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Tasting Notes

Semillon

2011 Hunter Valley Semillon

This young Semillon already beams with bright and powerful lemon and lime/kafir - lime aromas along with exotic notes of tropical guava and green melon.This pure fruit zesty core is crowned by ethereal light hints of fennel and fresh herb. The flavours are silken and very long, dominated by a mix of ripe juicy lemon and gooseberry/kiwifruit, with subtle white-peach texture from start to finish, kept in tight focus with bright acidity. This is a bold Semillon  for such a young wine, with loads of character, very much in keeping with the 2011 vintage. Pure and radiant already, it will develop into a plush, complex wine over the next 7-12 years.

2010 Hunter Valley Semillon

Tasting Notes coming soon...

2009 Hunter Valley Semillon

Concentrated, green-citrus-spectrum aromatics – zesty ripe lemon, limejuice, and green apple, with the extra floral lift of tropical kiwi-fruit and freshly cut lemon-grass – jump from the glass with typical brightness. The flavors are bright and positive, showing elegant citrus power, expressing beautifully light supple flavor-weight, velvety length and vital, focused persistence.

“This Semillon fruit has the vibrant boldness and pure flavor inherent of our old-vine vineyard. It is an amazing example of Hunter Semillon – such zesty completeness ready for young drinking, yet also having the purity, focus, and structure for long term cellaring.”

Huon Hooke Australian Gourmet Traveller WINE.  95 points.

2008 Hunter Valley Semillon

The 2008 Semillon aromas are as usual of fresh lime and lemon, but this year shows extra zesty lemon-grass and hints of talc.  The nose is particularly bright and lifted – hallmarks of this low-yielding vineyard and the cool Summer conditions.

The palate is both very positive and very elegant. The strong fruit signatures of lemon and lime flow brightly throughout, finishing with grapefruity tang and lightness. Juicy freshness is paramount, and it is this vital element that will maintain the wine throughout its long cellaring life.

Fine acidity is also a feature of great Hunter Semillons, and this wine shows the precise balance of crispness for the best potential in classic development.

2007 Hunter Valley Semillon

The 2007 Semillon aromas are of fresh lime and lemon, and these follow through with juicy freshness on the palate, persisting with clean and tangy citrus acidity onto the finish.

Gentle background hints of talc show through on the nose, and the flavours finish with a subtle honey silkiness.

The essence of this Semillon is its crisp positive elegance, with an alcohol of only 11%, and accordingly this wine has flavours that are very long and delicate with a fine persistence.

2006 Hunter Valley Semillon

There is an increasingly discerning market that wants something in wine that is exquisite young, but which also has an amazing cellarability. Hunter Semillon, made well, is that wine. Semillon has the crisp flavours of lifted citrus that are very long and delicate with soft persistence. It is a perfect accompaniment to fresh seafood. This Semillon is a very youthful yet complex wine. The principal characters are fine lime and lemon, being the true varietal signatures for this great variety. The essence is its lightness and elegance; Semillon has flavours that are very long and delicate with soft persistence. Following the best traditions of the Hunter Valley, my Semillons are made for cellaring. The fine fruit, the elegant frame, & the clean long acidity give the potential for gradual development & maturation over the next decade (with careful cellaring). During this time the prime fruit will be enhanced by a delicate and honeyed complexity. Medium to long term cellaring recommended 10+ years.

2005 Hunter Valley Semillon

The 2005 Semillon is a reflection of the 2005 Hunter Vintage : because of the dry yet cool Summer weather, this wine has a remarkable racy lemon-grass brightness and persistence. The principal characters are fine lime and lemon, these being the true varietal signatures for this great variety. The essence is its lightness and elegance, and accordingly this wine has flavours that are very long and delicate with a soft persistence. A crisp lemony tang onto the finish provides a “pure” fine length – quite like that of the 2004 Vintage - but with more velvety flavour weight - like the 2003. Following the best traditions of the Hunter Valley, this Semillon has fine fruit, an elegant frame, and clean long flavour balance, and will, with careful cellaring, gradually develop delicate honeyed complexity over the next decade at least. Cases made: 1100

2004 Hunter Valley Semillon

Another pure and elegant Hunter Semillon, practically a twin to our acclaimed 2003, being equally bright and zesty and positive. This is a reasonable comparison for us to make, with both wines winning the same Trophies at the same young age. The 2004 Semillon shows perhaps a fraction more refined acidity and crisper length. This is a reflection of the cool weather of the 2004 Semillon vintage, which provided the exact ingredients for classic Semillons with great natural acid balance and length. Is the 2004 better than the 2003, and which wine will cellar the longest? Generally, the better and finer Semillons are produced in the milder Hunter Vintages, and 2004 was milder than 2003. Time will surely be the best judge, but, at the moment, I regard the longer acid persistence of the 2004 as being "more typical" of the classics.

