What a beautiful summer we have had despite the current ‘La Nina’ event affecting the weather along the east coast of Australia. I hesitate to say this, with plenty of weather to come before vintage, but early comparisons would be with the splendid 2008 and 2013 vintages. With plenty of moisture in the ground from late Winter and Spring and a warm Summer, the grapes are ripening quickly. This will actually be the first time that our first picking day is not in the week immediately before or immediately after Easter… The warmth we’ve had this summer has resulted in grape ripening moving nearly a whole lunar cycle forward which is good for us. Easter is late this year & that usually means we wouldn’t get our late red varieties ripe. Having moved forward from the Easter lunar cycle augers well for ripening.
The two new blocks of young red and white grapevines have grown well without irrigation.
We have just bottled the whites and Rosé from the 2021 vintage. From a cooler vintage, these wines are only medium bodied but quite fruity/floral. The Rosé has been made from our late ripening reds and has intriguing herbal/ floral aromas that will set it apart.
We are releasing the following new wines-
Pinot Gris 2017, in a classic full bodied Alsatian style
Byzantine 2018, very intense, concentrated palate
The Mattock 2016, in the mould of the 2015 but still a bit closed on the aroma
Romanesque 2018, dark, brooding and able to match the richest Italian meat dishes
The other special release is our 2012 Pinot Noir which we will run concurrently with the 2015 Pinot Noir. As a young wine, this vintage showed much potential but had little aroma with considerable tannins and acidity. I remembered a reference in Jancis Robinson’s ‘The Great Wine Book’ about the cooler vintages in Burgundy. Madame Bize-Leroy, co-owner of Domaine de La Romanee-Conti, pointed out that the wines from the best Burgundy estates in the cooler vintages needed more time to open up compared to the warmer years. This was evident to us when the 2013 Pinot Noir was first bottled and was immediately appealing, with the sweetness of the higher alcohol balancing the acid and tannins.
Now, at 10 years of age, the 2012 has softened and the bouquet has evolved. This is a complex wine with a tension in its structure that begs to accompany fine food. It will open up more with further cellaring or by decanting or opening an hour before serving.
The 2010 Merlot will be sold out very soon, hence why it is ‘members only’
From 2012 onwards Bob decided our Merlot would be made from only the best vintages and given the best new oak, so the next vintage available will be the 2018 to be released in 2028. We are toying with the idea of an early release in 2023 when it would be ‘approachable’, but still very tannic, at a lower price point & then a second release in 2028 when we think it will be ‘ready’ for immediate enjoyment. So ideally, if you have a cellar, you should consider buying some bottles. Taste test the first bottle, then open a bottle at intervals to see its progress.
All of the immediately preceeding vintages of the new releases are ‘members only’.
Tasting notes for our new releases:
2017 P Gris
Pale gold in colour, the nose displays gentle banana, baked quince and warm pastry aromas. The palate is expansive and round with rich fruit and dense texture. The finish is long and lightly spiced. A full bodied dry white wine in our usual very ripe presentation.
Mid straw in colour. The aroma has nectarine fruit and sandalwood spiciness. The palate has concentration and depth with stone fruit flavours and cumquat astringency, leaving along dry finish.
2012 P Noir
Mid red with garnet hue. The nose is softly fragrant of preserved cherries, dried herbs and fine oak. The palate begins with sweet cherry fruit but quickly reveals its tight structure held together by distinct acidity and tannins. The finish is long, dry and savoury. An excellent match for duck, quail and dark chicken meat.
Deep red with purple hue. The nose is fragrant with mulberries, summer pudding and some liquorice spice.
The palate has bright fresh fruit, tempered by cleansing acidity and sufficient tannins to guarantee some years of cellaring.
Deepest red with purple hue. The aroma has blackberry and elderberry competing with savoury meaty notes. The palate is marked by rich fruit in equal proportion to its savoury elements. An abundance of fine, dry tannins gives this wine a long finish. Best served with some substantial Italian fare or for safe keeping in the cellar.
We hope you are all well & continue to stay so & perhaps are even able to enjoy some travel further afield!
Bob & Rita