Masterclass: An Historic Perspective, presented by James Halliday and Andrew Caillard


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Masterclass: An Historic Perspective, presented by James Halliday and Andrew Caillard

  1. 1. An Historic Perspective James Halliday and Andrew Caillard, MW 22 nd September, 2010 Landmark Australia Tutorial
  2. 2. <ul><li>A unrepeatable narrative of Australian red winemaking </li></ul><ul><li>Very rare bottles – some possible the last few </li></ul><ul><li>Wine not represented – either in previous tasting or unprocurable </li></ul><ul><li>Possibly should have started at Maurice O’Shea and post-war </li></ul><ul><li>Misses out on the emerging Victorian boutique wine scene of the early 1970s/1980s. Virgin Hills/ Knights Granite Hills difficult to find </li></ul><ul><li>Other tastings will highlight innovation and philosophy across genres/regions </li></ul><ul><li>20 wines barely enough to tell the story </li></ul><ul><li>Craft to science to science & craft </li></ul><ul><li>Region to multi region to single vineyard to single vineyard/ multi vineyard and cross region. </li></ul><ul><li>Movement to alternative varieties </li></ul><ul><li>Many producers have moved on to alternative closures </li></ul><ul><li>Today Australia is making the finest wine in its entire history </li></ul>An Historical Perspective
  3. 3. <ul><li>Max Schubert </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Penfolds winemaking philosophy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Open Fermenters/header boards </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>American Oak </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Barrel Fermentation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Ray Beckwith </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>pH and wine stability </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Multi-vineyard site </li></ul><ul><li>90% Shiraz, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon </li></ul><ul><li>Most successful Penfolds wine of the 1950s, multi-show winner </li></ul><ul><li>The first vintage under Bin 95 – standardisation 1962 </li></ul><ul><li>Increasingly rare but more available than other 1950s </li></ul>1955 Penfolds Bin 95 Grange Hermitage, Multi-regional South Australia
  4. 4. <ul><li>One of the greatest Australian wines ever made </li></ul><ul><li>Penfolds most successful show wine winning 19 trophies and 33 gold medals </li></ul><ul><li>A confluence of oenological, physical and philosophical achievement </li></ul><ul><li>A cross-regional blend exemplifying the emerging Penfolds house wine style and Cabernet/ Shiraz blend </li></ul><ul><li>Andre Tchelistcheff (1901-1994) “Gentlemen you will all stand in the presence of this wine! </li></ul><ul><li>Len Evans (1930 – 2006) “one of the great reds I cut my palate on.” </li></ul>1962 Penfolds Bin 60A Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon Kalimna Shiraz
  5. 5. <ul><li>Access Economics used the 1971 vintage as an economic yardstick </li></ul><ul><li>Don Ditter/ John Bird (celebrates 50 vintages in 2009) – volatile acidity adjusted down </li></ul><ul><li>Beat the best Rhone Valley wines at the Gault-Millau Wine Olympiad in Paris in 1979 </li></ul><ul><li>An unusually low alcohol of around 11.5% </li></ul><ul><li>87% Shiraz 13% Cabernet Sauvignon </li></ul><ul><li>Kalimna Vineyard (Barossa Valley), Barossa Valley, Magill Estate (Adelaide) Clare Valley, Coonawarra Blend </li></ul><ul><li>“ If you had to point to a wine which fulfilled the ambitions of Grange it would have to be the 1971.” – Max Schubert, 1993 </li></ul>1971 Penfolds Grange Hermitage, Multi-region South Australia
  6. 6. <ul><li>Roly Birks – 60 vintages </li></ul><ul><li>1974 Tony and Lita Brady – since 1981 Stephen George co-winemaker </li></ul><ul><li>Unique original 1890s plantings producing small berries with thick skins and a very high seed content </li></ul><ul><li>The fruit is vinified in stainless steel lined open fermenters. Maturation takes place in roughly 1/3 new oak </li></ul><ul><li>Old fashioned style; emphasis on fruit power, concentration and weight </li></ul><ul><li>Used to supply Penfolds during the 1920s to 1960s </li></ul><ul><li>tightly knit and incredibly muscular/ sinewy </li></ul><ul><li>“ An iron fist in velvet glove” </li></ul><ul><li>Overall mass of fruit sweetness complements the toughness of the wine </li></ul><ul><li>Strong identity of place and evokes a remarkable feeling of living history </li></ul><ul><li>Older vintages – Merchant bottlings ie Seabrooks. Very rare prior to 1980s </li></ul>1976 Wendouree Shiraz, Clare Valley
