• Wine Orbit reviews

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    Rusty Mutt Wine Reviews

    By Sam Kim – Wine Orbit – August 2019


    92 point wine medal 2019 Rusty Mutt ‘Catnip’ Viognier

    “This is varietally expressive and fragrant on the nose showing green rockmelon, lemon peel, nectarine and floral aromas, followed by a finely textured palate that is juicy and vibrant. The wine offers pristine fruit flavours together with bright acidity, finishing long and elegantly crisp. At its best: now to 2022.”


    93 Point Wine Medal 2018 Rusty Mutt ‘Conejo Joven’ Tempranillo

    “A gorgeous rendition of the variety; the fragrant bouquet shows dark and purple fruit notes together with subtle spice, floral and toasted nut characters. The palate is succulent and plump with fleshy mouthfeel and excellent fruit intensity, finishing long and very tasty. At its best: now to 2025.”


    94 Point Wine Medal 2017 Rusty Mutt ‘Rocky Ox’ GSM

    “Beautifully perfumed and inviting, the bouquet shows dark cherry, plum, violet, thyme and mixed spice characters, leading to a juiyc palate that is wonderfully rounded and supple. The wine offers lovely complexity and flowing mouthfeel backed by fine-grained tannins, finishing long and satisfying. At its best: now to 2025.”


    94 Point Wine Medal 2015 Rusty Mutt ‘Original’ Shiraz

    “The wine is sweetly fruited and fragrant on the nose showing black/blueberry, vanilla, olive and cedar characters, followed by a gorgeously weighted palate that is supple and silky. Wonderfully flavoursome with a gracefully smooth finish. At its best: now to 2025.”


    96 Point wine medal 2014 Vermilion Bird Shiraz

    “Gloriously rich and powerful, the wine shows dark fruit richness together with seductive notes of vanilla, cedar, cake spice and subtle game on the nose, leading to a concentrated palate that is opulent and sumptuous. The wine offers outstanding fruit intensity with splendid complexity and multi-layered mouthfeel. At its best: now to 2030.”

  • Great news from Winestate Magazine!

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    The current release Rocky Ox GSM was sent into Winestate Magazine for inclusion in a McLaren Vale feature. The tasting panel all agreed it was a top drop and awarded it 5 stars, which is the highest rating attainable at Winestate and equivalent to a Gold medal in a wine show.

    Here’s the review from the magazine;

    “Complex briary/dark fruit fragrances with hints of spices and light minty notes. Full flavoured ripe berry palate has good complexity, soft tannins and crisp acidity. 5+” WINESTATE MAGAZINE May 2019

    You can grab some right now from our online store. Create an account first to receive a price and freight discount.

  • 2018 Hong Kong Int. Wine and Spirits Fair

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    A selection of Rusty Mutt wines will be available to taste at the 2018 Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair. It’s being held at the Hong Kong convention and exhibition centre from the 8th to the 10th of November. Visit the official site here.

    Our wines will be part of a group organised by Peter Jackson of Tucker Creative. As more information comes to hand I will post updates on the stand location.

    Rusty Mutt is actively looking for wine wholesale partners in Hong Kong for our range of quality McLaren Vale wines. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

  • Tannin and its role in red wine

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    What is tannin?

    Tannin is the name given to a range of complex molecules found in wine that don’t have a smell or taste, but affect the texture of the wine in your mouth. Tannins in wine can come from different sources, such as the naturally occurring tannin in grapes known as a proanthocyanidin. Interestingly this type of tannin is closely related to red wine colour, the main component being anthocyanin – a flavonoid pigment found in plants.

    In a ‘good’ year, when the yield is low, the flavour, colour and tannin are generally more intense. These traits are desirable and considered indicators of wine quality. Of course, in some circumstances high tannin may not be desirable, but this is usually due to a specific choice of wine style.

    Where does tannin come from?

