By James Atkinson

McGuigan Wines is preparing to release a wine priced at more than $100 that CEO Neil McGuigan says has inspired the winery's recent overwhelming successes in international wine competitions and export markets.

McGuigan told TheShout the wine, a 2010 Cabernet Shiraz from the Clare Valley, has been bottled and will be released in the next 12 months, priced at about $120.

It will be known as The Philosophy, in a nod to Neil McGuigan's philosophy of getting the company's winemaking staff working towards a common goal of producing a $100-plus wine, when he rejoined the business nine years ago.

"When you do that, you put some outstanding fruit through the winery and you've got every chance of making a $100 bottle of wine," he said.

"But along the way the culture changes and everything you do is about focusing on quality and instantly you lift the bar on everything else you produce, so then your $10 bottle of wine starts to taste like a $12 bottle of wine."

McGuigan said the winery's recent accolades demonstrate the approach has succeeded in appealing to the winemaking team's "processes, desires and passions". 

After last year being crowned 'world's best winemaker' for the third time in four years at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in London, McGuigan recently won White Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine Challenge, for the third time in five years.

McGuigan has also enjoyed strong gains in export markets, becoming the number one brand in Ireland and the number seven brand in the UK.

"Success breeding success is very, very important," Neil McGuigan said. "Our business has got a lot of momentum at the moment, which is fantastic."

He said The Philosophy is "more Bordeaux-ish in style than we've done before".

"It's not 16 per cent alcohol and double American oak, it is a classic Australian wine that will have great longevity," he said.

"I want to make sure the wine is released when it's looking incredibly smart. It's looking good but I'd like to give it another six months."

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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