• Vintage 2019 Musings

    “Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us.” Oscar Wilde

    It is with a wistful sense of nostalgia, that for a moment, we can enjoy reliving 2019 over again. Although such a short time ago, #V2019 seems a distant memory of better times prior to the confluence and consequences of droughts, bushfires and pandemics. A bottle of 2019 red is as good as a diary to a winemaker or viticulturalist. And in the time it takes to drink one; the highlights of the season flood back with clarity until the second bottle where the days aren’t remembered only the moments; until the third bottle where…um….what was I saying again..

    So back to the wines. Now is a period where winemakers are carefully studying 2019 reds to gauge the early signs of vintage quality. Most will have been in bottle for enough time to have recovered from any bottle shock and are now settling into their stride. The vintage gave us great colour and intense varietal concentration. The 2019 vintage experienced hot and dry weather with a faster than normal ripening period. I was conscious of how that had affected the tannin structure on the vine during berry tasting which then influenced winemaking decisions. The key in hot years is to gently macerate the grapes during fermentation. We take great care in using gentle techniques like “irrigating” the cap rather than excessive “rack and returns” or extended maceration periods. This helps to “tame the tannins” and I believe that on early inspection our 2019 reds have benefitted from this approach. The tannin quality appears excellent because it is sitting within the fruit weight and the fruit is extending and carrying further along the palate rather being left with hard drying tannin on the finish.

    Now the aging question. Firstly, Mudgee as a region ages well over the long term (15+ years) whether it be for whites or reds. Here, whites and reds have great mid-palate acidity. In addition, well-made whites have a very fine phenolic line through them which gives them longevity. In my experience, reds in Mudgee rarely display green, unpalatable tannins. They generally have ripe, firm tannins that over time melt away and are perfectly suited to long term maturation. And the third sign of a suitable wine to age is fruit concentration. The 2019 harvest delivered us full bodied wines because of the drier season. If a red wine is not balanced as a young wine, it will not generally cellar well either.

    To get the best of aging wines, you need to drink some now and put the rest away to be opened intermittently. Contrary to popular belief, there is not just the ascension to a single peak and it’s downhill from there. The journey can be a series of hills and valleys, each with their own enjoyable aspects and expressions. You don’t always get a great view, but that doesn’t mean you have missed the best part. Most importantly, at each point the tasting result should be interesting.

    We don’t all have a purpose-built cellar but we usually have a space that is almost as good. Wine is generally more resilient than we think. It can handle some temperature variation, so long as it does not get too warm. The ideal storage environment is 13˚C in a dark location. Wine refrigerators are a solution and good ones (in a range of capacities) are a worthwhile investment.

    This 2019 Mixed red offer gives you a diverse selection of wines that will each take a different path over time. The decision of whether to hold ‘em or fold ‘em is entirely up to you and depends ultimately on how they appear today in terms of balance. And as you add to the bottled “diary” entries, it becomes an enjoyable way to recall the good times and start making new ones.

     

    by Robert Black – Senior Winemaker

     

  • Straight Varietal or Blend?

    By Robert Black, Winemaker

    There are some consumers that prefer varietal wines and harbour an aversion for blended wines. Both have their merits however and understanding the motivations of each winemaking philosophy provides a vital setting to enjoy both. Winemakers approach making varietals with an eye for showcasing ‘varietal’ detail; those individual flavour characteristics unique to the variety. This idea can be extended somewhat with a sense of pure expression with so-called ‘single vineyard’ wines that further provide unique site-specific varietal characters.

    My impression with blends is that arguably, even with components from a single vineyard, we see the nuances and bias of the individual palate of the winemaker, whereas for blends, winemakers use grape varieties much in the same way craftspeople use many and varied tools to achieve their desired creation. Blended wines do capture the signature of the winemaker or the ‘house’ on show. We must remember, varietal labelling on wines is very much a new world branding device. Traditionally, wine is marketed on the merits of the ‘House’ or winery, and the region, with (often) many blended grape varieties performing as members of a cast to produce the act, so to speak (think of the wines of Bordeaux, Rhone and Champagne for instance).