    Tannin can be found in a variety of foods and beverages, such as dark chocolate, cranberries, pomegranates and tea. It’s also found in some nuts and many types of wood. The tannin in wine comes primarily from two sources: grapes and oak barrels. The skins of many classic grape varieties such as Shiraz (Syrah), Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot contain tannin and anthocyanin, while the pulp (flesh) is essentially colourless. Tannin can also be found in the seeds, but the type and structure are different to those found in the skins. Generally, seed tannins are nuttier and can be bitter.

    During red wine fermentation, the grape skins and seeds are fermented in contact with the juice and pulp. Heat and alcohol produced during fermentation help extract the tannins, which end up in the resulting wine. Once fermentation is complete, the grape skins are ‘pressed’ (squeezed) to extract the remaining wine and tannin.

    At this point, the wine may contain quite a high level of tannin produced naturally from the fruit. Typically, the wine will be transferred into oak barrels for maturation. Oakwood naturally contains another group of tannins called ellagic tannins, which add to the existing tannin in the wine. As well as tannin, oak barrels impart other texture and flavour compounds into the wine.

    What does tannin do to wine?

    Without tannin, red wine production would not have begun thousands of years ago. Tannin is a natural anti-oxidant and one of the key ingredients that can prevent red wine from spoiling. To make a ‘stable’ wine product (a wine that will last for 6 months +), there cannot be any fermentable compounds (namely sugar and malic acid) or oxygen left in the wine to allow microorganisms to grow. Selected yeast and bacteria take care of the sugar and malic acid, which is important for wine stability. A typical alcohol of 14%v/v, makes it difficult for many microorganisms to survive. However, if oxygen is readily available then certain microorganisms can very quickly turn wine into vinegar, or worse.

    This is where tannin comes in. As a good anti-oxidant, it will scavenge oxygen until all of the available tannins have reacted with it. If the wine is in a closed container (a barrel or bottle), this process means oxygen will no longer be readily available for spoilage organisms to use and grow. If you read my previous post on ageing wine, you’ll also discover the importance of acidity and the preservative Sulphur Dioxide in red wine stability.

    Tannin in modern winemaking

    While tannin plays a technical role in wine stability, it’s contribution to the ‘mouth feel’ (texture), of the wine is also important. Our understanding of wine stability, combined with improvements to packaging, means we can take a different approach to working with tannin. It’s contribution to wine stability has become less important and the texture of the wine more so.

    Different winemaking techniques can influence the effect of tannin, such as ferment temperature, time in contact with the skins, cap management, press type and oak treatment. We can produce full flavoured wines with great colour and softer tannins aimed at earlier drinking; or we can produce more traditional, high tannin wines designed to age for many years.

    Tannin can also be purchased from wine industry suppliers. Various types are available, some extracted from grape marc (skins after pressing), some from different types of wood and nuts, and the top end is extracted from oak. These products may be used to re-balance the mouthfeel and structure as required. Only the use of nut-based tannin needs to be indicated on the label due to allergen labelling laws.

    Describing tannin

    When we taste wine, along with all of the smells and flavours that can usually be related back to some kind of herb, spice, fruit or other weird references (barnyard, cats pee, etc!) there are also textures to describe. Tannin is responsible for quite a bit of the texture response when we drink wine. This is because tannin reacts with protein, particularly the saliva in the mouth, making it less slippery. The type and amount of tannin will vary the texture and overall ‘mouth feel’ of the wine. Tannin can be expressed using descriptors such as chalky, dusty, silky and velvety, just to name a few.

    The post image I have used is the ‘Mouthfeel Wheel’ from GAWEL, R. , OBERHOLSTER, A. and FRANCIS, I. L. (2000), A ‘Mouth‐feel Wheel’: terminology for communicating the mouth‐feel characteristics of red wine. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 6: 203-207

    It’s a tremendously useful resource I use often when describing wine for tasting notes etc.

