Four CLASSIC Hunter Varieties
CHARDONNAY - Chardonnay is one of the world’s greatest and prolifically grown grape varieties. Ranging from unwooded, light and fresh to full-bodied barrel fermented and aged; this versatile grape can produce a range of styles that can be matched with just about any food.
Such was the demand for Australian Chardonnay in the late 1980's that the area of Chardonnay vines increased more than five-fold during the decade so that in 1990, Chardonnay, became Australia’s most planted white wine grape variety.
But then it all changed. This peak in popularity in the late 1980 and early 1990's gave way to a change in tastes. The market was drinking more red wine, and there was a backlash from consumers disenfranchised by the buttery taste and high level of oak used in these wines. Chardonnay sales declined as consumer tastes turned towards lighter wines such as Pinot Grigio and the crisp, juicy cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc.
Despite this setback, this adaptable and hearty grape remains one of the most widely-planted grape varieties worldwide, is planted in more wine regions than any other and is an important component of many sparkling wines around the world, including Champagne.
Chardonnay is making a comeback with styles that are not as heavy as the past but instead lighter, more elegant, a little more subtle and a little less oak.
When it comes to food, Chardonnay has the potential to be paired with a wide range of food types – especially poultry dishes, pork, seafood or recipes that have a heavy cream or butter base. Enjoy the buttery taste of a good Chardonnay with mild cheeses or a crab cake appetiser. Oysters and salmon also pair well with the citrus flavours of a crisp Chardonnay.
2017 Reserve Chardonnay – RRP $33.50 Mistletoe Wines flagship Chardonnay is only made in years when the vintage and the grapes are deemed to be good enough to wear the Reserve label. The fruit for the 2017 Reserve Chardonnay were hand harvested from an old Hermitage Road vineyard. TASTING Complete barrel fermentation and maturation in new and one year old French oak puncheons, has created a typical Hunter Chardonnay. Flavours of white peach and melon are abound with a lovely balance between fruit, acid and oak. FOOD MATCH The perfect accompaniment for Chicken Fricasee. CELLARING Drink now to 2027.
SEMILLON - Hunter Valley Semillon is a unique white wine which keeps getting better with age and is considered to be the highest quality and best example of dry white Semillon wine produced anywhere in the world.
Apart from being one of the most mispronounced wines, Semillon is also one of the world's leading varieties of grapes. Its home is thought to be the South West of France – more specifically Bordeaux, where it is the most widely planted white grape in the region.
The Semillon grape is thought to have made its way to Australia in the early to mid-1800's and is now widely grown in vineyards throughout the country, especially in the Hunter Valley where it was originally known as ‘Hunter River Riesling’. From these early days, the variety has formed a unique association with the Hunter Valley and its terroir with the region producing a style that has not been replicated anywhere else in the world.
Australia's best Semillon is the dry style from the Hunter Valley, where the fruit is picked early, with low sugar levels and fermented
dry without the use of oak and then bottled. Classic Hunter Semillon is restrained, with piercing acidity and lemon flavours. As a cellaring wine, it is one of the best and can be cellared for a good 20 years and even longer. Over time it mellows from a fresh, tangy, fruity and pale coloured white wine into a deeper coloured softer and richer wine – evolving through an array flavours, slowly developing into richer and more honeyed characters that match with many different foods.
When young, Semillon is just perfect with fresh oysters, prawns and any white-fleshed fish. As it ages (10 years or more) pair it with smoked trout or salmon, grilled fish, roast chicken, creamy pasta, lemon based sauces, shellfish and most other seafood as well as semi-hard cheese.
McLeish Estate McLeish Semillon 2019 – RRP $30 McLeish Estate are one of the most awarded Semillon producer’s in Australia. Creating a range of single vineyard Semillon’s that are acclaimed and celebrated throughout the world. This is a true recognition of the premium quality and the attention to detail that is applied throughout the whole winemaking process.
TASTING Generosity of fresh lemon and lime flavour are lifted by complex fragrant hints of tropical passionfruit and green apple that articulate this classic Hunter Semillon. The palate is intense yet elegant, with mouth – watering acidity providing length of flavour on the palate. With bottle age, generous layers of lanolin, toasted hazelnut and honey will develop. FOOD MATCH Fresh Sydney Rock Oysters and Kingfish. CELLARING Enjoy now or cellar to 2030.