    So, in Bunnamagoo Cabernet Sauvignon and Bunnamagoo Cabernet Shiraz Merlot, we offer two great examples of each philosophy that will certainly evoke individual preference, capturing hearts over minds and/or vice versa. It is my hope you enjoy both!

  • The Beauty of Bunnamagoo Autumn Semillon

    Our Bunnamagoo Autumn Semillon style is well suited to the Mudgee climate.  The late Summer rains are ideal for developing botrytis (noble rot) on the fruit and concentrating flavours and acids. My inspiration comes from Chateau Climens and Chateau Coutet in the commune of Barsac. The wines there are 100% Semillon and the amount of new oak (always French) and length of maturation is dependent on the vintage. Here, we have emulated the Barsac style with a wine to be enjoyed both young and old. The 2016 Bunnamagoo Autumn Semillon shows tropical honeyed notes, with floral, vanilla and spice aromatics. While it’s sweet there is ample acidity to give it lift. Acidity is a key component in a sweet white. Maturation occurred over 9 months in French oak hogsheads.

    To get the best of the wine, it should be served at 12-14C and this cool almost cellar like temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. And as it naturally warms in the glass, it develops more aromatic complexities and fleshes out on the palate. It is delicious on release but like all great wines, it gets much better with age and will not reach full maturity until 15-30 years of age.

    It is a special wine for Bunnamagoo as it is not made every year.  We only attempt the style when we believe conditions are best. Previous vintages include 2005, 2010, 2013 and 2016 all of which have had great show success.

    Given Autumn Semillon’s prestigious role within our range, it is an ideal choice to partner with the Kids Earth Fund. The Bunnamagoo Autumn Semillon label features the artwork ‘Jesien’ (meaning Autumn), from the Kids Earth Fund collection and painted by a 14-year-old Polish girl. Through your support of our product, Bunnamagoo supports this worthy organization that fosters social, cultural, and ecological awareness in children around the world. See kidsearthfund.org.au for more information.

  • Reliving Vintage 2016

    What makes a great vintage?? A great vintage, which does not happen that often, is a year that produced high quality wines from all varieties and in all price ranges. In a physiological sense, a great vintage is an ideal pattern of weather, that produces superb growing conditions for the cultivation of wine grapes. As the high tide does with all boats in the harbour, a great vintage lifts fruit quality across all price and quality determinations. Great vintages are what we winemakers live for, years that offer wines of unique and intensive regional character that can age and evolve.

    The final 30 days prior to harvest, the intensity of the harvest itself, and the vinification of the fruit, occurs over a period of just 3-months. As we only harvest wine grapes once per year, the vintage period is critical to the success of the business over the coming 12 months. Without our yearly grape harvest, the winery will have nothing to sell from that vintage. The emotional roller coaster is as addictive as it is mentally and physically challenging. Anxiety and exhilaration taking separate control on a daily (even hourly) basis is energy sapping. I have found in the past that working with all the senses ‘dialed in’ for that period and investing yourself emotionally you get an accurate internal measure on the success of the vintage. You know exactly if we got it all right the moment the last wine ferment finishes. And if it is a great vintage, that feeling becomes a lifelong memory.

    Mudgee enjoyed excellent winter rains in 2015 which gave our vines a head start in the following mild Spring. Early fruit set in the season was ideal and moderate yields were achieved across all varieties. These two factors alone equated to fruit ripening earlier (avoiding potential inclement weather late in the season) and with excellent flavour concentration. The Summer growing season was warmer than average though extreme heatwaves were rare. The January deluge that hit the Hunter Valley did not extend as far inland as Mudgee. Whilst we had higher than average rains in January, this was ahead of the critical ripening stage, where tight grape bunches have the potential to harbour disease given wet conditions. The resulting quality across both whites and reds was excellent. Their flavours and structures will place the 2016 reds in the highest niche.

