2021 Charteris Hunter Valley Semillon
The McDonalds Flat vineyard was planted in 2002 by Stephen Drayton. The Semillon is on the bottom of a gentle north facing slope and the Chardonnay is on the flat closer to the creek bed. The soils are Brown Dermosols of varying depths but become deeper and richer closer to the creek line. The water holding capacity of the soils is the key to vine vigour with the Semillon working harder than the Chardonnay to grow canopy and ultimately yield. The current owner, Ross Crump, has invested heavily in reinstalling soil and therefore vine health with a positive effect on wine quality and his cows in the neighbouring paddocks.
Vintage and Growing Conditions
The 2021 vintage was the first after a substantial 4-year drought and the devastating Black Summer bushfires of the 19/20 summer. Those fires were doused by solid rainfall throughout February and March 2020. However, it was the July and October 2020 rains that set up the 21 harvest. We were well in the grips of a strong La Nina weather pattern with the soil profile near capacity and dams starting to fill when 170mm of Rain in December really got the heart rate up. The cooler temperatures of the growing season combined with the precipitation created some intense mildew conditions with a couple of perfect Downy Mildew outbreaks as well as some rarely seen Powdery mildew.
Harvest started, at a more traditional time than the norm of the last 10 years, in the third week of January and it was one for the vignerons with their eye on the vines. Well managed crop levels and open, carefully tended canopies were the order of the day. It will be a while before we have the full canvas of the vintage but overall Semillon and Chardonnay look strong with flavour and balanced acidity, while Shiraz will be one to watch with the best managed vineyards delivering some classic medium bodied Hunter River Burgundy style wines.
Pale lemon yellow with a green fleck in the glass. Lemons and lemongrass with Kaffir Lime leaf, a hint of lavender, white florals bath salts and Lemon sorbet - dehydrated and sprinkled as dust in the glass. A hint of rock melon and green papaya too adding depth and volume to the aroma
Gentle entry with subtle lemon giving way to finger lime and Botanical complexity, a hint of the Gin and Tonics about this wine.
There is silky smooth acidity which gives just the right glide to the texture while maintaining length and vitality. The finish is endearing with a hint of juicy grapefruit, underlying passionfruit and a salty mineral pinch for a clean refined exit. Long and salivating.
Pretty sumptuous drinking now for Hunter Semillon, but there is a race to run for this wine, the next 5 years will be just the beginning.
Delicious on its own or with Tempura Prawns or Flathead Tacos!
Varietal - Semillon
Region – Hunter Valley
Appellation – McDonalds Flat Vineyard,Pokolbin
Alc – 11.5 %
Bottle Size – 750ml
Technical Data - pH 3.11, TA 7.0 g/L