  7. 7. <ul><li>1986 – “coming of age” for Australian red wine </li></ul><ul><li>Most famous Australian single vineyard wine </li></ul><ul><li>Ancient Gene Pool – 1860s </li></ul><ul><li>Prue and Stephen Henschke </li></ul><ul><li>A derivative of Penfolds winemaking philosophy, but evolution is different </li></ul><ul><li>Research and development of vineyard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- pH and colour </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Conservation of old vines </li></ul></ul><ul><li>American Oak – but movement to combination of American/ French </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable/ low input viticulture – but movement to Biodynamic Viticulture </li></ul><ul><li>Despite evolution “always speaks profoundly of place” </li></ul><ul><li>A foil to Penfolds Grange – Quintessential Eden Valley Shiraz </li></ul><ul><li>– Merchant bottlings ie Seabrooks. Very rare prior to 1980s. </li></ul>1986 Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz, Eden Valley
  8. 8. <ul><li>Continues the theme of coming of age </li></ul><ul><li>A compelling example of single vineyard Hunter Valley Shiraz </li></ul><ul><li>Halliday/ Beeston/ Albert – purchased in 1978/ planted 1968 </li></ul><ul><li>Pokolbin Cemetery never eventuated </li></ul><ul><li>Outclassed 86 Grange/ 86 Henschke Hill of Grace at a famous dinner </li></ul><ul><li>Recognised as “an all time great” at auction </li></ul><ul><li>Brilliant Hunter Vintage – rain/hail followed by dry weather all Feb/March </li></ul><ul><li>Two Tonne open fermenters, cap plunging, barrel ferment in New American oak puncheons (old and new) </li></ul><ul><li>Style has evolved to around 80% new French oak and 20% American </li></ul><ul><li>Shows the promise of Hunter Valley, the percolation of ideas and the foot print of a top contemporary single vineyard </li></ul><ul><li>Very rare now! </li></ul>1986 Brokenwood Hermitage Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz, Hunter Valley
  9. 9. <ul><li>Established by the Late Dr John Middleton in 1972 </li></ul><ul><li>First vintage 1976. Local Cult following in the 1980s </li></ul><ul><li>Quintet based Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, and Petit Verdot </li></ul><ul><li>12.5 hectare vineyard planted on grey soils - sandy clay loams overlying degenerating Silurian shales </li></ul><ul><li>“ Never over 22°Brix, never below 7.5 g/l total acid and never higher than 3.3pH.” </li></ul><ul><li>Often picked early compared to others </li></ul><ul><li>The grapes are lightly crushed, totally de-stemmed </li></ul><ul><li>Fermented in open and closed fermenters with careful temperature control and frequent pumping over </li></ul><ul><li>Some extended maceration takes place </li></ul><ul><li>Oak maturation for two years </li></ul><ul><li>It does not always find favour with critics </li></ul><ul><li>Winemaking philosophy – based on science, craft, place and personality </li></ul><ul><li>Quintet is still sought with almost religious zeal </li></ul>1990 Mount Mary Vineyard Lilydale Cabernets Quintet Cabernets, Yarra Valley
  10. 10. <ul><li>An important line of classic Hunter Valley Shirazes </li></ul><ul><li>Steeped in Australian Heritage </li></ul><ul><li>1959 Bin 1590 and 1965 Bin 3100 - two of the greatest wines of the era </li></ul><ul><li>Typically bottled at the end of the year in which they were made </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-vineyard sourcing predominantly on volcanic soils </li></ul><ul><li>No new oak until mid 1980s </li></ul><ul><li>Typically matured in a combination of new, one year-old and two-year old French and American oak for around 8 months </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the top performing wine collectables during the 1980s to mid 1990s </li></ul><ul><li>Medium bodied supple/ loose knit tannins and &quot;velvety sheen.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Corporatisation lead to a diminishing voice </li></ul><ul><li>1991 The last of the classics? </li></ul><ul><li>11.5% Alc </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Like a sinner repenting on his deathbed, i have belatedly rediscovered the greatness of Hunter shiraz without brettanomyces and blessed with screw cap.&quot; James Halliday August 2010 </li></ul>1991 Lindemans Bin 8203 ”Burgundy”, Hunter Valley
  11. 11. <ul><li>1969 - land purchased by Dr Bill and Sandra Pannell </li></ul><ul><li>1973 - First vintage </li></ul><ul><li>1985 - Keith and Clare Mugford </li></ul><ul><li>Unirrigated and widely spaced 11.78 hectare vineyard - low input principals </li></ul><ul><li>gentle north-east facing slopes - sandy loams to a gravelly red/brown loams over clay </li></ul><ul><li>“ The quality and personality of wine is largely determined by vineyard&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>The fruit was hand-picked, de-stemmed into open tanks, hand-plunged four times a day until completion of fermentation. At the end of vinification the wine macerated on skins for around 8 days. Maturation in French oak barriques (51% new Alliers) for 17 months </li></ul><ul><li>Evolution; Longer skin contact time during fermentation and a change in encépagement with the inclusion of cabernet franc, petit verdot and merlot; deeper colour, more perfumed and textured </li></ul><ul><li>Moss Wood is a strong proponent of the use of screw caps ; approximately 70% of the vintage is now bottled with this alternative closure </li></ul>1995 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River