    Once again, in my previous post on ageing, I described tannin as having a significant role in the longevity of red wine. During the maturation process, very small amounts of oxygen find their way into the barrel, then into the bottle. Unless the barrel or bottle seal is compromised, the amount of oxygen is not great enough to cause spoilage. It does, however, react with the tannins in the wine. When tannin is young, the tannin molecule is short and the tannin may be described as being ‘hard’ or ‘grippy’, astringent (mouth puckering) and drying. Small amounts of oxygen cause the tannin molecules to polymerise (join together) and become larger. These larger molecules feel softer (silky or velvety), less astringent and more agreeable, which is one of the reasons for maturation.

    Tannin and the Rusty Mutt reds

    Coming from a more traditional wine-making background, tannin has been critical for the longevity of my wines. Maturation in the barrel, then bottle, both before and after release, is needed to make the tannins softer.  However, these days far less wine tends to be bought for cellaring, so I’ve taken a different approach towards tannin in the Rusty Mutt reds. Using gentle cap management (hand plunging) and basket pressing (a very gentle press method) I aim to make full flavoured wines with mid to soft tannins. My wines are designed for drinkability on release, but the type and amount of tannin are balanced with the other stabilising factors, producing a wine with mid-range cellaring potential. Both the Rusty Mutt Shiraz and GSM will drink well right now and continue to grow in complexity with optimum drinking around 5-8 years from vintage.

    After all, wine is made to drink, so I don’t want you to wait too long before drinking and enjoying my wines!


  • Why do we age wine?

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    As with everything to do with wine, there’s never a straight answer. Most people have heard somewhere that ‘wine improves with age’ but don’t know why, or what, ‘improves’ actually means. To keep this post from blowing out into some kind of short story, I’ll just discuss red wine.

    What is wine made of?

    To find out what ‘improves’ and why, we need to look at what’s in wine. We know it starts as grapes. (Most) red grapes are red because of something in the grape skin called ‘anthocyanin’. The skin (and seeds) also contain ‘tannin’ which is related to anthocyanin and together they form complex polymers. Additionally, red grapes contain tartaric acid and malic acid, as well as natural sugars, which are converted to alcohol by yeast during fermentation. As this is not a scientific paper, we’ll lump the remaining components together as ‘flavour, aroma and texture compounds’.

    What happens during ageing?

    While the description of wine in the paragraph above is oversimplified, wine is amazingly complex. There are 800-1000 different compounds that can be found in red wine. Coming back to our basic parts, generally we don’t see much change in the alcohol component. However, this can affect other components during ageing.

    The acid does seem to soften during ageing but this is a slow process. The largest changes are seen in tannin (and texture), colour, and flavour and aroma compounds. The colour shifts from bright red and purples to mahogany, brick and brown as the wine gets older. The tannin becomes less evident and the texture in the mouth changes, shifting from dry, astringent and ‘grippy’, to smooth and round. Tannin affects how slippery your saliva is. Lots of tannin in a young wine causes the mouth to become dry. Mature tannin is softer and affects the saliva less.

    The interesting part for me is the changes in flavour and aroma; the fresh, ‘primary’ fruit characters become less ‘simple’. For instance, raspberry, plum, blackberry notes become more complex to exhibit characteristics of leather, soy, tobacco and cigar box.

    What causes these changes?

    Ultimately, time in the bottle provides the conditions for the changes to occur. I know I keep saying this but, once again, there are many changes going on and numerous factors affecting those changes.

    Firstly, there seems to be two main maturation processes happening. One due to the presence of oxygen, and the other independent of oxygen. Oxygen will be present in the wine at bottling. There will be an amount of dissolved oxygen in the wine and possibly some oxygen in the ‘vacuity’ (space between the top of the wine and the bottom of the closure). The amount in the vacuity depends on the bottling process and can be controlled to an extent. The type of closure affects the amount of oxygen ingress over time.

