Surely the Hunter will Win?

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The Hunter Valley & Barossa go head to head with a taste off of Semillon & Shiraz at Camperdown (Sydney) on Wednesday 13th September from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

Join Andrew Thomas & Huon Hooke as they take you through the fundamental differences you’ll find when these varieties are grown & produced in these two iconic regions.

Full details & bookings can be found here.

 

Semillon + Seafood Series Lunches

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I’ve often said that Semillon always tastes better when the sun is shining, so to launch our 2011 Cellar Reserve Braemore Semillon and showcase the 2017 Single Vineyard Semillons we’ve arranged a series of Semillon lunches.

We’ve chosen some outstanding restaurants that will provide amazing dishes to complement the wines, and of course each venue offers amazing water views.

To make a booking, please call Rowena on (02) 4998 7134 or email cellardoor@thomaswines.com.au
Credit card details and any dietary requirements will be required at the time of booking.

NEWCASTLE
Merewether Surfhouse
Friday 8th September – 12 noon
Henderson Parade, Merewether
Ticket Price – $150pp
Members – $130pp

SYDNEY
Cirrus Dining

Sunday 10th September – 12 noon
23 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo
Ticket Price – $200pp
Members – $180pp

SYDNEY
Ormeggio at the Spit

Friday 15th September – 12 noon
D’Albora Marinas, Spit Rd, Mosman
Ticket Price – $200pp
Members – $180pp

MELBOURNE
The Baths, Middle Brighton

Sunday 17th September – 12 noon
251 Esplanade, Brighton
Ticket Price – $170pp
Members – $150pp

BRISBANE
Aria Restaurant

Friday 22nd September – 12 noon
1 Eagle Street, Brisbane
Ticket Price – $170pp
Members – $150pp

 

Andrew Thomas Wines

Three Series Wine Dinner at the Anchorage Port Stephens

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Date: 18 August 2017, from 6pm

Spend an evening at The Anchorage, Port Stephens, with Hunter Valley winemaking trio Thommo, Stu Hordern (Brokenwood) and  Mark Richardson (Tyrrells).

Enjoy canapes & sparkling on arrival, a multi course menu paired with from Thomas, Tyrrell’s and Brokenwood Wines. You’ll sample classics such as the 2017 Thomas Braemore, alongside a Vat 1 Semillon & Brokenwood’s Poppy’s Block Semillon.

Menu & booking details can be found here. Book now. What a great excuse to escape for the weekend to Port Stephens!

TIP : It’s whale watching season – book a whale watching cruise to make the most of your weekend.

 

2017 Semillons

Our Semsational 2017 Semillons are now available in Cellar Door & Online

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The Cellar Door Crew are excited. The 2017 Semillons have arrived.

They’re fresh, vibrant, & as a result of the hot dry summer show fabulous intensity yet have that magical feather-light frame for which Hunter Valley Semillon is renown.

The O.C Semillon is back (with a return to a more classic Hunter Valley style); the 2017 Braemore is receiving great feedback (and purchase in Cellar Door); the team are arguing over which vineyard delivers their favourite drop.

Pop into to Cellar Door & let us take your palate for a tour of, arguably, some of the best Hunter Valley vineyards; order online or phone us on 02 49 987 134 & we’ll arrange a delivery.

For those that like a little extra reading – here are a few links to recent publicity for our Semillons

The Real Review -Huon Hook-  June 19, 2017

Bottle & Glass – 1 June, 2017

Financial Review – Max Allen – 22 June, 2017

We hope to see you soon.

Cheers,

The Hunter Valley 2017 Cellar Door of the Year Crew

Thomas Wines Wins Cellar Door of the Year

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Thomas Wines was last night awarded 2017 Hunter Valley Cellar Door of the Year at the Hunter Valley Legends & Awards Dinner.

The award recognises  exemplary wine knowledge, general Hunter Valley knowledge, and the ability to sell the Hunter Valley brand.

It celebrates discernible promotion of Hunter Valley wines and active involvement in wine/tourism industry activities and events.

“We are so proud to have been awarded this great accolade. Congratulations to Emma, Steph, Nico, Andy, Rowena & Kim”  – Andrew Thomas

We invite you to visit us at our Cellar Door.

Our range 2015 Shiraz are now released and available at Cellar Door and Online

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Our full range of 2015 shiraz have been released this weekend (6th May), and are now available to be purchased online.

The Vintage

The 2015 vintage growing season started with relatively dry, warm sunny days from bud-burst, and then we experienced some relatively significant rain during the latter months of 2014, resulting in a slightly above average crop level. Every year we assess the crop load and do some bunch thinning if needed about half way through verasion (normally the first week of January). It is now very clear that our decision to bunch thin pretty well all the shiraz vineyards was critical to the resultant quality that we now have in bottle.