    It is impossible to say which wines were the best in vintage 2016. They all excelled. Whites appear fresh and vibrant. Reds were harvested at perfect flavour ripeness and ideal levels of tannin and sugar. They show classic Mudgee mid-palate acidity, are medium bodied, and are truly ideal to cellar.

    By winemaker Robert Black

  • The Rise of Riesling

    While Riesling is never going to threaten Chardonnay’s white wine dominance, there are signs that this varietal is reaching a new and younger audience. Millennials are on the lookout for full-bodied dry alternatives to Chardonnay. And they are just becoming aware of how good Riesling can be.

    The simple, sweet, mediocre days of the 80’s are long gone. All that remain are the foggy recollections of our parents who’s introduction to Riesling was mostly drinking “Australian Rhine” out of the bag in the box or the German liebfraumilch in the form of Blue Nun. The lasting perception was unfortunate.

    Today, however, is a completely different story. Riesling is well and truly on the rise. And Mudgee is perfectly situated to take advantage of its’ increasing popularity. The region has many similarities to the Clare Valley, famous for producing exceptional Riesling styles. Clare Valley is 33o89’S and Mudgee is 32o35’S. Both falling within the distinct ‘temperate’ latitudes of 30o and 50o from the equator. Clare Valley’s altitude varies from 190m to 609m as Mudgee’s does from 450m to 1100m. Both have a continental climate and large daily temperature change where temperatures at night can plummet. This combination of elevation, cool afternoon breezes and cold nights produces Rieslings with well integrated acids and ripe flavours.

    Mudgee has a great ability to produce Riesling styles ranging from dry to off-dry to sweet botrytised wines. Winemakers are totally at the mercy of the season when making decisions on what will be the best outcome.  But whatever the option, the quality of the result will be determined by the fine sugar and acid balance in the finished wine.

    As Riesling lovers, not only do we enjoy drinking young examples of the variety where the fresh lemon and lime rind and florals abound but also when age has taken effect and we see the development of a golden colour; with lanolin, kerosene and honey aromas.  Palate structures become more unctuous with age and the best wines retain fresh acid on the finish. You will rarely see an Australian Riesling bottled under cork as screw caps ensure longevity in the cellar for 30 years.

    Currently, we have both off-dry and dry base Riesling juices fermenting in the winery.  Vintage 2021 has delivered Riesling fruit with vibrant natural acid and perfumed lemon, apple and white peach aromas.  Due to the mild Summer, flavours have developed at lower sugar levels than normal and we are looking forward to lower alcohol European styled wines this year.

    Continuing the renaissance of Riesling in Mudgee is an exciting prospect. Be part of the journey with us to progress the variety. Wines that will be remembered for the right reasons, and not the fashion faux pas of the past.

  • In Retrospect – Mudgee Chardonnay

    Chardonnay has been growing in Mudgee since 1930 – but amazingly, nobody knew it for about 40 years! The story begins at Craigmoor Wines, wherein 1930, cuttings of several unidentified white grapevines were planted. At the time, local wine drinkers were a lot less sophisticated, and these vines were used to produce what was sold simply as a dry white wine. In around 1960, one of their employees named Alf Kurtz decided to start his own winery, and asked if he could have cuttings from one type of the mystery white vines he had taken a fancy to, believing they produced a particularly high quality wine. He planted about a quarter of an acre of these vines and started producing a single varietal wine from it. Not knowing what it truly was, he called it White Pineau.

    A few years later, Alf found some men in his vineyard. Turns out they were scientists from CSIRO, and a visiting French professor who was a specialist in identifying different types of grapevines. They had been intrigued by some of his vines and decided to have a closer look. Alf invited them back to his winery for a tasting before they continued on their way. Only later did he find out that they had determined that his vines were actually Chardonnay – and a rare disease-free example at that! Both Alf and Craigmoor released wines correctly labelled as Chardonnay for the first time in the early 1970s, and cuttings from these Mudgee vines were used for many plantings of Chardonnay across Australia in the 1970s.