    Cork, technical corks, screw caps, glass stoppers and other ‘non-cork’ closures have all been shown to allow oxygen ingress at different rates. Generally, technical corks and screw caps show the lowest oxygen ingress per day, but the screw caps can allow a big hit of oxygen at bottling as the vacuity is usually not eliminated, or the air replaced with inert gas. The oxygen in the wine will react with flavour and aroma compounds and can cause a reduction in their intensity. Oxygen also alters the colour, changing it from bright red and purple towards the brown spectrum. And it reacts with tannin causing it to become ‘softer’ and less astringent.

    Even when there has been very little oxygen ingress at bottling, or through the closure, over time the wine still matures. While tiny amounts of oxygen are present, the tannins (natural anti-oxidants) do their best to react and protect the wine. The changes in the fruit flavours and aromas are due to other complex reactions occurring. Most of you may have made fruit esters (like banana ester) in science at school. Esters are formed from a ‘carboxylic acid’ and another hydrocarbon (typically an alcohol in the case of wine). As the wine matures, the primary fruit diminishes and transforms. Some of the complex esters making up the fruit flavours and aromas change into different esters, and other new esters are formed. There are literally billions of ester possibilities, depending on the chemical conditions in the solution. So wine presents its own unique conditions and time, heat and oxygen give it the opportunity to change.

    What’s so good about all these changes?

    Generally, we mature wine to increase the complexity of flavour and aromas, and to make the texture in the mouth more agreeable. Provided the wine is sound, has plenty of flavour, tannin and the right acidity level, the changes that occur with time will be positive. You’ll see more interesting aromas and flavours, and the wine will become smoother and feel better in your mouth.
    Young wine can still have a level of complexity about it, but can also be rather simplistic in terms of fruit flavour.

    How long should I mature it for?

    This is a tough question. How thirsty are you?! Maturing wine takes time, and a lot more wine is now made to drink younger. Through winemaking and viticultural practices, wines with lower acidity and less tannin can be produced. These wines may benefit from short to medium term cellaring (approximately 3-8 years), but are really made to drink straight away. More complex flavour and aromas may be produced, but the already reduced tannin and acid will prevent the wine from living on. If you want the benefits of wine maturation, you need to choose wines that can be matured.

    We can’t tell how well a wine will mature, until it’s mature. We can only guess through past experiences. Generally, a wine with good tannin, acidity, flavour and texture has the potential to improve with maturation. But the next question is how mature is mature? This is an answer you need to work out for yourself. Then you need to factor in your storage conditions. Are your wines in an underground cellar, or quality wine storage fridge? Or are they stored on top of the fridge in your kitchen? Heat speeds up reactions, including wine maturation. Wine can also be affected by light, and not in a good way, so ensure your wine rack is in a cool dark place.

    Hopefully you have more than one bottle of each wine you are maturing. If you open one and it still tastes young, you can keep the others for a longer period. Unfortunately, we can’t tell you how long it will take for the wine to look its best. Maybe as long as your piece of string?

    To summarise…

    There’s a reason people drink mature wine. It can have flavour, aromas and textures that are simply divine and can only be achieved with time. The texture can be silky smooth, the aroma intensely complex and the flavour can be so amazing you remember it for years after. Every wine critic, judge, journalist or enthusiast will have at least one defining wine moment they can recount to you. I can assure you it will not be a young, current release wine!

    Maturing wine can be wonderfully rewarding, but you need to think about why you’re ageing wine (investment or improvement) and choose accordingly. Then don’t forget that the storage conditions and closure type are as important as the wine itself. And lastly, buy more than one bottle of a specific wine to mature! A six pack is good. You can open a bottle every three years or so and see how it’s developing. You can then start to get a picture in your own mind of how mature you like certain styles and what to buy for the future.

    Ultimately wine is to be enjoyed. You can put as much effort into that enjoyment as you like!