  12. 12. <ul><li>Trial vineyard planted in 1966 by Di and Dr Kevin Cullen </li></ul><ul><li>Vanya Cullen - prime winemaker since 1989 </li></ul><ul><li>Early proponents of ecological sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Central Wilyabrup sub-region of Margaret River </li></ul><ul><li>Now rebadged Diane Madeline Cabernet Merlot (since 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>One of Australia’s greatest cabernets with beautiful poise and tannin structure </li></ul><ul><li>Scott Henry trellis system critical to supple tannin structures </li></ul><ul><li>1995 a “tipping point”; Exemplifies sub-regional argument </li></ul><ul><li>Biodynamic Viticulture to “achieve greater individuality of site through working with nature rather than against it” </li></ul><ul><li>Between 10- 50% of the wine is partially barrel fermented </li></ul><ul><li>Rest given extended maceration before maturation in 30% new, tightly-grained French oak. </li></ul><ul><li>Freshness and complexity, structure and suppleness </li></ul><ul><li>Cullen is a strong advocate/early leader </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Screw cap technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Carbon neutral practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Biodynamic viticulture </li></ul></ul>1995 Cullen Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, Margaret River
  13. 13. <ul><li>1888 Block 42 – oldest cabernet plantings in the world </li></ul><ul><li>Alluvial sands, rich brown soils </li></ul><ul><li>Neither provided enough fruit nor the required consistency every vintage </li></ul><ul><li>Only released in 1948, 1952, 1953,1961,1963,1964, 1996 and 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Block 42 played a critical role in the development of Grange and Bin 707 </li></ul><ul><li>1952 and 1953 Grange Cabernet </li></ul><ul><li>1963 Bin 64 Cabernet Sauvignon (100% Block 42) – Jimmy Watson Trophy </li></ul><ul><li>Stainless steel tanks/ wooden header boards to submerge cap </li></ul><ul><li>Fermentation completed in new American oak hogsheads. Approximately 13 – 18 months maturation </li></ul><ul><li>1996; a renewed focus on trial winemaking, new styles, individual vineyard character and new varietals </li></ul>1996 Penfolds Block 42 Kalimna Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Barossa Valley
  14. 14. <ul><li>Great Western very important during the 1950s and 1960s - Colin Preece </li></ul><ul><li>Cool Climate Viticulture during the 1980s; renewed focus on Victoria – many boutique wineries established </li></ul><ul><li>A synthesis and model of heritage and modern small winemaking </li></ul><ul><li>Best's Concongella Vineyard 1860s plantings at Great Western </li></ul><ul><li>15 Rows of dry grown Shiraz vines planted circa 1866 </li></ul><ul><li>Open-fermented in small ‘tubs’ and then matured in a 50/50 combination of new and old American oak for approximately 24 months </li></ul><ul><li>First released in 1992 (to commemorate a century of winemaking at Best’s) </li></ul><ul><li>Sandy limey loams over deep clay, was acquired in 1920 </li></ul><ul><li>Viv Thomson believes that there are two types of wines, “...talking wines and drinking wines”. </li></ul><ul><li>Great Western also known for Sparkling Burgundy </li></ul><ul><li>A strong swing back to Great Western during the 1990s </li></ul>1996 Best’s Wines Thomson Family Great Western Shiraz Great Western, Grampians
  15. 15. <ul><li>One of Australia’s original international cult wines </li></ul><ul><li>Roman Bratasiuk </li></ul><ul><li>Robert Parker; 1994 vintage </li></ul><ul><li>Sparked controversy at home; propelled success in the US and Asia </li></ul><ul><li>Asian collectors ‘first growth’ in the same way as Le Pin and Valandraud </li></ul><ul><li>Changed the fine wine landscape irrevocably </li></ul><ul><li>simple goal of making “something equal to the best in the world” </li></ul><ul><li>Based on single vineyard and a laissez-faire winemaking approach </li></ul><ul><li>Old vines up to around 75 years old </li></ul><ul><li>Matured in 100% new French Barriques for 18 months </li></ul><ul><li>Derives from a mixture of clay, ironstone and gravely soils </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Distinguished vineyard site to the nth degree </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhanced the reputation of McLaren Vale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inspired a whole generation of young winemakers </li></ul></ul>1996 Clarendon Hills Astralis Vineyard Syrah, McLaren Vale
