Monday, June 16, 2008

Wandin Valley Estate

Wandin Valley Estate
Wandin Valley EstateWilderness Road, LovedaleHunter Valley NSW 2320Australia
Phone: +61 2 4930 7317 Fax: +61 2 4930 7814
Here at Wandin Valley Estate our philosophy toward making wine is simple; ‘attention to detail and quality over quantity.’ This philosophy, which extends from the vineyard right through to the finished product, has allowed Wandin Valley to establish itself as one of the Hunter Valley’s leading boutique wine producers.
2007 Reserve Semillon In 2007 we hand picked four parcels of Semillon for our Reserve blend. The vineyards, whilst all situated in Pokolbin, showed remarkable individual qualities due to unique soil profiles and microclimates. Each vineyard was harvested at ideal ripeness levels between 10.0 and 11.0 Baumé. Juice was racked twice to minimise solids, and then fermented cool at around 13 degrees Celsius. Post ferment, the wines were racked from their lees after a minimal settling period before blending, and finally bottling just two months after harvest.
A very clear and bright wine, this young Semillon offers complex aroma’s of lemongrass and green apple. The elegant and textured palate features a finely balanced line of acidity directing intense flavours of pear and lime. The wine offers great length of flavour and will reward medium term cellaring of five to ten years. 2006 Single Vineyard Semillon This is the first Semillon Wandin Valley has produced from a single parcel of fruit. Each year we harvest our Semillon vineyards at varying sugar levels to produce a more complete wine with a fuller flavour spectrum. In 2006 one block of fruit from a vineyard on Oaky Creek Rd in Pokolbin showed unique varietal expression and great flavour. We decided to pick this vineyard later than the others and to not adjust the acid pre-ferment. This meant that the resulting wine, with its higher alcohol (11.0%) and lower acid (6.0 g/L), proved to be eminently drinkable. Considering those consumers that find the more traditional guise of young Hunter Semillon too challenging we decided to release the wine six months later than usual to really enhance its overall appeal. Without resorting to obvious sugar additions to soften the palate, we are hoping this style of wine will show another side to the Semillon grape, and encourage less educated wine consumers to experience the virtues of this fantastic variety and perhaps move on to our blended Reserve Semillon which fits the more traditional mold of Hunter Valley Semillon.
2006 Reserve Chardonnay In 2006 our Chardonnay blocks faced the double pressures of exceptionally hot conditions and a bird presence we have not witnessed before. All the fruit had to be hand sought, discarding sunburnt or damaged bunches. We then whole bunch pressed and settled out the juice to a high level of clarity. Following a full barrel fermentation, the wine remained in oak (all French) for ten months with batonage, or lees stirring, every two weeks. The wine did not go through Malolactic Fermentation.
The 2006 Reserve Chardonnay is a medium bodied wine. Straw coloured, it shows complex aromas of melon, peach, charry oak and toast. The palate is full, with balanced acidity and very good length. Enjoy as a young wine, or let it mature over the next five years in bottle.
2005 Bridie's Reserve Shiraz The Bridie’s Shiraz is named after Bridie Clare Allen, the granddaughter to the Davern’s, owners of Wandin Valley Estate. With this flagship red we are dedicated to producing a wine that is very true to both the region, and our vineyard.
Fruit is mainly from our “Old Vine” Shiraz block (around 30 years old), though increasingly we take small portions from the younger blocks of Shiraz (10 – 15 years) as they mature. We aim to crop the older block at less than two and half tons per acre, and usually have little trouble achieving this. The fruit gains flavour and phonologic ripeness at around 12.5 Baume, pretty well every year. The hand picked fruit is crushed, cold soaked, and then fermented in open top fermenters. We try to extend the cold soak period as long as possible, and then let the fermentation rate pick up by letting the temperatures climb to around 32 degrees Celsius. I find this has the effect of extracting great colour and flavour from the skins, whilst minimising the risk of over-extraction of bitter tannins that may occur over a longer (cooler) fermentation. The Bridie’s Shiraz is matured in 100% French oak Hogs Heads, and Puncheons. I have found that in moving away from barriques into slightly larger format oak, we can use a greater portion of new oak for structure, without dominating the wine with oak flavours. As such, the Bridie’s Shiraz matures in about 70% new oak for 18 months.
The wine has a vibrant purple hue, indicating youth and intensity. The complex aromas are of toasty oak, cigar box, plum, and “classic” Hunter Valley leather characters. The palate is of great intensity, with rich berry flavours. Though it’s the tannins that surprise; their texture is like velvet, offering structure without dominance. This is an amazingly supple and rich wine. Enjoy now or cellar for 5 to 10 years.
2004 Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were sourced from a mature high altitude vineyard in Orange, NSW. The fruit was hand picked and whole bunch pressed prior to a cool, slow fermentation. The wine was then tiraged late in 2004 and then left on yeast lees in the bottle for a little over 24 months.
The 2004 Pinot Chardonnay is hay coloured with a slightly bronze hue. In the glass, the wine shows a good mousse with excellent persistence. It offers great intensity on the nose with complex aromas of strawberry, peach, and toast. The palate is finely balanced, delicate, with a creamy mid-palate offering great length.
2004 Sparkling Malbec This is our first release of Sparkling Malbec. The fruit is estate grown, and the wine is fermented and matured at Wandin Valley before being sent off for Tirage at Peterson’s Champagne House, also in the Hunter Valley. We seek to make a sophisticated, elegant sparkling red that really shows off the quality of our vineyard. Some winemaking notes follow;
The Malbec fruit was hand picked at 12.5 Baumé and fermented in open tanks. The wine was matured in a mixture of one and two year old French oak barriques for 12 months before tirage. After bottle fermentation the wine was then left to rest on its’ lees for almost 24 months. For the Malbec we are trialling a crown seal closure; this is as much for market response as for technical effect.
The generous maturation time on yeast lees has given this wine a greater level of complexity and texture. The wine is quite dry relative to the market (10 g/L residual sugar) in an attempt to highlight the quality of our fruit and to emphasise the effects of the extended maturation time. We are only disgorging 150 cases at a time, and trying to stagger the release of the remainder of the wines as much as demand will allow.
2003 Riley's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Fruit for our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from Wrattonbully in South Australia. Over the years we have taken the fruit, the vineyard and region have shown great quality and consistency. Arriving at the winery as chilled must on a tanker the Cabernet is fermented in a combination of static and open fermenters. Following an extended post ferment maceration period, the pressed wine is transferred to barrel (a combination of French and American oak barriques) for a period of 18 months.
This wine is an intense crimson red in colour. It shows complex aromas of gooseberry, mint, and spicy oak. The palate is rich and full, with a firm structure featuring grainy tannins, balanced acidity, and great length. The 2003 Rileys’ Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon will certainly mature in to a wine of considerable complexity over the next 10 to 15 years.
2003 Griffin This is our second release of the Griffin. Made only in the very best vintages the Griffin serves to illustrate the qualities of vintage, vineyard, and winemaking practices in a very pure fashion. This blend of Hunter Shiraz and Wrattonbully Cabernet Sauvignon simply takes the best two barrels of each wine, and combines them to produce a wine of undeniable depth and complexity. Made with the intention of long term cellaring the Griffin is a rare wine very worthy of your attention!
Deep crimson in colour, the 2003 Griffin displays a vibrant purple hue. The wine shows incredible intensity of aroma; vanilla, spice, mint, cherry, and leather. Layered richness and complexity on the palate, firm, textured tannins with fantastic length of flavour. A powerful wine destined to live for many years.

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