2021 Botrytis Semillon
$40.00
- +

2021 BOTRYTIS SEMILLON

Like many great things, this one was created accidentally. We started making this dessert style wine back in 1999 mainly because our Semillon vines had bumper yields that year, so we left a block out, unpicked as we literally ran out of tanks in the winery. In the meantime, the grapes became infected with the fungus botrytis cinerea which is the classic ‘noble rot’ responsible for many of the great sweet wines of the world. At the time, Andrew had reservations about making this technical and specialised style, but he went with his intuition, and the finished wine was great. He made it again the next year, this time on purpose and the wine went on to win a trophy for Best Sweet Wine at the Decanter Wine Awards in London. We have made it ever since and it has won more trophies and medals for Margan than any other wine.

Growing Season

With much welcomed spring rain in 2020 we saw excellent canopy balance through all vineyards for our 2021 vintage. A mild summer allowed for excellent acid retention and a long ripening period resulting in elegant fruit character and seamless acid balance in white wines coming from 2021. Some late February moisture provided excellent conditions for Botrytis to grow on the Semillon block we had left out for this wine.

Vineyard

We have one unique block of Semillon vines on our Timbervines Vineyard which can create the right humidity conditions to allow the fungus Botrytis Cinerea to grow. We leave these grapes out for a month and a half later than we would for dry Semillon and this allows for extra ripeness and sugars to accumulate up to 24 baumé. Semillon grapes have thin skins which make them susceptible to Botrytis growth which covers each berry as a mould, draws out water and concentrates the sugar and acidity. Nature makes all these decisions for this wine and it changes each year depending on the vintage conditions. We picked the fruit for this wine the first week of March two weeks after we had harvested all of our reds.

Winemaking

The grapes come into the winery and are crushed and de-stemmed. They go into the press to gently extract the juice over a 12 hour press cycle. The juice then undergoes a long, cool fermentation. We stop fermentation when the residual sugar is approximately 11 baumé and bottle straight away to maintain freshness. Unlike sweet wines of other regions, we don’t use oak to mature the wine.

Tasting Notes

True to the style of classic sweet wines this one has a luscious palate with apricot marmalade, honeysuckle and pineapple. The finish is long and refreshing with citrus notes. It is a beautifully balanced wine. 

Wine Composition

pH                                                                  3.57

Titratable Acidity                                       10.4 g/L

Alcohol                                                         10 %

Residual Sugar                                           200 g/L

Vine Age/Clone

50 years / Busby

Food Match

Pork rillette with toasted brioche, cornichons and pickled radish

Cellaring Potential

10-20 years


View Tasting Notes
Customers who bought this item also bought
Picture of 2021 Fordwich Hill Semillon

2021 Fordwich Hill Semillon

2021 WHITE LABEL FORDWICH HILL SEMILLON

Hunter Valley Semillon is lean and racy in its youth but develops texture and complexity with age. It also will reflect the origins of where it is grown. This one is planted on the dolerite soils of the Fordwich Sill which leaves its footprint by way of a richer and softer wine with more palate weight in its youth, as opposed to Semillon grown on grey clay or alluvial soils.

Growing Season

With much welcomed spring rain in 2020 we saw excellent canopy balance through all vineyards for our 2021 vintage. A mild summer allowed for excellent acid retention and a long ripening period resulting in elegant fruit character and seamless acid balance in white wines coming from 2021.

Vineyard

These old vines were planted in the 1970’s and produce low yielding and concentrated fruit. The vineyard is planted on red volcanic clay and faces east resulting in less sun exposure allowing for slower and more even ripening. The grapes were handpicked when just ripe to maintain high natural acidity and low potential alcohol.

 Winemaking

The fruit was handpicked early to maintain high natural acidity with a low alcohol. Once in the winery it was made using classical Hunter Valley Semillon techniques where the juice was highly clarified and fermented at cool temperatures using neutral cultured yeast to preserve delicate fruit flavours and aromas. It is bottled early to lock away freshness.

Tasting Notes

Lemongrass and lime peel dominate the aromatics, the palate is light and full of fresh citrus. A vibrant acidity gives this wine line and length, a key characteristic that we look for when classifying our White Label Semillon.

Wine Composition

pH                                                    3.10

Titratable Acidity                            7.5 g/L

Alcohol                                             11.7%

Residual Sugar                                  < 1g/L

Vine Age

50 years

Food Match

Kingfish sashimi with coriander, finger lime and preserved lemon

Cellaring Potential

10 + years

$35.00
Picture of 2019 Saxonvale Cabernet Sauvignon

2019 Saxonvale Cabernet Sauvignon

2018 WHITE LABEL SAXONVALE CABERNET SAUVIGNON
The Hunter Valley is mainly known for Shiraz, not so much for the other noble variety of France, Cabernet Sauvignon. Having said that, a handful of Hunter producers make excellent Cabernet when planted with the right clone to the right soils and we think we are one of them. Our old vines ensure yields are kept low which allows the fruit to achieve full ripeness at lower alcohols compared with cabernet grown in other warm climate regions

Growing Season

Small bunches and intensely flavoured fruit with bright aromatics was a characteristic of the 2019 vintage, resulting in beautifully ripe and healthy fruit that we handpicked early February. Fruit quality was exceptionally high.

