With the weather starting to show some signs of spring in the air, I am delighted to announce three new wines all officially due for release on 1st September 2022.
The latest vintage installment of our Cellar Reserve Braemore program, our inaugural Semillon Chardonnay blend, and the 2022 vintage release of our ‘Like a Version’ Braemore Semillon.
2016 Cellar Reserve Braemore Semillon
Having sold out of our 2015 CR Braemore Semillon a few months ago, I am very excited to see the next vintage hit our shelves on the first day of Spring. We do particularly enjoy the opportunity to present both our current vintage release and bottle-aged Braemore Semillon side by side for our guests in Cellar Door.
Having been sitting quietly for just over six years in our climate-controlled cellar (15⁰C), the 2016 Braemore has just started to emerge with those toasty complexities that we know and love, but still displays extraordinary freshness and vibrancy. It’s sitting in a window that provides excellent current drinking, but will continue to evolve with some further cellaring over the next 5-15+ years.
As one of our valued Wine Club members, you get ‘first dibs' on any of our new releases, and with only 495 six packs available, I suspect this vintage will also sell out relatively quickly.
“An exquisite wine that suggests the style here was finer boned and less overt of fruit, in the past. Barley water, lemon oil and a strong waft of peat, not dissimilar to great champagne or Laphroaig. Lightweight and skeletal, yet of immense thrust, intensity of extract, drive and length. A bit tangy, to be churlish. Nevertheless, an indomitable wine worthy of much attention”
Ned Goodwin MW, James Halliday Wine Companion
“Really youthful in appearance, mid-straw colour, looking smart for six years of age. Lifted, layered and complex aromas of lemon butter, toast, lemon pith, mineral and wet-stone. Still fresh and lively, with lashings of lemon, grapefruit, nuttiness and crunchy, mouth-watering acidity. Just beginning its journey. Impressive stuff.”
Aaron Brasher, The Real Review
2022 Vat 32 Semillon Chardonnay
Yes, that’s not a misprint.
We’ve made a Semillon/Chardonnay blend for the very first time…..
Some background to explain.
As you would expect with a vineyard that was planted way back in 1969, some gaps and missing vines have appeared over the years in the Braemore vineyard. At some stage during the last 50 years, these gaps were replanted with whatever vines were available at the time, and it’s now apparent that some of these gaps were filled in with Chardonnay cuttings.
We are in the process of marking and removing/replacing these ‘rogue’ vines, but during the 2022 vintage we went through the whole vineyard and hand-picked these marked vines separately and fermented them as a batch in four brand new French oak hogsheads. The wine spent three months in barrel before blending with a classically styled parcel of Semillon we made from the Brycefield vineyard over on the Lovedale side of the Valley.
Initially, the oak was quite punchy/overt in the blend, but with time prior to and post bottling, that oak has folded nicely into the wine and now provides just some beautiful background complexity.
For those of you who have loved and bought Tyrrell’s Vat 63 Chardonnay Semillon over the years, this wine is also for you. It might also give a little insight into my naming of the wine…..
Only 270 dozen bottled.
This wine is probably a one-off, but then again, maybe not.
I'm not sure yet. Watch this space…….
2022 ‘Like a Version’ Braemore Semillon
This is the third installment of our ‘Like a Version’ Braemore Semillon concept, which each year has been made by a guest winemaker with a simple brief to produce a left field/wacky/cover version of our more classically styled Braemore Semillon.
Essentially, it’s an exploration into the world of minimal input ‘natural’ wines using grapes from one of the Hunter Valley’s most iconic Semillon vineyards. Inviting a guest winemaker each year allows me to ‘dip my toes’ in the water, without getting wet (if you get my drift…)
The 2022 vintage is a collaboration between my son Daniel and our good mate Oliver Margan from Margan Family Wines. Trust me here, this wine is bloody good and without doubt the best LAV yet.
Fruit from our last pick was destemmed with the whole berries returned to a fermenter where they sat under inert gas cover for four days. During this time a spontaneous fermentation started with the indigenous yeasts present. The grapes were then pressed and back-blended with 50% bright juice from one of our normal Braemore parcels. The wild yeast carried on and completed the fermentation. Racked twice during the post-fermentation stage and then bottled without any finings.
The resulting wine has a brightness and vibrancy (that was arguably lacking over the last two releases) but is also certainly a more open-framed, textural, and quite compelling expression of Semillon from this pedigree Hunter Valley vineyard.
For those of you who didn’t love the previous vintage releases of ‘Like a Version’ I strongly suggest you revisit here, as tasting this wine alongside our classic Braemore Semillon provides an absolutely fascinating comparison.
Only 160 dozen bottled.