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Hunter Valley summers provide perfect conditions for beautifully ripe, medium bodied, Shiraz. Our 50-year-old, low yielding vineyards on the volcanic dolerite soils of the Fordwich Sill gives us plenty of opportunities to select the best parcels of shiraz to hand pick, ferment, and bottle under our White Label range which we launched in 2005. We now have added the vineyard name to this wine. Still made in limited quantities and still produced only in strong vintages
Inspired by some great Spanish wines and their versatility with food, we pioneered the inter-planting (field blend) of these 3 varieties together here in the Hunter Valley in 2010. Picked at the same time and vinified together as a single wine we find the Tempranillo provides the rich fruit, Graciano gives lifted floral notes and acidity and the Shiraz provides the tannin and extra structure.
Andrew made a great Rosé- Margan Shiraz Saignée, for about 20 vintages and then got bored with it so declared he wouldn’t make it anymore. Just as the Rose’ boom hit! Lisa decided to take over the project and with our winemaker Nicole Wilson and daughter Alessa Margan they re-worked the style, renamed the wine Rose & Bramble and designed a new label. Since we launched it in 2018 it has won medals, trophies and fans. Andrew is still part of the picture – he grows the grapes – and reluctantly acknowledges that he is also a fan of the new style.
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 wine 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.
Our Aged Release Semillon has been made in a very pure style and the bottle maturation allows both the young wine and the older wine to be seen in the one glass. The grapes for this Semillon were handpicked in the cool of the morning from vines yielding less than one tonne to the acre. The wine has been made in the traditional low sugar manner that produces wines with great ageing potential. The juice was fermented under temperature controlled conditions to maintain all of its fruit characters.
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. We have made it ever since and it has won more trophies and medals for Margan than any other wine.
In 2018 the quality of Mourvèdre was exceptional so we handpicked a selection of the rows and kept it separate through fermention and maturation. 18 months later we deemed the quality of this batch high enough to bottle as a straight Mourvèdre. It is the first and the only Mourvèdre made in the Hunter with a rich palate of bright red berry fruits and cherry cola, dusty tannins and a long, savoury finish
Our Timbervines Chardonnay block was planted in 1972 on the Fordwich Sill and continuously produces high quality concentrated fruit with a distinct lime acid backbone. Naturally fermented on full solids in 1-2year old puncheons, this modern Australian chardonnay shows the perfect balance of subtle oak, texture, elegant fruit, and long acidity. Made in small volumes, only 500 cases produced.
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.
Margan Barbera was the variety that established us as ‘pioneers of alternative varieties’. Originating from the North West of Italy we were the first to plant this red grape here in the Hunter Valley 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. It’s a medium bodied wine with black fruits, savoury notes and great acidity. True to its Italian heart it loves nothing more than good food and company.