Lucy here! We’re giving Maree an enormous one-week break from the blog.
So what’s new at Somerled from the perspective of a Moody?
Adelaide-based Club Members received an email invitation only yesterday afternoon to our Museum Fume Blanc & Chardonnay Tasting on Sunday February 14th.
It’s already sold out! We’re now thinking about hosting a second one on the 21st Feb – sing out if you’re keen – just email email@example.com – and if we get enough interest we’ll go ahead.
These wines are incredible.
A VERY busy tasting bar and lots of lockdown orders has meant that we’re very happy but running low on .. um .. wine.
We’re planning a huge vintage however – so that perhaps you can overlook the fact that we’ve sold out of Sauvignon Blanc, Rose, Sparkling Shiraz and – for a painful moment there in January – Sparkling Pinot. The general feeling amongst the family is that if we’d sold out of the Shiraz, we’d have no choice but to just shut the front doors and pretend we were closed for renovations.
The fruit looks great.
The only exception to that would be rumours we’re hearing of small patches of vineyard where the yields are way down (this hasn’t affected the vineyards we buy from) due to poor fruit set – this is in turn due to a coolish/wet spring and early summer.
Dad said at the time he thought it was really decent weather to get a good set, but the vines obviously noticed those occasional colder, wetter days.
And as for the wizardry he’s creating out of said fruit this year?
We’ll be making all full complement of wines in 2021, including the brand new LDR which has been an amazing hit:
- Sparkling Pinot 2021
- Sauvignon Blanc 2021
- Rose 2021
- LDR 2021
- Fume Blanc 2021
- Chardonnay 2021
- Pinot Noir 2021
- Picnic Races Tempranillo 2021
- Shiraz 2021
- Sparkling Shiraz 2021
So hats off to the Moodys for really sticking to their policy of only ever having a 5-wine range ..!
What’s new to our shelves right now though?
Coming in 3 weeks’ time – we’ve already pre-sold dozens across the country, such is the popularity of this wine.
The secondary fermentation (in the bottle) has pretty much finished, and a final check will be done today. Once we get confirmation, the wine can go into the bins to start the riddling process. Then it’s only two to three weeks before disgorging, packing and labelling. The wine itself is very dark and rich-looking and has a really nice fine bead. The bouquet has many dark complex aromas to it with lots of secondary notes which I find really interesting and attractive. The palate is very rich as well and with a relatively low ”dosage” (sweetness added at disgorging). It is quite dry while still managing to be soft. We are still hoping to have the wine ready by the end of February, and if all goes well that should happen.
Yes, Reserve Chardonnay
We’ll make a fuss over this 2020 release so don’t panic about being kept in the loop!
This’ll be released roughly mid-year.
But first, did you get a chance to taste the 2016 Reserve?
We’re re-releasing the final dozens of the 2016 for sale in next week’s blog.
As dad says on the downlow, it’s one of the best chardonnays he’s ever tasted.
The wine looks great in the glass – quite deep in colour but with very attractive tints of gold with a hint of green. No suggestion of browning or untoward development. The wine was matured in relatively new barrels, and was in there for over 12 months. It’s now nearly 5 years old, so it’s not surprising that it’s deep in colour! The nose is effortless – I always see quite strong citrus peel aromas, with buttered toast (from the oak) and lovely complexity of aromas that swirl around. The palate shares that buttery note, and the citrus peel. There are hints of toasted cashew, even of candy, and the flavours go on and on. It has a viscosity, a fullness of flavour and a long very soft finish. There is a supporting acidity which is fresh but in no way “edgy”. All of the above is helped along by the fact that the wine is quite restrained in alcohol, and I’m sure that contributes to the wine’s softness.
I hope you get the impression that I quite like this wine!!
New 2020 Chardonnay
This one will be ready in a jiff – bottling next week and released soon after.
It’s just about to be bottled, at the end of next week or early the following. So therefore it’s being kept cold at the moment (cold stabilising) and will be filtered in a day or two ready for transport to Boutique Bottlers in the Barossa.
(NB – dad never loses sight of the wine during this process – he’ll follow it up to the bottling plant and watch closely as they filter and ready the wine to go down the line).
This wine will make a most interesting comparison with the 2018, which is our current vintage. The 2018 has developed superb bottle maturation aromas and flavours, and of course the 2020 hasn’t had the chance to do that yet. It’s still flowery, young and vibrant on the nose, but with a really deep richness of flavours on the palate despite its youth – 10 months in barrel and full malolactic fermentation played a big part in that!
2020 Shiraz & 2020 Picnic Races Red (Tempranillo)
Looks like we’ve casually decided that the Picnic Races Red will always be a Tempranillo?
It’s been many years in a row now that dad hasn’t been able to go past those Charleston temp vines.
Some may remember that our first vintages of Picnic Races Red were actually Cabernet, and the next year was a Cab/Cab Franc blend which had a real following.
But we’re so happy with this variety and with how beautifully dad treats it – it feels wrong not to have it in the Somerled stable now.
These are still in barrel and a long way from being ready for bottling, but on Monday I will taste all the barrels to see how they are maturing – shouldn’t be a problem, as there are only 20 or so!
The barrels will all be pumped out into a stainless steel tank, any adjustments made, and then returned to barrel – the usual “rack and return” process. This will keep the development of the wines going by introducing a bit of air into the wine.
There are three barrels which I’m very impressed by and there’s a chance these may turn out to be our next Reserve Shiraz. But there are a few months to go before that decision is made.
Mum and Dad had a meal with Mike Farmilo recently, who is a great longtime former colleague of dad’s. He helps us source all the myriad options for our Somerled Shiraz for dad to choose from every year.
They took a bottle of Somerled Shiraz 2016 (current vintage) out with them and remarked at how very Penfolds it was, and how there is such resistance to a longer time in barrel these days. If only producers would have the financial investment and patience to see that maturing process through with the big reds properly. Then the output would be something as complex and sophisticated as the Somerled Shiraz. And how much easier would it be, then, to confidently choose a nice wine from a list when out and about!
As we often say, it’s great having some time in bottle to age, but nothing beats time maturing in oak first.
And out of all the 2021 wines, which wines are you looking forward to the most? For me it’s .. oh no wait, make it .. oh no I can never choose. How about I continue my progress on polishing off our current vintages with you all at the bar? See you there…
PS Maree will be back with her elegant reporting next week. Make life easy on her, and choose a wine or a topic you’d like her to focus on for you in her next blog.