A new generation of winemakers is putting its fingerprints on the vibrant Adelaide Hills scene, elevating the quality of cool-climate wines being produced amid the pretty countryside only 30 minutes’ drive from Adelaide.

With the Barossa Valley to its north and McLaren Vale to the south, the Hills can sometimes be overlooked but as drinking trends shift to lighter reds and aromatic whites, the region is becoming as fashionable as Vogue.

Winemaker Tom Northcott is among this bold new breed, building on the vision of his geologist father, Ian, who spent his weekends planting the family’s first vineyards in the 1990s and created the Howard Vineyard brand.

Howard Vineyard’s top-tier Amos Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 leads a lineup of mouth-watering cabernet sauvignon on offer this week as The Australian Wine Club begins stocking up for the cooler months ahead.

Along with this 95-point cool-climate cabernet, you’ll find an old-vine Barossa treasure that usually sells for $80 a bottle, a classic Coonawarra beauty and another 95-point wonder from one of the Yarra Valley’s leading winemakers.

The Adelaide Hills region was revived in the 1970s and ’80s when some of the biggest names in Australian wine – including sparkling wine pioneer Brian Croser, Stephen and Prue Henschke, Tim Knappstein, Michael Hill Smith and Stephen George – recognised its potential for creating premium cool-climate wines, especially chardonnay and pinot noir, as well as sauvignon blanc and sparklings.

“There’s an enormous amount of excitement now about what the future holds for the Adelaide Hills,’’ says Tom, who returned to the family business about 10 years ago after gaining experience in the south of France and other Australian regions including Tasmania at Bay of Fires.

“I think the Hills has come to be recognised as producing some of the very best chardonnay in Australia and the quality of pinot noir is lifting each year. We catch up quite a lot as winemakers in the Hills, helping each other out, and we see an opportunity together to really keep improving what we’re producing as a region.”

With over 90 wine labels and 50 cellar doors, there’s a pulse of energy zipping through the region at the moment.

Vineyards planted 30-odd years ago – often by wine-loving hobbyists like Tom’s dad – are also now approaching the top of their game, growing pristine fruit for winemakers seeking vibrant cool-climate flavours and great natural acidity.

The Howard Vineyard Amos cabernet is produced only in the very best vintages, with the 2021 being the fourth vintage to be released in the past decade.

“The 2021 vintage was an absolute ripper – we had a lot of rain early, which kept the vines happy and healthy, and then peaks of warmth which gave us a slow, even ripening season,” says Tom, who’s also now raising a young family with wife Jacki. “It’s the only time in our history that we’ve produced an Amos across chardonnay, pinot, shiraz, cabernet and sparkling.”


Howard Vineyard Amos Cabernet Sauvignon 2021

Swirls of blackcurrant, mulberry and crème de cassis lift from the glass. Blackberries and black olives combine with hints of dark chocolate, freshly brewed coffee and leather to weave a refined flavour profile. Silky tannins lead to a long elegant finish. Sixteen months in 60 per cent new oak. 95 points from Halliday Wine Companion. 14% alc; RRP $60 a bottle.

SPECIALS $52.99 a bottle in any dozen; $32.99 in Premium Cabernet dozen.


Chateau Tanunda 50 Year Old Vines Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

From vines planted at Bethany in the 1960s. You’ll find opulent aromas of dense blackcurrant, cinnamon and chocolate panforte, leading to a rich palate driven by dark fruits (plums, mulberries and blackcurrants) and licorice. Herbaceous notes (tobacco and thyme) fill out a sumptuous drinking experience. 14% alc; RRP $80 a bottle.

SPECIALS $70 a bottle in any dozen; $32.99 in Premium Cabernet dozen.


Jim Brand The Pursuit Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2021

Carrying the name of a legendary Coonawarra wine dynasty, this is a fine example of the premium-quality cabernet produced from Coonawarra’s legendary terra rossa soil. Choc-mint aromas introduce a fusion of mulberry, blackberry and cassis flavours, and tobacco leaf and spicy notes. Fresh acidity; firm tannins. Matured in new and seasoned French oak for 18 months. Will develop further over the next decade. 96 points from Wine Orbit and Winepilot. 14.5% alc; RRP $50 a bottle.

SPECIALS $50 a bottle in any dozen; $32.99 in Premium Cabernet dozen.


Rob Dolan Wines White Label Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Classy Yarra Valley cabernet. Shows vibrant blackcurrant and sweet cassis aromas, with touches of bay leaf and mint. Fruit-driven palate with a hint of black olive supported by grippy tannins and a tingling acidity that cuts through to a fresh finish. 16 months in French oak, 35% new. 95 points from Team Halliday. 13.5% alc; RRP $38 a bottle.

SPECIALS $29.99 a bottle in any dozen; $32.99 in Premium Cabernet dozen.

PREMIUM CABERNET DOZEN Three bottles of each wine above for $32.99 a bottle. SAVE $288 a dozen.

Order by simply clicking the links to our online store or telephone 1300 765 359 Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm AEST. Deals are available only while stocks last. The Australian Wine Club is a commercial partnership with Laithwaites Wine, LIQP770016550. Stockhead is partnering with The Australian Wine Club on this offer.