Simon Gilbert – Winemaker
As his friends, mentors and previous employees have gone on to international acclaim, Dad has quietly continued doing what he loves, away from the limelight… crafting great wine for you all to enjoy! Wine of purity, elegance and vibrancy. Wine that is varietally true to itself, clean and technically sound.
It’s a real honour to be working side by side with him, someone of his calibre who is revered by so many of his contemporaries. Dad has had a significant impact on the career of countless young winemakers across the countryside and I feel incredibly fortunate to be one of those. He gets real enjoyment in shaping and contributing to the careers of the new generation in the wine industry, something that is a true testament to his character. Dad is always willing to share his wisdom and expertise with whoever is asking and I know I am the lucky one that’s able to pick his brains everyday!
His passion for the industry is clear and unwavering. 40+ years on from when he first hosed out a press and dug out his first fermenter he continues to strive for excellence in his wines, regardless of what it takes.
He is a real perfectionist and someone who loves what vintage brings out in himself and also those people under his guidance. If I end up being half the winemaker Simon is, I’ll be happy. — WILL GILBERT
- Brian Croser, Founder And Ex Chief Winemaker Of Petaluma. Founder, Principal And Winemaker Tappanappa.
Sourced from vineyards in Mudgee and Orange, this wine truly has the best of both worlds. With Sangiovese, Zinfandel and Barbera being from Mudgee, at an elevation of 520 meters above sea level. These grapes are quite rich and round due to the warmer climate of Mudgee, where the mean January temperature is 23.5°C and average rainfall is 600mm per annum. By contrast, Orange’s cooler climate, and higher elevation of 880 metres, produces more elegant and refined qualities in the Shiraz grapes. Generally one of NSW’s cooler regions, Orange has mean January temperature of 19.15°C with a variance between summer and winter months, and an average rainfall of approx imately 875mm per annum. The soil for both sites is predominately clay loam, which is deep and well drained. With underlying shattered rock and quartz being found in Mudgee, while Orange has the added bonus of red and brown ferrosol soils derived from basalt. These varying conditions add such complexity and depth to the flavour and quality of the grapes. The grapes were harvested earlier than normal to attain bright fresh varietal characteristics. They were then, destemmed and must chilled. This must was drained and soft pressed only after which the settled juice was racked then warmed and inoculated.All varieties were separately fermented in stainless and blended prior to final maturation. As a final blend the batches were racked off gross lees, while still maintaining light lees contact for 6 weeks, and cooled to 10-12°C to allow the midpalate to build texture and depth.The wine was then left to settle before being clarified and bottled in August 2018.
Handpicked, fruit selected and hand sorted at harvest, these grapes were harvested in small lots in the early morning taking advantage of the cool morning temperatures. They were then destemmed only, and must was cold soaked for 48 hours prior to fermentation. This provided longer time on the skins, and allowed extraction of optimal tannins and colour from the grapes. Open fermentation took place in small batches and 2x 900L roll barrel fermenters, temperature was maintained at 22-30°C. The ferment was then basket pressed at matured in new (40%) and older French oak. 14% of the Wine was made up of the Barrel Ferment component. This component was drained out of the open ferment to fill 2 new French Oak barrels with Free Run at 3.5 Baume. Here it continued to ferment in a super reductive environment increasing its complexity and interest. This component adds a bit of funk and fun! The wine was bottled in November 2017 after a small addition of viognier.
A blend of six varieties! All parcels were harvested separately according to each varieties optimum phenological ripeness. These parcels were destemmed and must chilled and then were cold soaked for 3 days. Fermentation took place in both stainless and old oak open top ferments where pumpovers and punchdowns were conducted twice a day. With approximately 10-14 days on skins the individual ferments were pressed off at the optimal tannin level where they were left to finish off both primary and malolactic fermentation. To maintain the bright fresh fruit character, a combination of Old neutral oak and stainless steel were used for maturation as individual components for 3 months prior to blending and filtration in July 2018.
2015 Project Wine. A traditional Old World Blend, done with New World flair. The juice for this wine was sourced from both Mudgee and Orange. The wine is deep and rich, with luscious dark fruits with plenty of baking spices. The Grenache brings a hint of sweetness, the Shiraz adds the pepper and the Mataro rounds out the mouthfeel. A deep tannin wine with residual crunchy fruits, a solid balance with a smooth vanilla finish, highlighting the use of French Oak.
Following continuous monitoring during the season, harvesting commenced in the cool of the morning on 4 March, the grapes were destemmed only to avoid any skin maceration, chilled to 10 C, drained & lightly pressed. Following this the juice was cold settled, assessed and subsequently racked then warmed to 15 C prior to inoculating with a selected yeast culture. This wine is made from free run & soft pressings juice only. Fermentation is initiated & maintained in stainless at a temperature of 13-16C, subject to the rate of fermentation and tasted twice daily during fermentation. Once fermented to the desired sugar level, this ferment was halted at 8.7g/l residual sugar by reduction in temperature, to achieve the desired sugar/acid balance. Following settling for approximately two weeks the wine was racked, chilled and sulphur adjusted, then left on light lees for four months. Tweaking of acid levels with Citric was only addressed following stabilisation, filtration & preparation for bottling.
Sourced from the foothills of Mt Canobolas, at an altitude of 880 – 900 metres, these vineyards have extremely fertile soil, rich in volcanic ash. One of Australia’s cooler climate and higest wine regions, grapes grown here not only enjoy all the benefits of its cooler temperatures, and unique typography, but alsobenefit from over 9hrs per day of direct sunshine during the growing season. The combination of both the cooler climate and plentiful sunshine, is vital to the fruits ability to develop intense aromas and maintain flavour.
The wine is a deep crimson, with dark purple hue. On the nose the wine has hints of white pepper and baking spices. On the palate there are forest berries, savoury notes and a plush easy to drink finish.
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