Rae's Restaurant in the Yarra Valley has just launched a terrific new menu. After trying a range of the dishes this week, the fabulous marinated pork scotch with Asian herbs and spices, kumara mash and caramalised pineapple salad was our favourite.
A perfect match with our lovely Black Label Pinot Noir!
We are currently very busy in the winery working on all the marvelous batches that the 2015 season has seen fit to bequeath us. All the ferments are through and we have but one pressing left of Cabernet Sauvignon from the First View Block.
We have held this batch on skins for over a month to allow the tannin structure to become softer and more complex. Pressing will occur in a week or so.
Tonnages are well up this year in both the Yarra Valley and Bendigo vineyards and quality across the board is very good to excellent. Once again the Vineyard team headed up by the loquacious Steve Bullock in Bendigo has produced high quality fruit which arrived at the Winery in beautiful condition. Steve is a quiet achiever and his second vintage with us has been a beauty.
The month of May in the winery sees the team of myself with David Lawson (assistant winemaker) and Ben McDonald (cellarhand) busily preparing the new unwooded wines for bottling in July. These batches include 2015 Sauvignon Blanc and 2015 Pinot Gris.
Our red batches are currently undergoing malolactic fermentation also known as the secondary fermentation. During this process lactic acid bacteria convert the hard malic acid in the wine to lactic acid thus providing a softer and more approachable mouthfeel
The Yarra vineyards have given us some lovely Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with Estate quality batches now maturing in barrel. The 2015 Black Label Pinot Noir is showing early resemblance to our gold medal winning 2012 version. 2015 has also given us a cracking Pinot Gris.
Back in Bendigo and the 2015 Estate Shiraz and Cabernet batches are looking supple with elegant structure and fine expressive tannins. Our Bendigo Chardonnay is looking marvelous and there is a particularly good batch of Estate grown Merlot. Plenty to look forward to from Vintage 2015.
Tony Winspear (Winemaker)
Balgownie Estate's Old Vine Shiraz vineyard was planted in 1969 by Stuart Anderson, the Estate's founder. Now the vines are 45 years old they are producing some excellent fruit that is necessary for our super premium Old Vine Shiraz.
But do old vines really produce better wine?
Vines tend to be a little like people, once they get to middle age they go through a number of physiological changes. Old vines tend to have reduced circulation which reduces the amount of nutrients that are available to the vine, resulting in a reduction in yield. With fewer berries on the vine, these grapes have an increased concentration of flavours which builds intensity and complexity into the finished wine.
Old well-established vines have deep and extensive root systems that help the vine to find moisture and nutrients through dry vintages. This contributes toward the stability of the vine itself and the reliability of quality fruit they they produce. As a result old vines have fruit with more balanced flavourd and ripeness levels and overall produce consistent high quality fruit from year to year.
Winemaker Tony Winspear with an Old Vine Shiraz vine from our Bendigo vineyard.
The wine is deep dark red with youthful purple hints. The aroma displays lifted red and black fruits combined with toasty French oak.The palate is extremely youthful and showcases a wonderful balance of richly concentrated fruit, oak and tannin. Whilst rich and satisfying now this wine will continue to build serious complexity in bottle over the next 20 years.
The Easter long weekend is the perfect time to come in and do some tastings at both our Yarra Valley and Bendigo Cellar Doors. Easter opening hours at our Bendigo Cellar Door Good Friday: Closed Saturday: 11am- 5pm Sunday: 11am- 5pm Monday: 11am- 5pm Easter opening hours for our Yarra Valley Cellar Door Good Friday: 12pm- 5pm Saturday: 9:30am- 6pm Sunday: 9:30am - 5pm Monday: 9:30am - 5pm Hope to see you all soon.
The new 2015 vintage has begun with our first pick of Old Vine Chardonnay coming off today from the Bendigo vineyard. The fruit came off in excellent condition with excellent natural acidity.
Our sparkling base was picked last night and is currently being pressed.
Tomorrow will see the Hillside Chardonnay harvested and pressed out.
The first Shiraz pick may occur in the next week to 10 days if current ripening conditions prevail.
The 2012 Estate Chardonnay is really cleaning up at the wine shows with a Trophy at the Ballarat Wine Show 2014 for Best Regional Chardonnay.
Along with recieving Gold medals at; Boutique Wine Awards 2014, Rutherglen Wine Show 2014, Sydney International Wine Competition 2014 (Blue Gold), Concours de Vins Victoria 2013, Australian Small Winemakers Show 2013, Ballarat Wine Show 2014