: Wow, where has this been hiding ? Petit Verdot sounds so French and alluring and this one tastes it too. Have it with Midnight in Paris. 9.2/10.

The Key Review of Wine - January 2013

Mudgee: will it ever get the recognition it desrves? I say that because it has deserved better recognition for decades. The Mudgee wines that have impressed me greatly in the past couple of years are those made by Des Quilty.

Quilty 'Black Thimble' Mudgee Shiraz 2011: The fundamentals of reviewing wine rely on a few basic principles. One is knowledge, another is experience (although many younger than I in years would argue that), and another is impartiality. The last gets tested when a batch of wines arrives and, because of past experiences, anticipation is high. I make no secret of the fact I love the Quilty wines. I enjoy drinking them, and I like the philosophy behind the making and release of them. This wine is rich and travels deep as well, as it crosses the palate. What is more impressive is the long return journey after it's been swallowed. Excellent wine. 96 points and very good value at $28

Quilty 'Patchwork' Mudgee Cabernet - Petit Verdot 2011: Des Quilty says "a wine we do in years that both varieties will benefit from blending". Unlike the Shiraz, it's a wine of wide expression rather than depth. It flows around the mouth in swirls dropping flavour here and there like a Jackson Pollock painting. It's only when one stands back and reflects that ideas form. Lovely stuff. 94 points and great value at $22

Quilty 'Running Stitch' Mudgee Cabernet Sauvignon 2011: It is its own wine. Tremendous individual character which I enjoy a great deal. Some will say it's terroir and I won't argue, the point being it is good. In fact, very good. It's a wine that leans towards the bitter edge of the spectrum, the flavours are from the middle of the palate to the back, and then on the return. 94 points now but I think more to come and value at $28

Quilty 'Silken Thread Mudgee Petit Verdot 2010: Des Quilty held this wine back as in his judgement it wasn't ready for release a year ago. Before looking at the wine, it's an honourable stance to take. Quilty has a very small production, costs are high and he doesn't ask a lot for his wines at $22 to $28 a bottle. Quilty believes in straight Petit Verdot. I'm not as convinced, but if any winemaker does it well then he does. Fantastic nose on this wine, but sharper on the palate. It's a wine for food. If tasted alone its raw edges show. Take it to the table where those raw edges take on meat (any) and juices and become a different character. 93 points and well worth its money.

Quilty 'Silken Thread' Mudgee Petit Verdot 2011: This is also being held back for later release so no price quoted yet. Let's not bugger around, if this is closer to $40 than $30 it will still be a bargain. Fantastic wine. 94 now with a couple more to come.

Gary Walsh - The Wine Front www.winefront.com.au November 2012

Quilty Black Thimble Shiraz 2011: A dark fruited, spicy and earthy wine with a lick of vanilla oak. Medium bodied with a bit of chewy tannin, balanced acidity and good length. It's modest and not particularly deep, but has plenty of charm and interest, and feels unusually savoury and restrained. Very good wine. Really enjoyed it. 92 Points. Drink 2013-2020.

James Halliday 2013 Wine Companion www.winecompanion.com.au

Quilty Winery Star Rating: 5 Stars.

Running Stitch Single Vineyard Rylstone Cabernet Sauvignon 2010: 94 Pts (Special value - wine considered to offer special value for money): Bright colour, an impressive cabernet from a tiny planting (98 dozen made) high in the Cudgegong Valley; blackcurrant, cassis, cedar and spice welded together with fine tannins. Drink by 2025.

Gourmet Traveller Big Red Issue - June/July 2012

Top 100 New Releases - 2010 Quilty Running Stitch Cabernet Sauvignon ***** 5 Stars , 93 Pts - It may not be especially varietal but it's a very good wine. Excellent deep red-purple colour; savoury walnut and earth aromas with sweet fruit and soft, fine-grained tannins. It has lots of structure and the tannins are smooth and well managed. Drink: now til 2030.

Winestate Magazine Central & Western NSW Tasting May-June 2012 Edition

Quilty Running Stitch 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon **** 4 Stars - "A rich mix of varietal berry fruit and oak aromas with a lovely long, savoury palate showing a touch of sweetness and a woody finish."

Quilty Silken Thread 2010 Petit Verdot *** 3 Stars - "Big tannic wine - good example of style with light, minty red fruit."

Quilty Silken Thread 2009 Petit Verdot *** 3 Stars - "A dense red with tight, dark chocolaty nose and a firm palate with tight fruit."

