EVERY NOW AND THEN, Peter Lehmann releases a rare jewel from deep within the cellar. The King is a superb fortified wine of great distinction which has laid undisturbed in the bottle for many years under the Peter Lehmann Tanunda Cellars. Twelve years old upon release, The King is showing the benefits of extended bottle age. A rich and mature cepage of Shiraz with Touriga Nacional, grown to good Barossa vineyards, the King must be decanted carefully, as a vintage Port of this distinction will show some sediment and crust. A treasure of a wine.
GEWURZTRAMINER GROWS BEAUTIFULLY ALONG THE ROLLING HILLSIDES OF CLARE VALLEY. It is here that choice clones of Traminer have taken very well to the soils and climes that are so similar to growing conditions in Alsace, whence this piquantly flavoured varietal originates. Fashioned to express the bold flavours and vibrant aromas of fully ripe Gewurztraminer, while reflecting the pastoral charm and fragrant grace of the picturesque, undulating landscapes in Valley Clare.
TO THIS DAY, Mount Pleasant continues to preserve the heritage of labels which played a role in the evolution of Australian wine. Slightly bolder in palate structure than it's regional siblings, Philip is the classic style of Hunter Valley Shiraz, a name that's been relied upon for decades. An affable wine, without excessive tannin or alcohol, exhibiting the complexity and inimitable charm of the Hunter. Generous and smooth, articulating earth and spice, dominated by masculine fruit characters. Every release guarantees a splendid Philip, a Shiraz with a tradition of excellence.
BEFORE DAVID POWELL TOOK ON THE TASK OF RAIDING BAROSSA VINEYARDS, he spent several years on the Scottish Highlands as a lumberjack in the Torbreck forest. Woodcutter Shiraz is a highly approachable introduction to the Torbreck range, featuring fruit from some of the up and coming vineyards, rather than the battle hardened old warriors which make up the heart and soul of the Torbreck winelist. This is the kind of red the winemaker himself liked to drink with a hearty meal after a hard day's work in the wood, but you don't have to be a woodcutter to enjoy it.
The Gracebrook brand
has evolved from the passion David and Rhonda Maples have for the land and what it has to offer
David and Rhonda acquired very early in life the horticultural skills that would later become invaluable when applied to the vineyards of Gracebrook. Both being from farming backgrounds, Rhonda's parents owned and operated a dairy farm here in the King Valley, across the road from what is now their home farm. During Rhonda's holidays and weekends she would work in the local vineyards, either handpicking fruit or pruning vines. David's parents also owned and ran dairy farms as well as growing beef cattle, pigs and later on growing tobacco on a small farm located at Edi. This is when David left school and started farming with his parents.
Gracebrook Vineyard stands in front of the cellar door on an overlay of volcanic red basalt soils, terra rossa. There are some 12 acres (5ha) of vines divided into two separate irrigation blocks to cater for the varying depth of the basalt soil. The original site had a long history of being one of the premium farms of the King Valley. The narrow gauge goods trains that ran from Whitfield to Wangaratta from 1899 until 1952, stopped regularly at the Jarrott siding to collect the produce.
The founding Jarrott family placed the farm on the market in late 1997. This David Maples saw as a tremendous opportunity and exciting challenge. During the next two years, some 75 acres of vineyards were planted on the property along with all supporting infrastructure, from rebuilding and enlarging dams for both stock and irrigation water to fencing and road and track improvements on the property. Years were spent building stockyards and upgrading pasture in the grazing paddocks.
The Gracebrook Stables have been at the heart of the property since the 1880s. Built from local stringybark, red and yellow box round timbers, using traditional bush carpentry methods of the period in its construction. Although in good condition when acquired by the Maples, having withstood the test of time, the stables presented many challenges to David and Rhonda who took on the duty of restoring it back to its former glory.