The ripening period could only be described as “challenging” with intermittent rain events during January resulting in a slower accumulation of sugar and flavour development. Fortunately the rains stopped towards the end of the month and was followed by quite warm and dry conditions throughout February. With the smaller crop load, sugar levels were quite good at the start of Feb, but the fruit needed some ‘hang time’ to fully develop the depth of fruit and tannin ripeness that we expect from these vineyards. When the vineyards had finally reached full phenological ripeness we harvested our entire vintage of shiraz in 8 days, starting on the 11th of February from the Sweetwater vineyard and finishing on the 19th of February with Kiss.

The Wines

Stylistically, the 2015’s are showing amazingly bright, perfumed and lifted primary fruit with a silky/slippery texture within their elegantly structured core – reminiscent of some of the long lived ‘Hunter River Burgundies’ of years gone by.

The wines are definitely a divergence from the 2014 vintage reds (which certainly produced wines sitting in the ‘muscular’ end of the medium bodied spectrum) but to my mind, it’s this vintage variation that makes wine and winemaking so interesting. If my wines looked the same every year it would be incredibly boring (for me anyway…). It’s the “light and shade” between vintages that creates the intrigue and interest in wine, particularly with respect to seeing how the best wines from various vintages will develop over time in the cellar.

I look at this range of 2015 reds as a group, and I am absolutely delighted with the way they have shaped up. Whilst I like to take some of the credit, it is really these outstanding pedigree vineyards that I am fortunate enough to have in my portfolio that give these wines their unique quality stamp year after year.

Bottled in July last year and now 10 months in bottle, each wine displays it’s own individual/stylistic personality that we know and love, and I am confident that you will be equally as impressed.

My sentimental favourite is again of course the 2015 Kiss shiraz, with its vibrant red and blue fruit and immaculately integrated French oak, as well as its restrained intensity within such a tightly structured core. It’s this internal concentration that sees Kiss rise above many a Hunter shiraz (particularly from this vintage), and is also what provides its remarkable longevity. This wine clearly demonstrates that you can achieve amazing intensity within a medium weight frame.
The entire 2014 vintage sold out within 6 weeks, and I expect this wine will again sell out relatively quickly.

This year the 2015 Elenay shiraz is made up of selected barrels from the Sweetwater, Kiss and Dam Block parcels. My selection criteria involves looking at the newer barrels within each parcel, and identifying those with the ‘juicy’ fruit weight to handle the level of oak. The result is definitely punchy/overt in the oak department but as you know, this is the Elenay style. This is a wine that drinks very nicely now but will reward those patient enough to cellar and allow time for the oak to fold in. Equal top wine of the 2015 shiraz class – 2016 Hunter Valley Wine Show (93 points).

I’m very pleased to announce a new single vineyard shiraz to the range. The 2015 Dam Block shiraz is from a small 0.8Ha block of slightly younger vines just across the dam from the Kiss shiraz vineyard. We have been taking this fruit for some years now, and it has always been an important component of my Two of a Kind and Synergy shiraz, as well as a few barrels making the grade for Elenay over the last two vintages. It shows similar dark blue fruits and the savoury texture of this pedigree vineyard, but at a slightly more affordable price.
Equal top wine of the 2015 shiraz class – 2016 Hunter Valley Wine Show (93 points).
Only 150 dozen bottled. I’d suggest you get in quickly….

The 2015 Sweetwater shiraz is true to form with its distinctive floral notes dancing over and around its red and blue fruited frame. In the interest of actually having some reds to show visitors to our cellar door, we released this wine a couple of months ago, and the response has been fantastic. Its deliciously bright and juicy mid palate, provides some awesome current drinking appeal, but will also reward those of you who tuck a few bottles away in the cellar.
At just under $30/bottle to members, this has to be one of the best buys in the Hunter Valley.

Last but not least is the 2015 Synergy shiraz (100% Hunter) and 2015 Two of a Kind shiraz (57% Hunter/43% McLaren Vale). Clearly two different styles, but both delivering amazing quality for every day drinking or medium term cellaring at an amazing value for money price. Order a pizza or light the BBQ and drink these wines to your hearts content.
Seriously smashable….

Unfortunately some sad news – there is no DJV shiraz from 2015. This was the only vineyard that wasn’t bunch thinned, and the canopy struggled to ripen the fruit before some botrytis set in and we had to make the awful decision to abandon the block this year. For those of you who love this label/style I am pleased to report that the 2017 vintage DJV shiraz is currently maturing in (older) oak, and is possibly the best vintage of this label to date. Watch this space….