Patrick Haddock - The Wining Pom www.winingpom.com.au - April 2012

Mudgee reds: not in the mud anymore...  Quilty Running Stitch Cabernet 2010 $28. Classic Cabernet on offer here with blackcurrant, dark chocolate, some expresso coffee grounds and a bold signature of spice as well as soy. A hit of sour cherry fruit with a well-balanced palate with lively acids and a good line of persistence. Really impressed by this wine, nicely varietal Cabernet and well priced, look out for this.

Deb Pearce Wine Blog www.vinousgirl.wordpress.com - April 2012

Best of Mudgee. 2010 Quilty "Running Stitch" Cabernet Sauvignon: Nice ruby colour, earthy and cranberry nose. Appealing dark fruits on entry to the palate with an almost salty / soy edge, chalky tannins and an upright acid line that pushes to the back palate. A very expressive wine that displays its Mudgee roots. It was one of the best reds I saw in Mudgee and is great value at the price. Watch this label !

Huon Hooke, Sydney Morning Herald - April 2012

"The quiet achiever". Although often overlooked and underpromoted, the Mudgee region produces some exciting drops.

The most head-turning wine I tasted in Mudgee - partly because it was a new discovery - was Quilty Running Stitch Cabernet Sauvignon from micro-boutique Quilty Wines. The 2009 and 2010 vintages (both $28 at quiltywines.com.au) are made from grapes grown at De Beaurepaire's high-altitude vineyard in Rylstone, about 50 kilometres south-east of Mudgee. These wines are fleshy and clean with perfectly ripened fruit, and the tannins are velvet-soft. A pity there are only about 300 cases.

Deb Pearce Wine Blog www.vinousgirl.wordpress.com - March 2012

In her article "Mudgee Rebooted", Deb Pearce rates Quilty Wines as one of four Mudgee wineries well worth following:

Quilty Wines: The reds from this family-owned winery are a highlight. The "Running Stitch" Cabernet Sauvignon is the pick, and at $28 it delivers "bang for your buck". The fruit is hand-harvested and fermented in small batches, which is quite labour-intensive for the pricetag. The results are well worth a look.

Red to Brown Wine Review www.redtobrownwinereview.blogspot.com - February 2012

2009 Quilty Petit Verdot (Mudgee): You rarely find a straight Petit Verdot, but when you taste a wine like this you kind of wonder if there shouldn't be more. As a late ripening grape with a high natural acidity, it would seem well suited to one of our warmer wine regions. Maybe it can become a bit of a signature grape for Mudgee?

Lovely smelling wine with the distinct aroma of violets, along with berries and some nice choc-oak. To drink, those beautiful berry fruits are balanced by that trademark acidity and hints of appealing earthiness and bitterness, making it both highly drinkable and also food friendly. Balance and length are there. I think it will be better in a couple of years time, too. Very nice wine.

Winestate Wine of the Year Awards 2011

Running Stitch 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon has been awarded as a Top 5 Finalist in the Hamburg Sud Trophy (Cabernet Sauvignon and blends) at the Winestate magazine Wine of the Year Awards 2011. Des Quilty was presented with the award at the Winestate luncheon held at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide on November 10th.

The Top 5 Finalists were judged from a field of over 2000 Cabernets and blends from both Australia and New Zealand, tasted blind by Winestate over the past 12 months.

To be placed among the elite producers of Australia and New Zealand at such a prestigious award is a fantastic achievement for a new producer, and further confirmation of Quilty's growing quality credentials. The wine will now feature in Winestate's Wine of the Year issue (released December) and the Winestate Annual issue (January). 

Gary Walsh - The Wine Front www.winefront.com.au October 2011

Quilty Running Stitch Cabernet Sauvignon 2010: Lovely wine to smell - blackcurrant, redcurrant, violet, anised, cedar, graphite and a gentle earthiness. It's medium-bodied with a slightly jellied redcurrant flavour profile and a delicate savoury appeal. Even flow, fine grained with persistence on the finish. Excellent, and there may well be further surprises in store. 93+ Points. Drink 2013-2020.

The Key Report 6 October 2011

It's rare for a wine review to make TKR; even rarer for one to be included in the introduction. I first tasted wines from Des Quilty a year or so ago. I was impressed. The latest batch of samples was reduced to one: a 2010 Mudgee cabernet sauvignon. The accompanying handwritten note explained that Quilty didn't make a 2010 shiraz and the 2010 petit verdot was being held back for release.

The total Quilty production amounts to "not a lot" in a good year. In 2010 there were just 98 cases of the cabernet made yet Quilty dispatches some of this precious commodity to be reviewed, doesn't make one style because the shiraz is not up to his standard and holds another back because in his judgement it's not ready for release. I look forward to meeting this man one day.

