2023 Single Vineyard Black Cluster Semillon
An exceptionally wet start to the season provided unique challenges to region, which required greater hours in the vineyard to ensure quality was maintained. However, a warm and dry spell from Mid January through till March resulted in a year of excellent quality across the board. Pristine pure whites with excellent acid structures ensuring longevity and concentrated rich red's showing all the hallmarks of classic Hunter Valley styles. A year that provides a wealth of riches.
The Black Cluster Vineyard was originally owned by the iconic Wyndham Estate and then the French Orlando Group. The name of the vineyard originated in 1835 when George Wyndham crushed his first vintage and penned the following entry into his diary. “Began my vintage. Filled the pipe with the must of the Black Cluster”. This single-vineyard sits at the foothills of the Brokenback Mountain Range and has a 15-hectare planting of Semillon which is positioned at the base of the vineyard, against the Singleton Army Base, which runs along an old creek bed.
Hand-picked, gently crushed and allowed to soak for 4 hours prior to pressing. Free-run extraction taken to a stainless steel tank and allowed to cold settle for 12 hours before racking lightly cloudy juice for fermentation. Fermented at 16-18oC with ambient yeast for 10 days in stainless steel. Left on yeast lees for 3 months post ferment before natural clarification and gentle filtration. No finings.
Highly complex aromatics of lime juice, slate and aspirin. The palate displays the classic acid line and length that are hallmarks of Hunter Valley Semillon providing a clear direction and framing the ripe citrus, apple and mineral smokey notes. This wine is the epitome of classic Hunter Valley Semillon suited for long term cellaring. Featherweight with fresh citrus and complex slate, alongside light gentle phenolics and crisp taut acidity. This wine will develop gracefully over the next 10+ years developing richness, lanolin, toast and creaminess.
Alcohol: 10.35%/VOL. | STD. Drinks: 7.5 | pH: 2.88 | TA: 8.0 g/L | Harvested: 30th January 2023 | Bottled: 9th May 2023
"More delicate than the Dairy Hill. Filigreed and detailed, although less texturally persuasive or intense at this embryonic stage. Light weight and balletic. Tonic, lemon squash, green apple and a lilt of Pastis. Complex aromas for a young Hunter semillon. This will, no doubt, age beautifully. Best after 2028. Screw cap."
93 points - Ned Goodwin MW, Senior Editor James Suckling