We have named the wine Red Letter Day, because, although we love the style, we have been able to produce a sparkling red only intermittently over the past 30 years. So to be able to make one – and make it available – is a “red letter day”. I produced my first sparkling red in the early 1980s.
At that stage, although I loved the style, it was becoming increasingly hard to find, with Seppelts being the last large producer on the shelves. I, along with a few other small producers, decided not to let this iconic style of the Australian wine industry fizzle and die out, particularly since this style is uniquely Australian. I am not aware of anyone else around the world putting full-bodied red wines through the champagne process.
$30 per bottle ~ SOLD OUT
This wine is dedicated to our dad, Alexander Murray Forbes. Murray (as he was known to everybody) worked tirelessly planting the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc and trellising my vineyard. Murray’s friendly good humour always came to the fore in the days working in the vineyard.
It has been an exciting discovery to find that these varieties work particularly well in the cooler climate and terroir of the Eden Valley area. It seems to me that this blend provides the richness for the red wine sector that Eden Valley Riesling provides for the whites.
The smooth, complex characters generated by Cabernet Sauvignon are supported by the soft cherry/blackberry characters of the Merlot and finished by the fruit lift from the Cabernet Franc. The soft but complex bundle of flavours in the mouth with layer upon layer of “berry” flavours makes this a satisfying meal in its own right.
$30 per bottle ~ SOLD OUT
The conditions over the 2015/16 summer were extrememly dry. This put the grapes under great stress. A small amount of rain just prior to the harvest meant that the grapes were able to achieve satisfactory ripeness. Although these grapes were picked at a lower sugar level than I prefer, the wine still shows powerful varietal nose and palate. As per normal from Woodman’s vineyard, this wine exhibits an extremely long, flavoursome palate, since it comes from 90 year old vines.
As with all the wines that have come from that vineyard, it will age superbly, and easily achieve 10 years of age, and more.
$20 per bottle ~ SOLD OUT
This wine is an example of what can be achieved with maturation in the bottle. The richer golden hues still have a tinge of green which indicates that it has freshness and time left to mature further. The glorious toast and lime marmalade aromas are supported by the rich complexity on the palate, making this wine suitable to accompany a similarly rich dish such as a tagine.
$28 per bottle ~ SOLD OUT
As a means to handle the pressings generated by the crushing process we have initiated a solero system whereby the juice is fortified with grape spirit and then placed into old oak barrels to gently age and mature.
The spirit preserves and protects the grape juice allowing this “Ratafia style” wine to maintain attractive mouth filling sweet grape characters.
Extended time in oak barrels, combined with the blending across years, allows us to provide fresh Riesling characters supported by the soft mellowness gained from gentle maturing.
$18 per bottle ~ SOLD OUT
The weather pattern during the ripening period of 2009 was warm with a few heat spikes. This meant that the Cabernet Sauvignon fruit on the Fechner vineyard quickly achieved full maturity. The wine shows rich, ripe characters with mouth filling Cabernet fruit flavours and soft tannins.
$18 per bottle ~ SOLD OUT
In 40 years of winemaking I have successfully made Rieslings from the Eden Valley that age brilliantly.
This wine is an illustration of what can be achieved by maturing good quality Riesling in the bottle. We have taken the effort to mature this wine and now feel that it is ready for its first public release.
The richer golden hues have a tinge of green to indicate it still has freshness and will mature further. The glorious toast and lime marmalade aromas are supported by the rich complexity on the palate. The 11.5 % alcohol adds to the softness.
One of the benefits of ageing is that it improves the ability of a wine to accompany a similarly rich dish such as a Tagine or chicken casserole.
Sometimes, good things come out of adversity. The dry, extremely hot conditions of March 2008 reduced the amount of grapes but intensified the black currant characters typical of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety.
As a young wine it appeared very subdued with the rich characters only showing on the palate. With some cellaring it has opened up and ‘black currant’ describes the nose of this wine as it jumps out of the glass.
These intense fruit characters are supported by a soft, very long, smooth palate which is an absolute pleasure to drink. The wine has repaid the patience of holding it back for release.
As recommended by James Halliday
Cellar Matured Eden Valley Riesling 2002.
“… has achieved everything expected in the bottle; tangy, toasty nuances to the core of citrus fruit in its web of steely acidity; is at the peak of perfection”
James Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2013 edition
This vintage was rated as the “vintage of the century” by industry pundits at the time. Given the fact that the century was only 2 years old I was somewhat bemused. This wine suggests that so far their prediction is holding up. The classic combination of cool nights and clear mild days gave the fruit the best opportunity to gently ripen, developing complex flavours and balance.
The resulting wine, still with superb freshness of fruit and fantastic complex flavours, makes me think that this might be about as good as it gets.