AN ASSEMBLAGE OF FRUIT GROWN TO SEVERAL ELITE CENTRAL OTAGO SITES, the estate flagship barrel selection, from the Sam Neill family vineyards, normally a selection picked off Gibbston First Paddock, Bannockburn's Fusilier and Earnscleugh's Red Bank. A charming effort in Burgundian styling, unequivocally world class, artisanally crafted Central Otago Pinot Noir. Each block and clone are picked and fermented separately, the final wine is assembled just before bottling. Small batch? You bet, a mere few hundred dozen are made each year.
A VINEYARD OF GREAT HISTORICAL IMPORT, Hillside was initially planted in 1892 with stock acquired from sites owned by the Thomas Hardy Wine Company. A redevelopment of the eastern slope at Hillside commenced on the centenary, transferring cuttings across from the hundred year old Kay Brothers Block 6. Hillside Shiraz is about as old fashioned in the Australian claret style of wine as you can get, crafted from intensely flavoured berries, hand picked off seminal vines, treated to a traditional, open fermentation and manual basket press.
SERESIN ARE VERY CLOSE TO THE SOIL WHICH GROWS THEIR GRAPES. Adherance to principles of environmental sustainability means organically grown, hand tended vines, raised on a cornerstone of working in harmony with nature. Vines that sprout berries exhibiting the distinctive expression of Marlborough are located in the cooler western end of Wairau Valley. Free draining soils and extended ripening conditions suit the style which is Seresin, minimal intervention allows the layers of flavour to evolve.
RWT STANDS FOR RED WINEMAKING TRIAL
, the name given to the project internally when developmental work began on a campaign to redefine Barossa Shiraz at the highest level. Penfolds have sourced parcels of the most transcendent fruit from dedicated Barossa growers, chosen on the basis of aromatic qualities and fine texture rather than intensity or power. Since inaugural vintage, collectors have recognised the sheer class of RWT, already the wine has a strong secondary market following, illustrating its collectability and cellaring potential.
John, Barbara and
Kane Jaunutis love of the Barossa with its wines, people & lifestyle developed over 30 years of visiting the region
In 2002 they set out to live the dream and passion and bought the Landhaus property with its Vineyard and Cottage built in 1842 by the first Barossa Settlers. It was a tough start as the vineyard was badly distressed and in need of a lot of T.L.C. So the decision was made to cut and drop the grapes from the 02 vintage, so the vines could shut down with happy memories. After a further 12 months work on the vineyards, the vines starting to respond and good bunches forming when disaster stuck, 2 weeks before the 03 vintage with a freak hailstorm and heavy rain which ruined the crop and once again we had to cut and drop the grapes.
Finally in 04 Landhaus with son Kane, as winemaker, produced the first vintage of Basket Pressed Shiraz, 270 Dozen, which sold out in 8 weeks when it was released. The dream was realized and the vision to produce super premium wines was born. Landhaus now produces 8 varieties totaling 4800 cases of premium & super premium wines per year. The vision was for Landhaus to be distinctly Boutique & Contemporary Australian, reflecting a commitment to uncompromising quality and innovation.
Kane Jaunutis, set the Landhaus winemaking philosophy, their family represents the heart of all activities. All the generations of people in the Barossa who devoted their lives to wine, have instilled in their souls a deep respect for the identity of the territory and a firm characterization of Landhaus wines.
What they want to offer is simply the best interpretation of the Barossa terroir through their deep rooted beliefs, by trying to mediate and to mix tradition with innovation, according to the Latin saying in medio stat virtus. Landhaus wines never look for unconditional approval, their personality is not prone to easy compromise. Landhaus want to make wines that are stylish, seductive and sophisticated.
John Jaunutis came to the wine industry from a finance background. He developed his passion for wine having spent years attending wine tastings and collecting and drinking the wines of the world. From day one, John's role has been multifaceted. Barbara joins the Wine Industry from a fairly diverse & successful career.
