2017 is widely regarded as an exceptional vintage for Hunter Valley Shiraz; over the weekend of 4-5 May Thomas Wines is releasing their range of 2017 Single Vineyard Shiraz with a series of experiences.
So what makes a vintage "exceptional"? Some nice rain in the initial growing season, with warm dry conditions during ripening & harvest. The 2017 range of single vineyard Shiraz are testament to this. The tasting of nine Shiraz from separate vineyards throughout the Hunter Valley begins with Synergy Shiraz for the novice moving through to the flagship, & somehwat of a cult wine, Kiss Shiraz for the enthusiast or that special celebration.
The Cellar Door and Winekmaing teams are offering a series of experiences across the launch weekend to showcase their range of Shiraz.
Across the weekend call into Cellar Door, or better still book in advance, and the team will take you through a vertical tasting of the range of Single Vineyard Shiraz. They'll take you on a journey of the Valley, sharing the textures & colours of the soils, explaining how these influence the taste of the Shiraz. Cost is $15pp but only if you can't find a bottle within the range to purchase at the conclusion of your tasting.
To celebrate in a befitting style, Thommo is hosting a release lunch at EXP Restaurant on Saturday 4 May. Chef Frank Fawkner has created a four course menu to pair with the nine Shiraz. The lunch has already seen high demand so if a long leisurely Shiraz lunch with the Winemaker tickles your fancy, we'd suggest you book now.
On Sunday 5 May the team from The Artisan Cheeseroom will join us in Cellar door for three Mini Masterclasses. The unique half hour Masterclasses (10am, 11.30am & 1pm) will be hosted by Thommo & The Artisan Cheeseroom Cheesemonger, Paul Thompson. Guests will take home tips for Shiraz and cheese matching, whilst discussing tastes and terroirs of wine and artisan cheese and how regionality, vintage, seasons and provenance all influence the perfect pairing. With only 12 seats in each session bookings are essential. $30pp.
Can't make it to see us in the Valley? The full range of Shiraz will be available online from Saturday 4 May - why not purchase one of each, invite a few friends around & conduct your own tasting session.
The Semillon & Shiraz grapes are now harvested and in the winery! It's a comforting relief but this doesn't mean the hard work is over for Thommo and the winery crew.
The Semillons have finished fermentation, have been chilled and are resting in tank, allowing the dead yeast cells to slowly drop to the bottom. From here the Semillons will be racked, (siphoning the clear wine from the cloudy sediment on the bottom), filtered & bottled.
The Shiraz are currently fermenting in tank (with regular pump overs to manage the fermentation), or going through a secondary malolactic fermentation in barrel. One of the more unusual scenes in the winery at this time is seeing Thommo or Eden with their ear against the barrel bung hole. They do this to see how the fermentation is progressing as you can hear it fizzing & bubbling when the yeast are active.
So what's Thommo think of vintage 2019? He's excited. He's calling the last three warm, dry vintages a "hat trick"; the 2019 Semillon being the standout over these three years; the Shiraz, a little early to call, but his gut feeling is that the 2017 and 2018 vintages will be marginally better than the 2019.
In between all this Thommo is selecting & packing the wines for your next Member packs. There's no rest for the wicked but there's plenty of coffee & Peroni & they help.
It's been a fast & furious harvest with all the semillon & most of the shiraz now in the winery.
We harvested the majority of the shiraz this week, the quality is exceptional but yield down a little. Thommo is particularly excited by the quality off the Kiss Vineyard.
Visit us at Cellar Door this weekend & sample the 2019 vintage.
The lead up to vintage 2019 has been warm & dry and the vineyards are looking great. The Semillon has ripened nicely with great flavour; we are half way through picking our Braemore vineyard.The Shiraz is showing great colour & flavour will follow close behind with harvest beginning next week.
The Cellar Door Team love sharing a taste of Vintage, and the winery action with visitors. Throughout the harvest window they have grapes, ferments & juices for sampling - it's an exciting time to visit the Valley.