Reviews: Eloquesta 2009

Tasting Note by James Halliday

Wine rated 91/100. 4 and a half stars
Medium red-purple; a very complex and intense wine, with four batches of 0.5 tonnes each separately fermented, two batches with 2-3% viognier; shiraz is by a small margin the major variety, petit verdot just behind, but it is petit verdot that is the dominant player in a fragrant, black-fruited wine with persistent but ripe tannins. Highly individualistic. Screwcap.


Radio Review by John Crook

June 30, 2012


Review by Jeremy Pringle

Eloquesta Shiraz Petit Verdot 2009

March 30, 2012

Eloquesta Shirz Petit Verdot 2009I’ve never heard of Eloquesta before but winemaker Stuart Olsen has made me sit up and listen (or taste, as the case may be) with this quirky little number that’s just brimming with freshness and vitality. And if you thought that blending Shiraz and Petit Verdot was a little odd then adding some Viognier, as Stuart has done, should further arouse your interest. Mind you, making good wine isn’t all about eccentricity and twists – it has to come together in the bottle. This, my friends, does precisely that. Give it a good decant for now or stash some away f0r another eight or so years.

Vivid red and black fruits…almost crunchy in its berry-ness. It smells gorgeous with elegant leafy qualities amidst hints of violets. Chocolatey oak has a cameo appearance – it’s there and it matters but it’s very much a bit player. There’s some charred meat complexity too. The acidity seems a trifle formidable at first but it settles with time and enhances the wine when it comes to food pairing.  What’s more, it feels natural and right. It seems a little more linear than layered but perhaps that’s because its line is so convincing and immaculate. Exciting and delicious. My favourite combination. Mudgee has a new hero.

Very Good – Excellent

Region: Mudgee
Alcohol: 14.0%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $28
Tasted: March 2012


Wine Without BS

Eloquesta Shiraz Petit Verdot 2009

April 5, 2012

Eloquesta Shiraz Petit Verdot 2009

After reading the official press release for this wine and learned the wine maker has had no formal education in wine making, had his first release as early as 2008 and that he is blending Mudgee grown Shiraz, Petit Verdot with a touch of Viognier, I knew I had to try it.

I am certainly glad I did as it is a lovely wine with a deep, dark purple colour that is incredibly aromatic and perfume like. It is delicious and easy to drink, yet not so easy to describe the flavour profiles other than fruity perfume with a touch of oak. You just have to try it for yourself to know what I mean.

Eloquesta 2009 Shiraz Petite Verdot
Price – $28 from Eloquesta
Region – Mudgee, NSW

Final Sip – Easily amongst the better red wines I have had from the Mudgee and Orange regions. Plus, I need you to try it so you can tell me if it was BS to use the word perfume to describe how it tasted!





Review by Kerry Skinner

Putting the boot in
June 9, 2012
Publication: Illawarra Mercury. Section: Weekender. Page: 20

When it comes to winemaking, Stuart Olsen likes to put his foot in it.
The Mudgee winemaker is a keen exponent of the ancient art of foot treading whereby winemakers crush their harvest using their feet.It’s a tradition that’s been around since the beginning of winemaking and according to the purists it helps to produce highly perfumed wines.Olsen, a qualified scientist, is a traditionalist in the true sense and apart from a few tanks and barrels he has very little machinery or modern equipment in his winery.He has no formal winemaking training, having learned his craft at Torbreck, Crillo Estate, Mudgee’s Lowe Family Wines and on his travels throughout Europe.” In the vineyard I rely heavily on the taste of the berries to determine when to pick,” Olsen says.
“After I dropped and broke my refractometer in 2009, I went back to what I had learnt in my travels – the ripeness of the fruit is all about seed ripeness, along with soft tannins. This has since become the backbone to harvesting my fruit. I spend a lot of my time in the vineyards tasting the seeds, and even the stems, in the lead up to harvest.” Olsen works on the philosophy that Mudgee reds need longer, cooler ferments and has recently released two new wines under his Eloquesta label, one each from the 2009 and 2010 vintages. Both are blends of shiraz, petit verdot and viognier and both wines received three days of foot treading treatment before maturation on champagne lees in a combination of French, Hungarian and Russian oak in a refrigerated shipping container.
(Eloquesta wines are available through Stuart Olsen at
Eloquesta 2009 Mudgee Shiraz Petit Verdot $28:

Ex-scientist Stuart Olsen is not your conventional winemaker and uses the ‘sur-lie’ method of maturation on champagne yeast in a combination of French, Hungarian and Russian oak. Intriguing wine, soft and supple, cherry and berry, integrated spice, lovely balance.




Review by Deb Pearce, On the Tasting Bench

Eloquesta Shiraz Petit Verdot 2009 (and a splash of Viognier)

April 10, 2012
Now, here is something I didn’t expect to see in Mudgee. Admittedly, there are wines on this page I scored better than this one, but I really liked the direction winemaker Stuart Olsen is taking, and the region needs a brave person like him – in fact, probably needs more of them.Very bright purple colour. Dark fruits, musksticks and deli-meats accost the senses together with white pepper and an almost ‘pork crackling’ character. The palate is quite savoury with stems providing backbone, but it is balanced with good mid-palate weight and a moderate length. Not everyone will like it, especially if they are looking for a ballsy ‘fruit bomb’, but there is plenty of intrigue here to keep you on your toes.


