Wantirna Estate Vineyard Bushy Park Lane Wantirna South, Victoria, 3152
Postal Address: P.O. Box 231, Glen Waverley Vic 3150
Ph: +61 3 9801 2367 Fax: + 61 3 9887 0225
Winemaking and wine
Wantirna Estate All the wines have gradually been renamed from plain old Wantirna Estate Chardonnay etc to include the names of the four grand daughters. Added to that has been an illustration by the well-known cartoonist and artist, Michael Leunig depicting something about each of the girls’ personalities.
Isabella Chardonnay The chardonnay grapes are pressed in an air bag press before the juice is chilled, settled and inoculated with yeast. After fermentation begins the chardonnay must is transferred to a mixture of new and 1 and 2 year old oak barrels. Fermentation takes place in a cool underground cellar. Our Chardonnay goes through a malolactic fermentation to varying degrees, depending on the season. The wine is left to age on the yeast lees with regular lees stirring to increase the texture of the wine. After around 11 months, the wine is fined and sent to bottle.
The wine is made to be elegant with a good middle palate texture. The Wantirna Estate Isabella also blooms with time in the bottle.
Lily Pinot Noir
We aim to pick the Pinot Noir grapes in the early morning so as to bring the grapes to the winery cool. The grapes are picked into small 5 kilogram trays that are then stacked into the cool-room overnight. The next day the grapes are destemmed, not crushed, into an open fermenter where they soak on their skins for a few days, until the temperature of the must is above 15 degrees Celsius. The must is then inoculated with yeast and the fermentation takes place over the next week with regular plunging.
The vineyard has three distinct blocks of Pinot Noir and these are all harvested separately. Even in our small vineyard there are quite amazing differences between the blocks and each delivers quite unique characters. Added to that is the fact that there is often up to 2 weeks difference in the harvest dates. The mature vines, around 35 year old vines, give us the savoury tones and fine tannins, the Front block delivers spicy and savoury flavours, whilst the Fruit Tree block is generously fruity. Once blended, the resulting wines complement each other beautifully.
The wine is matured in a mixture of new and 1 and two year old oak barrels, with around 30% new barrels being used each vintage.
Amelia Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot
Whilst the label only lists two varieties, there is in fact two more - Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. So the wine is what is known as a typical Bordeaux blend. The Petit Verdot is the most recent planting on the vineyard having been grown since 1994 and used in the blend since 1997. The added benefit of this variety is its fine but strong tannins and the natural acidity it adds to the wine. Plus the deep black colour wine from this grape offers. Our winemakers hands are a much darker black after making this wine compared to making any of the others.
Again, winemaking is simple with the grapes crushed, and fermented in open fermenters with regular punching down of the cap (as the grapes and juice ferment the natural carbon dioxide that is produced during fermentation pushes all the skins to the top of the fermenter. These skins give the wine its flavour tannin and colour and so they need to be regularly pushed back down into the juice so that this extraction can occur.) The wine is matured in a mixture of new, 1 and 2 year old oak for 22 months before being bottled.
The four varieties together all complement each other. The Cabernet Sauvignon offers cassis flavours and a long finish whilst the Cabernet Franc and Merlot fill the middle palate with mulberry tones and generous texture. As a blend the wine remains refined with some alluring cedary tones. The Amelia Cabernet Merlot can be drunk young, but if you can hold on to a bottle or two for five to ten years, at least.
Hannah Cabernet Franc Merlot
This is an unusual blend for an Australian winery. The wine came about because of a love we had for the wines of Chateau Cheval Blanc in St Emilion, Bordeaux. So we decided to make one single barrel of this wine each year. The wine is made in the same way as the Amelia Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot. The wine is matured in a mixture of new and 1 and two year old oak barrels, with around 30% new barrels being used each vintage. The soft fruit of the Cabernet Franc seamlessly combines with the new oak so that the flavours marry very well together. The wine is rare and is sold in a bottle by bottle allocation.