In Tune – August 2013

In this edition:

  • James Halliday rates our winery 5 STARS
  • Aria wine dinner
  • Spring wine club just around the corner
  • Recipe suggestions for each wine

We have retained our 5 star winery rating for another year in the current release of James Halliday’s Wine Companion. Latest wines to be rated 5 stars were our 2008 Reserve Shiraz, 2012 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc and 2012 Gewurztraminer.

The only problem with James Halliday’s ratings is that they always come out after we have sold out of that vintage of white wines! Yes – we have just released our 2013 white wines at the cellar door and wine club members will be receiving them in their spring wine club delivery. 2013 was a stunning year for whites given the hot dry spring and early summer. We are extremely excited about their quality and can’t wait for you to try them!

Matt Moran will be hosting a dinner at ARIA Restaurant Brisbane on Tuesday 10th September celebrating Queensland produce for which he has designed a four course menu featuring ingredients grown in Queensland, matched with wines from Symphony Hill. Matt will talk about his inspiration for the menu highlighting the importance of great produce and how it has shaped the dishes for the event.

We have matched our best wines with Matt’s creations and include our new 2013 Pinot Gris (simply stunning wine), the 2009 Reserve Petit Verdot (winner of trophy in Canberra for Australia’s best alternative red variety) and 2008 Reserve Shiraz (top gold Melbourne). For dessert we will be serving our 10 year old Muscat which is still ageing in barrel. The grapes for this wine were picked in 2003 from vines which were 80 years old and no longer exist!

An evening not to be missed. For more details or to make a booking contact Mandi at Aria on 07 3233 2555. Hope to see you there!

We will start posting out the spring wine club deliveries in September to members of our wine club and it is a fabulous selection of wines. They include the next vintage of our flagship the 2009 Reserve Shiraz and two reserve red wines of which there is only enough for one bottle per wine club member before they are sold out. So enjoy!!!

The retail price of the wines is $255 for which members only pay $150 with free delivery. Tasting notes for all the wines delivered in spring can be viewed at

Not in the wine club? Want to receive our $65 reserve wines for just $25 as part of the 6 bottles delivered every 3 or 6 months? Want to receive 30% discount on any 12 bottles from across our range with free delivery any time during the year? Then membership forms and all the details can be found at .

Wines selected to dazzle in the spring delivery:

2009 Reserve Shiraz
Rated in the top 100 wines of Australia by Rob Geddes MW in the 30th Edition of Australian Vintages gold book. Beautiful white pepper and raspberry aromas tantalize the senses before delivering an array of spicy savoury nuances with a lick of licorice evident. The palate delivers classy rich vibrant flavours of red berries with a splash of anise pushing through delicious soft tannins backed by structural acid on the finish.

2010 Reserve Petit Verdot
We wish there was more of this wine. But alas, there is only enough for 1 bottle per member and then that is the end of the vintage. Rated 4.5 stars by James Halliday and following on after the current great 2009 vintage which has won 4 trophies including Best Alternative Red Wine of Australia in Canberra at the 2013 Winewise Awards. Explosive aromas of violets and loganberries are delightfully backed with a hint of licorice. The palate delivers rich, ripe flavours of blueberry and blackberry wrapped in fine silky tannins and a juicy mouth filling finish.

2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Another small batch of fabulous wine entrusted into the care of our members – just one bottle per member. Still in its infancy – highly recommend cellaring this wine for a few years to be wonderfully rewarded. Powerful aromas of blackcurrant and blueberry lift through a touch of herbal overtones. The juicy richly layered palate of blackberry and loganberry are backed with velvet like tannins that balance exquisitely with the well-defined acid profile.

2013 Pinot Gris
This wine has 5 stars from James Halliday written all over it. This vintage takes our Pinot Gris to another level. The flavours are just so rich, the finish so soft and the palate is as long as your arm. Enchanting aromas of baby pear and white peach are well supported with a splash of apricot kernels. Lively crunchy flavours of nashi fruit and nectarine path the way for a powerful fruit driven style all encased in a soft juicy finish with integrated acid.

