2016 Spring “Cast off” Newsletter


We are very excited to present the 2016 Spring “Cast Off” packs to our members.

Solid Winter rain has filled our dams and soil profiles meaning vines are set for a great start to the new season. The valley looks fantastic at the moment with fat cattle in paddocks and grass up to their bellies and the number of kangaroos seems to double on a weekly basis. So with a Spring in our step we are looking forward to the coming vintage.

Every vintage throws up its own set of challenges.

The 2016 Hunter vintage was one of two parts, a wet January with record rainfall followed by an exceptionally dry autumn. Many vineyards in the Hunter were damaged by hail in early storms and combined with the rain resulted in the loss of the crop. We were lucky not to receive any hail and were able to pick our white grapes in good condition in early January, while the reds came through the rain well and ripened in perfect autumn conditions. The end result was some very good whites,  and some bright flavoursome reds for next year.

spring-workAccolades and Wine Show Results

In recent months were have received many favourable reviews and successful show results, most notably James Halliday’s 2017 Wine Companion with 7 of our current wines rated 90+ points. The most highly rated wine was our aged release 2011 Old Vines Semillon 97 points which featured in the 5 best wines varietal Semillons for 2017.Here is what James had to say about this wine:

“This is dazzlingly fresh and vibrant, its lemon/lemongrass/crispy/crunchy acidity dancing wildly around the mouth, egged on by a faint touch of spritz. It will slowly develop over the next 10+ years without losing its mojo, and will excite you whenever you crack a bottle.”

Followed closely by the 2014 Old Vines Shiraz 96 points:

“Very good colour; an expressive and complex bouquet with black fruits, spice and sweet polished leather, the medium-bodied palate picking up where the bouquet leaves off, perfectly proportioned and balanced, black fruits and spices in abundance. Oh that I should live so long to enjoy these wines as they move towards maturity 20+ years hence. Their future is guaranteed by their inherent elegance and balance.”

Both these wines are still available, however stocks are diminishing rapidly, so I encourage you to secure your requirements quickly to afford disappointment as the say …

On the Wine Show circuit, the 2016 Old Vines Semillon has won a silver medal at the Hunter Wine Show and NSW Small Winemakers Show, narrowly missing gold in both shows. While the 2016 Central Ranges Riesling was awarded a Silver Medal. Both these wines are included in the Spring pack


2015 CV-VermentinoNow to the pointy end – What’s in your Spring Pack.

First the 2016 Old Vines Semillon. This wine is perhaps my favourite wine at the moment. Our Pothana Semillons are noteworthy for they generosity and the 2016 is no exception. Fresh vibrant and almost aromatic aromas it’s a great drink now and although Semillons from wetter years are generally not as long lived this could be a very much each way bet.

The grapes for the 2016 Pinot Grigio were harvested a few days earlier than usual due to approaching bad weather, but still with great flavour and in good condition. This has made a wine which is perhaps a touch more “Grigio” in style i.e. crunching apple and pear flavours but still with richness on the palate.

The third wine from the 2016 vintage is the Central Ranges Riesling. Unlike the Hunter the Central Ranges had a great season with exceptional fruit throughout. These grapes from old vines growing at almost 1000m above sea level consistently produce wines with an intensity of flavour and acidity, this wine being one of the best for a number of years and as mentioned already awarded a silver medal

The 2015 Central Ranges Vermentino is a new wine for us. Vermentino is widely planted throughout the Mediterranean, often along the shore lines of both coasts and islands, where it produces bright clean lively wines with classic sea spray and wild herb characters. However, it is in the mountains on the island of Sardinia where it is considered to produce some the best wines. Here the wines are richer but still with elegance and an ability to have earthy mineral spectrum. These wines provided the inspiration for our first Vermentino. Our 2016 wine with its full fruit flavour, salinity, slight phenolic bitterness and stony spectrum is a wonderful wine to match with dishes that play with rich herbs and spices, fresh sardines or bold fennel spiced sausages.

2013 provides the last two wines in our pack the Old Vines Chardonnay and the De novo Bianco, both wines are drinking beautifully at the moment, showing the benefit of three years in the cellar allowing the wines to develop and the flavours to integrate. These wines are close to being at their best although the Chardonnay has some years ahead of it if you enjoy a mature style. The 2013 Chardonnay has just been released. It’s bright light green straw colour, fresh stone fruit aromas, touch of wild yeast barrel ferment character and balanced palate all suggest a wine much younger in age. While the De Novo Bianco with its layers of flavour and textured palate evolves in the glass. I leave the last words to James Halliday who described the wine as such:

“Blend of Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. As you’d expect, it hardly lacks aroma. It’s all floral and peachy with a burst of lime. The palate carries the same flavours but is more elegant and slender than you’d expect. A beaming smile but a slight body. Musk, bath salts, melon and lime. Pretty handy wine, especially for the lunch table.”

spring-sunsetI hope you enjoy the wines, we are excited to present them. We believe that these wines are not only wines of great interest but are exceptional value.

Don’t forget to contact us if any of your details have changed.

If you have any questions regarding our wines, please check our website.


Happy Drinking.


David Hook

Wine Maker