Owner & winemaker Alex McKay makes exquisitely detailed wines, their elegance appropriate for their maker – J Halliday

I never thought much of fate until starting Francaboutwine. Now so often it seems to raise its head. The first ever order I delivered was from Mark van der Goot, an experienced sommelier and operator who first shoved a bottle of Collector under my nose during my time working on his team at Wildfire. I loved the wine straight away, the fragrance and elegance of Shiraz. Good work Mark, I owe you one. – Neil

Alex McKay founded Collector in 2007 and has already cemented himself as one of Australia’s finest winemakers. He was a finalist for the 2010 Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year. His Marked Tree Shiraz was awarded the NSW Wine of the Year for 2007 and 2008 Reserve Shiraz was awarded Best Red Wine of Show at the 2010 Sydney Royal Wine Show. And you haven’t tasted his Chardonnay yet…

“This has a whole lot of wow factor with very exuberant, complex and fragrant perfume and spices on the nose. Plenty of bright ripe raspberry and blackberry fruits, strawberries too, all neatly captured. The palate has a swathe of fine tannin, really crunchy and energetic, concentrated yet fine. Dark chocolate, raspberry cream and swirling spice play out through the finish. Brilliant wine and drinking well already with a couple of decades of aging ahead too. Drink now” – 96 pts’ Nick Stock on

“If Alex McKay puts the word “reserve” on his shiraz it’s pretty much guaranteed to be good. There aren’t too many producers you can say that of. This is an elegant wine. It cuts a fine figure. Pepper, roasted nuts, black cherry and anise. Swings its way through the mouth, integrated but characterful. Lively. Perfumed. The high sense of polish to the wine’s texture is a delicious finishing touch. Ultra-fine, spicy tannin. Top grade booze” – 94 pts The Wine Front