Quilty 'Running Stitch' Mudgee Cabernet Sauvignon 2010: The smell is sheer olfactory indulgence; it sits handsome and proud at the beginning of the palate then journeys across in a combination of purpose and elegance. A very smart wine indeed. 96 points and worth every cent of its $28.

Mudgee 2011 Wine Show

All currently available wines, including the newly released 2010 Running Stitch Cabernet Sauvignon, won medals at the Mudgee Wine Show, held 7-9th September. Full list of results:

2010 Running Stitch Cabernet Sauvignon   - Silver Medal

2009 Running Stitch Cabernet Sauvignon   - Silver Medal

2009 Black Thimble Shiraz                        - Silver Medal

2009 Silken Thread Petit Verdot                - Bronze Medal

James Halliday 2012 Wine Companion www.winecompanion.com.au

Quilty Wines Winery Star Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

Silken Thread Apple Tree Flat Mudgee Petit Verdot 2009: 94 Points (highest rating Petit Verdot in 2012 Companion): Deep crimson; a full-bodied wine attesting to the quality of petit verdot when not over-cropped and grown in a temperate climate; lush berry fruits with some spice and soft tannins all come together well; 209 dozen made. Drink by 2019.

Running Stitch Rylstone Mudgee Cabernet Sauvignon 2009: 93 Points: Good hue, although slightly diffuse; shows this is a good single vineyard site for cabernet; has clearly defined cassis, blackcurrant and black olive fruit, and French oak and tannins nicely controlled; 124 dozen made. Drink by 2019.

Black Thimble Warrangunyah Mudgee Shiraz 2009: 90 Points: Deep purple; an unashamedly full-bodied wine, densely poulated with black fruits, licorice and fruitcake; the alcohol is part of the style, which will have strong appeal to those who like full-bodied Barossa shiraz; 112 dozen made. Drink by 2024.

Owner Des Quilty grew up in the Hunter Valley and studied agriculture at the University of New England, Armidale. To support himself while at university, he drifted into viticulture, his first job after graduation at Tyrrells as assistant vineyard manager. He was soon promoted and formed part of the Tyrrells management team in the first half of the 1990's. Over the last half of the 90's he worked for a rural outlet supplying products to Hunter Valley grape and wine producers, before moving to Mudgee as a viticulturist around 2000 and, while his focus remains in that region, has also been involved in vineyards in Orange and Young. With a wife and two children, he ventured into small scale winemaking in '08, relying on the depth of his experience to secure small parcels of top quality grapes to make top quality wines.

Winestate Magazine New Release Tasting March-April 2011 Edition

Quilty Running Stitch 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon ***** 5 Stars - Top of Category - "Dense crimson wine - almost black - with a massive amount of ripe stone-fruit characters well matched by well-handled, classy oak which adds complexity. Mouth-puckering tannins."

Quilty Black Thimble 2009 Shiraz *** 3 Stars - Recommended - "Big, oak-driven wine. Vanilla and spices on the nose and dark fruits on the palate."

Gary Walsh - The Wine Front www.winefront.com.au March 2011

Quilty Wines Running Stitch Cabernet Sauvignon 2009: Total production of 124 cases from a vineyard in the highest bits of the Cudgegong Valley, near Rylstone.

Mulberry and cherry with a touch of mint and appropriate herbal seasoning along with good cedar/coffee oak. It's medium weight and well balanced with particularly good tannin and no heat or intrusive alcohol. Has a fair bit of charm and style. Really good, surprisingly so even. 92 points, Drink 2011-2017.

Gary Walsh - The Wine Front www.winefront.com.au February 2011

Quilty Wines Silken Thread Petit Verdot 2009: I like Petit Verdot, so I'm invariably keen to taste them when they come in. This comes from a small producer in Mudgee and has a total production of 209 dozen. Interestingly, I wrote my note then had a look at the back label and it had pretty much the same descriptors as the ones I'd just written (including 'forest berries'). A good sign I think, but a shame I didn't look earlier - would have saved me a job.

Violet, smooth vanilla oak and mixed forest berries. It's medium to full bodied, lush, soft and smooth with a little earthiness adding regional interest. Very attractive wine that was at its best on the first night, rather than the second, so perhaps best enjoyed young for its fruit and seductive texture. A nice surprise. 90 points. Drink 2011-2014.

