Archive for the ‘Pemberton’ category

Picardy Chardonnay 2006

February 5, 2008

img_4016.jpgViticulture has been established in Pemberton in the early 80’s with the planting of smaller vineyards like the Lefroy Brook, Warren and Gloucester Ridge, but when the Pannell family arrived in 1993 the commercial credibility of this relatively young region has taken an enormous leap. Involved in supplying cuttings to the early pioneers, the Pannells have since taken a different course by the use of a wider range of clones for their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this to enhance the characters that are found in the great wines of Burgundy. For the Chardonnay the Pannells decided to import and plant the Burgundian clones 76, 95, 96 and 277, also referred to as Bernard clones. In order to combat court-noué or fan-leaf professor Raymond Bernard, director of ONIVINS in Dijon, established a clonal selection programma out of which these clones were certified. Besides their resistance to the virus, these clones also give grapes that are known for the potential to make full, rich, balanced and aromatic wines. It is no wonder that a growing interest developed in the New World to import these top quality cuttings from a region of the world in which they were traditionally grown. 

At Picardy a mix of the four clones is planted on diverse soiltypes enhancing the complexity of the resulting wine. Straw yellow in the glass the nose offers delicate aromas of lemon, melon, stonefruit, hazelnuts and subtle spicy oak. All this is found back on a very well balanced palate that has a soft, creamy texture, intense lemony acid and perfectly integrated oak. This wine fully reflects Pemberton’s potential to produce excellent cool climate Chardonnay and deservedly shows Picardy’s leading reputation. 94 points

Source: Swanbourne Cellars  Price: $40  Drink: Now-2010+



Lillian Lefroy Brook Pinot Noir 2006

February 1, 2008


A vineyard is something I can appreciate aesthetically with neat, orderly rows of vines as an agricultural mosaic against an often spectacular background. In Europe you can think about medieval villages full of history whereas in Australia vineyards are often merged into the pristine natural environment. It is this contrast between man and nature that fascinates me, a contrast of beauty and sometimes of struggle. One of the most dramatic backgrounds I know is the Gloucester Tree National Park in Pemberton where the tiny Lefroy Brook vineyard lies humble between the towering and mighty Karri trees, a tranquil oasis where only the changing gears of the moterbike frogs and the songs of innumerable birds can be heard. And this is where the stuggle starts, especially with the little Silvereyes who can decimate the entire crop the weeks before vintage. That’s the reason why pioneer vignerons Pat and Barbara Holt have netted the vineyard permanently, although occasionally the persistant ones can’t resist the ripening fruit, mobilising an entire army of worried winelovers to gently guide it out again.

The in 1982 planted vineyard is the oldest in Pemberton and a front-runner for Pinot Noir in this region. With the great wines of Volnay as ultimate model, it doesn’t come as a suprise that the set-up is entirely Burgundian with the single-guyot pruned vines spaced one by one metre. In those early days the in Australia existing clones droopy and upright were obtained from Bill Panell at Moss Wood, the domaine where the wines were made until 2005. The 2006 vintage marks a new era with neighbouring industry legend John Brocksopp making the wines and this unique combination of viticultural dedication and masterful winemaking pays of straight away with the first release of the Pinot Noir under the Lillian label. Deep ruby in the glass the nose captures your senses straight away with a seductive array of aromas reminiscent of violets, cherry, raspberry and beetroot subtly coiled by spicy oak. The palate shows ample fruit, complexity and restrained power marked by a linear, mineral spine of acid that is so typical for Brocksopp’s wines. Graceful, balanced and persistant this brilliant wine equals the efforts of Dhillon, Moraghan and Jones. 94 points 

Source: winery sample  Drink: 2009-2015