2013 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Following on the 5 star rating from James Halliday for the 2012 vintage comes our newest release. This vintage has a definite Loire Valley style rather than Marlborough. Lifted perfume of passionfruit and kafir lime are enhanced with a touch of gooseberry overtones and a hint of guava adding to the complex abundant nuances. The rich powerful fruit driven palate of tropical fruit explodes through a touch of herbal and green apple flavours that last for an eternity. A deliciously balanced wine that leaves the palate tingling with excitement.

2013 Reserve Verdelho
Having sold out of the 2012 vintage 6 months ago it is exciting to finally have the new release in bottle! Delightful aromas of passion fruit and pineapple peek through a plethora of tropical fruits including wild fig and melon. The palate delivers rich mouth-watering flavours of ripe stone fruit and melon all harmoniously balanced with seamless acid. A fresh, full flavoured wine best enjoyed lazing in a hammock overlooking the ocean whilst being fed prawns by your lover.


newsletter-mud-crab2013 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Chilli Mud Crabs



  • 2 mud crabs (2kg in total) – can get them delivered from the QLD gulf by
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce
  • A couple squirts of Sriracha chilli sauce
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1-1/2 inch ginger, chopped fine
  • 2 shallots, sliced thinly
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2-3 chilli’s
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • Shallots and coriander for garnish


  1. There are a few ways to killing a crab. You can freeze them until they are killed, or if you don’t have time then stick a knife or chopstick into it’s chest. I’ll leave the choice up to you!
  2. Prepare the crabs by cleaning them thoroughly, then cut them into four or five parts and crack the claws. There is no right or wrong way of doing this, just make sure it’s not demolished into a heap of goo.
  3. Heat up the wok and while this is happening create the sauce by mixing tomato, sweet chilli and chilli sauce, cornstarch, chicken stock, water (optional), fish sauce.
  4. Add the oil, garlic, chilli and ginger to the wok and cook till fragrant and brown.
  5. Add the crabs and toss them around the wok briefly.
  6. Add the sauce and toss the crabs around the sauce and let it come to a boil. Once it starts boiling cover the wok and let everything simmer for around 10-15 minutes.
  7. Once this is done, if the crabs are bright orange then you are done. Pour the eggs into the wok and toss everything around until the eggs are cooked.
  8. Plate it all up and garnish with spring onions.

newsletter-spicy-chicken-breast2013 Reserve Verdelho
Spicy Chicken Breasts



  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, thyme, cayenne pepper, and ground black pepper. Set aside about 3 tablespoons of this seasoning mixture for the chicken; store the remainder in an airtight container for later use (for seasoning fish, meats, or vegetables).
  2. Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Rub some of the reserved 3 tablespoons of seasoning onto both sides of the chicken breasts.
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place chicken on the grill, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until juices run clear.

newsletter-roast-spatchcock2013 Pinot Gris
Fast roast spatchcock with oranges, olives and parsley



  • 1 orange
  • 4 x 500g spatchcocks, butterflied (see note)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 12 kalamata olives
  • 250g punnet vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup (250ml) white wine
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line 2 large baking pans with baking paper.
  2. Cut 2 cheeks off the orange, then cut each into 3 or 4 thin wedges. Squeeze juice from remaining orange flesh and set aside.
  3. Place spatchcocks, skin-side up, in 1 pan with orange wedges and juice, fennel seeds, oregano, olives, tomato, garlic, thyme, wine and 1 tbs oil. Season.
  4. Thinly slice sweet potato (a mandoline is ideal), then arrange in second pan. Drizzle with remaining 1 tbs oil and season well.
  5. Bake spatchcocks and sweet potato for 40 minutes, turning the sweet potato once, or until both are golden and cooked through.
  6. Quarter spatchcocks and divide among plates. Scatter with parsley and spoon over any pan juices. Serve with sweet potato.
  7. Notes
    To butterfly spatchcocks, cut out backbones using kitchen scissors, then flatten birds with the palm of your hand or ask your butcher to do this.
  8. These golden roast spatchcocks are infused with the sunny freshness of oranges and spiked with Mediterranean flavours, while the thinly sliced sweet potato bakes into golden ruffles of goodness.

