Single Vineyard Gem
Single vineyard wine is an intriguing subset of wine. On the surface it seems like an odd expression - after all, wines ultimately all come from vineyards and why is there a need to insert the term “single” in front of it?
The problem is that the term "vineyard" is used so loosely on wine labels, and is often almost meaningless. We like to think of of a vineyard as a bucolic plot of land, owned and tended by a patient viticulturist or a devoted winery, making a single great wine. But quite often it is not the case as the concept of a vineyard is treated more like a brand. There are instances where a “vineyard” is a patchwork of more than 70 different patches of land with 70 different owner farmers.
The beauty of single vineyard wines (sometimes also as called “vineyard designated wine”) is that as most good winemakers will admit, great wines are made in the vineyard and not in the winery. Single vineyards allow the viticulturist and the winemaker to hone the quality of the vineyard and the wine, year after year, with a great understanding of the unique gout de terroir (taste of the soil). Often these plots are small, with every precious square inch owned and meticulously tended by the a small family owned winery, which produce small quantities of exceptional wine.
The other intriguing aspect of single vineyard wines in the differences in the vintages from one year to the next. These differences are almost wholly caused by the different climatic conditions and are revered by followers of quality single vineyard wines.
A great example of a single vineyard winemaker is Trevelen Farm in the Great Southern winemaking district of Western Australia. Owned by John and Katie Sprig, Trevelen Farm has a family history dating back to 1850’s. The vineyards were established as an extension of farming operations in 1993, starting the most northerly vineyard in the Great Southern Wine Region, thus protecting the vineyard from diseases caused by coastal rain and hence reducing the use of artificial disease control. Climate is slightly warmer than the coast, but still benefits from the cool sea breezes.
This 5 Star rated winery (James Halliday’s Wine Companion) has received numerous accolades from the likes of Winestate, Gourmet Traveller -Wine, Quaff, Ray Jordan's columns in the West Australian (plus his latest book) and of course James Halliday’s Wine Companion.
The wines are carefully made by James Kellie, formerly of Howard Park - Denmark, who has built a ‘state of the art’ 500 tonne winery at Harewood Estate in Denmark. It is here that James applies his passion to crafting our fruit into our award winning wines.
Examples of their fine wine include their 2010 Reserve Shiraz which James Halliday awards 94 points and describes as “Medium to full red-purple; the bouquet and light- to medium-bodied palate present a flowing bowl of red and black cherry, spice, licorice, mocha/chocolate and fine-grained tannins before a juicy aftertaste. It all works very well.”
Their Reislings are also well acclaimed with their 2012 being a standout. James Halliday has awarded this 96 points and says "Remarkably brilliant quartz-green; while the scale on the back label accurately indicates a wine near the extreme of the dry range, the wine is so loaded with lime and lemon sherbet fruit you might think it to be a little sugar-sweet, but this is simply the fruit calling in angelic song.".
Click http://www.grapesandlager.com.au/collections/trevelen-farm to see the full range of Trevelen Farm wines we stock!