An Aussie Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Matthew Jukes tastes the best vintage in ages of this Australian grenache/shiraz.

2006 Charles Melton, Nine Popes, Barossa Valley, South Australia (£24.95, Philglas & Swiggot, 020-7924 4494; Bennetts Fine Wines, 01386-840392; Hanging Ditch, 0161-832 8222; Rannoch Scott Wines, 01787-281944; Harrogate Fine Wine Co, 01423-522270).

Charlie Melton launched his first ever vintage of Nine Popes live on air, on the old GLR 94.9FM radio station, during a wine slot that I used to host every week in the late eighties.

A hilarious moment came when I asked him how he came up with the name for the wine. He looked at me oddly and nudged me in the ribs and said "You know, Jukesy, Chteauneuf-du-Pape!" I spluttered and replied, "Charlie, that means the new Chteau of the Pope, not the Nine Popes!"

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Well, bearing in mind the recent furores at the BBC over blue language on air, Charlie's Anglo-Saxon expletive was lucky not to send the entire studio up in flames. Thankfully, we were all laughing so much that not one complaint came in. 2006 is the best vintage of this grenache/shiraz wine (modelled on the aforementioned Southern Rhne classic) in ages.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year.

Matthew Jukes

Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.  

Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.

He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website,

Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’.  He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner. 

Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy.  His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.