Do you enjoy your wine while watching cricket? Well, then you might be excited to hear that English cricket legend – Sir Ian Botham OBE – has just released a brand new range of Australian wines. In fact, Cellarmasters launched it only yesterday!
I’m absolutely thrilled to unveil my wines to the Australian market. Although it’s no secret which team I side for in the cricket, I’m the first to admit that when it comes to winemaking, Australia is world-class” – Sir Ian.
So after 40 years of both playing and commentating on international cricket, why would one of England’s greatest all-time cricketers delve into wine? Well, it’s quite simple my friends, like you and me, he loves a good glass of vino!
The Botham wine range consists of 7 different wines across 3 different price points ranging from $11 to $100 per bottle. Each of the wines are made in one of Australia’s premium wine regions. Sir Ian has worked closely with award-winning winemakers such as Nick Badrice of Dorrien Estate, Marty Edwards of The Lane in Adelaide Hills and Geoff Merrill to craft these wines.
Sir Ian has great passion and knowledge of wine, and he was very specific about the styles of wines he wanted to create. so it was great working with him. He has a very discerning palate, so the wines really over deliver on both quality and flavour” – Nick Badrice, Chief Winemaker of Dorrien Estate in the Barossa Valley.
What I think is extra cool about this range is that they do not only taste delicious but each of the labels bears homage to Sir Ian’s sporting career. As you can see from the pictures in this post of the regional range ‘The Botham Series’, the crisp white labels conjure up images of cricketers in their crisp whites. While the entry-level range, ‘All-Rounder’ has a nice red ball on it. Then there’s the premium range ‘Sir Ian Botham Parcels’ with stumps and cricket balls on the labels.
The names of the wines look back at Sir Ian’s cricketing achievements. The ‘All-Rounder’ range refers to Sir Ian’s reputation as both a great bowler and batter. While for ‘The Botham Series’ range, each number represents a memorable year in Sir Ian’s career. Find out more about those years in my tasting notes below.
A massive thanks to the team at Cellarmasters for sending me over the below media samples to taste and savour. Here are my notes:
The Botham 76 Series Margaret River 2017 Chardonnay
In 1976 Sir Ian played grade cricket for Melbourne Cricket Club and it was also when he first scored 1000 runs in one season. Not bad at all 😉
This Margs Chardonnay is a pale lemon colour in the glass with an eye-catching golden shimmer to it. The nose is full of juicy peaches and nectarines with a slight hint of lanolin and some satisfying lemon butter on toast. That citrus flows through to the palate giving the wine a lovely kiss of acidity and it has an awesome creamy vanilla finish. Definitely a sixer.
$18 per bottle.
The Botham 81 Series Barossa 2017 Shiraz
It was in 1981, Sir Ian was dubbed the ‘Botham Ashes’ for leading his team to victory against Australia.
I found this Shiraz a fairly opaque purple-red colour in the glass. On the nose it made me think of warm berry pie with a sprinkling of spice. There’s also a nice whiff of oak in there. In the mouth, it’s juicy and fruit forward with an incredibly long finish. We enjoyed this with a rather spicy vindaloo curry which really brought out the berries and vanilla in the wine. I think we can class this one as a ‘jaffa’ (for those not familiar with this term, it refers to an exceptionally well-bowled ball).
$18 per bottle.
The Botham 80 Series Coonawarra 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
There”s a good reason 1980 is a memorable year for Sir Ian. When you score a century (100 runs) AND take 10 wickets in the same match, that’s pretty impressive!
The Botham 80 Series Cab is a deep scarlet red, virtually black colour in the glass. It entices you into the glass with notes of blackcurrants, leather and wood on the nose. While in the kisser it’s full of juicy blackberries and currants with a nice balance of fresh acidity and smooth tannins. This is a full-bodied red that definitely knocks down a few wickets.
$18 per bottle.