2003 Hunter Valley Semillon

Tasting Notes coming soon...

2002 Hunter Valley Semillon

 

Produced for the first time in 2000, this is the second Semillon made and marketed under the Keith Tulloch label. The fruit was selected from the Howard family’s “Somerset” Vineyard in Pokolbin. This block of vines was planted in the 1970’s, on rich red volcanic loamy soils.The aspect is to the West, giving excellent sunny exposure and optimum varietal expression. This mature vineyard consistently produces low yields, so consistency of character and style is assured from each Vintage. A minerally / talc lightness is derived from subsoil of powdery limestone. Cooler weather – similar to Spring or early Autumn – prevailed for much of January, giving a very good flavour development in the fruit and also very good retention of natural acidity. This fruit was harvested in early February 2002.

2000 Hunter Valley Semillon

 

 

 

Chardonnay

2010

Tasting notes coming soon....

2009

“Bright nectarine / stone fruit aromas with zesty pineapple and honey-dew melon perfume. Tight and bright citrus and fresh fig flavors peel out to a bold, complex, and silky soft palate, showing the multi-layered creamy cashew texture from barrel fermenting in new and one-year old French barriques. This Chardonnay is driven by super-ripe and vibrant fruit, but has the beautiful balance of refined oak providing creamy vanilla-like length, and the clear minearally tang of fine acidity onto the finish.”

2008

This wine appears to be very delicate when first opened, offering tantalizing suggestions of substance to develop into the future. The aromas of pineapple and nectarine open out first, with light scents of talc and minerally perfume chiming in. Hints of lemon and Tahitian lime fill out the background, evoking fresh Semillon-like zestiness.

Some may say that the palate is more Semillon-like than Chardonnay-like, and I would agree – at this stage – that the latent and tight structure of this Chardonnay has some similarity. This is a tight, bright, focused wine with a finer nucleus of fruit than usual, and this texture, balance and fine oak will therefore take longer in the bottle to integrate and develop.

These characters open out with breathing to reveal the typical barrel ferment funkiness – peach, melon and passionfruit plus hints of smoky vanilla oak – combining in a harmonious Burgundy-like balance.

Although underpinned by bright acidity, the palate has velvety mouthfeel and very long fruit persistence as a result of the solids-in-ferment technique.

The palate finish has perhaps the closest affinity to Semillon : the finish has poise and brightness, showing “mouth-watering” fine minerally acidity, and an orange-grapefruit racy acid length.

All of these elements are precisely combined to produce a fine, restrained Chardonnay with the potential for aging well beyond the norm for this variety. I would certainly recommend aging for at least 2 years to allow the wine to assert its personality and soften. The long term cellaring potential would exceed 10 years, during which time the wine will have developed creamy biscuit richness.

2007

Vibrant and fresh citrus, pear, and pineapple characters run along the palate, with hints of nectarine perfume and elements of minerally barrel ferment complexity.

This is a tight, bright, focussed wine with a concentrated nucleus of ripe fruit essence, given more texture and balance with fine oak.  The finish has poise and brightness, showing “mouth-watering” fine natural acidity, and an orange-grapefruit racy acid length.

2006

My focus with Chardonnay has been to generate a powerful style with long concentrated flavours, while retaining vibrant freshness and a good potential for cellaring. Fully ripe fruit is sourced from old and low yielding vines, expressing concentrated citrus, pear, and pineapple characters, with elements of minerally complexity.

Sophisticated barrel-fermentation in new French oak (Seguin Moreau and Dargaud & Jeagle) adds fine vanilla richness and spice to the bouquet and flavour. The Chardonnay receives minimal malo-ferment. The texture and flavour complexity is derived from solids-in-ferment, producing a fruit richness that persists well on to the finish.

The result is a tight, bright, focused wine : a concentrated nucleus of ripe fruit power, balanced with fine oak, and finishing with a clean racy acid. Cellaring will allow the creamy softness to build and subtle cashew-nut characters to develop. 3-5 years cellaring recommended.

2005

Vibrant and fresh citrus, pear and pinapple charatcers, with elements of minerally barrel ferment complexity.

This is a tight, bright, focussed wine with a concentrated nucleus of ripe fruit power, balanced with fine oak and a clean racy acid length.

2004

Tasting notes coming soon....

2003

Tasting notes coming soon....

2002

Tasting notes coming soon....

2001

Tasting notes coming soon....

Pinot Gris

Viognier

2010

Concentrated fresh fruit aromas of black cherry and plum mix seamlessly with choc-orange and subtle apricot creating a velvety soft wine with loads of instant appeal.

The palate balance is sumptuous and plush with super ripe dark berry fruit persistence and mouth-filling mocha-choc texture; a superb wine for drinking now or for keeping for 3-5 years. Sealed under screwcap for quality and consistency.