  16. 16. <ul><li>Renamed Chris Ringland Shiraz </li></ul><ul><li>A scion of Robert O’Callaghan’s “Rockford School” </li></ul><ul><li>“ meticulous order, accumulation of experience and creativity” </li></ul><ul><li>Four to five hogsheads or 1500 litres </li></ul><ul><li>The &quot;unusually thick skinned&quot; dry grown shiraz (Same source material as Wendouree?) </li></ul><ul><li>Edge of the Barossa Valley, but technically in Eden Valley </li></ul><ul><li>The 1910 vines are planted in shallow skeletal granitic sandy loams over underlying clay moisture-holding podzols </li></ul><ul><li>Shiraz of unique &quot;lushness and tremendous concentration&quot;. In some seasons the fruit will naturally ripen up to 17 ° Baumé yet retain excellent acid balance and flavour! </li></ul><ul><li>Open fermented and regularly pumped-over to extract colour, flavour and tannins </li></ul><ul><li>After draining and pressing through a traditional wooden basket press, fermentation is completed in 100% new French oak hogsheads </li></ul><ul><li>A period of up to 46 months oak maturation follows to achieve optimum complexity and balance between oak and fruit </li></ul><ul><li>Barrels alone believing that a laissez-faire approach will allow the tannins and oak to harmonise into the “landscape of the wine.” </li></ul><ul><li>1993 - 99points by Robert Parker lead to &quot;discovery&quot; </li></ul>1996 Three Rivers Shiraz, Barossa Valley
  17. 17. <ul><li>Established by Brian Croser in the late 1970s </li></ul><ul><li>Petaluma captured the imagination of the wine world </li></ul><ul><li>Distinguished Vineyard sites </li></ul><ul><li>Originally Cabernet Shiraz – but opted for Merlot very early on </li></ul><ul><li>A leading Coonawarra wine; did much to define the character and potential of the region </li></ul><ul><li>The fruit is derived from the Evans Vineyard planted in 1969 on terra rossa </li></ul><ul><li>Purchased by Petaluma in 1978 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Hand pruned, canopy trained, crop moderated, handpicked and dry land managed amongst a sea of mechanised convenience managed vineyards,&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Coonawarra has since gone through a major revamp of vineyards! </li></ul><ul><li>Closed headed down fermenters and roto-fermenters </li></ul><ul><li>Matured for 20 months in French oak </li></ul><ul><li>Very elegant and true to vineyard. Never fashion orientated </li></ul>1998 Petaluma Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, Coonawarra
  18. 18. <ul><li>Traditional and contemporary winemaking practices </li></ul><ul><li>Embraces old vine Shiraz </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional tools of trade (a 1910 petrol-driven old Bagshaw crusher, basket press, open fermenters, etc) and the complementary nuances of American and French oak maturation </li></ul><ul><li>Early to recognise the future of regional definition, the importance of heritage and the conservation of both physical and viticultural resources </li></ul><ul><li>The fruit, from 60-140 year-old vines, is sourced from local growers in the Barossa including around Kalimna, Ebenezer, Moppa Springs, the Eden Valley and Central Barossa  </li></ul><ul><li>Made in the classic mould with strong, ripe, blackberry and fine chocolate fruit characters, underscored by well-seasoned American and French oak and ripe tannins. The wines are beautifully balanced and have a reputation for freshness and aging. They develop paneforte/ dark chocolate aromas and further richness and complexity on the palate </li></ul><ul><li>Understated power, balance and minerality . The oak is never at the fore </li></ul><ul><li>Maturation style reminiscent of Barossa wines made during the 1950s and 1960s </li></ul><ul><li>1998 was a classic Barossa Vintage </li></ul>1998 Rockford Basket Press Shiraz, Barossa Valley