  • Know Your Sparkles

    By Winemaker – Rob Black

    Pleasure without Champagne is purely artificial – Oscar Wilde

    All champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is champagne. Champagne can only be called Champagne if it comes from the Champagne region in Northern France.

    So, here a typical Australian Sparkling wine is a blend of three grapes – chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. A “blanc de blanc” is made exclusively from Chardonnay. A “blanc de noir” is made exclusively from pinot noir.

    Most Aussie sparkling wines are made using the traditional sparkling method or “methode champanoise”.  This method involves creating the bubbles in the bottle as it undergoes a secondary fermentation. It is a complex process but it provides the best results in balance and complexity. Prosecco and some other sparkling wines get their bubbles by having the secondary fermentation occur in a giant tank of wine (called the Charmat method), then the sparkling wine gets put into a bottle.  The cheapest sparkling wines have carbon dioxide pumped into the giant tank (like a soft drink), then get transferred into a bottle.

    Most sparkling wine (including Champagne) is non-vintage.  In other words, the makers take base wine from several different years and blend it together to make bubbly.  This allows the producer to keep a consistent flavour profile from year to year.  If you see a vintage sparkling wine, it means the makers thought that year was a spectacular year and will represent their winery’s highest quality.  This comes with a change in price though.

    To achieve higher levels of quality using the traditional method, once the secondary fermentation is complete the wine is left on the lees from the fermentation for long periods of time. The length of time varies from several months up to 10 years or more.  The lees are the yeast deposit and are used to develop bready or doughy “yeast autolysis” characters.  Usually longer periods are necessary for the best results. Achieving complexity, balance and length together is the trifecta.

    This month’s offer is a very attractive sparkling wine deal. Included are the Bunnamagoo 2015 Blanc de Blancs and Bunnamagoo 2014 Pinot Noir/Chardonnay. Both are vintage wines and can boast extended lees maturation of 40 months for the Blanc de Blancs and 54 months for the Pinot/Chardonnay.  The minimum time for vintage French cuvees on lees is 36 months so these wines are in grand territory.

    The Blanc de Blancs retains crunchy apple and pear notes and the lees contact has developed a creamy mouthfeel to the palate.  The 2014 Pinot Noir/Chardonnay is pinot dominant and after aging on lees has a lovely bright gold colour with pale straw hue.  Secondary aromatic characters of lemon curd, butter, honey, and biscuit lift out of the glass and the palate carries gentle acidity for a refreshing persistent finish.  At this age both wines are ideal with mild and soft cheese, shellfish, and rich fish (salmon or tuna).

    Drinking sparkling wine is one of life’s simple pleasures. Enjoy them as young or old wines.  Expect interesting characteristics in both and appreciate the detail. Most importantly, just enjoy it.

    In these times especially, popping Champagne is a good campaign!

  • Henry Lawson’s House

    Next time you drive down Henry Lawson Drive on your way to Bunnamagoo, you’ll pass the Henry Lawson Memorial on your right.  It’s worth a stop to see what remains of the childhood home of one of Australia’s best known poets – but it’s just as significant as having been the home of Henry’s equally interesting mother, Louisa, an early campaigner for womens’ rights.

     

    Henry’s parents Peter and Louisa Lawson moved to Eurunderee in 1869 when he was just 6 months old.  Like many families, they built a succession of homes on their property, starting with a tent, then expanding to larger and more solid homes as the family grew and finances allowed.  The remains you see today were of the last home built by the Lawsons in the mid 1870s, which featured sawn timber walls, an iron roof, and the brick chimney which still stands today.  Family life at the Lawson’s was unfortunately not harmonious, and by 1884 Louisa had moved to Sydney with her youngest children.  Henry stayed with his father, but they began moving from place to place in order to find work, and after being a Mudgee area resident for about 16 years, he moved away for good, although the area featured prominently in a number of his poems and short stories.

    By the 1940s, the cottage was starting to fall apart, and efforts began to try to save this important piece of heritage.  Unfortunately, before agreement could be reached on what to do, the cottage collapsed in 1946, leaving only the chimney.  The remains were stabilized and the current memorial was unveiled in 1949.

