I love old white wines and accordingly I have a small precious collection of Lovedales. The theme for today’s wine was going to be 1999 Semillons (until we got too thirsty and had to move to other vintages). I know it was going to be a long afternoon of eating and drinking, so the lower alcohol of the Semillon was seen as a bonus and the reason for my selection today. Also Semillon does go well with warm weather and cold seafood.
The 1999 Lovedale Single Vineyard Semillon opened with a firm and brand new-like cork. It could have been sealed yesterday. The wine poured with a deep straw colour, giving away its 13 years age. On the nose, it was open and demonstrated buttered toast. And, it tasted wonderful, there were fruit tones of citrus balancing nicely right now with honeyed, buttered toast. Hmm. This was a real gem and is drinking to perfection right now. If you wanted to, there’s probably another 3 – 5 years, especially given the excellent quality of the cork.
1999 Lovedale Single Vineyard Semillon
This is a fantastic example of a Hunter Valley Semillon drinking to its peak.
Here’s what the winemaker had to say back in 2006.
Mount Pleasant is situated on the slopes of the Brokenback Ridge in the Hunter Valley, NSW. The estate was established in 1921 by the legendary winemaker Maurice O’Shea who recognised the special characteristics and longevity of Hunter Valley table wines. To this day, Mount Pleasant continues to bottle-age commercial quantities of wines until they are considered at their peak to release.
Vineyard Region Lovedale Vineyard, Hunter Valley, NSW.
Vineyard Conditions Continuous rain periods in the lead up to vintage and unseasonably cool temperatures in Spring/Summer produced
an even flowering and fruit set. These mild conditions continued into harvest period with intermittent rainfall delaying and extending vintage, resulting in white grape varieties with great depth of flavour and excellent acidity.
Grape Variety 100 per cent Semillon.
Viniﬁcation & All grapes for this wine were handpicked. Upon receiving Maturation them at the winery, the grapes were de-stemmed, crushed, must chilled and the juice allowed to drain off. After 48 hours of settling, the clear juice was racked off, warmed up and inoculated with a neutral yeast. The ferment was slow and cold to retain fruit ﬂ avour. One month after fermentation the wines were blended, stabilized and sterile filtered prior to bottling.
Winemaker Phil Ryan’s Comments:
Colour Mid straw.
Aroma The aroma is dominated by zesty, citrus notes of lemon and lime. The primary fruit aromas are complemented by the beginning of toasty development and hints of honey.
Palate The well structured palate, built around a clean vanilla core, has all the hallmarks of a great Hunter Semillon. Fresh citrus flavours, long persistent palate and refreshing acidity.
Chef Peter Howard’s Serving Suggestions
Enjoy this glorious aged Hunter Semillon with fresh seafood.
Wine Analysis Alc/Vol: 11.5% pH: 2.92 TA: 6.65
Last Tasted September 2004
Peak Drinking Enjoy now or cellar up to 2016.