Gourmet Traveller Wine

Australia\'s Wine List Awards - Best Country Wine List

“Playing the world of wine like a maestro conductor, many fine instruments make up this orchestra of exceptional wine. From extensive Champagne listings to explorations of alternative varieties and back to classics of Bordeaux and Burgundy, while championing local drops. Outstanding.”

The Lake House had stiff competition for Best Country Restaurant List, but continues to improve and raise the standards. Tom Hogan, a thoughtful sommelier, is a determined character who over his tenure at the Lake House has nigh-on tortured his soul constantly fine-tuning this impressive list.
From the get go, the extensive wine list reveals careful curating; there’s a master class in the world’s finest riesling producers, then there’s the obligatory Champagne of imperial standard with grower producers, vintage fizz and grand marque dazzlers alike. Hogan knows the kitchen needs to shine too, so doesn’t weigh down the list with blockbusters; preferring to let elegant pinot noir, savoury syrah and medium bodied reds from Italian and Spanish doyens, take their place up high. Then the regional list kicks in with Grampians, Bendigo, Heathcote, Macedon Ranges and the Pyrenees heartily represented. There’s a raft of vertical runs too. From Produttori del Barbaresco to Raveneau and back to Bindi the list reads like a sommelier’s check list of impressive, delicious wines, but here, given life for excellence of vintage, or scarcity of wine, over braggadocio that can mar lists of this scale. Hogan departed this year and has handed the mantle on to highly lauded young sommelier Stacey Lee Edwards. Curating is one thing, creating a legacy is another. Thankfully, this brilliant list rolls on and reminds country restaurants that they are on the same level playing field as their city counterparts.

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