(2023) Some granite and ironstone influence on the clay loam soils here, the wine whole bunch pressed and fermented with indigenous yeasts in 500L French puncheons. Matured for 10 months in barrel (20% new) it did not go through malolactic and there was no batonnage. Very clean and mineral and fruit driven on the nose, the oak less prominent on this one. Very juicy and ripe in style, though the sharpness of the acid structure gives lovely focus, a rounding touch of barrel character easing the finish. Stylish.
(2023) From silty loam soils, half the juice started fermentation in tank, the remainder was wild fermented in barrel (French oak hogsheads, 30% new oak). Malolactic occured in barrels, with lees stirring, for around nine months. There's a sour orange and lemon, invitingly grown-up note on the nose here, some toast and a core of apple fruitiness. Lovely sweetness to the palate fruit, smooth and supple texture too. Plenty of juiciness, a vivacious citrus streak and again that pithy, savoury acid character pushing the finish. Concentrated and age-worthy I suspect.
(2023) Named after winemaker Axel Friendâ€™s mother, Valerie, this underwent 50% malolactic fermentation, giving some butteriness, and saw 50% new oak, which is beautifully integrated. Very appealing citrus and peach notes, with creamy lees and spice from the oak. Very fresh acidity and terrific length. No UK stockists for this wine at time of review. (GD)
(2022) A lowly 12.5% alcohol for this, from vineyards planted between 1988 and 2001 on clay loams, the wine wild-fermented and aged eight months in larger French oak, 15% new. Only 10% went through malolactic and there was no lees stirring. A very fine line of lemon and crisp, cool apple, quite a delicate lemon jelly style with the oak way in the background. Delightfully crisp and juicy on the palate, again focused on lemons and ripe yellow apple, even a touch of something floral, but absolutely beautiful balance here, long and shimmering into the finish in a slightly sweeter Chablis style.
(2021) From Geelong, 25 kilomteres from the Ocean, and made organically. The soils are clay over limestone, and the wine is fermented with wild yeasts before spending 10 months in French oak (larger barrels and 20% new). Around 70% goes through malolactic. Creamy cashew nut, melon and juicy apple, not so much flint here, but not in the tropical spectrum either. The palate is lovely: decisive acidity for sure, lemon and salt, but a rounded, creamy fruit quality, the almond and hazelnut oak is delicious, and this has excellent length and balance.
(2017) Middle tier of the range, whole bunch fermented, partly with wild yeast, no malolcactic and 20% of new barrels. Creamy and a little restrained, a touch of almond and fat lemon and then lean and savoury onto the palate, but has lovely cream and sweet apple flesh fruitiness. Tight finish, long and poised. Note stockist and price at time of review is for a different vintage.
(2017) Emerald tinge to the colour, nice hint of butter and toast from the barrels, a nice hint of flint too, however, and turns quite tight and retains plenty of fruit sweetness against its acidity. Rather nice.
(2017) Nice flinty character here, very appealing, though quite closed, feels just a little constrained and as though there's a lot still to come in a true baby of a wine. Very nice balance, very nice tight citrus zest and hints of that flinty mineral saltiness, suggest this will evolve very nicely and I am confident it will deserve its score. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for the 2014 vintage.
(2017) Winemaker Luke Lomax says the philosophy is to look for balance between fruit, acid and phenolics and always lower alcohols. Crushed and fermented with wild yeast in 500l puncheons, no malo. Quite creamy and appley, the light earthinss and straw-like notes of wild yeast complexity, lime rind and a touch of spice. The palate shows lovely nuttiness and a bit of breadth of texture, but that taut mineral and lemon/apple dry acid and keenly juicy fruit concentration gives great clarity. Note price and stockist shown at time of review is for the 2014 vintage.
(2017) More creamy and gently toasty oak, with more of that complex fig and gentle sulphidic character, nicely hazelnutty, with plenty of citrus and crunchy apple acids, with a ripe lemony fruit - sharp, but with fat and generosity, with the oak filling in. A more diffuse style than Kooyong for example, but very delicious. Note price and stockist at time of review are for the 2014 vintage.