What began as a side project for our own personal consumption has turned into one of our most sought after wines. This wine is made in the traditional Australian fortified style which was previously known as Vintage Port. Vintage fortified wines are made from a single vintage or year and are aged primarily in bottle instead of cask to retain their colour and fruit flavours.
Each year we select the ripest and most richly flavoured Shiraz grapes for this wine, we allow the fruit to partly ferment and then arrest the fermentation with pure neutral grape spirit known as SVR – Spiritus Vini Rectificatus. The wine is a labor of love—it is hand crafted, hand bottled, hand labelled and hand dipped in wax. The wax seal can be easily removed and it does have a cork so don’t throw out that corkscrew just yet!
Available online or drop in and taste it at our cellar door on weekends.
The 2020 vintage is certainly one we will never forget. Initially it looked like we were going to avoid nature’s obstacles—a late spring frost caused no damage to our vineyard, the freak hail storm that hit Canberra didn’t come close to Murrumbateman and we managed to conserve enough water to see our vines through the prolonged drought and extreme heatwaves. Disease was virtually non-existent and so we were looking forward to a reduced but good quality crop…that is until the smoke from bushfires hit.
In our vineyard we found that the effects of the smoke varied greatly between varieties. After conducting trial ferments and laboratory testing, unfortunately we were forced to discard approximately 90% of the crop as we would not have been able to make premium wines from these grapes.
Yet laboratory tests showed that our Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Chardonnay grapes contained minimal levels of taint and trial ferments were promising. From our research we decided to utilise some specific winemaking techniques to eliminate the minimal levels of smoke taint and sent these wines for assessment by a regional tasting panel (trained by the Australian Wine Research Institute) and what a relief—this panel could not detect any traces of taint. The wines taste pretty good too! Although it will only be a very small amount we are excited that we will have something to show for the extraordinarily challenging 2020 vintage.
Stocks of our 2020 whites are extremely limited. Buy direct from the cellar door when they are released or join our wine club as we will ensure some bottles are available for member’s packs in November.