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Thursday 24 March 2022

Meet the most expensive wines made in Victoria


Premium Yarra Valley wine producer Levantine Hill is always prepared to make a statement. 

Owners the Jreissati family and winemaker Paul Bridgeman strive for excellence - and know how to charge for it. 

Now welcome Optume, Levantine Hill Estate’s $800 celebrations of shiraz and cabernet sauvignon from the Yarra - the winery's most premium range yet and launched today. 

The 2017 Levantine Hill Optume Shiraz will have a limited release of 65 cases, and the 2017 Levantine Hill Optume Cabernet Sauvignon will have an even more limited release of 58 dozen bottles.

Levantine Hill winemaker Paul Bridgeman says he has aimed to craft wines expressing the heart and soul of the Yarra Valley. 

The wines use hand-sorted grapes sourced from several selected Yarra Valley sites, which Bridgeman says allows for more nuanced flavours and complexity. 

The bottles have been imported from France (another statement) and locally-crafted presentation boxes will hold each bottle, complete with their own individually numbered key to secure the contents. 

Levantine Hill managing director Samantha Jreissati says the release of the Optume label represents an important milestone in the company’s quest to produce Australia’s very best wines of uncompromising quality. 

“These wines are made from the best parcels of cabernet sauvignon and shiraz that we can find across the Yarra Valley from the 2017 vintage - so it is a true celebration of our entire region,’’ she said.

 “Optume was born following a chance discussion between Levantine Hill Estate’s founder Elias Jreissati and winemaker Paul Bridgeman (pictured above), who had a meeting of minds about what sort of wine could be created in the Yarra Valley if no effort or expense was spared and other premium wine growers were given the opportunity to submit grapes for inclusion in it. 

"Their shared vision is to create the optimum expression of a GI-specific, cool-climate wine - hence the name - from each suitable vintage, without regard to location, effort or cost. 

"We are very proud of the results." 

The $800 price tag is believed to make the Optume wines the most expensive in Victoria. 

“The rarity of these wines is due to the pulling together of the particular strengths as well as expressions of a small number of select single site grapes around Levantine Hill and the broader Yarra Valley, expressly targeted for predicted contributions they will have towards the final blend,’’ said Bridgeman. 

“In the end, the wine’s expression aims to be greater than the sum of all parts, which conveys a synergy and seamless balance across the palate, reflecting broader vintage conditions across the multitude of targeted vineyard sites.’’ 

Levantine Hill Optume is available to purchase online at, or in person at the Levantine Hill Cellar Door, Armadale Cellars in Melbourne and Moncur Cellars in Sydney. 

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