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VINTAGE NEWS / November 2015

Nature smiled on us during the 2014 vintage, with adequate rainfall and plentiful sunshine. Yields of all our red grape varieties have almost returned to normal after the vagaries of the weather reduced yields over the previous couple of years. We continue to uphold our philosophy that beautiful wines are intrinsically born in the exceptional quality of the fruit. Hence, we do not make wine …we grow it. In the vineyard, we pay homage to our vines with pedantic attention to detail, and outside comment leads us to believe we have probably the best-managed vineyard in the Granite Belt!

Nothing is spared in our quest for a clean, healthy vineyard; free from the pressure of disease. Our management program is based on a cropping level that is very low, to ensure concentration of flavours in the grapes. We even go so far as to remove lack-lustre berries from bunches, and selective leaf plucking means our bunches are bathed in sufficient sunlight to ensure even ripening. Our nutrition program, finely tuned over the last 15 years, yet again enhances the flavour profile of our berries.

Where others talk of ‘minimal interference’ in the winemaking process, we have gone a step further. Now, we just pick, crush, ferment and press off the skins, no longer employing the fining and filtration processes, which I firmly believe removes some of the intrinsic flavour and colour of the wine. While this can result in either a crust or sediment settling in the bottle over lengthy storage, that is a good sign; the wine has just mellowed and become more supple with age.

JACOB TEMPRANILLO: Being a relatively ‘new kid on the block’, this wine is now generating a lot of interest, probably because of its savouriness rather than the overt fruitiness of traditional Australian reds. The home of tempranillo is Spain, and the Spanish have, in the past, always added a splash of garnacha and a dash of malvisia to add another dimension. At Tobin Wines, we do not blend, so our tempranillo is a true rendition in every sense of the word and thus tastes entirely different to those you may have sampled in Spainor those imported. This year we set aside stock for aging purposes and due to a fierce hailstorm last Christmas there no tempranillo is available for release this year.

MAX SHIRAZ 2014 BLOCK ONE and MAX SHIRAZ 2014 BLOCK TWO: Great wines are all about origin (where they come from) – that precious little bit of soil where they are grown. Indeed, a ‘sense of place’, or ‘terroir’ as the French describe it, is the microclimate of the vineyard which gives a wine its uniqueness. To illustrate the concept of terroir, we have elected to make wines from our individual blocks of old vine shiraz. Great wines are all about old vines – decades of growing. Planted more than 50 years ago, our shiraz vines are producing exceptional fruit. While retaining the Max Shiraz title we have given the ensuing vintages individual identities – BLOCK ONE and BLOCK TWO. The blocks ripen at different times and develop different flavours and aromas depending upon the microclimate of the particular season. Try them yourself by sampling them side-by-side. You will recognise each as a shiraz, as they have the broad shiraz flavours, but behind that are nuances and aromas characteristic of the individual blocks. You will never enjoy a shiraz like these again…as next year the wine will express itself in another truly individual way!

ELLIOT MERLOT 2014: The quality of our merlot has increased yet again along with the extra years of vine maturity. While our last vintage (2013) was superb, this one is fantastic! Wine writers have likened our merlot to the grand merlots of Bordeaux, especially those of Pomerol. Some have even described it as ‘the best merlot in Australia’! Unlike the merlots of Bordeaux, ours is not a blend but is 100% true to the varietal. As a large quantity of merlot has been pre-ordered by our avid Elliot Merlot devotees, be quick to reserve some for your own cellaring/drinking.

LUELLA PLUM CABERNET 2014: Our vineyard’s cabernet never disappoints. There are wine writers who have said: “move over Coonawarra, here comes Ballandean”. These are the last of our grapes to ripen and by the time the 2014 Luella Plum Cabernet was harvested in mid-April, it had developed beautiful fruit intensity and exhibits enormous length on the finish. Due again to the low cropping levels that is Tobin Wines’ viticultural modus operandi, our cabernet is always superbly ripe and luscious.

TOBIN WINE CLUB MEMBERSHIP: This year we are placing a cap on Wine Club Membership numbers, so we can eventually offer a more comprehensive membership experience, with private tastings, detailed wine information, vineyard walks, and winery tours when visiting our Cellar Door. Of course, accompanying friends of members will be welcomed too.

Be mindful that membership of our wine club requires an annual minimum order of one dozen Tobin Wines (may be an assortment) in addition to the two six-pack deliveries you receive each calendar year. If you are not able to support this commitment, your membership will be cancelled to make way for others who want access to our limited supply of wines.

As ever, thanks for supporting Tobin Wines. We look forward to seeing you on your next visit to the Granite Belt. Until then, you can take advantage of the 25% discount (for wine club members) and free freight on orders of a dozen (may be an assortment) by purchasing our wines online, by mail order, phone, or fax.

Adrian Tobin

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