Brown Brothers Patricia Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

Sale price$79.95
King Valley & Goulburn Valley, Victoria, Australia

Style: Red Wine

Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon (92%), Petit Verdot (8%)

Closure: Cork

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Brown Brothers Patricia Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

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, usually ready in 2-4 days

Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124

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Producer: Brown Brothers

Country: Australia

Region: Multi Regional VIC

Vintage: 2002

Critic Score: 95

Alcohol: 14.0%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: Now

A wine to challenge Grange. It knocked the socks off everybody - Jeff Gordon

The Patricia wines are made in honour of the family matriarch Patricia Brown who dedicated 60 years of her life to Brown Brothers. First produced in 2003, they are Brown Brother's flagship wines and celebrate her bold and generous spirit.  

"A very impressive, tightly packed, elegant cabernet sauvignon with mocha and dark berry aromas. Concentrated all round, with superior power and length. A classic in the making."  Huon Hooke

"The 2002 Patricia Cabernet Sauvignon has flavour intensity and fine tannin structure. Full physiological grape ripeness of this outstanding vintage season has highlighted varietal berry and cassis characters. French oak was used for its contribution to the tannin profile of the wine, and its subtle wood complexity. The 2002 Patricia Cabernet continues the success of two King Valley vineyards with 36% from Politini and 15% Ray vineyard fruit. Another outstanding vineyard site in North East Victoria is the Gentle Annie vineyard in the Dookie Hills, which has contributed 28%, providing mid-palate flesh and structure. A small percentage of fruit from the new Serengale vineyard in the Beechworth hills and a dash (8%) of Petit Verdot has achieved classic structure and balanced flavours. This wine presents a saturated, red-black colour with enormous richness and concentration. The nose demonstrates ripe characters of red currants and cassis combined with the subtleties of a wine handled with French oak. The palate is concentrated and rich with good length of flavour and well structured acid and firm tannins."  Brown Brothers

Expert reviews

" A wine to challenge Grange... The Brown Brothers Patricia range is a definite for any cellar. The 2002 cabernet sauvignon and shiraz and the recently released 2003 chardonnay and pinot noir chardonnay brut are great value and stunning quality. We recently had all four at a 50th birthday party and they all shouted 'look at me' among some great wines. It was the cabernet, however, that stole the evening. Drinking it after a few bottles of aged Grange, it may have been its youth or perhaps the change in grape variety or the food mix. Whatever, the Brown's knocked the socks off everybody.

Sweet cassis dominates the nose as one expects of a wine that is broodingly black/red oin colour, but it is the concentration of intense depth of fruit flavour, subtle hints of oak and the balance of the fruit with the acidity that is so striking. I could be easily tempted to drink it all now, but restraint will be exercised as this, like the shiraz and the chardonnay, will get better and better over the next decade. These wines made me realise that the concept of second-tier icon wines is nonsense – these are great wines that are still affordable. Get some while you still can."  Jeff Gordon, City Weekly

"A very impressive, tightly packed, elegant cabernet sauvignon with mocha and dark berry aromas. Concentrated all round, with superior power and length. A classic in the making."  Huon Hooke, Gourmet Traveller Wine - 95 points  ★★★★★

"One of the most common questions asked of a wine writer concerns selecting a great red wine as a birthday or other special occasion present and I for one am always happy to make a fellow winelover happy. For at least this purpose, if not for your own personal indulgence, consider the currently available Patricia cabernet. It's a cooler climate N.E. Victoria blend and it's sensational, the sort of wine which would fetch well over $100 out of Napa Valley or Bordeaux. Sublime cabernet, deep and long, substantial yet balanced, with an inner core of fruit flavour graced by fine tannin. Perfect for that special occasion!"  Paddy Kendler, The Herald Sun  ★★★★★

"This premium cabernet is a tribute to Patricia, the much-loved Brown family matriarch who died last September. It's a worthy memorial, a dense wine full of liqueurish, black currant fruit, black olive, minty complexity and definite charry oak. The full-bodied palate has great depth and persistence with a firm foundation of ripe tannins: Ageing: Drink over 10 years. Food idea: Roast leg of lamb with baked winter vegetables."  Ralph Kyte-Powell, Epicure Uncorked  ★★★★★

"Shining black-red, dense and youthful looking. Savoury, meaty oak aromas with an overlay of sweet vanilla and berries. Cedary oak in the palate with mint, red fruits, liquorice, leather, tar, cedar and tobacco. A hugely concentrated, dry, youthful wine that needs a big glass to reveal its true power and elegance that is hinted of on the succulent aftertaste."  Sue Courtney,

"A firm, minty Victorian cabernet that should develop elegance and complexity with age. Its lightly dusty and herbal aromas of cassis, violet, sweet vanilla and chocolate oak precede a smooth and oaky palate of full to medium weight whose vibrant berry flavours are tightly wound around drying and astringent tannins. Drink 2014-2022."  Jeremy Oliver - 93 points 

The Patricia range

Brown Brothers: The Patricia range

"For 20 years we've paid homage to Patricia with the annual release of her namesake wines. To celebrate her bold and generous spirit, we released our flagship Patricia range in 2003. And just like our memory of her, these wines are distinctly unique and full of life – built upon the core family values that have been passed down through generations.

Patricia was only slight in stature, but she made up for it with her tenacious spirit. Our matriarch and driving force behind the growth, prosperity, and culture at Brown Brothers, Patricia was an inspiration to all who knew her.

