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 parcel of Semillon 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 2010 under screwcap. This wine was cellar matured for years prior to release in early January 2015.
Winemaker’s comments: The 2010 Hunter Valley vintage conditions were very good for both white and red varieties alike. A dry and warm January enabled a perfect ripening period for Semillon with no pressure to harvest prematurely. The vintage rainfall did not start until late February allowing most fruit to be harvested disease free.
Tasting note:The colour is pale straw with green tinges. The metamorphosis into an aged Semillon has well and truly begun, with the nose, although not yet toasty, showing hints of lanolin and wax but still with a citrus core. There is plenty of flavour already with nicely balanced green apple acidity binding it altogether.
Cellaring estimate: Medium-Long term. 10+ years
Suggested food match: All fresh and cooked seafood dishes.
What the experts say:
“From the Howard family vineyard on Oakey Creek Road. Glistening gold, it has now confidently entered the second phase of its life, its bouquet fragrant, its palate with a wisp of honey joining the circus of citrus flavours. Keep this for as long as you like – or revel in it tonight.”
Rated : 95 Points
James Halliday – Wine Companion March 2015
“A gorgeous maturing Hunter Semillon, savoury and full of interest. The plump, succulent palate has a lingering finish. Ageing? Drink over four years.”
Score : 96 Points
Ralph Kyte-Powell – Sydney Morning Herald – Good Food – 5th May 2015
From the Howard family vineyard on Oakey Creek Road. Glistening gold, it has now confidently entered the second phase of its life, its bouquet fragrant, its palate with a wisp of honey joining the circus of citrus flavours. Keep this for as long as you like – or revel in it tonight.
Rated 95. James Halliday – 2016 Australian Wine Companion