Hand harvested, bunches across a sorting table and destemmed with no crushing to retain whole berries. Fermentation in the Yarra Yering half-tonne open-fermenters, hand lunged twice daily. Some use of stalk baskets to build structure and interest. A component of 100% whole bunch fermentation as well as some 20% whole bunch fermentation help to give some volume and plushness to the fruit palate. Air bag pressed to release the last fermenting juice form the many whole berries remaining. The wine then aged for 12 months in French oak puncheons (500L) only 25% new oak.
Perfumed cool climate Shriaz that’s medium bodied with a little lick of spice. Loaded with dark cherries and red plums interlaced with a cured meat lift. The palate leads with a bright and elegant fruit intensity, the use of whole berries shines through with a lovely slippery composure. The finely boned tannins shaping a long palate supported by a lick of oak char on the finish.
Wine was grown in Victoria’s Yarra Valley from the mid 1800’s through to the 1920’s and was a principal export of the new colony. Wine production by the wineries of the Yarra Valley came to a halt in the 1920’s due to the economics of the day, changing tastes and the high price of wool.
It would need a visionary to re-establish winemaking in the Yarra Valley and in 1969 one came along. Dr Bailey Carrodus was ideally qualified to become a great vigneron. Having completed his degree in horticulture at Victoria University in Wellington New Zealand, he worked for a time as a scientific consultant to the New Zealand Department of Agriculture. He took a second degree, this time in winemaking at Roseworthy Agricultural College in South Australia, where he also taught for some time before moving on to complete his Doctor of Philosophy for research into plant physiology at Queens College, Oxford University in 1965. A residential college at Queens now carries the name “Carrodus Quad” in his honour.
Inspired by the elegance and sophistication of the wines he encountered at Oxford, Dr. Carrodus embarked on a study tour of the best vineyards and wineries of France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. Afterwards, he took up a position at Melbourne University and began the search for a vineyard site on which to produce wine in the style he had grown to love. His search brought him to Victoria’s Yarra Valley.
Current winemaker Sarah began her wine industry career in 2001 when she joined Brokenwood in the Hunter Valley initially working in the vineyard. Beginning a Bachelor of Applied Science in Viticulture in 2002 she also completed her first harvest in the winery where her future would be.
After working her way to Assistant Winemaker in 2004, Sarah began to oversee the processing of Brokenwood’s Victorian fruit from the Beechworth region.
Sarah started exploring the world of wine via international harvests working in Oregon in 2004 and 2006 focusing mainly on Pinot noir and Chardonnay at Adelsheim Vineyard and Ponzi Family Vineyards, and the Rhone Valley in 2008 working at Paul Jaboulet Aine working with Viognier and Shiraz.
In May 2009, Sarah was the recipient of the Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association’s Hunter Legends “Rising Star of the Year” Award. This award instigated a new job opportunity with Swish Wine where Sarah was at the helm as Chief Winemaker constructing a new winery for the young company.
In September 2010, Sarah joined the team at Bimbadgen, to the position of Senior Winemaker. Here Sarah enjoyed making many varieties from across Australia’s premium grape growing regions in a range of wine styles from sparkling to table wine and botrytis and fortified wines.
JAMES HALLIDAY - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
Hand-picked from the '73 planting, 75% whole berry/25% whole bunch, open-fermented, 10-14 days on skins, matured for 12 months in French barriques (30% new). The fragrant and oh so vitally fresh red and purple fruits, spices and pepper are a serenade to the vintage.
HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
Deepish red/purple colour with a pepper-dominant aroma, black pepper is uppermost among a basket of spices. There's a hint of vegetal note, too; definite whole-bunch nuances. The fruit flavour wins. The palate is deep in sweetly ripe dark cherry, raspberry and blackberry flavours and the tannins are nicely rounded. It has a lovely fruit-sweet core. Utterly delicious shiraz. (Single vineyard wine, vines planted 1973. Fermented with some stalks and whole berries, and aged in 500-litre puncheons)
Wow. This is deep and full of character with soft and fine tannins that frame beautiful ripe fruit, spices and smoke. Extremely long and flavorful. Balanced and real. Drink now. Screw cap.
Poised and supple, perfumed and floral, medium in weight; long, translucently clear small black, red and blue berries, cedar/vanilla oak and fine, dusty tannins with suggestions of dried herbs and citrusy notes; wrapped in balanced, racy acids.
MIKE BENNIE - THE WINE FRONT
Attractive but shy perfume runs with cranberry, graphite, green herbs, and a touch of maraschino cherry. Medley of red fruits of the palate, malt-powdery oak character, mostly sour-sweet leaning fruit character, crisp feel to up front acidity, tannins fine and firm, good length, cool, somewhat tart lemony finish and residual tang. It has a nice feel, but that tightened finish, slightly shrill in the ostensibly great wine. Time, perhaps.