Gran Moraine is now part of the Jackson Family Wines group which allows Tiger Wines, as its distributor for some of the boutique wines in the JFW portfolio, to bring this wine to Singapore.
It won’t replace the focus on the cool-climate wines of Tasmania, Yarra Valley, Beechworth etc. as it’s a “once a year” purchase and it’s only for 2 cases.
But it’s a good opportunity to try some excellent wines coming from the Oregon region, and to compare the different approaches to winemaking between Oregon and Australia’s cool-climate regions. The winemaker notes talk of fermentation taking 12 months to complete, in my experience, unheard of in Australia.
1258 cases made, a modest alcohol of 13% and RRP of US$45 in the home market.
NEW ARRIVALS IN MELBOURNE
GEMBROOK HILL – Yarra Valley
2016 Chardonnay – 12 btls – S$60 – Mike Bennie 95
2016 Sauvignon Blanc – 12 btls – S$51 – Halliday 90
2016 Pinot Noir – 18 btls – S$68 – not yet rated
HOME HILL – Huon Valley
2017 Sauvignon Blanc – 18 btls – S$46 – Huon Hooke 91
MAYER – Yarra Valley
All 2017, all 12 btls, all sold out at winery within 2 weeks of release
Cabernet – S$72 – Mike Bennie 96
Chardonnay – S$73 – NYR (not yet rated)
Gamay – S$72 – Mike Bennie 94, first time release
Nebbiolo – S$72 – Mike Bennie 96
Pinot Noir “Bloody Hill” – S$55 – NYR
Pinot Noir “Close Planted” – S$73 – Mike Bennie 96+
Pinot Noir “Doktor” – S$73 – NYR
Granite Pinot Noir – S$73 – NYR
Syrah – S$72 – NYR
MT PILOT ESTATE – Eldorado
2015 Cabernet Sauvignon – 24 btls – S$52 – Halliday 88
SORRENBERG – Beechworth
2017 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon – 24 btls – S$57 – Gary Walsh 96
The review by Gary Walsh in the promo attached talks about leaving this wine open for a day, or leaving it alone for a year or two.
Given that his rating was made in May 2015, that “year or two” has now passed and this wine should be nicley aged. I bought it in August 2015 so it’s been quietly ageing since then in my Victoria coolroom where my commercial wines are held at around 14C.
But let’s get back to the “leave it open for a day”.
Many consumers believe a wine should be drunk immediately upon opening otherwise there is a fear that the wine will deteriorate (i.e oxidise) and become less enjoyable, even undrinkable in a relatively short period of time. I think this certainly holds true for some wines like Sauvignon Blanc that needs that zippy freshness to remain, or on some older, perhaps fragile wines that can fade very quickly in the glass. Most natural wines have very little protection against oxidation (i.e very little or no sulphur) so consuming them early is safest.
But I’m in the camp that that likes to decant everything, and I’m more than happy to carry a wine over to the next day if I think it will improve with more airing. From my experience, many Rieslings drink better the day after opening, and can reward even several days later. Apsley Gorge Pinot can disappoint if “popped and poured” but give it a long decant, or better still a whole day open, and it’s a different wine.
Ditto with the Mayer Pinots. Decanting and patience will be rewarded.
And perhaps still with this Chardonnay.
HOME HILL “Kelly’s Reserve” Tasmania Pinot Noir 2016 – 60 btls – $77 – not yet rated
LA VIOLETTA “Le Rayon V” Great Southern Cabernet Malbec 2015 – 12 btls – $77 – Mike Bennie 94+
MEWSTONE D’Entrecasteaux Channel Tasmania Riesling – 12 btls – S$63 – Halliday 95
It came as a surprise to me that the last Stefano Lubiana Estate Chardonnay that I did a formal promotion on was for the 2008 vintage.
Why is this so? Well, one of the reasons is that Stefano Lubiana’s Estate Chardonnay often sells out before it gets a promotion done on it by me.
For this vintage, the 2014, I brought up a little more than usual for a proposed event that didn’t eventuate. Such are a retailer’s risks.
But, it’s the way it sold out downunder that also accounted for the fact that I can find no rating on this wine. Except one that matters. Although not strictly a rating in the normal sense, this wine was awared Gold Trophy at the 2016 International Organic Wine competition in Germany. That makes it the equivalent of 95 points in their score. Stefano Lubiana’s Pinot Noir from the same vintage was given “best biodynamic wine in the world” at the same show.
So, a special wine and a personal favourite.
The wine is produced by Joe Holyman at his Stoney Rise vineyard on the west bank of the Tamar River near Launceston. He uses “Stoney Rise” as the label for his entry-level wines, and just “Holyman” for his premium label, but you’ll see it listed and referred to as both Stoney Rise Holyman Chardonnay and just Holyman Chardonnay.
It was released at A$50 in late 2015 and immediately sold out at the winery. I managed to get 4 cases, did a promotion back in November 2015, sold a few bottles but since then it’s been hiding down the back of the coolroom escaping my attention. Time to remedy that.
I’ve got about 2 cases in Singapore and a case in Melbourne so you can choose to have it delivered now or wait until my next airfreight due mid-October.
There are times when you’re not looking for a heavy red over dinner, but not looking for a white either. Or maybe you’re just sitting around on the balcony or next to the pool contemplating life.
This may be a wine for those occasions. As Huon Hooke says “a nice quaff”. Nothing too serious.
10 bottles only.