Australia’s Wine List of the Year
Judy Hirst Award
Best City Restaurant

EST., NSW

Est.

252 George St, Sydney, NSW
(02) 9114 7312

merivale.com/venues/est

Cuisine Modern Australian
WINE LIST Bhatia Dheeraj & Franck Moreau MS
WINEs ON LIST 1,526 (46 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($14-$131 by the glass)

The performance of Est. in this year’s Wine List of the Year Awards is akin to watching Michael Phelps swimming at the Olympics – medal after medal after medal. Their brilliant list has won Best City Restaurant, State Winner NSW and the big one, Australia’s Wine List of the Year. All of this means that sommelier, Bhatia Dheeraj has deservedly won the Judy Hirst Award for the Sommelier Responsible for the Best List.

With a little more than 1,500 wines on the list, it’s a list compiled with such thought and care that it seems hard to imagine what else anyone could ever wish to be included.

Bhatia Dheeraj, Est.

The wines are presented in an easy-to-follow format. That might sound obvious but, far too often, it does not happen.

A very fine By the Glass selection, or for aficionados, a tight range of sherries, provide a pleasing start, though such is the brilliant collection of Champagnes that one can’t imagine a better way to begin. Classic names, great vintages, fine rosé Champagnes, top growers – they are all present. It is hard to believe that the list can improve from here, but it does just that.

Representation of the classic regions, top producers with their best wines, great vintages and more than fair pricing is what lifts this list above all others.

A number of top makers have their wines specially featured. With the whites, look to Keller from Germany and Nikolaihof from Austria, but the star is Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Semillon, with vintages right back into the 1990s.

Lovers of world-class grenache will be thrilled with a vertical of the stunning Château Rayas from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but nothing comes close to what Est. can offer with Henschke’s Hill of Grace Shiraz and even more so, Penfolds’ Grange. Surely there has never been a more famous Australian wine than the first vintage of Grange, the 1951, a wine which was never even released on a commercial basis. If you wish to try it, this is the place, though you’ll need deep pockets, with it priced at $135,000. Actually, you can enjoy pretty much any vintage of Grange your heart desires, including the very rare 1953 Grange Cabernet.

Looking for a bargain? The 2015 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) is a mere $17,000. I say bargain as that price is well under the price anywhere else on the planet, according to Wine-Searcher. Of course, there are a great many wines which do qualify as what we all think of as bargains – Kalleske’s Clarry’s for $60 is a simple example.

There are special collections from much-loved local producers like Rockford and Wendouree, and from offshore with names like Château d’Yquem and Petrus, indeed all the First Growths, as well as Rousseau, de Vogüé’s Bonnes-Mares and Musigny and so many more. Those who play in the DRC clouds will be in heaven. It might sound like a wish list of prestigious, world famous wines – and sure, there are many of them – but there are plenty of wines under $100 as well.

Some might also question why there are so many vintages of the same wine, but winelovers will not – in fact, the plethora of choices and options this list offers will delight them. There is an impressive array of halves and magnums, as well as fortifieds and spirits.

This is a vinous wonderland which will thrill the serious winelover and provide great drinking for those who simply want terrific wine which is great buying. The team at Est., led by Dheeraj, has done a phenomenal job in providing a wine list that has deservedly been awarded Australia’s Wine List of the Year. They are worthy of the thanks and congratulations from us all.  

KEN GARGETT

wine list of the year +
BEST CITY RESTAURANT Finalists

Cutler & Co.

55-57 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, Vic
(03) 9419 4888


cutlerandco.com.au

CUISINEModern Australian
WINE LIST Liam O’Brien
WINEs ON LIST 640 (29 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($12-$55 by the glass)

An outstanding wine list informs and inspires, showcasing new and exciting producers. Though at the same time, it needs to make the diner feel comfortable and confident. Cutler and Co. does all this and more. It is a thrilling list, with original yet considered listings. The wine-by-the-glass list is exceptional, offering wines which vary in style, age and price. Careful management is evident, including with the selection of vintages. It is a list that provides something for everyone: a top range of local and interstate wines, a robust international selection, a wide range of prices and a great selection of signature cocktails, including many with low or no alcohol.

Attica

74 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea, Vic
(03) 9530 0111

attica.com.au

CUISINEModern Australian
WINE LIST Jane Lopes
WINEs ON LIST 500 (31 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($11-$68 by the glass)

Attica walks to the beat of its own drum. It takes a refreshing approach to fine dining, such as offering three different beverage pairings: non-alcoholic juices and infusions; global wine, beer and sake; or a mix of the two. The wine-by-the-glass offering traverses a wide range of prices: you can enjoy an affordable glass of rosé or a rare aged wine served via Coravin. By the bottle, the hand-tendered selection is heady and luxurious, catering for the finest of connoisseurs, though there is also an excellent selection of sub-$100 bottles so you can have a fine wine experience whatever your budget.