  • Heads for Gris, Tails for Grigio

    Pinot Gris (or Grigio) is the variety to come from almost total obscurity 40 years ago to now the fourth most widely planted white variety in Australia. It has actually been here for much longer.  Arriving in 1832 as Pineau Gris from the Cote-d’Or by the father of Australian viticulture, James Busby. Pioneered both in the vineyard and winery in the early 80’s at T’Gallant, it has been on the rise ever since. Sometimes copping some flak along the way because of vines that were over-cropped and picked too early hence making wines that were hard, acidic and flavourless. The other issue at the time for new Aussie winemakers adopting the variety was that it was hard to explain the differing styles to wary consumers, whilst at the same time trying to master an understanding themselves.

    Fast forward to 2020. Much work has been done to better understand the variety and the styles produced from it. As an industry we now agree on sensory attributes that constitute Gris and Grigio styles. Gris wines have a higher viscosity, oiliness, hotness and sweetness. They also exhibit leesy/solids/yeasty characters, spice, higher fruit intensity, deeper colour and some bitterness. Grigio-like characters are higher acidity, fresh citrus, tropical fruit, estery notes and pear. Gris is at the ‘luscious’ end and Grigio is at the ‘crisp’ end of the Pinot G spectrum.  Most Australian Pinot G wines produced are somewhere in the middle and rarely at the extreme of either end of the stylistic range ie. they have some degree of both crisp and luscious attributes.

    As winemakers, we can manipulate finished alcohol by picking earlier or later. We can ferment on skins or off skins, with varying levels of solids to affect mouthfeel, colour and flavour. Ferments can be stopped early to retain residual sugar for balance. And we can utilize natural or selected yeasts to form varying levels of ‘oiliness’ and different fruit characteristics and intensities.  So, now we can confidently drive the style along the spectrum towards the ‘crisp’ Grigio direction or the ‘luscious’ Gris alternative.

    My personal preference is to make a Gris style because of its’ textural richness and complexity; ability to take barrel fermentation well; and structure a palate with both sweetness and phenolic bitterness. The 2019 Bunnamagoo Pinot Gris sources fruit from Mudgee. It shows pear and quince fruit offset with textural warmth from barrel fermentation with gentle acidity and chew from the fine phenolic line. It is my best result using the variety since my first foray in 2004. The vintage conditions had much to do with that.  The fruit was perfect.

    2020 was a struggle. Heatwaves and drought were by now par for the course for grape growers. However, fires over summer and the pall of smoke that followed made the challenge insurmountable. We decided to source wine from out of the area to maintain the product along similar lines. The aromas and flavours of golden delicious apple and poached pear flow gently along an off dry palate with subtle spiced oak infusion. It happily satisfies and encourages us to keep the faith for our own fruit again in 2021.

    So I hope that you have a better understanding of Pinot G styles and what drives them.  As a consumer, you should be able to discover the style of wine in the bottle with the spectrum in mind, rather than trying to draw a conclusion from the choice of name on the bottle. Hopefully the name on the label becomes a lot less relevant and you don’t have to toss a coin to decide – Gris or Grigio??

  • Origins Of The Mudgee Wine Industry

    Mudgee’s wineries offers wine enthusiasts a wide range of different wine styles and tasting experiences to enjoy – but did you know that Mudgee’s wine industry is over 160 years old?

    While early European settlers in the Mudgee region planted grapes and made their own wine for personal consumption, the industry began in 1858 with the arrival of Adam Roth, who planted a number of different varieties including Muscat Hamburg, Shiraz, Frontignac, White Sherry and Verdelho.  His vineyard, which he named Rothview, was located in Eurunderee, adjacent to the Bunnamagoo vineyards.  Very shortly thereafter, Frederick Buchholtz Snr. planted his vineyard, which he called Fredericksburgh, in Eurunderee on the banks of Pipeclay Creek.  He and his son, Frederick Jnr., went on to produce fairly sizeable volumes for the time, 500 to 2400 gallons per year and won several prizes in Australian and international competitions.

