96 Points - James Halliday "From the eastern slope planted '66 on red volcanic soil. Open-fermented, cold soak, wild-fermented in open concrete fermenter, matured in French oak for 14 months, not fined or filtered, gravity bottled. More black fruits and more tannins than Fountainhead. Will be very long-lived."
Winemaker "This wine was one of 3 barrels selected from the Howard family Somerset Vineyard where I once worked; I know this vineyard almost as well as my own. In the stellar 2018 vintage I separated the three aspects of the vineyard; Easterly, Northerly and Westerly to explore the ‘Terroir’. Each block was picked, fermented and vinified separately. The Western Slope was planted in 1970 on orange volcanic clay soils, over weathered limestone in Pokolbin. The fruit was cold soaked, fermented in open concrete fermenters with wild yeast, hand plunged, basket pressed and aged in French oak for 14 months. Unfined, unfiltered and gravity fed to bottle."
Zalto Denk-Art Bordeaux Glass
The Zalto Bordeaux glass is recommended for weightier style reds, probably our most widely used glass when tasting in house, this glass is great for many different wines. The large bowl helping aerate and soften tannins whilst accentuating the wine's depth and concentration. The Bordeaux glass is the ideal choice for Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Bordeaux or Rhône style blends and many other red wines. Surprisingly, it is also the glass of choice for oaked Chardonnay, the shape of the bowl accentuating the balance of ripe fruits and oak.
I maintain my families’ traditional label, which embodies a traditional ethos paying homage to my parents legacy as well as the traditional wine styles and produces of the region. The Vinden Headcase was established in 2015 when I took over the family business. The goal was to create great wines, which are as fun and distinctive to drink, as they were to make. The range focuses on producing delicious, unique, progressive styles that both respect and challenge the traditional regionality of the Hunter Valley. I believe it is my responsibility, just as O’Shea did up on the old hill, to continually redefine and reinvent the Hunter Valley. Tradition is not stagnant; it should constantly be redefined as we learn from the previous generation.” – Angus Vinden.
The Hunter Valley is the oldest commercial Wine Region in Australia dating back to 1828. As the current custodian of Vinden Wines, Angus Vinden has taken on the role to not only maintain, but to improve the Hunter Valley. All wines Vinden Wines produce are strictly sourced from Hunter Valley Vineyards, Angus believes "when you go to Burgundy, you drink Burgundy. Therefore, when you are in the Hunter Valley, you should drink from the plethora of stunning and ancient viticultural sites we possess." Vinden Wines sources from two vineyard sites, the estate vineyard and old vine blocks at Somerset Vineyard in Pokolbin where Angus was mentored under the 6th generation grower Glen Howard. The estate vineyard was first planted in 1995, the soil is heavy red clay; Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Gamay and Alicante are currently planted. Angus is in the process of expanding the estate vineyard holdings over the coming two years with Cinsault, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, additional Gamay and new clones of Chardonnay and Tempranillo going in the ground.
Somerset vineyard was originally planted in 1891, unfortunately during WWII the vines were pulled as demand for war time food outweighed grapes. Luckily in 1965 replanting began to re-establish one of the great sites in the original Parish of Pokolbin. As a hillside site it has both fine sandy loam soils and boasts a limestone hillside with granular red volcanic clay. Shiraz, Tempranillo, Chardonnay, Semillon, Verdelho, Gewürztraminer and Chenin Blanc are planted.
“Winemaking is an extension of farming for me, each vintage we are dictated to by Mother Nature and our grapes are a reflection of that growing season. That is the beauty and the art of viticulture and winemaking. Each wine and every bottle encapsulates that growing season. It is my role in the winery to guide them as carefully as possible from grapes and into wine, to ensure they are a true representation of that year and the terroir. The wines are made on-site from hand-picked grapes, wild yeast is employed and we ferment and mature in a multitude of vessels; concrete fermenters and eggs, stainless steel tanks, clay amphorae and oak 500L-2000L foudres. I showcase a different side to the Hunter Valley which keeps pace with the current market and new wine trends that are emerging.”
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