Royal Mail Hotel

Wine-loving guests at the Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld, Victoria, might be advised to get their hands on the wine list at least a couple of hours before they head down to enjoy their multi-course “nature-based” dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. Even that may not be enough time to get through the more than 100 tightly packed (and, it has to be said, rather difficult to read) pages devoted to the Royal Mail’s collection of 2,500 international wines.

In a sense, however, the length of the Royal Mail list is really the least interesting thing about it. What is truly remarkable is the consistent quality maintained throughout its range of mature, classic, cutting-edge, French, Australian, and international wines.

The collections from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, and the various regions of Australia are perhaps the most comprehensive. But you can pick almost any region in the world and find it’s covered with some detail, depth, and discrimination: Alsace and the Loire; Rioja, Ribera del Duero, and Priorat; Tuscany and Piedmont, each of them featuring many vintages from the Royal Mail’s—as opposed to received wisdom’s—favorite producers. Compiled with love and with drinking, rather than impressing, in mind, the Royal Mail Hotel Dunkeld was a clear winner of the Best Wine List in Australasia 2014.