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VINTAGE NEWS September 2017

Once again, our vineyard at Ballandean, in the heart of the Granite Belt, hasn’t escaped the vagaries of the weather. While last summer was extremely hot, maturity of the vines has taken a quantum leap, resulting in the 2017 Vintage Whites being truly spectacular. It was such a joy to be in the winery as the ferments progressed, as it was always infused with perfumed aromatics. And, as yields on our last two vintages were up, we have returned to normal volumes of both our white and red wines. 

Thankfully, a dry ripening time, combined with our intense ‘micro-management’ of the vineyard, means we have produced the outstanding grape quality for which we are renowned, yet again. The upside of the 2017 vintage is that, with the increased yield, we have an adequate supply of wine for our Wine Club Members this year.

The order of ripening did a complete turn around with this vintage. Our verdelho was harvested first, at the beginning of February, followed in mid-February by the semillon, sauvignon blanc and the chardonnay in quick pursuit. All our white grapes were harvested within two weeks!  

Being the early bird this year, our newly named MAISIE HOME BLOCK VERDELHO 2017 was off the vines by February 2. Our ardent followers say, “while others introduced verdelho to Queensland… we have perfected it”! The verdelho vines always outperform, and coupled with the vines’ increased maturity, the fruit quality and consequently the quality of the wine has taken a massive leap forward. Our verdelho is the fruitiest of all our grapes, and fruity wines are for the sheer pleasure of drinking.

The CHARLOTTE ROSE 2017 returns to our current collection and it’s “more French than French”, according to the pundits. Bone dry but with beautiful sweet fruit­ – strawberries and raspberries – and boiled lollies… yum! But you will need to a fast mover to secure some for yourself as many of our devotees already have placed  advance orders for this wine.

Having developed a wonderful complexity with 12 months in new French oak and constant lees stirring, the Barrel Fermented LILY CHARDONNAY 2016 is being released this year. Drinking beautifully right now, it will develop further over the years to come and will be superb drinking at 8-10 years of age. Due to the smaller yield of the 2016 vintage, this wine could not be included in our 2017 Whites Tasting Pack. Quite simply, with only two barrels ­– that’s only 600 bottles – there’s not enough to go around. Due to this scarcity, you’ll need to be quick to get your quota. 

After several years’ absence, our early-release (young) ISABELLA SEMILLON 2017 makes a comeback this year, alongside the release of our Five Year Aged Semillon 2011. It is always a rewarding experience to serve these sister wines side-by-side, so as to observe the transition from young to older wine. Young semillon (in its first three years) is always fresh, crisp and vibrant; a beautiful drink with seafood, almost like a sorbet… cleansing the palate between mouthfuls. As ‘they’ say, “young semillon and seafood is a match made in heaven!”. During its 4th and 5th years in the bottle, semillon goes through a ‘pimply-faced adolescence’, when it loses the plot a little. But after a full five years in the bottle, it turns yet again, acquiring the beauty of age as it continues to develop great complexity as the years roll by.

We continue our barrel fermentation journey, which produces great complexity, with the Barrel Fermented CHARLOTTE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016. We use only the best new French oak for all our barrel-fermented wines and the result is a beautiful subtle oak complexity that always sits in the background. These significant complexities are derived from micro-oxidation of the wine while it is in the barrel; oak barrels breathe. The benchmark for this wine is set by the beautiful sauvignons from Sancerre, in the Loire Valley (France), where historically barrel fermentation has been the tradition.

An important consideration when placing your next Tobin Wines order – as we produce only small quantities of our hand-crafted wines and due to the high demand for our premium wines, the new release whites undoubtedly will sell out quickly. Most of our current wines are strictly limited to wine club members only, so as a member of Tobin Wines Club, you get first dibs. Keep in mind though that there is never enough to go around as demand has now overtaken supply. 

Thank you for your continued support of Tobin Wines and we look forward to seeing you on your next visit to our Cellar Door. In the meantime, you can always purchase our wines via mail order, phone, or fax, thereby enjoying the benefits of a 25% discount and free freight on dozen quantities (which may be an assortment).

Adrian Tobin

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