Vineyard

Cabernet is usually the last of the varieties to bud, ripen and be picked here in the Hunter. Our vines were planted on our Saxonvale Vineyard on the Fordwich Sill in the late 1960’s and covers a small 3-hectare block. They produced the great Lindemans Saxonvale Cabernets of 1984, 85 and 86. We took over this vineyard in 2007 and are the proud custodians of these old, low yielding vines.  

Winemaking

The fruit is handpicked, and the juice is fermented at cool temperatures using aromatic yeasts. We mature the wine in a combination of new and old American and French barriques for 12 months, we select the best barrels based on freshness of aromatics and structural tannins to be bottled in limited quantities under our prestigious white label.

Tasting Notes

Vivid purple in colour as a young wine and displaying intense dark fruit aromas. The palate is rich and earthy with blackcurrant, spiced fruit, dark chocolate, vanilla bean and a touch of Chinese five-spice. The tannins are firm and structured, and the finish is long and lingering.

Wine Composition

pH                                                           3.48

Titratable Acidity                                  7.1g/L

Alcohol                                                   13.5%

Residual Sugar                                       <1g/L

Food Match

Venison backstrap with beetroot puree and burnt shallots

Cellaring Potential

10 to 20 years

$50.00
Picture of 2019 Ceres Hill Barbera

2019 Ceres Hill Barbera

2019 WHITE LABEL CERES HILL BARBERA

Margan Barbera was the variety that established us as ‘pioneers of alternative varieties’. Andrew is a big fan of Italian varieties and we researched this grape to see if it would work here in the Hunter. Back in the late 1990’s the region mainly had the standard line up of iconic Hunters – Semillon, Shiraz and also Chardonnay- and we wanted to see what else would work. Barbera originates from the North West of Italy and we were the first to plant this red grape here in 1998. It’s a long story but the clone we have planted is an Italian original and produces wines of true varietal definition and Italian personality.

Growing Season

Small bunches and intensely flavoured fruit with bright aromatics were a characteristic of the 2019 vintage, resulting in beautifully ripe and healthy fruit that we handpicked early February. Fruit quality was exceptionally high.

Vineyard

Our Barbera vineyard was planted In 1998 with cuttings from an original Italian clone on our Ceres Hill vineyard, just behind the winery on a streak of red volcanic soil. The great thing about Barbera is that it holds its acidity while achieving full flavour (phenological) ripeness making It very suitable to growing In the changing climate.

Winemaking

We hand pick the grapes at optimal ripeness and ferment under cool conditions using cultured, aromatic yeast. The wine was placed in a mixture of small and large older French oak barriques (225 litres) and puncheons (500 litres) where it matured for 12 months prior to bottling.

Tasting Notes

The wine is vivid purple in its youth with lifted aromas of red fruits- strawberry, raspberry, cherry and red current. The palate reflects the nose but also has savoury bramble berry and fresh mulberry notes. Touches of spicy star anise add extra interest and the tannins are soft and silky. The bright acidity gives a long, refreshing finish.

Wine Composition

pH                                                          3.46

Titratable Acidity                                7.0g/L

Alcohol                                                  13.5%

Residual Sugar                                     <1g/L

Food Match

It is a great food wine as the acid cuts through richer red meats like lamb. It matches well with hard cheese and is lighter in body and alcohol than many red wines. 

Cellaring Potential

10-15yrs

$40.00
Picture of 2018 Saxonvale Shiraz Mourvedre

2018 Saxonvale Shiraz Mourvedre

2018 WHITE LABEL SAXONVALE MOURVÈDRE

These two varieties are planted as a Field Blend on the Saxonvale Vineyard. The entire Hunter has Shiraz vines, but we are not sure who had the foresight to plant the Mourvèdre back in the late 1960’s. However, we now have this vineyard and are glad they did. The original plantings were trained as ‘bush vines’ and the variety mix is about 85% Shiraz and 15% Mourvèdre. We first released this wine in 2005 and it is a consistent favourite with a real cult following.

Growing Season

Low yielding, high quality, clean fruit at full ripeness was a hallmark of the excellent 2018 vintage. Mourvèdre is a late ripening variety making this field blend one of our last picks every year. In 2018 this vineyard was picked in the last week of February.

Vineyard

Planted as a field blend, the grapes were picked from a 3 hectare block on our Saxonvale vineyard. Mourvèdre thrives in a hot, dry climate and produces small bunches of intensely flavoured berries. The Mourvèdre ripens later than the Shiraz so we wait until it is ready and pick it all together. The Shiraz is very ripe at this stage, so the style of wine is bigger and has a higher potential alcohol than our other reds.

Winemaking

The grapes were picked and co-fermented under cool conditions using cultured aromatic yeast. The wine was then placed in new and old French oak barriques where it matured for 12 months prior to bottling. The intense tannins of the Mourvèdre help lift the spicy notes of the Shiraz.

Tasting Notes

Aromas of blackberry and black currants, followed by a palate of cocoa and rich forest fruits. Fine tannins and subtle oak frame the fruit providing a fuller style of Hunter Valley Shiraz with lifted aromatics from the Mourvèdre.

Wine Composition

pH                                                          3.48

Titratable Acidity                                7.1g/L

Alcohol                                                  14%

Residual Sugar                                     < 1g/L

Vine Age

60 years

Food Match

Slow cooked lamb shoulder, heirloom carrots, parsnip puree

Cellaring Potential

20 + years

$40.00