The Tonic Wines Story
Tonic Wines is a small batch project that was started by two friends with similarly nerdy wine habits. Glenn is an experienced winemaker with genuinely practical skills…actually quite a lot of them. Dan’s background was in wine drinking, talking and educating and after a stint as a wine-stained cellar hand he found he knew ‘righty-tighty, lefty loosy’ but that was about it. Glenn took over full ownership and running of Tonic in 2019. The Tonic philosophy encompasses a few simple things. First and foremost wine should be a delicious drink. It should also be a bit of fun and enjoyed with good friends in a riotous or relaxed setting. Glenn doesn't really believe in boring wine. It’s a waste of time for your senses and deprives you of a memorable experience.
Why's this wine for you?

You’re going to need to be quick here. When Tonic Wines drop, artisanal and small-batch winemaking fans go wild. Sommeliers the country over rejoice and lovers of the range will tell you that once you’ve had your first sip of ‘Tonic’ you’ll be hooked for life.

Those who remember when Tonic wines first started hitting the wine lists a number of years ago will recall the sense of uniqueness they felt on first tasting them. Here were wines, fine wines no less, that were delicious, chock full of personality and just fun to drink. And what’s with those funny shaped bottles?

Started by two wine-making friends, Glenn Barry and Dan Coward in Clare Valley with the aim of really just making some interesting bottles to drink, Tonic Wines have grown to be one of the most respected ‘cult’ producers in the country - fans eagerly await the new releases to see what Barry (now with full ownership) will come up with next.

$35.99
(6 or more)
$36.99 per bottle


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The Brief
Alcohol
13.8%
Net Volume
750ml
Vintage
2020
Cellar to
2026
How's it taste?
Perfume of lavender and violet over black fruit, sooty and earthy, with sweet spices. It's medium to full-bodied, fleshy and silty with Turkish coffee tannin, a blackberry pip freshness, but still deep and rolling, perhaps a little cocoa too, with some orange peel and amaro on a long chewy finish.
How was it made?
I had a wine back in about 2017 and it’s been stuck in my mind, popping up into consciousness at random moments. A Dard & Ribo wine from the Rhone Valley (thanks Misseure David Brookes. I’ve wanted to make something like that wine for a while now – and guess what? I’ve done it.It was a Shiraz, but not as you know it. Pure, unadulterated fermented Shiraz grapes in a bottle. In a post-Parker world, it made me think and wonder what if... well this is ‘what if’. From a vineyard on the western ridge of the Barossa Valley, picked with ripeness but brightness in mind, more red fruits than dark fruits on the agenda. Whole berries and a maceration time of around 21 days, then pressed to a revolutionary new tank material known as stainless steel. Left on full lees to do its thing until a simple racking prior to bottling.This is our first attempt, so the winemaking will evolve – but this wine has surprised us. It’s as pure and fruit driven as you’d expect, but somehow there’s a savoury interest. Dark fruited but not heavy in any way, it’s still got a little Fred Astaire (light on its feet) feel. Frisky but serious. Air is this wine’s friend: introduce it to a decanter and it will start unfurling. Peat, red and blackberries, a weird but interesting vegemite kinda umaminess. Firmly structured with chunky, chewy tannin and focussed through the finish.
The Who
Critic Reviews
Expert Review
Expert Review
94 Points
Gary Walsh - The Wine Front
Perfume of lavender and violet over black fruit, sooty and earthy, with sweet spices. It’s medium to full-bodied, fleshy and silty with Turkish coffee tannin, a blackberry pip freshness, but still deep and rolling, perhaps a little cocoa too, with some orange peel and amaro on a long chewy finish. Terrific expression of Barossa Shiraz. Unadorned and with a little umami/shitake mushroom savoury thing happening, or maybe it’s porcini, though I prefer to use the first four letters of the other mushroom in this review.
Customer Reviews
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