The Key Review of Wine January 2011

Quilty 'Running Stitch' Mudgee Cabernet Sauvignon 2009: Powerful and intense with still a hint of oak showing, it's good and will have a legion of fans but I'm looking for more elegance in my Cabernet. 92 points and good value at $28.

The Key Review of Wine December 2010

TOP KEY ! "When a wine hits the right spot words don't always come to mind, it's just an inner feeling. Those that effect me in that way are denoted "Top Key". Quilty 'Silken Thread' Petit Verdot 2009 : Over the years I have tasted some smart Australian Petit Verdot but it's never made it into the mainstream. I have also tasted many poor offerings and perhaps this is the reason why. This one is very impressive. Tart black fruit flavours that soften as they travel and plenty of depth. If this standard is kept it will become a winner. 94 points, outstanding value at $22. It's worth getting to know this new vineyard.

The Key Review of Wine November 2010

Quilty 'Black Thimble' Shiraz 2009 : Luscious, bit plump but still gorgeous. 93 points and worth its $28. Making great wines.

5 Minute Wine Rush November 2010

Quilty 'Running Stitch' Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 : From the Rylstone area of the Cudgegong Valley in the Mudgee region of Central NSW (now there's a mouthful of words) comes this truly boutique (I think you can use boutique both liberally and justifiably) very decent Cabernet. Des Quilty the producer has used the fruit really well here as the backdrop to this fine elegant red that truly delivers classic Mudgee regional red variety drinking. Fulsome, spicy, cherry-filled, lightly charred, robust and upfront, a gutsy red in its aromas profile and yet quite finessed in its palate delivery with long lineal features. A good food wine. Me thinks roast lamb and vegetables.

Drink to 2016. Very Good.

The Key Report October 2010

This week we take a look at the giant international players and own big boy Fosters. We've also got a feel-good article on Des Quilty and the wines he makes (Quilty Wines) at Mudgee. I know it's hard to imagine TKR having any interest in 'feel good', but occasionally - very occasionally - one slips through and gets me on the cuddly side .....

Cuddly Stuff

A week or two back TKR received an email from Mr. Des Quilty asking if there was any interest in tasting his wines. The email, while lacking the pomp and ceremony of more formal invitations, had a genuine purity I could not ignore; it seemed worth the effort to find out more about Mr. Quilty.

As it turns out, Quilty was a Hunter Valley lad prior to his move to Mudgee. He studied agriculture and earned money working in the vineyards of several Hunter wineries. His first 'real' job was with Tyrrells, first as assistant, and then vineyard manager for the first half of the nineties.

He recalls his time there as "without a doubt a fantastic place to get a taste of what a very good and successful wine company was all about. As one of the management team we used to sit down to breakfast and lunch every day with the likes of Murray and Bruce Tyrrell, winemakers Andrew Spinaze, Andrew Thomas, Reid Bosward and Andrew Margan, marketers, accountants, bottling, cellar door and distribution managers."

Moving on from Tyrrells, Quilty continued to work in the region until the turn of the century when he moved to Mudgee. After observing "others having a crack at producing quality wine and making a viable wine business", he decided to have a go himself.

"Around 2007-8" says Quilty, "I decided that while finances did not allow, this was unlikely to change significantly, so I'd better find a way to do it. The current dire wine industry climate means most people thought I was crazy to make even the (relatively small) leap I have. It (dire circumstances) has at least allowed the opportunity to buy either reasonable fruit at next to nothing, or the most exceptional fruit I can find, at reasonable prices. I've tried to take the second route, in the belief that amongst the plethora of small (and other) wine brands out there, if my quality's not exceptional I can't even expect a start. To that effect I have also used as much (or as little) new French and American oak as required to create balance, all under the guidance of Andrew Ewart, an extremely experienced winemaker.

Quilty admits he is the apprentice / cellar hand for now, but he's "really enjoying the opportunity to get up to technical speed." It's impressive to see his will to have a go and TKR wishes him every success. His total output of three varieties is just 447 cases and his prices are very reasonable: one at $22 and two at $28.

I did finally taste Quilty's wines and was impressed with the result; they are well made and very good value for money, with the Petit Verdot, in particular, being a standout.

Australian Small Winemakers Show October 2010

Less than a month after bottling, all three varieties won medals for Quilty Wines at the most prestigious wine show for small winemakers (crushing less than 500 tonnes) in Australia and New Zealand, and we fully expect that with a bit of time in the bottle these will improve further still.

Running Stitch 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon - Silver Medal

Black Thimble 2009 Shiraz - Bronze Medal

Silken Thread 2009 Petit Verdot - Bronze Medal