This wine is inspired by the white wine blends of the Northern Rhone Valley in France. Originating in Switzerland, the Rhone river flows west towards Lyon before turning south down the Rhone Valley to the Mediterranean coast. The strong, cool wind known as the 'Mistral' blows down the Rhone Valley from the Alps and has a profound impact upon all of the agriculture in the valley, viticulture being no exception. This is the inspiration behind the name of the wine.
Perhaps the most famous of the Rhone white varieties is Viognier (pron. Vio-n-yay). The bronze tinted, thick skinned, hardy white grapes typically produce a medium weight, dry wine with characteristic bright floral and apricot notes. This is often blended with either or both of Marsanne and Roussane, to produce a vibrant, complex, floral wine, capable of being enjoyed in its youth as well as to be cellared and enjoyed with several years of bottle evolution.
The Vineyards: The Viognier for the 2019 Mistral was sourced from two separate vineyards. The first is located in the Walcliffe sub-region of Margaret River, with a northerly exposure and around 4km from the Indian Ocean on the banks of the Margaret River itself. Sitting high on this hillside, the vines grow in gravelly, well drained soil and experience fantastic exposure to the warm summer sunshine and regular, cooling sea breezes.
The other portion of Viognier comes from the north of the Margaret River region, on the border between the Yallingup and Willyabrup sub-regions. This site is very exposed to both our regular winds and full summer sunshine, and the Viognier thrives in this site.
The Marsanne portion of the blend is grown at one of the most southerly vineyards in the Margaret River region located in the Karridale sub-region, some 4.5km West of the Indian Ocean and 6km North of the Southern Ocean.
Winemaking: All of the grapes for this wine were handpicked into small 8kg crates and immediately transported back to the winery where the whole bunches of grapes were placed gently into an old-school basket press to extract the juice. Whole-bunch basket pressing is the most gentle way to extract the juice from the fruit and is a process common to the world’s highest quality white wines. No additions, subtractions, fining or filtration of any sort was conducted on the juice.
From the press the juice was run directly into 3 year old French oak barriques for fermentation. The wine was fermented utilising the indigenous yeast which came in on the grape bunches from the vineyard. The wine fermented to absolute dryness and was left in contact with its lees for 5 months.
The 2017 Mistral spent 9 months in barrel before being racked via gravity to tank pre=bottling. This wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered and displays the possibility of producing elegant, pure, bright and clear wines, in this very natural way.
The Wine: The nose of the 2019 Mistral is beguiling. Packed with light spice and floral perfume hints, apricot blossom and savoury notes from the extended yeast lees contact. The palate is light in weight with a pronounced fine, mineral acid line running the full length of the palate. From a crisp , fresh entry, the palate flows ever onwards with a wonderful texture and sweet spice and floral flavours. A great length and high level of complexity means the wine hangs in with your palate and the finish is clean and fresh. This wine gets your palate salivating and wanting to eat something with it – the perfect condition for a wine to be in.
13.9% Alc. Production: 2293 bottles
This wine is inspired by the early release Langhe Nebbiolo and Nebbiolo d’Alba styles of wine produced in the Barolo and Barbaresco zone of Italy. I have been living and working between Margaret River and this most famous of Italian fine wine regions since 2009. For this wine I wanted to make a great introduction to this grape variety which is totally foreign to most Australian consumers. As with all of my wines I sought to promote a purity of varietal expression and not take any aspect of the wine ‘too far’
A flawless pale garnet in colour, this wine displays all of the typical colour notes of the Italian Nebbiolo grape. Hints of just ripe red cherry, violet perfume and red/purple rose combine with a savoury ‘meatiness’ to give a light yet complex nose. The wine is medium weight at best, with high acidity and a high level of tannin so reminiscent of the Nebbiolo variety. Importantly, the tannins are not bitter but display a nutty dryness which works well to balance the cherry fruit and floral spice core of the palate. This wine was conceptualised as an early drinking style and will perhaps be at its best in the first 5 years of its life, but careful cellaring will see it mature and develop for well beyond that short timeframe.
Enjoy with salami and prosciutto, a rare grilled steak, or anything with some fats in it to give the tannins something to react with besides your gums and teeth and to transform the drinking experience.
Two diverse and select parcels of Gin Gin clone Chardonnay were chosen to produce this wine. Gin Gin clone vines were used exclusively as I believe that this clone more so than any other expresses the unique Margaret River and sub-regional terroir.
All of the grapes for this wine were handpicked into small 8kg crates and immediately transported back to the winery where the whole bunches of grapes were placed gently into a traditional basket pressed to extract the juice. Whole-bunch basket pressing yields around 20+% less juice than a conventional airbag press, but the juice quality is second to none.
The juice was run into a mix of brand new and seasoned oak. The wine was fermented dry utilising the indigenous yeast which came in on the grape bunches from the vineyard.