2009

Fresh rose-petal and musky florals glide over tight blackberry, with blackcurrant aromas weaving a delicious spicy bouquet. The palate has bright, perfumed richness; the black cherry and dark power of shiraz accents the citrus blossom and juicy texture of the viognier. A fume` note of spicy herbaceousness sits quietly in the background, adding a typical signature from this vintage.The tannins are velvety soft and make for very approachable drinking now.

2007

“Fresh rose-petal with musky florals glide over tight blackberry / blackcurrant aromas and deeper glossy blood-plum hints. Velvety black-fruit flavors open out on the palate, running to a mid palate of warm briar-berry spice with soft and harmonious roundness, with cinnamon and cedary oak spice lingering over black fruit persistence. The fine finish shows an intriguing and charming mix of confection cherry and warm Szechuan pepper.”

2006

A Rhone Valley style, with fully ripe Shiraz characters of blood plum and ripe black cherry fruit balanced with the exotic Viognier aromas of citrus blossom and rose petal. Married together these varieties produce a palate with richer aromatic charm, warm briar berry spice and a velvety medium-bodied balance. With a rich, ripe black-fruit softness on entry, and smooth roundness and chocolatey softness onto the finish. Adding to the mix is the finely integrated weave of supple oak, and a delicate floral hint of violets and rose-petal resulting in a beautifully complete blend.

2005

The nose shows fully ripe Shiraz characters of blood-plum and ripe red-cherry plus the exotic perfume of Viognier, with honeysuckle blossom and spice providing richer aromatic charm. Flavours show luxurious red and blackfruit depth, flowing to a plush finish with a petit tannin balance. Refined medium-toasted oak adds fine length, with spicy cigar-box perfume and supple wood tannin support.

It has co-ferment bouquet richness, flavor softness, and gentle tannins already, making a fresh and opulent style of wine that is complete and balanced even when young.

2004

Tasting notes coming soon....

2003

Tasting notes coming soon....

2002

Tasting notes coming soon....

Other White

Rose

Tempranillo

Merlot

2010

Tasting notes coming soon....

2009

Tasting notes coming soon....

2007

Variety: 100% Hunter Valley Merlot

Region: Hunter Valley New South Wales, Australia

Style:  Medium bodied with a concentrated raspberry/mulberry-fruit core

Colour: Bright red-black with a purple hue

Aroma: Fresh blackberry and mulberry ripeness, quite floral and perfumed, with exotic tobacco-leaf perfume and spicy hints of tea and “cigar-box” oak. Deeper plum and  blackcurrant notes evolve with breathing in the glass.

Palate: Bright ripe blackberry and soft plummy flavors fill out the front palate, and provide velvety texture and silky length onto a soft and very refined finish showing leafy herb, minty spice, and eucalyptus, over fine and supple tannins.

2006

This parcel of excellent 100% Hunter Valley Merlot shows strong aromatic notes of fully ripe blackberry and mulberry with fresh herbaceous mint, and warm spicy richness . The multilayered medium bodied palate is youthful with fresh fruit brightness. Fully ripe blueberry / blackberry scent showing hints of fresh herbaceous mint, with warm spicy fruit richness and full oak “cedar-wood” perfume. A velvety ripe,voluptuous palate packed with blueberry fruit and briar-berry spiciness, supple astringent freshness,and fine spicy oak depth. This Merlot has allure and softness already, and will appeal toyoung drinking easily, but also has the spicy freshness for cellaring improvement over the next 3 – 4 years.

2005

Deep red with medium purple and hints of garnet.

Aromas are floral blueberry / mulberry and spice, with a core of sweeter red-cherry supported by herbaceous hints of tomato-leaf, building to a deep charry oak perfume.

The palate shows generous medium bodied “sweet plum” and raisin density, with youthful bright flavours underpinned by the black-chocolate density of fine taunt tannins.

2004

Tasting notes coming soon....

2003

The 2003 Vintage was superb, warranting a “stellar” classification from many winemakers and journalists.

The 2003 Vintage shows stronger notes of mulberry and plum with deep tannins and more firmness than usual. Although the palate softness and smooth tannin make for enjoyable young drinking, the wine will certainly improve with medium to long term cellaring, developing further spice and black-chocolate flavours.

Cases made: 500

2002

James Halliday Rating: 90 points (Australian Wine Companion 2005 Edition)“
”Clean, fresh, lively savory/olive notes around a core of red fruits; fine supple tannins.”

Best drinking : 2010

Cases made: 500

2000

James Halliday Rating: 88 points (Australian Wine Companion 2003 Edition)
“Medium red-purple; clean, fresh, bright berry fruit on the bouquet introduces a palate with harmonious texture and flavour, the sole limitation in the wine lying with the choice of region and variety.”

Best drinking: 2003 – 2008

Cases made: 310

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