Kane Jaunutis is the Winemaker, she has a reputation as a innovative and progressive young winemaker who's attention to detail have ensured the creation of the best interpretation of Barossa Valley regional wines, using the finest fruit, intuitive winemaking and aged in super fine oak. Kane has managed one of Australia's Best Wine Retail stores in East End Cellars and has worked vintages with Trevor Jones and Mitolo. In 2005, Kane was employed by Mitolo as a Winemaker and to help with the Sales and Marketing. From there Kane has taken over the reins as Winemaker of Landhaus wines, which has led to James Halliday putting Landhaus in the Top Ten Best New Wineries in Australia in his 2010 companion from a first time submission.
John Duval is
one of the world's best known winemakers, the poud heir of a family tradition that boasts four generations of South Australian vignerons
He has been saluted many times on the world stage, notably International Winemaker of the Year 1989 and twice Red Winemaker of the Year in 1991 and 2000. After 29 years as a winemaker with Penfolds, one of the world's most famous wineries, John Duval embarked on his own wine label in 2003. John believes he has indeed been fortunate throughout his career, graduating in agriculture and winemaking in 1973 at Adelaide University. John has followed in the footsteps of some of the greats of Australian winemaking such as Max Schubert, the creator of Penfolds Grange and Don Ditter, another famous Penfolds winemaker of the 1970s and early '80s.
There was of course a family precedent to all of this - the Duval family had for many years run a world famous sheep stud and quality vineyards south of Adelaide, coincidentally supplying Shiraz grapes and vine cuttings to Penfolds. So John Duval was never a newcomer to wine. He was appointed Chief Winemaker at Penfolds in 1986 and was lucky enough to oversee one of the most dynamic periods of change in the Australian wine industry.
With the support of a dynamic winemaking team in the Barossa, John secured a number of awards for the company - Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London in 1989; Red Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine Challenge in London in 1991 and again in 2000; and seeing the 1990 Penfolds Grange named the Wine of the Year by the prestigious US magazine Wine Spectator in 1995.
Toward the end of 2002, John retired from Southcorp after a distinguished career of 28 years, including 16 years as Chief Winemaker for Penfolds. John embarked on the development of his own label in 2003 using old vine Barossa Valley fruit and has created two stunning wines that reflect the terroir of the Barossa and the hand crafted attention of John Duval.
Since leaving Penfolds John Duval has consulted to a number of international wine companies in Europe, South America and Australia, including vintner partner in the Long Shadows venture at Washington. The inaugural 2003 Sequel Shiraz was released in late 2005. In Chile John has helped to produce Pangea, highlighting the premium Syrah of the Apalta Valley. In Australia John has consulted to a project using old vine McLaren Vale Shiraz to produce Songlines Shiraz (sold in UK and Australia) and Oriel Sygnet (sold in the US).
Today, John rarely gets enough time to spend at home back in the Barossa, but he does insist on securing at least four uninterrupted months around vintage to make his own branded label wines. John clearly loves working with the fruit that comes from the old vines of the region, so he launched his namesake label with 'Plexus', a Rhone style blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre, closely followed in 2006 released with his first pure Shiraz, 'Entity'. John also plans to release small quantities of a reserve Shiraz, further highlighting the premium quality fruit from the Barossa.
Mahi began in
2001 with an idea being to show the individuality of valleys and vineyards in Marlborough, to recognize and celebrate the rich diversity of soils and clime throughout the greater Marlborough region
Brian Bicknell had been making wine in different parts of the world for about 15 years before deciding to return to New Zealand and settle in Marlborough. Arriving in 1996 he could see that vineyards in the different valleys of Marlborough produced remarkably unique profiles. At the time, most of Marlborough’s wines were made as regional blends with many individual site characteristics being lost. In other areas of the world distinctive sites were being celebrated and so an idea was hatched to create a label that promoted different vineyard sites across Marlborough to show the region had true depth and complexity. Wine reflects both the place and the people involved, you can have a great site, but if the management is poor, or the owners too greedy, then this will be reflected in the fruit and the wines.
