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Friday 2nd May, 2014

Wines on Tasting at Cellar Door 2014

2012 DRY WHITE NO. 1 Alc: 11.5% $86.00
Vineyard: 20 year old dry grown vineyard south of Underhill Vineyard, slightly higher in elevation.
Variety: A Bordeaux inspired white blend of 87% Semillon and 13% Chardonnay.
Winemaking: Hand harvested and crushed for some skin contact for flavour and texture. Basket pressed, primary fermentation and malolactic fermentation in old oak barrels lending weight and generosity.
Wine: An intriguing wine with a fruit salad of aromas: crisp red apple, tangy pineapple and luscious peach. The palate dominated by lemon citrus zest and fleshed out with white peach. A textural wine with weight and length driven by an acid tang that would stand up to a variety of food pairings.

2012 CHARDONNAY Alc: 13.5% $86.00
Vineyard: Made from original 1969 plantings, some of the oldest in Australia.
Variety: Chardonnay.
Winemaking: Hand harvested, some whole bunch pressed, some crushed for skin contact before basket pressing. Fermentation by indigenous yeast and 100% malolactic fermentation in barrel, only French oak (40% new) for 18 months.
Wine: The nose is multilayered with white flowers, nectarine, oyster shell flint and a little nutty oak toastiness. The palate has all of those characteristics and more. Some creaminess from malolactic fermentation lending weight and texture while crunchy apple acidity gives this wine vibrancy and drive. Cellar worthy as history has shown but complete and absolutely delicious now.

2012 PINOT NOIR Alc: 13.5% $92.00
Vineyard: Four clones from one block comprising of three different vine ages: 1969, 1981 (close-planted) & 1984. The 1969 plantings are some of the oldest Pinot Noir vines in the whole country.
Variety: Pinot noir.
Winemaking: Hand harvested and destemmed without crushing to retain whole berries in 600kg fermenters. Some stalks employed to lend lift and structure. Hand plunged twice daily for gentle extraction before pressing when fermentation is complete. Malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels (50% new), maturation 20 months.
Wine: A melange of red, blue and black cherry fruits with some brambly forest floor and savoury spices, the palate is layered with these sweet fruit and spice flavours with structure from oak maturation lending a firm tannin backbone that will support this wine through years of cellaring

2012 DRY RED NO. 3 Alc: 14.0% $86.00
Vineyard: 1990 New Territories planting of classic Portuguese grape varieties on a rocky terraced hillside.
Variety: 45% Touriga Naçional, 28% Tinta Cão, 9% Tinta Roriz, 7% Tinta Amarela, 7% Alvarelhão & 4% Sousão.
Winemaking: Hand harvested, the grapes are destemmed to open fermenters as a ‘field blend’ and foot stomped twice daily as in Portugal. Maturation for 18 months in a pre-used 500 litre French oak puncheon.
Wine: Fruit forward and a little rustic this wine has plums, blueberries, blackberry and some cigar box spices. Brightness of acidity on the palate lends freshness and fine tannins add support for the dominant fruit flavours interlaced with some meaty undertones.

2012 UNDERHILL SHIRAZ Alc: 13.0% $92.00
Vineyard: 1973 planted 8 acre block of Shiraz at the western extremity of Yarra Yering.
Variety: Shiraz.
Winemaking: Hand harvested and destemmed with no crushing to retain whole berries, high use of stalk baskets to increase stalk tannins, structure and interest. Basket pressed and aged for 18 months in French oak (40% new).
Wine: Blood plums and cigar oak with a violet floral lift from the stalk use. The heavier clay based soils produces wine with darker fruits and spice, chewier tannins and savoury undertones. A masculine wine with a firm long finish.

2012 DRY RED NO. 2 Alc: 13.0% $92.00
Vineyard: 1995-2000-planted battle blocks (Blenheim, Waterloo, Salamanca & Corunna) and old vine 1969-planted Shiraz, amongst oldest in the Yarra Valley.
Variety: 97.8% Shiraz, 1% Viognier, 0.7% Mataro, 0.5% Marsanne.
Winemaking: Hand harvested and destemmed to retain whole berries, some use of stalk baskets during fermentation, frozen Viognier skins added to the fermenter. Hand plunged twice daily for gentle extraction of tannins in 600kg tea chest fermenters. Gentle basket pressing minimizes tannin extraction before malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels, 50% new, maturation for 20 months in cask.
Wine: Perfumed with blue and black plum fruits, cigar box, pepper and aromatic sweet cardamom spice. Feminine yet brooding fruit weight, some chocolate sweetness from the Viognier which in time will become plush and silky.

2012 DRY RED NO. 1 Alc: 13.5% $92.00
Vineyard: Original 1969 plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec with small percentages of 1990 planted Petit Verdot and Merlot
Variety: 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 15% Malbec, 8.3% Petit Verdot, 0.7% Carmenere.
Winemaking: Hand harvested and crushed to 600kg tea chest fermenters, hand plunged twice daily with some extended time on skins post primary fermentation. Malolactic fermentation in 100% new French oak Bordeaux shaped barrels and aged for 20 months in the cool underground cellar. Each component picked, fermented and matured separately with blending prior to bottling.
Wine: A medley of bright cherry, mulberry and plum fruits sit comfortably amongst leather and tobacco savoury oak characteristics. An absolute powerhouse of fruit intensity, youthful from mouth watering acidity, soft powdery fruit tannins accompanied by a framework of structural oak tannins holding everything together. A classic Bordeaux style in that it is tightly wound, this is a wine for the long haul that will reward patience with abundance.

2012 AGINCOURT Alc: 13.0% $86.00
Vineyard: Agincourt Cabernet Sauvignon planted in 1995, Malbec planted in 1990.
Variety: 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Malbec
Winemaking: Hand harvested and crushed and destemmed into 600kg tea chest fermenters. Hand plunged twice daily with some extended time on skins to soften the Cabernet tannins. Basket pressing and malolactic fermentation in French Bordeaux shaped barrels for 20 months.
Wine: The Agincourt block is most easterly part of the vineyard looking north/north-east so has one of the most sheltered sites. The classic varietal blue fruits, cassis and leafy herbal notes with a twist of jalapenos add intrigue. The Malbec playing its part with inky robust fruit and ample tannins.

2006 POTSORTS Alc: 23.0% $94.00
Vineyard: 1990 New Territories planting of classic Portuguese grape varieties on a rocky terraced hillside.
Variety: 6 varietals used in the No. 3. 38% Touriga Naçional, 38% Tinta Cão, 8% Tinta Amarela, 4 % Alvarelhão & 4% Sousão .
Winemaking: Made in appreciation of the fortified wine styles of the Douro, grapes are crushed and foot stomped during fermentation. Brandy spirit is added to stop the fermentation leaving some residual sugar and increasing the alcohol content before ageing for 21 months in an ex-cognac 500 litre puncheon.
Wine: Heady aromas of Christmas cake fruit and mixed spice both on the nose and on the palate. Rich, strong and warming this is the perfect way to complete a meal on its own or with cheese.