  • 2017 Catnip Viognier Gold Medal review from Winewise

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    2017 Rusty Mutt Catnip McLaren Vale Viognier. This is a
    multifaceted viognier with a long, creamy palate. It offers the typical
    varietal apricot aroma and flavour, but backs them up with nuances of
    ginger and honeysuckle. It’s a stylish, vibrant wine that isn’t too heavy.

    Review by Lester Jesberg, Winewine Magazine Small Vignerons Awards, October 2017

  • To decant or not to decant…

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    This is one question I’m often asked, and the answer is not that simple. To begin with, there are actually two different processes that may be confused; decanting and aeration.


    Is the process of carefully pouring clear wine out of the bottle while leaving any sediment or deposits behind. It is usually required when you’re drinking older, or minimally fined and filtered wines. Without getting too technical, wine is much more than a mere liquid with a bunch of stuff dissolved in it. It is a matrix with all sorts of things floating around, some dissolved, some in suspension and in between. Colour, tannin, acid and alcohol are major parts, then there are many minor compounds which make up this complex mixture. Generally as wine gets older, some of these compound become less stable and fall out of suspension. These end up on the bottom of the bottle as either a fine sludge or gritty crystals. It’s not very pleasant to drink, especially if you end up with the last glass and it’s all in there! So by removing it before you serve the wine you save yourself or your guest a mouthful of gritty mud.

    Here’s what to do. Stand the bottle upright for a few hours if it was lying down. Carefully handle the bottle when you are opening it so you don’t stir the sediment up. Find a suitable receptacle for the wine (either a $1000 Riedel decanter or $5 IKEA water jug will do fine). In one smooth slow motion, pour the wine into the decanter or jug. When you get near the end, slow down further and watch the wine as it comes out, watching for sediment. A little is fine. Leave the rest in the bottle. If you like, rinse the bottle out and pour the wine back in to serve. Job done.


    Choosing whether or not to aerate a wine requires a little more understanding. Splashing the wine into a decanter or jug, or through an aeration device will add oxygen to the wine. This can do many things such as ‘blow off’ excessive Sulpher Dioxide or some Sulphide characters. Extended time after the initial aeration may begin to soften the tannins in the wine. The air also lifts the aromas in the wine and this is usually the reason to do it. Really young red wines (1-4 years old) may benefit most. The Sulpher is high, there may be some fermentation Sulphides present and there’s usually a lot of young grippy tannin. So splash away. After a few minutes you’ll often see a marked improvement in the generall drinkability of the wine.

    If you’re going to open an older wine though, you need to start thinking a little differently. Especially if the bottle has been sealed with a cork. A very slow, natural aeration process happens over the life of the wine, through the cork. So a maturing red wine, say 12 years plus, may not require aeration at all. Here you would open the wine, maybe decant (if you do, then carefully without splashing), then pour some into a glass and let it gradually open up itself. This way you can look at the wine as it is opening up and see the changes as they occur. If you actively aerate very old wines (20+ years) you run the risk of missing the wine at its best.

    To sum it up

    As with anything to do with wine, storage conditions will have a large affect on how the wine matures. Putting this to one side though, generally I’d say less is best. Better to under aerate than over do it and oxidise your wine. Be gentle with old wine and let them slowly reveal themselves. But if you’re grabbing a young ‘big’ red to have with dinner then a good aeration should really help it.

    Finally, I have one little tip to help you decide whether or not to buy more of a particular wine. If you opened your young red and didn’t finish it on the first night, try it again the next night. If it drinks better than when you first opened it, then it should improve with time in the cellar.

    Scott Heidrich

    Winemaker, Rusty Mutt Wines.

    Photo Credit: Riex Flickr via Compfight cc

  • Reviews from James Halliday’s Wine Companion

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    The first of August has come around once again with nervous anticipation of the Halliday reviews. James doesn’t taste all of the wines himself anymore, he has wine specialists around the country tasting their strengths. I was fortunate to have Jane Faulkner, a highly regarded freelance wine journalist take a critical look at my wines. She got almost everything right 😉

    Bear in mind that the wines may have changed quite a bit since the review. We are required to send the wines in for review in January so some reviews may be seven months old! At least I still have most wines available for sale!