Brian’s winemaking style for Mahi is to allow the vineyards to speak through the wines, with the wines being made in a very hands off manner. The primary emphasis for all of Mahi’s wines is texture, aiming for wines that give real palate satisfaction rather than fruit bomb styles. The very first harvest was from a vineyard located in the Conder’s Bend part of Marlborough. An area Brian was familiar with. Initial quantities were tiny from this small 1.5 hectare parcel of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from the Byrne vineyard. Mahi now manages the vineyard organically and are thrilled to still be working with the site that started it all.
In 2003 Twin Valleys Vineyard was included into the Mahi family. Located at Fareham Lane in a distinctive part of Wairau Valley, an area of slightly cooler temperatures and longer ripening times. A series of elegant Chardonnays have come from this parcel. From 2006 onwards Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer have also been made. In 2007 the owners purchased a site close by at Guernsey Lane and planted it to Sauvignon Blanc.
In 2004 an opportunity to take some Sauvignon Blanc from a vineyard closer to the sea presented itself and since then the Francis Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc has been produced. The Francis family has a long history with Brian and Nicola as Polly Francis had worked five vintages with Brian and worked the first vintage at the Mahi winery in 2007.
Having a winery was a long held dream as it allowed for total control of the winemaking process and also gave Mahi a home. The first vintage of Mahi in its new home was 2007. A lease of an excellent vineyard was taken up and another very good grower was also added. The greater numbers of vineyards meant that the focus at Mahi was broadened and in 2007 the first regional Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc was produced.
Mahi work hard to maintain a close relationship with the vineyard owners. It is possible to make okay wines from mediocre grapes but it is impossible to make the wines that Mahi want to be associated with without access to great fruit, grown by great people. It is the key to be associated with people who have the right sites, vineyards which are planted with the appropriate varieties, growers with the passion and experience to manage the vineyard so that great grapes are produced. It is an art and a science to manage a vineyard through a season and as each season is different from the others, good growers learn something new every year. With this in mind, the Mahi team acknowledge the impact that experience has on making particular decisions for a parcel of land.
Tolpuddle Vineyard was
established in 1988, named for the Tolpuddle Martyrs: English convicts transported to Tasmania for forming an agricultural union
As the story goes, the leader of the Martyrs, George Loveless, served some of his sentence working on a property near Richmond, part of which is now Tolpuddle Vineyard. The vineyard is now planted with mature Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines, facing northeast, sloping gently up from Back Tea Tree Road. The soil is light silica over sandstone and of moderate vigour, ensuring well-balanced vines producing grapes of great flavour and intensity. Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith MW acquired the property in 2011, fully committed to seeing Tolpuddle recognised as one of Australia’s great single vineyards. In 2006 Tolpuddle Vineyard won the inaugural Tasmanian Vineyard of the Year award, reflecting the performance of this unique and distinguished site.
Located about 20 minutes drive from Hobart, in Tasmania's southeast, Coal River Valley has established a reputation for growing exceptional quality grapes. With a climate that is at the cool extremes for viticulture in Australia, it is no surprise that Chardonnay and Pinot Noir perform so splendidly. An anomaly for such a cool climate is that the rainfall is significantly lower than many of Australia's other cool climate regions, with an average of approximately 500mm of rain per year. This cool but relatively dry climate allows the grapes to ripen slowly in autumn, without disease pressure that heavy rainfall can bring.
Early in his career Martin Shaw worked at Petaluma and in Bordeaux, prior to setting up the Flying Winemakers network in France, Spain, Italy, Chile and New Zealand. In 1989, he established Shaw + Smith with cousin Michael Hill Smith. Martin is Joint Managing Director of Shaw + Smith and Tolpuddle Vineyard and he oversees all aspects of grape growing and winemaking.
Michael Hill Smith was the first Australian to pass the rigorous Master of Wine examination. In 2008 he was awarded an Order of Australia for his contribution to the Australian Wine Industry. Featured on Decanter Magazine’s power list 2009, 2011 and 2013, Michael is an international wine judge, wine consultant and strong advocate for Australian fine wine both within Australia and internationally.