Nanna was also the unofficial CEO. Hands down. She was the tea lady, the mail lady, and she welcomed everyone who visited the winery with open arms. She was the people and culture manager before roles like this even existed!"  Brown Brothers 

Patricia Brown

Brown family matriarch Patricia Brown

Ten years ago, a small, frail woman in her 88th year was ushered into the Brown Brothers boardroom, where members of the board and the large Brown winemaking family had a plan to share with her.

John Graham Brown (all the Brown men with John as a first name - and there have been many - are called by their first two given names) says the idea was raised by his daughter Cynthia, the first woman to be born into the Brown family in 66 years.

''Mum,'' he said, ''we'd like to name a range of wines after you.''

His mother stood still, then a tear started to rise. ''Well, boys, it better be bloody good,'' she said. John Graham Brown was momentarily gobsmacked - his mother never swore. But thus the Patricia range was born, devoted to ''bloody good wines'' with Patricia Brown's strong scrawl of a signature across the front label of every bottle.

Pat Brown and her husband, John Charles Brown, died within the year. The brand has notched up 10 years.

Not all of the first Patricia releases survived. The merlot lasted just a couple of vintages, destined to go the way of most Australian merlot, downgraded to second tier. There has also been the odd addition, the latest a deep-coloured 2010 sparkling rosé´ made from pinot meunier with a splash of malbec added for colour. Very tasty and an excellent aperitif, but I'm sure it will be mostly seen as a chicks' wine. The Patricia stalwarts remain: a vintage sparkling, a chardonnay, a shiraz, a cabernet sauvignon and a noble riesling.

The choice says much about the Browns. If they were interested in trendy, edgy wines, there would probably be no cabernet or noble dessert wine, but that would be missing the point. With Patricia, the makers are celebrating age-worthiness and quality. The current-release chardonnay is four years old, the cabernet and shiraz are five years. What's more, many wines are blends from a number of vineyards, not single vineyards, which is so much de rigueur these days. Compare the first Patricia cabernet release from the vintage 2000 to the latest offering from 2008. The colours are almost the same hue of a youthful red. The flavours near identical, the only real difference is the more pronounced herbal nature of 2000, as was the winemaking style 13 years ago. Cork can also hold its head high, having done justice to the bottle of 2000 that I tried. Screw cap under 2008 will do just as well, probably better..

Pat Brown's connection to wine was in marrying a Brown and raising four sons who all went to work in the winemaking family business: John Graham (the winemaker), Peter (the viticulturist), Ross (the marketer) and Roger (the horticulturist).

She and her husband lived close to the winery, just a few steps from the Epicurean Centre restaurant (originally her orchard), and every day she made morning tea for her men, serving tomato or cheese on crackers. Morning tea in her kitchen was like a board meeting. Big family dinners with trifle for dessert brought the entire clan together at her table.

There was also the winery mail to open, the banking to do and flowers to prepare. ''For 20 years people would walk into the office and see fresh flowers,'' Ross Brown says. ''We don't have flowers in the office now. Sadly, it's something people just don't do any more.''

To celebrate a decade of Patricia, the boys - only John Graham and Ross are still with us - have cleaned up the old family cellar and reopened it. Photos of Pat Brown line the walk into the underground.

The above article by Jeni Port appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald

About the winery

Brown Brothers

Brown Brothers have been home to some of Australia's favourite wines for over 130 years. Their philosophy is about being experimental, innovative and dedicated to making wines for all kinds of tastebuds. It all started in 1885 when John Francis Brown planted 10 acres of vines in Milawa. The vines were mostly Riesling, Muscat and Shiraz grapes. In 1889 the first vintage of wine was produced in the Old Barn which still stands on the property today.

"As a key member of Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW), Brown Brothers is proud to have forged a reputation as innovators and trailblazers, both locally and abroad. Whilst we've ventured far and wide, to this day our roots remain in the Milawa region of the King Valley, where 130 years and four generations later we're still excited by oysters and sparkling at Christmas, our pioneering spirit, and that new favourite drop we know we're yet to create. Because, as Ross Brown (third generation) says; 'We are a wine company with tradition, but we're not a traditional wine company'."  Brown Brothers

"Brown Brothers draws upon a considerable number of vineyards spread throughout a range of site climates – from very warm to very cool. An expansion into Heathcote added significantly to its armoury. In 2010 Brown Brothers acquired Tasmania's Tamar Ridge. In May 2016 it acquired Innocent Bystander and with it a physical presence in the Yarra Valley. The premium quality varietal wines to one side, Brown Brothers has gained 2 substantial labels: Innocent Bystander Moscato and Innocent Bystander Prosecco. Known for the diversity of varieties with which it works, the wines represent good value for money. Its cellar door receives the greatest number of visitors in Australia. A founding member of Australia's First Families of Wine. Exports to all major markets.”  James Halliday

Wine region map of Victoria


Victoria is home to more than 800 wineries across 21 wine regions. The regions are Alpine Valley, Beechworth, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland, Glenrowan, Goulburn Valley, Grampians, Heathcote, Henty, King Valley, Macedon Ranges, Mornington Peninsula, Murray Darling, Pyrenees, Rutherglen, Strathbogie Ranges, Sunbury, Swan Hill, Upper Goulburn and Yarra Valley.

Victoria's first vines were planted at Yering in the Yarra Valley in 1838. By 1868 over 3,000 acres had been planted in Victoria, establishing Victoria as the premier wine State of the day. Today, the original vineyards planted at Best's Wines are among the oldest and rarest pre-phylloxera plantings in the world.

Victoria's climate varies from hot and dry in the north to cool in the south and each wine region specialises in different varietals. For example, Rutherglen in the north is famous for its opulent Muscats and Topaque and bold reds, while the many cooler climate regions near Melbourne produce world class Chardonnay and pinot Noir. Victoria is truly a wine lover's playground.