Nick Ryan: “....is staggeringly good, a complete and composed wine”
James Halliday: "...a stylish wine"
Gourmet Traveller: "...seriously impressive."
The path from player in a big company band to solo winemaking career is well-trodden. The highly regarded Sue Bell is one of the latest to hand in the corporate credit card and Qantas Club membership and strike out on her own. She had been clearly the best thing about Constellation’s underperforming Limestone Coast winery Stonehaven, had been named dux of the 2007 Len Evans Tutorial and built a reputation as one of the most finely tuned and insightful of the new breed of wine show judges to have emerged in recent years. Industry observers waited intently to see what she would do next and now they finally know. Travelling through France as part of her Tutorial-topping prize reinforced her love of both chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon and crystalised the idea of a brand specialising in both.
The cabernet component was relatively simple, drawing on high-quality fruit from her home base in Coonawarra, but the chardonnay requires regular journeys to northern Tasmania to source exactly what she needs. Her debut release, the 2006 Bellwether Cabernet Sauvignon, is staggeringly good, a complete and composed wine, drenched in dark fruit and in possession of the structural architecture to see several decades in the cellar. NICK RYAN, Gourmet Traveller Wine Best of the Best 2010
Very good retention of hue; a stylish wine, with blackcurrant cassis and mulberry leading the way, but enough tannin support to underwrite the future; oak well handled. Screwcap. 13% alc. Rating 93 Drink 2021 $50 Date Tasted Sep 09. James Halliday
From the stand-out 2006 vintage, a new label from ex-Stonehaven winemaker, Sue bell. Built for the long haul, the colour is dark, the bouquet has dark cherry fruits and eucalyptus mint. Mouth puckering tannins tend to dominate, but they’re good ripe tannins. Cellar for 2 years and drink for 15 to 20 years. 93 Points. Sunraysia Daily
An impressive first release from Sue Bell, formerly of Stonehaven fame, under her own label. This is a dark, concentrated Coonawarra Cabernet, loaded with blackcurrant, mint and mental flavours. Finely structured tannins paint to a long life. 93 Points. TS. Wine100
Sue Bell, ex winemaker at Stonehaven is now out on her own, and her first release is seriously impressive. Intense and complex (licorice, dried herbs, cassis), it’ll mature beautifully. Gourmet Traveller.
"2006 BELLWETHER Cabernet with Beijing Dumpling or Jiaozi. One of the finest Australian Cabernets I have ever tasted – reminiscent of great Bordeaux". Ch'ng Poh Tiong (International Wine Judge and Writer - visits Bordeaux 5 times a year)108 Great Chinese Dishes Paired