Regions > South Australia> Limestone Coast Zone > Coonawarra region

: Brand's of Coonawarra

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Brand's of Coonawarra

www.mcwilliams.com.au

Riddoch Highway,Coonawarra, 5263

Cellar Door: Mon - Fri (8-5), Weekends (10-4)

Ph: (08) 8736 3260

wine label

The now McWilliams owned winery was first established by Eric and Nancy Brand in 1966 (Nancy is the daughter of regional veteran, Bill Redman) although wines had been made on the property in the 1890s.

It was a very humble operation at first with an antique basket press, a must pump and four concrete fermenters Eric built himself. Their sons, Bill and Jim, studied at Riverina College and modernised the sturdiness of Eric Brand's style.

There were some vines on the property from 1896 (John Riddoch) era that were periodically put out as a big concentrated premium release. The brand was changed to Brand's Laira (after a 1890s ship - the property and original old vines in the 1890s were run by the sea-faring Captain Stentiford).

A few years back McWilliams has bought out ownership of the winery, and brought an extra 100 hectares to expand production. Jim Brand stayed on for a while as chief (co) wine-maker but Jim Brayne and Peter Wienberg ar the current wine-makers.

The portfolio includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Shiraz with the super-premiums being The Patron (Cabernet Sauvignon), Eric's Blend (a Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Franc, and the Stentiford’s Reserve Old Vines Shiraz (from the 110 year old vines on the estate).

cellar door
Brand's vineyard and cellar door (photo:genxywines)
Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

New reviews

Brandís Laira Stentiford Shiraz 2013

Purchased: Not ($75)

Drink: 2025

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2016, from old vines showing †aromatic blackberry, dark plum and redcurrant with liquorice notes, plush and medium-full bodied with graphite minerality and toasty clove/cinnamon oak, dusty tannins, needs more freshness to score higher (****) †

Brandís Laira 1968 Vines Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Purchased: Not ($60)

Drink: 2030+

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2016, †intense and concentrated blackcurrant, dark plum and violets without the high alcohol levels, linear with savoury undertones underpinning the juicy core, tightly wound tannins and oak, long cellaring style (****1/2)

Brandís Laira Old Station Riesling 2015

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2017 or 2023 if you like it toasty

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2016, floral and plumpish lime and jonathon apple with some orange blossom and brown spices, powdery texture with a racy lemon rind finish (***1/2)

Brandís Laira Old Station Riesling 2014

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2016 or 2022+ if you like it toasty

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2015, floral and fresh lemon, apple and passionfruit with orange blossom notes, slightly creamy with fine talcy texture and good persistence (****)

Brandís Laira Tall Vines Shiraz 2012

Purchased: Not ($40)

Drink: 2022

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2015, quite viscous mulberry, plum and black cherry with white pepper and charred meat notes, long and full bodied with fine, savoury tannins (****)

Brandís Laira Blockerís Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2025

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2014, firm and slightly extracted plum, blackcurrant and violet, quite earthy and savoury with some olive and bay leaf notes, medium bodied with powdery tannins, good line and balance with restrained spicy oak (****1/2)

Brandís Laira Stentiford Shiraz 2011

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2030

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2014, from 110+ year old vines, perfumed, medium bodied and glycerolly mulberry, black cherry and plum, mint and white pepper notes, quite supple, graphite minerality and lingering dusty tannins, restrained clove/cedar oak (****1/2)

Brandís Laira Foundation Chardonnay 2013

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2019

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2014, partial malo and barrel ferment, lime, lemon butter and peach with some matchstick notes, creamy with orange peel acidity, sweet and spicy vanilla oak, good line (***1/2)

Brandís Laira Flagships One Seven One Cabernet 2010

Purchased: Not ($65)

Drink: 2023+

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2013, Trophy for Best Cabernet Sauvignon at 2012 Australian Cool Climate Wine show, rebranding of The Patron, very long, pure and powerful cassis and blackberry with mint/eucalypt, seaweed and violet notes, minerally and medium-full bodied with savoury undertones and well balanced spicy cedar/vanilla/cinnamon oak (*****)

Brandís Laira Old Vine Stentiford Shiraz 2008

Purchased: Not ($75)

Drink: 2019

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2013, from 110+ year old vines, glossy mulberry and blackcurrant pastille with violet and white pepper notes, rather minty and minerally medium-full bodied palate, lingering powdery tannins, clove/cedar oak and good acidity (****)

Brandís Laira Chardonnay 2012

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2013, rich lime and white peach with creamy/nutty barrel ferment and lees aspects, crunchy grapefruit acidity gives some drive, spicy cashew-vanilla French oak (***1/2)

Brandís Laira Shiraz 2010

Purchased: Dan Murphys, Melb CBD ($19)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: June 2013, plush blackberry, mulberry and dark plums with some violet and mint notes , medium-full bodied with warm brown spices and a touch of savoury game, sweet cedar-vanilla oak is no too overt, supple fine tannins (***1/2)

Brandís Laira Chardonnay 2010

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting:† Aug 2012, barrel fermented, creamy white peach, melon and apple with gun flint notes, long and even palate with good intensity by regional standards, balanced toasty cinnamon/vanilla oak and tangy grapefruit acidity (****)

Brandís Laira Blockerís Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2020+

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2011, rather heavily worked blackcurrant , earth and violet with olive and bay leaf notes, medium bodied palate has good line with an exaggerated powdery texture that gives an almost crystalline mouth-feel, distinctive, if not particularly varietal style (****)

