Another vintage is almost over and the weather is cool after a hot and dry couple of months. Mac has been harvesting Cabernet Sauvignon this week (but the pictures in the newsletter were taken on Friday 13 March 2015 when we had a team of hand pickers in to pick the best White Cabernet Sauvignon bunches they could find). The crop was the lightest we have had for many years and the team did a great job with Anne casting a ‘beady eye’ over every bucket full! We now look forward to the first tasting.
Also in the newsletter:
- Autumn Wine Specials
- Riverland Grape Deal
- Upcoming Wine Show Tasting Details
Cleggett Wines Cellar Door has been named the region’s Best Small Cellar Door in Gourmet Traveller WINE’s annual Cellar Door Awards.
The full list of winners and reviews, plus plenty more besides, can be found in the April/May issue of Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine.
This week marks an exciting step forward for the indigenous grape varieties White Cabernet Sauvignon (Shalistin) and Bronze Cabernet Sauvignon (Malian).
Mac Cleggett from Cleggett wines in Langhorne Creek, has signed an Agreement with the Riverland Vine Improvement Committee (RVIC), giving them sole opportunity to propagate and sell planting material to Riverland grape growers.
“Working with RVIC is the perfect fit for our indigenous varieties” say Mac. “RVIC supports a growing band of innovative grape growers who are at the leading edge of trialling a number of overseas grape varieties. Now there is an exciting opening to further develop two of our unique Australian grape varieties”.
The Agreement allows RVIC to produce propagated materials in the form of grafted vines and to develop a source block at their Monash property for further planting material privileged to the Riverland wine region.
Cleggett Wines have taken these two varieties through the extensive process of scientific investigation to registration on international data bases, as well as development of wine styles suited to the grapes. Wines made from both varieties have won a string of awards over past years with the 2003 White Cabernet Sauvignon winning a Gold Medal in 2014, as an 11 year old wine. Cleggett Wines has recently sold some of the earlier vintages of the white wine into China with another larger order on the horizon. A small percentage of White Cabernet has been successfully blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to produce the multi Gold and Silver Medal wine called Men of Kent. www.cleggettwines.com.au, www.rvic.org.au
“There appears to be several viticultural advantages to our indigenous grapes” says Mac. “Both the white and bronze grapes have delayed budburst and medium to loose bunches, standing up to disease and weather pressures as well or better than their parent Cabernet Sauvignon vines”. The white wine in particular has proven to have excellent ageing potential and has been made into both still and sweet versions. The Bronze Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are used for rose` and sparkling styles at present and may well be suited to fortified wine styles.
“I would love to see some of the Riverland growers make a sparkling white wine, grow it organically or bio dynamically and nurture it to its full potential” say Anne McLennan partner in Cleggett Wines.
“These varieties have been like children for us for the past 15 years as we have worked through the minefield of bureaucracy and nurtured the vines and wines to a point where they can now leave the nest”.
Mac Cleggett is happy to support the RVIC and the progressive growers in what we hope, will be a fruitful collaboration leading to success for the Riverland and for these two Australian varieties.
We are always happy when our wines receive special awards. The 2010 Men of Kent Cabernet has won several Gold and Silver awards including Gold at the 2013 Royal Adelaide Wine Show, The McLennan Shiraz gained a 4.5 star rating in a Winestate tasting and is now a Wine of the Year contender.
The biggest surprise for us was winning Gold for our Museum Class 2003 White Cabernet Sauvignon Shalistin at the 2014 Langhorne Creek Wine Show. Stocks of these 3 wines are now very limited.