The “First Kiss” tour dates announced

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We are very pleased to announce the dates for Thomas Wines “First Kiss” tour.

Andrew “Thommo” Thomas will be hosting a series of dinners showcasing his complete range of 2015 shiraz, which are officially due for release Saturday 6th May. The tour will begin in its home in the Hunter Valley, and then travel to Brisbane, Sydney & Melbourne (see below for date and venue details).

We have booked relatively small/intimate venues, so we do expect the tickets to sell out quickly.

The star of the line-up, Kiss Shiraz has gained somewhat of a cult following over the last decade, leading to an extraordinary popularity and demand from wine lovers and collectors. The 2015 Kiss is expected to once again win high praise from its followers.

The “First Kiss” tour will run from Friday 5 May to Wednesday 17 May and seats are limited, so book now by calling Rowena (02) 4998 7134 or email cellardoor@thomaswines.com.au

FRIDAY 5 MAY
HUNTER VALLEY
Venue Muse Kitchen, Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin
Ticket Price $170pp/ Members $150pp

WEDNESDAY 10 MAY
BRISBANE
Venue Malt Dining, 28 Market St, Brisbane City
Ticket Price $150pp/Members $130pp

THURSDAY 11 MAY
SYDNEY – CITY
Venue Fix Wine Bar & Restaurant, 111 Elizabeth St, Sydney
Ticket Price $150pp/Members $130pp

TUESDAY 16 MAY
SYDNEY – BALMORAL
Venue Public Dining Room, 2A The Esplanade, Mosman
Ticket Price $180pp/Members $160pp

WEDNESDAY 17 MAY
MELBOURNE
Venue The Botanical, 169 Domain Rd, South Yarra
Ticket Price $160pp/Members $140pp

Our amazing 2014 reds are due for release Saturday 7th May 2016

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There’s a fair bit of new stuff going on in my life at the moment….
A new child, a new cellar door, and just as I’ve completed my 30th consecutive Hunter Valley vintage, I’m about to release probably the best range of shiraz that I’ve made in all of my time up here.
The first weekend of May is my annual new vintage shiraz release date, and this year is all the more exciting with the release of the highly anticipated 2014 vintage reds. Bring on the 7th May….!!

There’s talk of 2014 being the best vintage since 1965. Well I was only just a twinkle in my old man’s eye back then, but it’s safe to say that 2014 is certainly a ‘once or twice in a generation’ kind of vintage.
Warm without being stinking hot.
Dry without being in drought.
The wines are certainly in the fuller end of the medium bodied spectrum, but there’s a real ‘juicyness’ to the fruit and amazing silky/supple tannins giving these wines the structure for excellent early drinking appeal, as well as remarkable longevity. I would love to have seen those 65’s on release…..

I’m sure you would have seen some 2014 Hunter reds already. Probably noticed some fairly significant prices from many producers taking advantage of a highly anticipated vintage. I’m pleased to report that whilst I have made a slight rise for 2014 Kiss (from $60 to $75 – the first price rise for about 5 years), I have maintained my usual pricing on all of the other wines in the range. I certainly don’t mind being known as offering some of the best quality Hunter Valley wines as well as the best value for money.
The Hunter is all about light and shade, and I wonder how some of these wines being priced at $100-$150-$200+ per bottle will sell when we move onto a leaner vintage (such as 2015). I want my customers to buy my wines every year, not just the awesome years…..

Over to you. Enjoy….

Thommo

Hunter Valley Wine Festival – 20th June 2015

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If you happen to be in the Hunter valley on Saturday 20th June, why not come and visit us at the Hunter Valley Wine Festival at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley.
I’ll be manning our stand, and showing off some of my new release reds as well as the recently bottled 2015 Braemore semillon.
Presale tickets ($20 including 5 tasting vouchers) as well as more information on the event can be found here
Hope to see you there…..

Thomas Wines on tasting at Vinosphere event – 18th May 2015

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Andrew Thomas will be on hand pouring his newly released 2013 reds and a pre-bottling ‘sneak-preview’ of 2015 Braemore semillon at a major public tasting at Town Hall in Sydney on the 18th May.

Vinosphere 2015 brings together some of Australia’s finest producers, distributors and importers under the one roof. This is the first time that a comprehensive trade tasting of this scale has been opened up to the public. The event offers unprecedented access to some of the finest wines available in the country today. Around 100 producers from 10 countries will be represented with over 300 wines open for tasting. Most Australian and New Zealand producers will be represented in person. Wines will be available to order direct on the night. The entry fee is $40 and includes a Riedel Overture glass to keep. Follow the link to book your tickets – www.eventbrite.com.au/e/vinosphere-tickets-16194774005

Hope to see you there.