Rusden vineyard in fog Christian and his dog
Crushed grapes Forking grapes
Wine barrel store Rusden winery at sunset
Golden Vines Golden Vines

Wines - Good Shepherd


Current Release
First Vintage
$38.00 per bottle
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Over the years I’ve developed a penchant for some great Cabernet dominated blends made in Australia during the 70’s and 80’s. When I’m on the road, I always have a dig around in the back sections of my favourite bottle shops hoping to hunt down an old bottle of this famous blend. It’s always surprising how well these wines age; they effortlessly manage to retain their vivid, inky purple colour and robust tannin structure over two or three decades. I can see why Cabernet Malbec has been one of my father’s favourite drinks for many a year, so I’ve grown the Malbec and made this for him to say thanks for being a good shepherd and pointing me in the right direction.

Tasting Notes

> 2017 Tasting Notes

Loaded with blue fruits, some violet and an underlying spice on the nose. The palate has a velvety texture with hallmark blueberry and cassis characters. An elegant example of Malbec, finishing with a lovely fruit profile and soft tannins.

> 2016 Tasting Notes

Loaded with blue fruits, olive tapenade, garden herbs and gentle spice. The palate is awash with blueberries, red currants and spice. Excellent finish, with chewy tannins. Great length of palate, with fruit and spice that lingers. Our most complex Good Shepherd to date.

> 2015 Tasting Notes

The Malbec came in a bit riper (14.5%) than previous seasons so I decided to hang it out there in all its glory. It’s the best crop of Malbec I’ve seen from these vines so we’ve bottled this 100% Malbec, that’s like a slice of blueberry pie with cardamom pods and spice on the nose. It displays a rich, ripe palate awash with blueberries and red currants which leads to a fine finish with some silky tannin grip. The Good Shepherd finally has his wish this year with his first 100% Malbec. Cheers Dad!

> 2014 Tasting Notes

The Good Shepherd is complex on the nose with hints of spice, chocolate, caramel and liquorice. The herbal notes from the Cabernet are layered with waves of wild lavender balancing out the bright fruit and trademark blueberry of the Malbec with deep herbal notes, lifted spice and a rich, unctuous finish. Blend 75% Malbec, 25% Cabernet.

> 2012 Tasting Notes

74% Cabernet and 26% Malbec, it is incredibly complex on the nose with hints of spice, chocolate, caramel and liquorice, it makes me feel like a kid in a candy store when I smell the Good Shepherd. The herbal notes from the Cabernet are layered with waves of wild lavender. The Cabernet and Malbec are together showing great balance along with bright fruit, trademark blueberry, deep herbal notes and lifted spice with a rich and unctuous finish. Sophisticated.

> 2011 Tasting Notes

I love the 2011 Good Shepherd. This is the wine of the release, which shows how good Cabernets can be in cool, wet vintages, with their thick skins and resistance to moulds and moisture. We actually managed to get the Cabernet reasonably ripe, even with the incredibly difficult conditions. We bunch thinned the Malbec early in the season which helped us get a modest yield, with pleasing results. Trademark blueberry from the Malbec, mingling with the lush herbaceousness of the Boundaries Cabernet is for me, heaven in a glass.

> 2010 Tasting Notes

For me, Cab Malbec is one of the best ageing wines made in Australia. I’m always hunting around in the deep, dark areas of old cellars for a stray bottle of this delicious blend with a bit of age on it. The influence to make this classic Aussie blend comes directly from my observation of my fathers’ long time love affair with Leasingham Bin 56 and A.P. Birks Wendouree Cellars (very hard to get your hands on). I was frustrated that there was simply not enough of this style made in Australia, so I took it upon myself to plant a couple of acres of Malbec to blend with our cult favourite, Cabernet. The Malbec is a big berried but tough skinned grape which provides an amazing deep purple colour when fermenting. It delivers a big hit of blueberry on the nose which is quite different to anything else on offer from the Rusden cellar. Our first vintage, the 2009, brought some great feedback from the trade and amongst those on the mailing list. I think the 2010 is more concentrated but very similar in style to last year’s model and should provide many years of pleasurable drinking. Thanks and Cheers Dad!

> 2009 Tasting Notes

It’s been a long time coming but here it is- the first Cabernet Malbec bottled at Rusden. I love what the 40% Malbec does with our younger Cabernet– it gives it a real juicy, blueberry lift, so it’s not as herbal as straight Cab Sav. No new oak means it’s really upfront fruit on the palate with a real softness and silkiness that screams- ‘drink it up.’