newsletter-moroccan-lamb2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Moroccan Lamb



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 600 g boned leg of lamb, cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • 2 x 400 g tins no-salt-added chopped tomatoes
  • 1 L salt-reduced chicken stock
  • 160 g dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 x 300 g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Coriander leaves, to serve


  1. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over high heat and brown the lamb in batches for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, then return the lamb to pan with onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Add spices, season with freshly ground black pepper and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in coriander, tomato, stock, and 500 mL water and bring to the boil over high heat.
  5. Add lentils, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1½ hours.
  6. Stir in chickpeas and simmer, uncovered, for a further 30 minutes, or until the lamb is tender and the sauce is thick.
  7. Season with freshly ground pepper and serve scattered with coriander leaves.
  8. Serve with couscous or mashed potato.

newsletter-braised-beef2010 Reserve Petit Verdot
Slowly braised beef cheeks in Pedro Ximenez sherry with cauliflower puree

(Pedro Ximénez is the name of a white grape grown in certain regions of Spain, and also a varietal wine, an intensely sweet, dark, dessert sherry.)



  • 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) beef cheeks
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) olive oil
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved
  • 1 brown onion, sliced
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) Pedro Ximenez sherry
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) red wine
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 185 ml (6 fl oz/¾ cup) cream
  • 40g (1 ½ oz) butter


  1. Trim the beef cheeks to neaten them up and remove any sinew and silver skin. Season well.
  2. Heat half the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Brown the beef cheeks for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden, then remove from the pan.
  3. Add the remaining olive oil, then add the carrot, garlic and onion and sauté over high heat for 12-15 minutes, or until well browned. Stir in the sherry, wine, bay leaves, thyme, sea salt and 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) water.
  4. Reduce the heat as low as possible, add the beef cheeks, then cover and cook for 3-4 hours, or until the cheeks are beginning to fall apart.
  5. Meanwhile, put the cauliflower, cream and butter in a saucepan, season to taste with salt, then cover and cook over low heat for 35 minutes, or until very tender. Place the cauliflower mixture in a blender and process until smooth. Keep the puree warm.
  6. The sauce from the beef cheeks should by now be reduced and glaze-like. If it needs further reducing, remove the cheeks from the pan, cover with foil to keep them warm and simmer the sauce over high heat until nicely reduced. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and return to the pan; gently reheat the cheeks in the sauce if necessary.
  7. Serve the cheeks and their sauce on warm plates with the cauliflower puree on the side.

newsletter-roast-beef2009 Reserve Shiraz
Roast Beef with Horseradish Crust



  • 3 brown onions, peeled
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbs green peppercorns
  • 2 tbs bottled grated horseradish
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1kg scotch fillet roast
  • 1 tbs plain flour
  • 40ml (2 tbs) olive oil
  • Horseradish and Peppercorn Cream
  • 1 tbs green peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 2 tbs bottled horseradish
  • 100ml (5 tbs) creme fraiche or sour cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Cut the onions into thick slices and lay on the base of a large, greased baking dish.
  3. Place the butter, peppercorns, horseradish and thyme in a food processor and process until a smooth paste. Spread the paste over the top of the scotch fillet, then place on top of the onions. Sprinkle the meat with flour, then drizzle the meat and onions with the olive oil. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes. (This is for rare beef, cook for a little while longer if you prefer.) Meanwhile, to make the horseradish and peppercorn cream, combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Sprinkle the beef with sea salt and serve on a bed of onions with the horseradish and peppercorn cream.
  5. Always rest beef after cooking. This gives the meat juices a chance to redistribute, giving a more moist and tender result.
  6. Elissa here! After proof reading this newsletter, I have made an executive decision that Ewen must cook all these dishes for me to ensure quality control. We’ll let you know how it went. No matter what happens at least I know I’ll enjoy the wine.

Ewen and Elissa

Symphony Hill Wines Pty Ltd
2017 Eukey Road
Ballandean QLD 4382
P> 07 46 841 388
F> 07 46 841 399

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