Following alcoholic fermentation the wine was encouraged to undergo malolactic fermentation, a process whereby the malic acid naturally present in the grapes is converted into the softer and more textural lactic acid. As with the alcoholic fermentation, this occurred through bacteria which were naturally present in the juice and winery environment. Malo was allowed to continue until around 80% complete after a small addition of sulphur was added to protect against oxidation and the wine racked off its heavy yeast lees. The wine has rested and developed in oak for 8 months during which time it underwent the process of bâtonnage (stirring of the yeast lees in the bottom of the barrel) for 4 months to encourage development of more complex, savoury aromas and flavours.
This wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered, with our aim being to showcase the amazing fruit which went into making it in the purest way possible.A wine which truly reflects the cooler season in which it was grown. The nose displays subtle savoury aromas, crème caramel and light, spicy, clean oak with hints of white stonefruit and nashi pear. On the palate this theme continues all framed by a wonderful mineral acid line that is both fresh as well as being salvia inducing in its minerality. This wine is drinking wonderfully on release but we expect it to begin to unwind and become more generous on the palate given time in the bottle. For those fans of aged Chardonnay I also belive this wine will age incredibly gracefully for 15+ years.
Cabernet Sauvignon 'Riserva'
$64 per bottle by the case (12 bottles)
LIMITED RELEASE: 750ML
100% CABERNET SAUVIGNON
This will be the second release of this special wine which is a selection of the best barrels of pure Cabernet Sauvignon, no other varieties, to form small cuvee. In 2017 we have transitioned into a wine purely from the Wilyabrup sub-region, a fact we deemed important enough to instill on our front label.
As is standard with this wine the fruit input was nothing short of impeccable, we gave it more time in barrel (24 months) and more new oak (33% ) than any of our wines. As our young tradition for this wine goes, it will be released for sale 3 years after the fruit has harvested in the cooler 2017 harvest i.e. April 2020.
Continuing on form the early form of the 2016 vintage, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Riserva is a fine example of elegance and poise, delivering plenty of texture, mouthfeel, depth and complexity, with the everpresent typical Mr Barval balance which is seen across our wines and makes them so enjoyable to drink. This wine will reward cellaring for 10+ years but has the structured to live and evolve for at least a quarter century.
Total production of this rare wine was 748 bottles and 50 magnums.
Petit Verdot (67%) & Old Vine Wilyabrup Merlot (33%).
1433 Bottles Produced
A unique blend of grapes, hand harvested, wild fermented without any additions, aged for 21 months in used French oak. Softness and palate richness from the Merlot combine with the lifted flora aromas, purple fruit and high acidity of the Petit Verdot to make a very drinkable wine which also has potential to age.
Continuing the story for this wine to provide a bit of a guilty pleasure for you. Wonderful mixes of florals, fruit and spice but with a generous, soft structure and low tannins, this wine was made for enjoyment.
The Vineyards: The Merlot portion of the blend is from a very special vineyard. One of the oldest and most historic in the entire Margaret River district, this Wilyabrup site displays all of the most sought after vineyard characteristics. Of particular note is that the vines are old – around 48 years old and un-irrigated, which leads to production of a Merlot wine with amazing depth and complexity.
The Petit Verdot for the blend comes from 25 year old vines growing on a gentle north sloping vineyard also in the Wilyabrup subregion of Margaret River. The soil is very gravelly and the vines work hard, focusing their energies on ripening healthy, vibrant fruit, not excesses of vegetative growth or high quantities.
Winemaking: All of the grapes for this wine were handpicked into small 8kg crates and immediately transported back to the winery where they were gently de-stemmed and not crushed, directly into their small fermentation vessels, a procedure which allowed the ferment to start with what were almost totally unburst, undamaged individual berries. The wines were fermented on skins utilising the indigenous yeasts, which arrived on the grape skins when the fruit arrived at the winery.
The must underwent a slow, steady ferment with hand plunging twice each day. After around 14 days the fruit was basket pressed into 3 year old French oak barriques and was left to complete malolactic fermentation in barrel utilising the activity of indigenous bacteria. The wine was left to mature for 21 months in barrel during which time it was racked via gravity one time and topped regularly. Two days before bottling the wine was racked out of barrel to tank using gravity (no pumps at all) and was then bottled unfined and unfiltered.
The Wine: Purple florals and spice from the Petit Verdot great you immediately on the nose and rise up out of the glass followed closely by the meaty, ripe, red fruits of the old vine Merlot. Medium to full bodied, round and soft, with a richness that is tempered by the high acidity. This wine drinks incredibly easily, with no rough edges, but it will develop and reward cellar for the medium term (5-10 yrs at least)
Syrah (100%) 10.6% Alc 1147 bottles produced
A racey and fresh, mineral, bone dry Rosé with heaps pf savoury characters showing over a hint of red berry notes. The perfect accompaniment to a warm Summer day. This wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered and a harmless sediment may remain
Syrah from the cooler Walcliffe sub-region was hand picked and gently destemmed without crushing and immediately basket pressed directly to used French oak barriques. Fermentation occurred with wild vineyard yeasts. The wine was matured in barrel on fine lees for 8 months.