There is no doubt that the King Valley is blessed as a location for grape growing. Gracebrook have been able to match varieties to separate sites to maximize the potential of the Valley. Fresh aromatic Riesling, rich fruity Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and spicy Sangiovese all reflect the fruit-driven wine style for which the King Valley has become famous. Traditional winemaking techniques ensure that quality is uncompromised, varieties retain their ripe berry characters and rich soft structures.
The original block of Chardonnay was first planted in 1989 on the fertile river flat paddock of the home farm. The first vintage of grapes were sold to Baileys of Glenrowan and subsequent vintages to large corporate companies. In 1994, David produced a small batch of Chardonnay. He entered it into The King Valley Shed Wine Show, winning in its class for best chardonnay. The Peipers Lane Shiraz paddock was purchased by David and Rhonda in 1995. This particular 56 acres of land had been neglected for a number of years and presented challenges in the control of blackberry, bracken fern and vermin. As they cleared the land and proceeded to sow it to pasture the farm revealed the deep well-drained red basalt soils. This with the northern aspect of the block, the abundance of water to be found in the little creek at the foot of the slope, all inspired this to become what is now known as the Shiraz Block. High quality French oak barrels are used for both Chardonnay and the red varieties.
Circe is a
partnership inspired by growing up on the Mornington Peninsula and a love of Pinot Noir
Dan Buckle and Aaron Drummond met at Mount Langi Ghiran in 2007. After a vintage of Shiraz it was inevitable that the conversation would turn to any other varietal except Shiraz. With both of them growing up on the Mornington Peninsula, they were keen and curious as to what they could do with Pinot Noir from such great soil. Drummond & Buckle acquired a vineyard along Hillcrest Road, Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula, three acres undervine being roughly half I-clone Chardonnay and half MV6 Pinot Noir, with north facing rows, moderate spacing and deep red volcanic basalt soils.
Hillcrest Vineyard is leased from Paul and Louise Coronel, who planted the 3 acres in 1993. Given Paul’s engineering background the vineyard is not surprisingly meticulously set up. It is dry grown and managed for quality. As such, Drummond & Buckle keep yields low, cropping at less than 2t to the acre. Being a small vineyard means that they can really focus on the detail. They both spend a lot of time in the vineyard because, as good viticulturalists know, there is no substitute for footprints among the vines.
The name Circe derives from Homer and is a nice metaphor for the seductions and perils of Pinot Noir. Dan studied arts at university before realising it wouldn’t help him get a job. He then went on to oenology. At least his studies of the classics helped in determining a good name.
Toolangi Vineyards grow
and source the highest quality grapes from within the Yarra Valley and put them into the hands of the best winemaker
Toolangi Vineyards are firmly committed to making the finest wines possible. Their winemakers include eminent names like Rick Kinzbrunner, Matt Harrop, Tom Carson, David Bicknell and Willy Lunn at Yering Station. This talented team shares the Toolangi passion for crafting nothing but the most exceptional wines. Toolangi's efforts are principally made from estate grown fruit, supplemented when needed with high quality parcels grown to the Yarra Valley. Toolangi's viticulturalist, whilst maintaining estate owned vineyards, is additionally responsible for the management of vineyards of outsourced fruit, so that consistent quality is assured. The immensely favourable response from enthusiasts is most rewarding to the Toolangi team.
Toolangi acquired and planted their Yarra Valley estate property in 1995, welcoming the first vintage of Toolangi in 2000. Now celebrating many years of producing wines, Toolangi have strived from the onset for outstanding quality. Their wines are a tribute to a great vineyard site and passionate winemakers. Toolangi produces wines with distinctive personalities, and each showing a strong sense of place. Grapes from exceptional sites, together with the experienced hand of outstanding winemakers, subtly comes into play with each wine. The critical acclaim from some of the country's foremost reviewers confirms the efficacy of Toolangi's approach.
