About this Wine
Hunter Valley, NSW
Phil Ryan (winemaker) / Russell Cody (blender)
Attractive amber, light tawny with green olive tinges.
Lifted, fruitcake, treacle and caramel with hints of citrus rind, prunes and sandalwood.
The grapes were harvested in 1989 mid-March and in 2004, late March. In both years the conditions were a little milder than usual with some rain but not as prevalent as it can be in the Hunter Valley. The grapes were allowed to ripen to over 15 Baume which provided good sugar levels for the wine to be converted into a fortified white wine.
Although rich and viscous, the palate is fresh and lively with figs and prunes accompanied with ripe orange rind characters. Raisin fruit and treacle are also present and the palate is long soft and smooth. There is a hint of oak aged nutty characters present from the time the wine has spent in oak.
The grapes were harvested and then allowed to ferment on skins in an open fermenter ever so slightly, and once a drop of 0.5 Baume had occurred, fortification using a combination of aged brandy and clean spirit was carried out to halt the ferment. The must was then drained and pressed and clarified and the subsequent wine was then matured in old oak barrels. The wine is pumped out of these old oak barrels every four years and filtered and adjusted and pumped back into the same barrels to help keep the freshness in the wine. The extended oak maturation gives the wine added complexity, concentration and the darker colour to this classic Hunter fortified wine style.
Pear Charlotte and vanilla bean ice cream
This fine fortified Hunter Verdelho has benefitted from a long time spent in old oak so can be drunk now, but can be cellared further without quality being diminished too much.
93 points - James Halliday
Wine Companion 2017
'89 and '04 vintages, open-fermented on skins, fortified with aged brandy and clean spirit, matured in used oak, filtered and adjusted every 4 years, gold medal Rutherglen Wine Show '15. Contains a small quantity of Maurice O'Shea's Mother blend from sweet fortified Liqueur Verdelho that he produced in the 1920s. This is luxury-grade rocket fuel, its lift off lifts you out of your chair. I have no idea what the class was in the Rutherglen Wine Show, because this wine defies description.