    The fledgling industry was helped along tremendously by numerous gold strikes in the areas around Mudgee. Thousands of thirsty miners flocked to the area, traveling from one strike to another as new discoveries were made and they created a ready market for local wines.

    By 1881 there were a total of 13 wineries in the Mudgee area.  The end of the gold rushes, coupled with a period of severe drought in the 1880s spelled doom for almost all of them and only two were to survive by the 1890s. One of them, now known as Craigmoor, survives to this day and includes the site of Adam Roth’s pioneering Rothview Vineyard.

  • Miles Of Merlot

    When Merlot is mentioned, I think of the movie Sideways when Miles steadfastly refused to drink Merlot while holding his prescription of Xanax in his jacket pocket. Paul Giamatti’s character hated merlot precisely because it was so easy to drink. He wasn’t making a comment on the quality of merlot per se but his own antagonistic contrarian tendencies.

    Happily, I don’t share the same insecurities and anxieties over merlot as Miles. Some of the most successful and pleasurable wines I have made during my career to date have been Merlot. Relatively recent as a variety, it is one of the most widely planted vines around the world. And responsible for some of the most expensive wine made in the world. Chateau Petrus has a cult-like following. Chateau Trotanoy also in Pomerol is outstanding.

    Often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc or Malbec for its suppleness. As a standalone wine, it can range in style from structured and concentrated to aromatic, with fresh acidity and a medium body. The best Merlot wines I believe are riper, textural, silky with seamless tannins; a mix of chocolate and plummy fruit richness and floral aromatics with oak taking a back seat. Young Merlot (<5yo) benefit from decanting for a few hours to open the perfume and release the fruit.

    This month, we are showcasing the 2015 and a teaser of the 2016 Bunnamagoo Merlot.  Both were tasted for this article. The 2015 is showing the transition into secondary bottle age characters – spicy notes elevate over mocha/chocolate and fruitcake characters. The tannins are very fine and are carried well within the fruit on the palate. The 2016 brings raspberry and cherry fragrances that follow into the medium weighted varietal palate. Both wines have the proportion, friendliness and drinkability that we hope you will enjoy and associate with merlot.

    So don’t be a Miles. Be his mate Jack and say, “If they want to drink Merlot, we’re drinking Merlot”.

  • Making Top Tier Wines – What It Takes

    I’m often asked my thoughts on what makes a great wine ‘great’.  Reflecting, I think back to the rowdy discussions at university and the many boozy winemakers’ dinners since. Taking part in these tastings is always fun and in time you learn to filter the namedropping, personal preferences, and general bluff to formulate an idea of quality. I realised that in winemaking, to elevate a wine in quality to ‘iconic’ status is very esoteric just as it is in film or literature. For me, the challenge of recognising, enjoying (and sometimes making) a truly great wine is a result of nailing just the right combination of “Art versus Science”. It is what attracted me 25 years ago to study and become a winemaker in the first place. I think it was perfectly explained by Robert Mondavi when he said, “Making good wine is a skill, making fine wine is an art”.

    So how is it done? Firstly, we should all agree that growing beautiful grapes is the start of the journey. That relies on a great vineyard site and fluking a top vintage. Growers must know how the soil and climate will affect the fruit and how to manipulate the vines in varying conditions. Plant physiology, entomology, microbiology, and chemistry are the sciences and an integral part of making an iconic wine. And the art?? That is the personal signature of the winemaker. And each winemaker has their own idea of what they want reflected in the glass through their choices of oak, yeast, and fermentation technique. Finally, we cannot ignore that indescribable x-factor that makes a top wine. Magic.

