McGuigan’s Finest: 5 Wines Reviewed

The McGuigan Hunter Valley Wines label is one that has been around for over 100 years, and the family has consistently put out some great wines. McGuigan has been crowned International Winemaker of the Year at four consecutive competitions. Their dedication to crafting Australian wines is reflected in this feat making them one of the best Aussie vinos.

Three taste testers agree McGuigan is a winner

While travelling through the Hunter Valley to celebrate my 50th birthday with my now late husband, we visited McGuigan’s Cellar Door and I still recall feeling welcome, comfortable and well-informed.

So when I recently had the opportunity to review five wines from their full collection, I was keen to relive that enjoyable experience, albeit remotely.

To add to the experience, I invited fellow wine lovers – Brian Pickering and Kaye Browne from FoodWinePetsTravel.com – to join me in a home wine tasting session.

We’re not professional wine tasters but we know what our eyes, noses and palates like, and collectively we represent a wide range of wine lovers from across Australia.

Each of the five wines was unique and delicious in its own way, but there were a few standouts. Here are our thoughts.



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1. 2020 McGuigan Cellar Select Pinot Grigio

McGuigans Wine - bottle of wineThis Pinot Grigio is refreshing and light with both floral and fruity aromas. Its tropical fruit flavours come with a hint of apple from the cooler regions.

The dry wine has a big taste but it is still refreshing because isn’t too heavy on the tongue.

The perfect pairing for this elegant wine is seafood dishes such as Australian wild-caught prawns, along with fresh crusty bread, some chilli and tomato salsa.

Brian prefers red wines; however, he did enjoy this white regardless since its nuances were different from most other whites he has tried before.

McGUIGAN DESCRIPTION: A medium to full-bodied wine, this Pinot Grigio brings a lychee and honeydew aroma with pear and green apple flavours characters that compliment the subtle tannin and a dry, refreshing finish.

2. 2019 McGuigan The Shortlist Hunter Valley Semillon

McGuigan Wine - bottle of wineWhile Brian thought this Semillon was ‘soft’, Kaye said it had a ‘perky’ citrus flavour, especially compared to the Pinot Grigio.

We all agreed that after two or three sips there was an almost honey-like taste in our mouths, which made it incredibly delicious.

It is perfect for seafood or chicken dishes alike. Vegetarians would also love how well this wine pairs with their non-meat meals such as tofu.

McGUIGAN DESCRIPTION: Complex and intense citrus and vanilla characteristics bring a well-balanced acid persistence, perfectly complementing the elegant floral aroma with a hint of herbaceous undertones.

3. 2016 McGuigan Personal Reserve Chardonnay

McGuigan Wine - bottle of wineKaye, a devoted chardonnay fan, thoroughly enjoyed the taste of this “gorgeous, exquisite and luscious” wine, even going so far as to say it was “liquid gold”.

The fruit was sourced from the Hunter Ridge Vineyard in the Hunter Valley to produce this opulent wine.

It was fermented in new French Oak barrels, resulting in a full-bodied wine, balanced and complex.

It has a peach and citrus bouquet flavour, making it a perfect match for seafood and chicken dishes, as well as nice tofu, toasted or oven-fried with roasted vegetables.

The label on this Chardonnay was signed by Brian McGuigan himself, the iconic Australian winemaker at the helm of McGuigan Wines.

McGUIGAN DESCRIPTION:  A lifted peach and citrus bouquet and refined palate make this wine a perfect match for full-flavoured seafood and chicken dishes.

4. 2021 McGuigan Cellar Select Rosé

McGuigan Wine - bottle of wineI was in my element with the McGuigan Cellar Select Rosé. I like most white and red wines, but Rosé is my favourite.

Rosé has come of age in recent years.  Back in the day, it was little of it around and therefore hard to source.

Traditionally Rosé was a sweet dessert wine, but now winemakers are producing much more of this versatile wine in many dry varieties as well.

This McGuigan’s Rosé has a soft salmon hue with intense berry flavours and attractive floral notes with a balanced, dry finish.

It would be equally at home at a casual lunch or to share around a sizzling summer barbecue.

If you don’t really know what wine to take to a barbecue and seafood, chicken, beef, lamb, or even vegetarian dishes could on the menu, this Rosé will have you covered.

It also pairs well with all kinds of cultural foods and desserts.

McGUIGAN DESCRIPTION: Chosen for its intense berry flavours and soft salmon hues. The Shiraz and Tempranillo grapes were carefully selected to deliver this versatile wine with attractive floral notes, ripe raspberry freshness and a balanced dry finish.

5. 2019 McGuigan Cellar Select Hunter Valley Shiraz

McGuigan Wine - bottle of wineNow it was Brian’s turn to be excited. A connoisseur of red wines, he loved the burst of intense ripe berry flavours and earthy influence of this McGuigan’s Shiraz.

The long, warm finish and fine tannins make this wine ideal for red meat dishes such as roast lamb or beef and hearty casseroles.

Even adding a little of this wine to a casserole would greatly enhance its taste.

Although red wines traditionally are served at room temperature, Brian generally likes his chilled, but he wasn’t going to argue anyway.

This Shiraz is brilliant at room temperature or chilled, he said.

McGUIGAN DESCRIPTION: Chosen for its distinct Shiraz characters and rich flavours. Our Shiraz displays lifted floral notes with chocolate and vanilla, which flows through the palate delivering a smooth and balanced wine.

Which wines would you like?

So, which one of these McGuigan Hunter Valley wines will be your favourite?

I’m not sure, but I am sure that you’ll have a great time finding out.

No matter what your preference is, you’re sure to love at least one of them.

So grab a bottle (or two) and get started!


McGuigan Wines - three wine tasters





Thank you

Brian Pickering and Kaye Browne – FoodWinePetsTravel.com

McGuigan Wines – https://www.mcguiganwines.com.au/

Australian Vintage Limited (AVL) – https://www.australianvintage.com.au/

Santy Lawrensia, Digital Marketing Specialist, Jaywing Australia





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