Located in the Yarra Valley approximately 48 kms North East of Melbourne at Dixonâ€™s Creek, Toolangi Vineyards was named for its position, adjacent to the picturesque Toolangi State Forest. Garry and Julie Hounsell purchased the former cattle grazing property in early 1995 and planted the first 0.5 hectare of vines that December. Since 1995 further plantings have been progressively established, the property now being fully planted with some thirteen hectares under vine.
Toolangiâ€™s vineyard site is ideally suited to the cultivation of high quality grapes as it is well drained with gentle slopes, all with a coveted northeasterly orientation. The soil is predominantly clay, covered by a thin layer of topsoil of shale and stone. Over the past 20 years the Yarra Valley has developed an enviable reputation for its wines, particularly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. At Toolangi these classic varieties have been the focus along with Shiraz and a smaller planting of Viognier.
Yields are restricted to no more than 2.5 tonnes per acre in order to maximise quality. Heavy pruning and crop thinning are used to reduce the naturally higher yields that the Yarra Valley climate can produce. Lower yields result in fruit that has more flavours and complexities which enables the production of our premium quality wine.
The Yarra Valley's normally good rainfall is supplemented as required by drip irrigation during the growing season. This helps to ensure the vines avoid stress allowing for the production of premium fruit. When grapes are sourced from other vineyards in the Yarra Valley, Toolangi's viticulturalist also supervises these vineyards to ensure the cultivation of premium quality fruit. Toolangi's aim is to produce outstanding wines, a process which begins in the vineyard. Toolangi produces three main varietals. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. Within each of these varietals, the team endeavour to produce a range of 3 wines, Toolangi, Toolangi Estate and Toolangi Reserve. Weather conditions during the growing season determine the quality of fruit and whether Reserve wines are produced each vintage.
Established 1860, Tahbilk
is one of Australia's most scenic and historic wineries
Located in the Nagambie Lakes region of central Victoria (120kms north of Melbourne), one of the nation's premium viticultural areas, the property comprises some 1,214 hectares of rich river flats with a frontage of 11 kms to the Goulburn River and 8 kms of permanent backwaters & creeks. The vineyard comprises 168 hectares of vines which include the rare Rhone whites of Marsanne, Viognier & Roussanne, along with classical varieties such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Chardonnay, Riesling, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc & Verdelho.
Harvest commences in early March and continues for five to six weeks with approximately 1,600 tonnes of grapes processed. Total production is over 100,000 cases with just over 20% being exported to the key markets of U.S.A., United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries.
In 1860, the same year that Phylloxera was first observed in France, Melbourne businessmen, including John Pinney Bear, formed a company to create a vineyard on the Goulburn River, with the grand aim of planting a million vines, an achievement yet to be realised with some 360,000 vines currently planted! The site chosen was referred to by Aboriginals as tabilk-tabilk meaning the place of many waterholes.
The next major development came in 1875 with the construction of a New Cellar, running at right angles to the 1860 Cellar
Excavated in just 12 weeks by James Purbrick (a third cousin to Reginald who was to purchase Tahbilk some 50 years later), 20,000 cubic yards of soil was removed by horse drawn carts (one of which is on display in the original cart-sheds opposite Cellar Door). The walls and arch of the New Cellar are 3 feet thick with the arch being self-supporting (using no keystone) and then covered with earth. The bricks are interlocked as only sand and lime were used to join them together with the whole cellar completed in time for the 1876 vintage.
The Swiss-French impact then continued with Francois Coueslant, considered in his day to be a most knowledgeable vigneron and progressive farm-manager, taking on the General Managers role from 1877 -1888. He was responsible for, amongst many innovations, the construction of the distinctive Tower (1882) that surmounts the original Winery building and features on current Tahbilk labels.
The Tower's first level played a functional role in winemaking until the 1940's. The second level was used as a storeroom for oats for the horses, with the third level described by Coueslant as "an observation room, from which you will be able to have an eye over all the vineyard, which fact may help the work a little". The upper level was purely aesthetic.