    With that said, we are presenting you a special offer on our ‘1827’ range of red wines. I re-tasted both the 2015 Bunnamagoo ‘1827’ Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2016 Bunnamagoo ‘1827’ Shiraz for this article. These wines are the top-tier of our range. Flavour, balance, extract and style are the criteria to assess. The Shiraz remains bright violet red with no sign of development. Aromas of cherry, blackberry and dark chocolate fill the glass. The tannins are very fine and give the palate persistence. The deep red Cabernet Sauvignon retains varietal detail with blackcurrant, mocha and classic earthy Mudgee character. Rich but soft vanillin oak adds to the gentle finish. Both wines maturing in typical unhurried Mudgee fashion.

    So, while the popular cult wines may be terrific for your cellar, also seek out perhaps lesser known, iconic wines of a region, and drink them! They tell a pure story, being emblematic of the winemakers and their vineyards. Otherwise you might be missing out!

     

    by Winemaker Rob Black

  • Cabernet Sauvignon – A Team Player

    What did the Cabernet grape say to the Merlot grape? I’ll never get Bordeaux of you…

    June is here and winter is upon us once again. So, time to embrace the warmth of Cabernet Sauvignon together. One of the most noble varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon confers its qualities easily and produces wines with strikingly similar characteristics right around the world.  We have all tasted it showing a range of personalities from concentrated and extracted, through firm, to elegant and soft.

    To blend or not to blend? That conundrum is equally attributed to the fundamental deficiencies of the variety as well as the many virtues that Cabernet Sauvignon is blessed with. And the success of blending relates to the techniques a winemaker has chosen to overcome these palate pitfalls.

    The greatest duos of all time can exist independently of each other, but they shouldn’t. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are natural partners like bacon and eggs or Kermit and Miss Piggy.  Their whole value is greater than the sum of the individual parts.

    In Mudgee, classic Cabernet Sauvignon has a medium structure; a solidness with wonderful length and floral, cassis aromas with fresh acidity suitable for blending. Merlot’s sweet fruit flavours of blackberries; the earthy, chocolate, and faintly tobacco/herbal notes lend richness to a palate without adding excessive tannic weight. Shiraz has great berry fruit lift without being spicy or peppery. Lively fruit sweetness of raspberry, blueberry and fruitcake slots neatly with Cabernet’s impact of fruit at the front of the mouth and long, tannic finish.

    Bunnamagoo Cabernet Sauvignon travels on three different paths in this latest offer. Whatever your preference, these wines show that with thoughtful blending Cabernet Sauvignon can transform from elegance into burly red styles with a reliable structure for long term aging.

    So, where do you store these wines?? In the cabernet.

     

    by Winemaker Rob Black

  • Thoughts On Mudgee & Tempranillo

    Mudgee has been growing grapes for over 160 years. A mixture of backgrounds both German and Italian. Powerful words come to mind. Pioneers. Establishment. Proven. Dynasty.

    Some established winegrowing regions can be framed by a single variety. Others are a diverse collection of grapevine DNA and global winemaking ancestry harvested over successive generations. Mudgee sits happily in the latter. That quality places the region in a small but exceptional class.

    Why is it so? The Mudgee Appellation was established 40 years ago. Our esteemed winemakers at the time rightly agreed that Mudgee had a pedigree that required protection. It is a defined boundary that takes in altitudes from 450m – 1100m with no uniformity in either soils or aspect. This provides a wholly unique winegrowing region unlike any other in Australia. And it provides local producers an ability to grow both cool and warm climate varietals and wine styles.

    Avant-garde (both young and salt and pepper) winemakers have for the last 15 years in Mudgee initiated a renaissance. Replanting of new varieties and production of fresh wine styles and blends to be consumed younger have complimented the respected and tested benchmark Mudgee table and fortified wines still produced to this day.

    Perhaps, an appropriate time to introduce our 2018 Bunnamagoo Tempranillo. Planted 5 years ago, this variety will become a signature in time. Suited to the climate. Typically Mudgee with medium body and mid-palate acidity. The tannins have been tamed. Almost pinot-like cherry fruit and subtle integrated French and American oak. Equivalent to crianza Rioja. Can be served slightly chilled.

     

    by Winemaker Rob Black