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VINTAGE NEWS November 2017

During the 2016 vintage, nature graced us with adequate rainfall and plentiful sunshine. Following on from the extremely reduced yields of the previous (2015) vintage – due to a severe hailstorm – yields of all our red grape varieties have returned to normal.

There’s been another quantum leap in fruit quality too, reflecting an ever-increasing maturity in the vineyard, and 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 having a clean, healthy vineyard that is 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 as far as removing lack-lustre berries from bunches. As well, selective leaf plucking means our bunches are bathed in sufficient sunlight to ensure even ripening. And our nutrition program, finely tuned over the last 17 years, is another factor that enhances the flavour profile of the berries.

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

JACOB TEMPRANILLO 2016: Continues to gain in popularity and is generating lots of interest with our wine drinkers, probably because of its spicy savouriness rather than the overt fruitiness of traditional Australian reds. Spain is the home of tempranillo and the Spanish have, in the past, added a splash of garnacha and a dash of malvasia to create another dimension. As we do not blend, our tempranillo is a true rendition in every sense of the word. It tastes entirely different from the tempranillo you may have sampled in Spain or that is being imported. The 2014 Reserva Tempranillo, which has been set aside for ageing purposes, is getting ever closer to the release date, as it continues to grow and develop great complexity.

MAX SHIRAZ 2016 BLOCK ONE & MAX SHIRAZ 2016 BLOCK TWO: Great wines are all about origin (where they come from) – that precious little patch 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 makes a wine unique. To illustrate the concept of terroir, we have elected to make wines from our individual blocks of old vine shiraz. Great wines are also about old vines… decades of growing. These blocks were planted more than 50 years ago and the vines are producing exceptional fruit. While retaining the Max Shiraz title, since 2012 vintages from these blocks have been given individual identities – BLOCK ONE and BLOCK TWO. Each block ripens at a different time and develops different flavours and aromas depending on the microclimate in a 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 two individual blocks. You will never drink a shiraz like either of these again, because next year the wine will express itself in another way – that’s truly unique!

ELLIOT MERLOT 2016: While our beloved grand merlot was a victim of the weather in 2015, it re-emerged with a vengeance in 2016. On the good news front, the 2016 Elliot Merlot is back to its old self. In fact, the quality has increased yet again along with the extra year of vine maturity. Wine writers have likened our merlot to the grand merlots of Bordeaux, especially those of Pomerol. Some have even described ours as ‘the best merlot in Australia’. Much of our merlot has been pre-ordered already by our avid merlot devotees, so be quick to reserve some for your own cellaring and/or drinking.

LUELLA PLUM CABERNET 2016: Equates to Black Forest cake… all blackberries, boysenberries, mulberries and dark, cloying chocolate. Cabernet from our vineyard never disappoints. It is the last of our grapes to ripen and by the time the 2016 Luella Plum Cabernet was harvested, in mid-May, 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.

MEMBERSHIP: Due to the growth in our membership numbers, we will be placing a cap on Tobin Wines Club membership, with a view to offering a more comprehensive membership experience – with private tastings, detailed wine information, vineyard walks, and winery tours when visiting the Cellar Door. Naturally, accompanying friends of members will be welcomed too.

As ever, thanks for supporting Tobin Wines. We look forward to seeing you on your next visit to the Granite Belt. Until then, members can take advantage of the 25% membership discount and free freight on dozen quantities.

You can purchase our wines via the internet, by mail order, phone, or fax.

Adrian Tobin

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