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2018 White Label Ceres Hill Semillon
This Semillon is a tribute to the start of Margan Wines as it is from the first vineyard planted by us almost three decades ago on the slope above the winery. It faces south east (less sun exposure gives slower, even ripening) and is on tough country of grey, alluvial clay which forces the vines to work hard giving lower yields and more concentrated fruit. This grey soil is distinct from our volcanic soil on the Fordwich sill and gives Semillon with higher acidity and finer flavours. In the winery, we leave the wine on lees for several months to develop palate texture. This one is built to age but enjoy it now as a refreshing, youthful wine.
2019 Ceres Hill Albariño
Albariño originates from the north west coastal regions of the Iberian Peninsula (Rias Biaxas, Spain and Vinho Verde, Portugal). We planted it in on our Ceres Hill Vineyard in 2014 and were the first in the Hunter Valley (and second in Australia) to do so. The Hunter Valley produces white wines with fruit ripeness at lower alcohols and higher acids and that is exactly the style of Albariño we are growing and making. The wine has juicy lime and nashi pear flavours and a textural palate. It finishes with refreshing acidity, mineral notes and a characteristic touch of salinity, paying homage to its coastal origins. A classic catch with fresh seafood.
2018 White Label Ceres Hill Chardonnay
Again, from our home block Ceres Hill vineyard and planted over two decades ago with the help of parents and the hinderance of small children. The grey clay, south facing slope has reduced direct sun exposure and allows the opportunity to make an elegant style of chardonnay. We ferment in older French oak puncheons using high solids, natural yeasts and a moderate ferment temperature to achieve complex savoury notes. Post ferment, lees contact and batonage is used to create mid palate weight and texture. Delicious now but this style lends itself to ageing for extra complexity.
2018 Ceres Hill Barbera
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.
2018 Saxonvale Mourvèdre
We have been growing Mourvèdre since we launched Margan in 1996. We usually blend it with Shiraz to create a Rhone style blend. 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. We were thrilled that this wine received a gold medal at the recent 2019 Hunter Valley Wine Show - total of 5 golds, 4 silvers, 1 trophy and many bronzes. Just saying 😊.
2018 White Label Saxonvale Cabernet Sauvignon
We have a tiny 2.4-hectare block of old vine Cabernet Sauvignon planted on the original Saxonvale vineyard, Fordwich. These vines have been producing some of the best Hunter Valley Cabernet for over 40 years. Old vines and low yields allow for perfectly ripe fruit which can be a challenge in the Hunter as Cabernet ripens late and sometimes vintage weather will rain on our parade. The wine is matured in new American hogsheads for 12 months to add tannins, structure and spice. The wine has concentrated cassis, black fruit and classic cigar box notes. The concentrated fruit sweetness is perfectly balanced with hallmark acidity and tannins which ensure long term ageing. This is a fantastic example of how great Hunter Cabernet can be.