Monday, 18 January 2016

Dalwhinnie Cellar Door

On the way to the Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld


18 January 2016


Taltarni vines that run along the Dalwhinnie driveway

We have been drinking Dalwhinnie Shiraz and Cabernet from the 2004 vintage for a while. Both classic examples of aged Victorian wine.

The brand is known for its Shiraz. While the style is more consistent than the Cabernet when the season suits the Cabernet is outstanding.

37 year old Shiraz vines


A bit about the vineyard from the Dalwhinnie website-

'Dalwhinnie vineyard is situated in a unique amphitheatre that has its own meso climate. Surrounded and sheltered by the highest range – at 595 metres above sea level - this unique bowl of vines is a world unto itself, located in a naturally undulating trough which falls away from the hills.

The main grape varieties grown are Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. These small individual vineyards average around 1.8 hectares in size and because of the hungry sedimentary soils cropping levels are low, only 1.5 tonnes per 0.8 of a hectare. There are 16 hectares farmed at Dalwhinnie at present.

The vineyard is situated on the 37th parallel in the southern hemisphere and the poor and fragile soils from left over alluvial mining areas in the 1850's are some of the hardest and hungriest you will ever see.  However, the climate and soils seem well suited to the production of complex shiraz and this is why we specialise in this great variety.

The site is totally frost-free which enables the grapes to reach optimum ripeness and the vineyard is non-irrigated and operated on strong organic viticultural principles; the fruit is hand-picked, for example, and the vines are cane-pruned by hand. Harvest usually starts the third week in February and is completed around the first week in April. Cover crops are sown every year between the vineyard rows to add nitrogen to the soil. The average annual rainfall is 550mm with most rain falling between July and November.'

The original vineyard was planted over 35 years ago.

Top centre is the 'Pinnacle' vineyard


We started out with The Hut range. A chardonnay, rose from pinot noir and a shiraz. All made for early drinking. Bistro style wines that are approachable, well made and easy drinking.

An outstanding line up


2013 Moonambel Chardonnay


Pale yellow.

Pears, apples and spices on the nose. Hints of vanilla.

Peach and pears on the palate. A textured mouth feel with well integrated acidity.

This is a very good wine but not in the style I prefer.

2012 Moonambel Shiraz


Deep vibrant purple.

Dark berries and olives on the nose.

Blackberries and dark fruit on the palate. Incredible weight and length.

Balanced and stylish. A great wine with excellent cellaring potential.

2013 Moonambel Shiraz


Deep purple.

More concentrated fruit on the nose. Plums and black forrest cake.

Massive mouthfeel but everything is well integrated. Gripping acid but remains well balanced.

A bigger wine than the 2012. Again, a great wine with plenty of cellaring potential.

2012 Moonambel Cabernet Sauvignon


The nose displays dark berry fruits and hints of flowers. Chocolate, mint and sweet herbs.

Restrained textured mouthfeel. Balanced fruit, fine powdery tannins and excellent length.

An excellent expression of the variety.

2013 Moonambel Cabernet Sauvignon


Deep purple.

Flowers, chocolate, berries and mint herbs on the nose.

Huge mouthfeel. Gripping tannins balancing exceptional fruit and well integrated acid.

This is a very classy wine. The best of the day. Outstanding.

2012 Southwest Rocks Shiraz


Sourced from a single vineyard high up on the south west hill. The soil here is far poorer than elsewhere in the vineyard resulting in concentrated fruit.

Almost black in he glass.

Rasberries and sour cherries and a sweet confection I can't pin down. 

An excellent mouthfeel. This is a deceptively restrained feminine wine. Full bodied yet reserved and poised.

An excellent wine. A departure from the normal big wines. Worth cellaring.

It would all be tasteless without this beautiful woman

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