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Picture of 2021 Winemaker of the Year Celebration Dozen

2021 Winemaker of the Year Celebration Dozen

"In the 25th year of Margan and with 50 vintages under my belt I have finally won the title of Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year. It can take a long time to become an overnight success! I was honoured to be awarded Viticulturist of the Year in 2015 in recognition of the innovative practices we have been implementing in the vineyard and the results of this, ‘the fruits of that labour’ to pardon the pun, have really started to show in recent years with the wines we are making. It is a competitive wine world and every winemaker needs to keep getting better at what they do, and I think we are making better wines than we have in the 25 years history of Margan. The wines I have selected for this pack are ones that have helped my win this prestigious title.” Andrew Margan, 2021 Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year


Hunter Valley Semillon is lean and racy in its youth but develops texture and complexity with age. It also will reflect the origins of where it is grown. This one is planted on the dolerite soils of the Fordwich Sill which leaves its footprint by way of a richer and softer wine with more palate weight in its youth, as opposed to Semillon grown on grey clay or alluvial soils.


Albariño originates from the north west coastal regions of the Iberian Peninsula. Like the Hunter Valley this region is also classified as warm maritime and its wines are low in alcohol and acid focused. We were the first in the Hunter Valley to plant Albariño on our Ceres Hill Vineyard in 2014 and the second in Australia. This is a great food wine and pairs with most things you would add a touch of lemon to. It is of course a classic catch with fresh seafood.


Margan Barbera was the variety that established us as ‘pioneers of alternative varieties’. Andrew is a big fan of Italian varieties and we researched this grape to see if it would work here in the Hunter. Back in the late 1990’s the region mainly had the standard line up of iconic Hunters – Semillon, Shiraz and also Chardonnay- and we wanted to see what else would work. Barbera originates from the North West of Italy and we were the first to plant this red grape here in 1998. It’s a long story but the clone we have planted is an Italian original and produces wines of true varietal definition and Italian personality.


These two varieties are planted as a Field Blend on the Saxonvale Vineyard. The entire Hunter has Shiraz vines, but we are not sure who had the foresight to plant the Mourvèdre back in the late 1960’s. However, we now have this vineyard and are glad they did. The original plantings were trained as ‘bush vines’ and the variety mix is about 85% Shiraz and 15% Mourvèdre. We first released this wine in 2005 and it is a consistent favourite with a real cult following.

Our Winemaker of the Year Celebration Dozen contains three of each of the above vintages.

No further discounts apply.

Picture of 2016 Aged Release Francis John Semillon

2016 Aged Release Francis John Semillon


If it weren’t for my father, Frank Margan, I would never have become a winemaker. He first planted grapes in the Hunter in 1965 and it was from those days that I fell in love with growing grapes and making wine. After my Dad passed away, I took cuttings from his DeBeyers Vineyard and replanted them on our own Timbervines Vineyard, in the volcanic soil of the Fordwich Sill. Handpicked, handmade and carefully cellared for 5 years, this wine is now ready to enjoy! Dad always loved Hunter Valley Semillon and this is my tribute to him. - Andrew Margan

Growing Season

The 2016 vintage was a cooler vintage and made elegant whites with flavour and direction. The fruit from this vintage was selected for its finesse and balance that have allowed me to make a Semillon with lots of acid and a fine structure, with age ability unlike any other area in Australia can produce.


The fruit for this wine comes off our small one hectare Francis John Margan or ‘FJM’ block. Situated on our Timbervines Vineyard on the red volcanic soil of the Fordwich Sill, this vineyard is planted with cuttings taken from the DeBeyers vineyard that Frank Margan planted in the late 60s.


The juice was fermented at cool temperatures to preserve delicate fruit characters. Our Aged Release Semillon has been made in a very pure style to reflect the traditions of the area. Strength of acid and line and length are the keys to the ageing style and this wine has been specifically made to have this covered. 5 years of bottle maturation allows both the young wine and the older wine to be seen in the one glass. This wine shows great ageing potential, well beyond the five years at release.

Tasting Notes

Semillon at five years of age shows just why this is one of the great wine styles of the world. It has a wealth of complex flavours, a soft but lingering acidity and a never-ending finish. The colour is still pale straw and the nose shows lemon peel, lime zest and a touch of honeysuckle. The palate has a range of citrus flavours- lemon grass, grapefruit, lime sorbet as well as a touch of honey and macadamia. The finish is long and lingering.

Wine Composition

pH                                      3.21       

Titratable Acidity               6.4 g/L 

Alcohol                               11.5%     

Residual Sugar                   <1g/L     

Food Match

Freshly shucked oysters with finger lime and cracked pepper

Cellaring Potential

15 years +

Picture of 2021 Botrytis Semillon

2021 Botrytis Semillon


Like many great things, this one was created accidentally. We started making this dessert style wine back in 1999 mainly because our Semillon vines had bumper yields that year, so we left a block out, unpicked as we literally ran out of tanks in the winery. In the meantime, the grapes became infected with the fungus botrytis cinerea which is the classic ‘noble rot’ responsible for many of the great sweet wines of the world. At the time, Andrew had reservations about making this technical and specialised style, but he went with his intuition, and the finished wine was great. He made it again the next year, this time on purpose and the wine went on to win a trophy for Best Sweet Wine at the Decanter Wine Awards in London. We have made it ever since and it has won more trophies and medals for Margan than any other wine.

Growing Season

With much welcomed spring rain in 2020 we saw excellent canopy balance through all vineyards for our 2021 vintage. A mild summer allowed for excellent acid retention and a long ripening period resulting in elegant fruit character and seamless acid balance in white wines coming from 2021. Some late February moisture provided excellent conditions for Botrytis to grow on the Semillon block we had left out for this wine.


We have one unique block of Semillon vines on our Timbervines Vineyard which can create the right humidity conditions to allow the fungus Botrytis Cinerea to grow. We leave these grapes out for a month and a half later than we would for dry Semillon and this allows for extra ripeness and sugars to accumulate up to 24 baumé. Semillon grapes have thin skins which make them susceptible to Botrytis growth which covers each berry as a mould, draws out water and concentrates the sugar and acidity. Nature makes all these decisions for this wine and it changes each year depending on the vintage conditions. We picked the fruit for this wine the first week of March two weeks after we had harvested all of our reds.


The grapes come into the winery and are crushed and de-stemmed. They go into the press to gently extract the juice over a 12 hour press cycle. The juice then undergoes a long, cool fermentation. We stop fermentation when the residual sugar is approximately 11 baumé and bottle straight away to maintain freshness. Unlike sweet wines of other regions, we don’t use oak to mature the wine.

Tasting Notes

True to the style of classic sweet wines this one has a luscious palate with apricot marmalade, honeysuckle and pineapple. The finish is long and refreshing with citrus notes. It is a beautifully balanced wine. 

Wine Composition

pH                                                                  3.57

Titratable Acidity                                       10.4 g/L

Alcohol                                                         10 %

Residual Sugar                                           200 g/L

Vine Age/Clone

50 years / Busby

Food Match

Pork rillette with toasted brioche, cornichons and pickled radish

Cellaring Potential

10-20 years