Brandís Laira Chardonnay 2009

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2011, rich and creamy melon, green apple and peach, some malo and barrel ferment inputs, chalky texture with bright lemony acids and assertive toasty cashew-vanilla-cinnamon oak (***1/2)

Brandís Laira The Patron Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Purchased: Not ($75)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2010, takes a while to open in the glass but shows very dense, multi-layered and pure blackcurrant and dark plum but doesnít get over-powering, there is also some savoury olive and menthol with well judged spicy cinnamon-vanilla-cedar oak support, regional mineral streak marries nicely with the lingering very fine dusty tannins, a very good super-premium from one of few good recent vintages the region has had, one for the cellar as its track record shows it will develop further complexity (*****)

Brandís Laira Shiraz 2008

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2010, quite dense blackberry with some slippery mulberry and other red fruits, medium-full bodied with warm brown spices and a touch of mint, lively acids and chewy but fine tannins, sweet cedar-vanilla oak with supple tannins, as always it has length and balance but this vintage seems to have extra concentration (****)

Brandís Laira Ericís Blend 2001

Purchased: Not ($75)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2009, blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Franc, perfumed, silky with blackberry, blackcurrant, mulberry and liquorice flavours, earthy and medium bodied, combines focus with fruit vibrancy, becomes more savoury and finishes with chalky tannins and cedar-mint, still has many years ahead of it (****1/2)

Brandís Laira Chardonnay 2008

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2009, lighter bodied melon, stonefruit and citrus, slightly creamy palate with some savoury lees, charry cashew-vanilla oak, minerally lemon acid finish, textural and well balanced (****)

Brandís Laira Stentiford Old Vine Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($75)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2009, rather ripe and intense showing dark plums, raspberry and cassis, the meaty and rather full bodied palate (15.5% alcohol) shows some fruitcake and brown spice aspects, the creamy oak brings clove and cedar notes, quite long with very fine tannins (****)

Brandís Laira Blockers Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2009, fairly meaty cassis and mulberry with violet and mint notes, the medium-full bodied palate is rather heavily extractive showing tarry aspects, becomes quite savoury with a bed of chalky minerality and chewy tannins (***1/2)

Brand's of Coonawarra Eric’s Blend 2000

Purchased: Not ($75)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: June 2008, blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Franc, blackcurrant, plum and mulberry, elegant, earthy and medium bodied with plenty of spice and not too much leafy menthol, lingering powdery tannins with a touch of cigar box and chocolate on the finish (****)

Brand's of Coonawarra Chardonnay 2006

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: June 2008, fairly sweet tropical fruit, melon and peach, crisp palate has only had light malo but has some textural interest, persistent stonefruit and citrus acidity with charry vanilla oak (***1/2)

Brand's of Coonawarra Shiraz 2004

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: June 2008, savoury blackberry and plum with white pepper notes, earthy and medium-full bodied with a firm tannic backbone, fruit seems a bit green-edged, cedar and pencil shavings oak aspects (***)

Brand's of Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Purchased: Not ($23)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2007, Gold Medal National Wine Show 2006, impressive depth, pristine blackcurrant expression supported by hints of raspberry, mint and liquorice with a touch of cigar box on the finish, elegant and medium bodied palate shaped around the line of savoury tannins, balanced cedar-vanilla oak (****1/2)

Brand's of Coonawarra Stentiford’s Reserve Old Vines Shiraz 2002

Purchased: Not ($60)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2007, tightly wound and intense blackcurrant and dark plum with coffee-cedar oak, spicy and very full bodied with plenty of depth and a touch of leather, has lots of acid and tannic grip, still needs more time to resolve (****)

Brand's of Coonawarra Chardonnay 2005

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2007, Gold Medal, National Wine Show 2006, surprisingly rich and full bodied for the region, rather sweet peachy/melon and pineapple palate with a good counterposed backbone of stonefruit acidity and minerality, rather buttery malo-lactic palate slides into the rather ample vanilla oak presence, a bit too confectionary to get a higher score but the national wine judges obviously thought differently (****)

Brand's of Coonawarra Patron’s Reserve Red 2000

Purchased: Not ($70)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2007, blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Franc, the tight and elegant backbone of dark plum, blackberry, liquorice and raspberry is now starting to open out and integrate, complex and medium-full bodied palate with smooth and coffee, dark chocolate and black olive nuances now permeating through the palate, dusty tannins with a hint of menthol on the finish (****)

Brand's of Coonawarra Special Release Merlot 2005

Purchased: Not ($23)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2007, spicy plum with some raspberry nuances, medium bodied and creamy with rather too much sweet oak to mask the fruit that is falling away a bit too soon, smooth tannins (***)

Brand's of Coonawarra Chardonnay 2004

Purchased: Not ($14)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: June 2006, peach, melon and stonefruit flavours with plenty of vanilla oaking, buttery malo-lactic palate but has maintained decent fruit intensity and just enough acid to stop it getting bland on the finish (***1/2)

Brand's of Coonawarra Shiraz 2002

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2006

(GXY) Tasting: May 2006, sweet and spicy raspberry and cassis nose, smooth palate has slight pepper notes with subtle charry but sweet vanilla oak, soft tannins, drink now style (***)

Brand's of Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

(W) Winery's Notes: complex palate with rich cassis and blackberry fruit flavours highlighted by characteristic minty notes. Dark chocolate and spicy oak flavours compliment this full bodied wine style, which displays a long, velvety, fine-grained tannin finish,

Purchased: King and Godfreys, Carlton, Jan 2005 ($27)

Drink: 2010

Tasting: Not Reviewed Yet