  19. 19. <ul><li>Tim Kirk’s ethereal and evocative Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier </li></ul><ul><li>Profoundly captures the essence of country </li></ul><ul><li>Located in a gentle south facing fold of the cool southern tablelands at Murrumbateman near Canberra, </li></ul><ul><li>Unblinkered by the constraints of a technical background </li></ul><ul><li>Determined to “capture the wonder and beauty” of his own place </li></ul><ul><li>Mentors Bailey Carrodus and Phillip Jones! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-fermentation macerations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Varietal blending options </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High fermentation temperatures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whole bunch fermentation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extended post fermentation soaking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Partial barrel fermentation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New oak maturation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Now approximately a 93%/7% blend </li></ul><ul><li>Matured in one third new French oak to let “our cool climate profile fruit lead the wood.” </li></ul><ul><li>Hugely successful collector’s wine </li></ul>2001 Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier, Canberra District
  20. 20. <ul><li>2004 is a waypoint in Coonawarra’s history. Many good wines made </li></ul><ul><li>Precision viticulture/ winemaking and contemporary thinking ie science and craft </li></ul><ul><li>120 acre vineyard – Balnaves supplier to other producers </li></ul><ul><li>The Tally – best parcels; not produced every year </li></ul><ul><li>Each block managed according to soil profile, clonal selection and trellis system </li></ul><ul><li>The vines are mostly machine pruned and harvested </li></ul><ul><li>Fermented in vinimatics and open-topped static fermenters. Some barrel fermentation </li></ul><ul><li>Maturation 18-22 months in fine grained new and used French oak barriques and hogsheads </li></ul><ul><li>“ Coonawarra reds are naturally very refined wines. Those elegant fine tannins are particularly associated with the local terra rossa and transitional soils. After 10 years, regardless of style, all Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignons show this common thread.” </li></ul>2004 Balnaves of Coonawarra The Tally Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra
  21. 21. <ul><li>1880 - Mount Pleasant Old Hill Vineyard established by Charles King </li></ul><ul><li>1921 - purchased by legendary pioneer winemaker Maurice O’Shea </li></ul><ul><li>1932 - McWilliam's acquired a half share eventually securing full ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Based primarily on the 130-year-old Old Hill Vineyard </li></ul><ul><li>Selected parcels from Old Paddock Vineyard (planted in 1921) </li></ul><ul><li>Free-draining vineyards - heavy, rich, volcanic soils </li></ul><ul><li>Best of traditional and contemporary practices </li></ul><ul><li>Hand-picked in February, the grapes are crushed, cold soaked for up to 48 hours and then vinified for 12 to 14 days </li></ul><ul><li>Completion of fermentation in new (80%) French oak hogsheads </li></ul><ul><li>Maturation for around 20 months. Rack and Returns every six months </li></ul><ul><li>Maurice O'Shea Shiraz is a selection of the very best vineyard parcels and barrels </li></ul><ul><li>An example of evolutionary winemaking practices based on old vine stock and Hunter &quot;heritage&quot; </li></ul>2006 McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant Maurice O’Shea Shiraz, Hunter Valley
  22. 22. <ul><li>Planted on decomposed granitic soils overlying a clay base </li></ul><ul><li>Vertical shoot position trellis system </li></ul><ul><li>Vintage in late March </li></ul><ul><li>The fruit is lightly crushed. A small proportion of stems is retained. few days cold soak </li></ul><ul><li>Vinification in three separate cuvees of equal volume; one is co-fermented with up to 5% Roussanne </li></ul><ul><li>Natural yeasts. Fermentation 14 to 18 days in “open-top wood” or concrete tanks </li></ul><ul><li>Pneumatic plunging to extract flavour and colour and maintain even temperatures </li></ul><ul><li>Maturation in new (40%) and seasoned Sirugue barriques </li></ul><ul><li>After bottling the wine is matured for 22 months in an underground cave </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;The winemaking style is deliberately reductive with oxygen exposures kept to a minimum, and long lees contact.” </li></ul>2006 Giaconda Warner Vineyard Shiraz, Beechworth
  23. 23. <ul><li>Coonawarra enjoying considerable fame in the early 1980s </li></ul><ul><li>Terra Rossa Soils - mid 1970s; 1,359 acres </li></ul><ul><li> - mid 2000s; 13,590 acres! </li></ul><ul><li>John Wade’s wine - a new and enduring genre of Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon </li></ul><ul><li>Top Parcels (1%) of fruit - rich concentrated style with 24-28 months oak maturation </li></ul><ul><li>Won Best Red Wine in Australia – Canberra National Wine Show </li></ul><ul><li>Hugely famous wine - spawned a new direction in fine wine making </li></ul><ul><li>Precursor to cult wine scene </li></ul>1982 Wynns Coonawarra Estate John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra