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.
Looking for an impressive wine to suit the whole family at Christmas? We've got back vintages, magnums & double magnums of Braemore Semillon & Kiss Shiraz available.
With exactly 100 numbered magnums & only 12 numbered double magnums these are a collectors items for the wine lover or one heck of a party & the way to impress family & friends. Contact Rowena in Cellar Door for pricing & availability 02 4998 7134.
Thomas Wines has released it's 2012 Cellar Reserve Braemore Semillon to coincide with the first day of Spring.
Hunter Valley Semillon is one of the world's most uniquely regional wine styles. The Braemore Semillon has achieved an enviable reputation in recent years as being one of the finest examples of classic Hunter Valley Semillon.
With six years in bottle, the 2012 Cellar Reserve Braemore Semillon has just started to emerge with classic bottle aged Hunter Semillon complexities. The nose has nuances of buttered toast and honeycomb, layered over fresh grassy, citrus like fruit. The palate has developed an attractive richness, yet maintains an amazing delicacy and freshness with vibrant fruit and a fine, focused line of acidity.
In a superb drinking zone right now, it will continue to evolve over the next decade and beyond.
Available to taste & purchase in Cellar Door or via our website from 1st September, 2018.
The 2019 James Halliday Wine Companion has been launched with Thomas Wines scoring 92 or above for nine wines.
96 points - 2017 The OC Semillon (SOLD OUT - 2018 now available) - $26
96 points - 2017 Braemore Semillon (SOLD OUT - 2018 now available) - $33
96 points - 2012 Cellar Reserve Braemore - (Released 1 September 2018) - $65
92 points - 2016 Two of a Kind Shiraz - $24
93 points - 2016 Synergy Shiraz -$24
94 points - 2016 Sweetwater Shiraz - $35
94 points - 2016 The Dam Block Shiraz - $40
94 points - 2016 Elenay Shiraz - $50
95 points - 2016 Kiss Shiraz (very limited stock available) - $75
Thomas Wines presents a series of #semsational sessions celebrating the release of our 2012 Cellar Reserve Braemore Semillon and featuring our range of 2018 Single Vineyard Semillons.
The series includes cooking classes together with lunches & dinner and a pop-up cellar door (with the added benefit of oysters & cheeses paired to the Semillons), each being hosted by Winemaker Andrew Thomas.
The Cooking Classes, being held in Sydney & Brisbane, have VERY limited tickets available & include Italian, Thai, Japanese & Pan Asian - all paired with our range of Semillon.
For Newcastle we'll be relaxing harbourside with a #semsational long leisurely seafood lunch; and for our Sydney Semillon lovers we'll be bringing the Cellar Door to you, pairing our Semillons with oysters & Hunter Valley Cheeses.
For specific details & to BOOK before tickets sell out please click here.
Any further questions please do not hesitate to call Rowena 02 4998 7134.
The 2017 Single Vineyard Semillons have sold out.
In lieu of rather depleted list we’ve released the 2018’s ahead of schedule, saving the release of the 2012 Cellar Reserve Braemore for the first day of Spring.
Thommo tells us “The 2018 Vintage is virtually a carbon copy of the outstanding 2017 vintage, the warm and dry conditions experienced throughout January and February of 2018 have produced Semillons with generous fruit weight within the typical purity and precision of the classic Hunter Valley style. These wines are exceptionally approachable in their youth, yet the best examples from the region (particularly Braemore) will also have some remarkable cellaring potential.”
Despite a relatively similar winemaking approach, the subtle differences in the Single Vineyard range of Semillons never cease to amaze our visitors.
Fordwich Hill, from the far west of the Valley in the sub-region of Broke, is a riper, more generous proportioned style of Hunter Semillon. Broke receives slightly less annual rainfall and the red volcanic soils produce an earlier ripening Semillon with distinctive aromatics. On the first weekend in Cellar Door, this Semillon was definitely one of our Visitor’s favourites.
The Murphy's Vineyard is located on the far east of the valley in the Lovedale area. Situated adjacent to Black Creek in Wilderness Road, it has deep sandy soils. This produces a delicate Semillon with a floral lift of citrus blossom and grapefruit notes.
The OC, named after Oakey Creek Road, comes off the flats close to the southern stretch of the Brokeback Ranges. The soils here are transitional sandy/loam and still contain small amounts of organic matter. The resultant Semillon screams freshness; it’s pure and bright with amazing length, and nervy acidity.
And then there’s Braemore. We can just see the Braemore Vineyard from the Cellar Door. Located on Hermitage Road it has amazing deep sandy/loam alluvial soil consistently producing exceptional Semillon. The Braemore Semillon features vibrancy and remarkable longevity, we think the following description from Thommo sums it up perfectly … “intensity, in a feather weight frame”.
For every day drinking we’ve also released the 2018 Synergy, Two of a Kind and Six Degrees Semillons. At $17/bottle for Members these are ideal to have handy in the fridge for any occasion.
Visit us soon.
The Cellar Door Team - Rowena, Nico, Brooke and Curtis