    Visit James Halliday’s Wine Companion site here.

    The reviews…

    Firstly, I’m super happy with 92 points for the 2013 Vermilion Bird Shiraz. Jane writes “So dense and rich with cedary/coconut oak, vanilla cream and tar enclosing the dark ripe fruit, a slight sweet-sour note and gritty powerful tannins, drying on the finish. Glossy full-bodied palate – stylistically, archetypal McLaren Vale shiraz and a lot to ponder – it gets better in the glass.” 

    The 2015 Rocky Ox GSM tried hard but only managed 88 on the day. Although it has been doing better and better with reviews and show results throughout the year as it opens up. Jane’s comments – “While there’s a dominant menthol/mint note, there’s also a prettiness to this blend with licorice and spiced plums with grainy tannins and more savoury toned on the palate.” Still sounds great though!

    Interestingly, my current favourite is the GSM but the 2014 Original Shiraz received 91 points which is great! Jane’s review “Bright crimson-garnet and awash with spice, chocolate and ripe plum fruit with the oak in check. It’s full-bodied but not heavy with the tannins ripe and powerful, and all in balance.”

    Finally, the 2016 Catnip Viognier. Personally I think 2016 is my best vintage so far and has opened up alot recently. I don’t think 86 points does this wine justice, however it’s all sold anyway! Jane writes “Reductive and doesn’t give a lot away – a hint of cinnamon and lemon balm. It has a slippery texture with the palate broadening and the finish clipped.”

    The wrap…

    Love them or hate them, scores, reviews and medals are a way for us to benchmark and improve. Every show judge and critic is an individual with their own subjectiveness that will influenec their results. If it didn’t, they’d be robots and only one ultimate judge would be required anyway! Overall I’m very happy with Jane’s words. I much prefer to have my wines reviewed than judged in a show because it’s great to read more than just ‘bronze’!

    Need some wine? Visit our online store now.

  • About my Wine Clubs, and time for a giveaway!

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    Wine Clubs, Pricing and a giveaway!

    The Rusty Mutt website has undergone some major changes recently. I’ve tried to tidy it up and bring you a cleaner, simpler site and offer more value to you as a customer. The tricky part is not to display prices cheaper than my wine is being sold in retail stores but still give you the discounts I can offer by coming to me direct. Essentially, the two wine clubs are a way to do this. You choose a wine club, create an account, then discounts are subtracted from the prices. Plus, you have an account that will keep your purchase history and save you lots of time when you purchase again.

    Our Wine Clubs

    The Sirius Wine Club provides you with the best value. You receive a 20% discount off the displayed prices plus loyalty points you can redeem for the Vermilion Bird Shiraz. The catch? (more of a convenience really!) You receive a 6 pack every 3 months (you can choose the wines). Plus you can buy wine at any time at your discounted price. You can opt out or change to the Rusty Mutt Wine Club at any time, however you wont receive any more loyalty points.

    The Rusty Mutt Wine Club is simple. You receive a 15% discount and you purchase whenever you like. There’s no commitment or costs other than for your wine and delivery. You still have the benefit of an account, and once your account is set up, your next purchases will be quick and easy! Check out the price comparison below.

    Wine Website Rusty Mutt Wine Club Sirius Wine Club
    Viognier 23.50 19.98 18.80
    Rose 23.50 19.98 18.80
    GSM 29.50 25.08 23.60
    Shiraz 29.50 25.08 23.60
    Vermilion Bird 77 65.45 61.60

    So you see, the pricing is what you’ve been used to in the past or may have seen at an event. And to simplify delivery costs, I am charging $10 for anything up too and including a dozen Australia wide.

