Region: Hunter Valley
Background: The ‘Terracotta’ wines get their name from the soils on which the fruit is grown. These red basalt/clay soils are renowned for their low fertility thus reducing the yield of the vine and increasing fruit concentration.
Fruit source: A small portion of fruit was harvested early from a high block on the Howard’s ‘Somerset’ vineyard in Pokolbin.
Fermentation: The fruit was hand picked and fermented in stainless steel tanks.
Maturation: There was no oak maturation with bottling taking place in July 2005 under screwcap. This wine was cellar matured for 5 years prior to release.
Winemaker’s comments: 2005 was a Hunter drought vintage and produced great wines both red and white. As a rule, the Semillons are all very well balanced and proportioned wines with flavour and character in spades.
Tasting note: As usual, slightly more advanced and complex than the ‘Alexander Munro’ Semillon at the same stage, on both the nose and palate. The nose exhibiting lanolin, toast and bees wax aromas, with underlying lemon and lime. The palate has an array of citrus flavours with gentle balanced acidity.
Cellaring estimate: Long term.
Suggested food match: All seafood dishes.
What the experts say:
“Glowing green-gold; generous lemon and lemon tart flavours are braced by typical acidity. The vines are grown on red basalt/clay soils that limit the yield, and provide the seamless texture and structure – a seriously good wine, still in second gear.”
Rated : 96 Points
James Halliday – 2015 Wine Companion
“Glowing green-gold; richer and fuller than Alexander Munro, with generous lemon and lemon tart flavours braced by typical acidity; any time over the next five years. Screwcap.”
James Halliday – 2011 Australian Wine Companion