Review by Campbell Mattinson

Eloquesta Shiraz Petit Verdot 2009

March 15, 2012
Stuart Olsen – the man behind Eloquesta wines – is a self-taight winemaker who (according to the press release) loves “deeply coloured, soft and perfumed wines.” He only makes one wine per year – foot treaded and then matured ‘sur lie’ in a combination of French, Hungarian and Russian oak “on healthy, champagne yeast in a refrigerated shipping container”. I tasted the wines first and liked them; I read this later and liked them even more. The wines are mostly shiraz and petit verdot with a dab of viognier.


Post by David Cumming, Define Wine

March 4, 2012

Stuart Olsen is not your average winemaker. Without a formal education in oenology Stuart has no existing paradigm for his winemaking.Stuart’s first release was a 2008 Mudgee red. He has recently released two more wines, the 2009 and 2010 Eloquesta wines.  The wines are blends of Mudgee shiraz and petit verdot, with a splash of viognier.A self-taught winemaker, Stuart has used a number of techniques and varieties learnt from working with various winemakers whilst travelling the world. “I have a love for deeply coloured, soft and perfumed wines,” he explained.  “This has led me to use an unorthodox blend of shiraz and petit verdot.  These varieties work well together, with the viognier helping to lift the floral essence of the wine. “We don’t have too much equipment in the winery; a few barrels and tanks.  Most of the winemaking is very traditional, allowing the fruit to shine. With only one wine per vintage, there’s nowhere to hide.
Unlike the larger wineries where there is flexibility to move parcels of wine around, if the fruit is no good, it shows up in my wine.” Whole bunch and whole berry fermentation and carbonic maceration for one week prior to gentle foot treading have helped to produce these highly perfumed, soft yet rich wines. “Mudgee reds need longer, cooler ferments to bring out these characters,” said Stuart. After foot treading for three days the ferments are hand plunged daily for a number of weeks before pressing.  The wine is then matured ‘sur-lie’ in a combination of French, Hungarian and Russian oak on healthy, champagne yeast in a refrigerated shipping container. “ Many winemakers think I’m a touch mad ageing ‘sur-lie’ as it can create very reductive wines, however it’s the quality of the yeast that ensures my wines have matured well.”
“The 2009 vintage in Mudgee was exceptional, with good winter rains and a long, sun drenched ripening period. It was ‘peaches’, as is the label of the 2009.  The 2010 on the other hand was tougher; a ‘red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning’ type vintage, with sporadic rain challenging my patience.”  The hue of the 2010 label reflects this.”In the vineyard I rely heavily on the taste of the berries to determine when to pick.  After I dropped and broke my hydrometer in 2009, I went back to what I had learnt in my travels – the ripeness of the fruit is all about seed ripeness, along with soft tannins.  This has since become the backbone to harvesting my fruit. I spend a lot of my time in the vineyards tasting the seeds, and even the stems, in the lead up to harvest.”
The Eloquesta wines are bottled with a minimum of sulphur, instead using gentle carbon dioxide to preserve the wine.  It is recommended that the bottles are decanted for at least an hour to allow the carbon dioxide to dissipate and the wine to really open up.
Please visit for further information on Stuart Olsen and his Eloquesta wines.


Review by Nicko, resident of Mudgee

The Discovery of Gems

March 4, 2012

I had the pleasure of sitting and talking with a relatively unknown winemaker, Stu Olsen of Eloquesta Wines. He has called the central tablelands home all of his life, but is well travelled and has spent time in the winemaking regions of central Europe. Stu also spent many years working at Lowe Wines, and other well established wineries around the Mudgee region. In talking to him you can immediately see his passion for the grape, there is a certain respect for the natural processes in play when it comes to the growth and ripening of his fruit. He employs very basic methods of maturation and prefers to stick to what he’s good at… Red Wine!

Whole bunch, very ripe fruit is fermented over a long period, in open vats using champagne yeasts and other slightly left of center techniques.. I particularly liked the photos of foot crushing his 2009 Shiraz Petit Verdot – a nice and very traditional touch. Matured in a combination of Russian and Hungarian oak there is a new level of spice and complexity to the wine with notes of cinnamon and all spice on the nose as well as beautiful purple flowers and black and blue fruits. I feel that time will do great things for this wine, although that is not to say that it wasn’t absolutely gorgeous young, and the colour!!

As i live and breath Mudgee it is easy to get carried away with the heavy hitters of the region and to always get entranced by the experts of the region. But again i suggest that slightly under the surface are winemakers, who with care and finesse are producing some damn fine wine!

Thanks Stu for a cracking night and getting to hear your story. It was a pleasure.