    What about that offer?

    Join either the Rusty Mutt Wine Club or the Sirius Wine Club before the 10th of August and I will send you a coupon for a $20 discount (min 6 bottle purchase) and free delivery within Australia. Plus, you go into the draw to win a bottle of 2013 Vermilion Bird Shiraz in a leather look gift box with bar accessories!

    *This offer has now expired* The winner of the 2013 Vermilion Bird and the gift box was S. Menhennet from SA!

  • Meet ‘Ace’ the Guide Dog Puppy!

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    Given the name of our company (why the name?) it was only fitting that I should sponsor a guide dog. It wasn’t until I spoke with the Guide Dogs representatives that I discovered the breadth of services they provide. It’s not just about supporting people with vision impairment. There’s a whole range of sensory issues Guide Dogs can help with. They can also end up as a therapy dogs helping children and the elderly and provide support for people with Autism. I also learned that it takes approximately $20,000 to raise and train a single Guide Dog!

    Rusty Mutt is a small business but there’s no reason I can’t help, even in a small way by sponsoring a puppy. I’ve just received the first ‘PUPdate’ about Ace, Guide Dog in training, who enjoys the beach at Glenelg and his rope toy! He’s also visited Wirra Wirra winery in McLaren Vale so I think he’s off to a great start!

    If you’d like to read more about the Guide Dogs and what they do, or perhaps you’d like to sponsor a puppy then please visit;


    I’ll keep you up to date with his progress as it comes to me. We will certainly be doing more to get behind Guide Dogs SA/NT so watch this space 🙂

    Scott Heidrich

  • National Wine Centre Lunch with the Vale Cru

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    Join some of the Vale Cru members, Wistmosa, Dabblebrook, Lazy Ballerina, Waywood and Rusty Mutt (of course!) for lunch at the National Wine Centre.

    It will be quite a unique experience. A four station, standup progressive lunch with food at each station matched with two Vale Cru wines!

    Sounds great, I’m glad I’ll be there!

    The details;

    Cost $99 per person
    On Friday the 16th of June at 1.00pm
    The National Wine Centre of Australia
    Hackney Rd & Botanic Rd, Adelaide SA 5000

    This event is over. Check the Wine Centre website for their next event.

    You can also check our event page to see if there’s a tasting coming up near you.

  • Game of Rhones

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    Game of Rhones is once again to a venue near (most) of you – sorry Adelaide, you miss out this year! I think South Australians are actually ahead of the curve and are looking for the next wine tasting trend to hit!

    What are ‘Rhones’ anyway?

    The Rhone is a region in Southern France where they grow Grenache, Shiraz, Mataro and other varieties suited to the area. Similarities in the climate and geology of McLaren Vale lends itself well to the production of these varietes. In fact, that’s why I chose to produce the wines I do! Shiraz, Viognier and GSM blends can all be found in and around the Rhone in France.

    I quite enjoy Game of Rhones. Firstly because at the moment all of my wines are Rhone varieties or blends and secondly I can’t believe the effort some people put into their costume! There have been some amazing white walkers and plenty of faithful characters.

    These events are becoming wildly popular in the eastern states with Sydney looking to host well over 1000 enthusiastic wine tasters this year. One of the great things about themed tastings is everyone knows why they’re there. There’s education in the name of the event. The Game of Rhones patrons can tell you all about the varieties and blends of the Rhone simply by remembering what they tasted. In my view, Rhone blends are among the most enjoyable wine styles to try so hopefully you understand my reasons behind working with these wines!

    Have you been to Game of Rhones? What do you enjoy most? What do you enjoy the least? Has this event or others like these changed your wine preferences?

    I hope you’ve enjoyed discovering the varieties and blends of the Rhone and I look forward to meeting you at an event soon.

    Why not try some of my Rhone style wines? Such as the Viognier or Grenache, Shiraz Mataro (GSM) blend?



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