White, Ready, but will keep

2005 Poole's Rock, Hunter Valley Semillon, Australia

2005 Poole's Rock, Hunter Valley Semillon, Australia

White | Ready, but will keep | Poole's Rock Wines | Code:  15812 | 2005 | Australia > New South Wales > Hunter Valley | Sémillon | Medium Bodied, Dry | 12.0 % alcohol


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The Producer

Poole's Rock Wines

Poole's Rock Wines

The genesis of Poole's Rock Group dates back to 1988 when businessman David Clarke established his first vineyard in Broke in the Hunter Valley. David's long-held interest in wine stems partly from the fact that his father was the accountant of one of Australia's iconic wine figures - Maurice O'Shea.

The original vineyard estate produces the flagship Poole’s Rock Chardonnay, a benchmark for the company’s prestige portfolio, which has since evolved to include the trophy-winning Poole’s Rock Semillon and Poole’s Rock Shiraz. Indeed no one else makes dry Semillon like they do in the Hunter Valley.

With the advantage of some of the world’s oldest vines and a unique climate (warm but cloudy) which allows the grapes to reach full flavour ripeness at only 11-12% potential alcohol, these wines are austere and closed in their youth, yet over the course of 1-2 decades they develop astonishingly. Complex flavours of toast and butter belie the wines’ 100% stainless steel fermentation and ageing, and nowhere is the ‘waxy’ and ‘lanolin’ character of the Semillon grape more obviously evidenced. A truly world-class Semillon and unique wine style.

In 1994 the company acquired the Cockfighter’s Ghost vineyard and Cockfighter’s Ghost Cottage at the foot of the Brokenback Range, and in 2002 acquired the historic Glen Elgin Estate, now known as the Post Office Block, and site of the popular Cellar Door and winery.

David Clarke passed away in April 2011 after a long and brave fight with cancer. At his instigation, discussions with Agnew family, Hunter Valley neighbours and owners of the near-by Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard, commenced in late 2010 culminating in their purchase of the business in August 2011. The wines are now made by the talented Usher Tinkler (pictured here in the vineyard with Berrys' Wine Education Specialist Anne McHale MW).

The Grape



The main grape for Sauternes and particularly successfully grown in Australia's Hunter Valley. Hunter Valley Sémillon is one of Australia’s iconic and unique wines, totally unlike any wine produced elsewhere in the world from the same grape variety.

In youth the wines are quite citrusy and fresh, but are generally perceived to gain hugely in complexity as they age and are deemed to be best drunk when at least 5 years old, frequently lasting for 10 or more years. Unusually for Australia, the alcohol levels rarely exceed 11.5%.

In Bordeaux it is the most widely planted white grape and is blended with Sauvignon Blanc to produce the great long-lived dry whites of Graves as well as the great sweet wines of Sauternes. It is high in alcohol and extract and relatively low in aroma and acidity. Its thin skin makes it very susceptible to botrytis which is prerequisite for the making of Sauternes. It responds well to oak ageing and, while having a lightly lemony aroma when young develops lanolin flavours which some describe as "waxy", as well as a rich, creamy, intense, texture and a deep golden colour.

The Region

Hunter Valley

Hunter Valley

The 3,000-hectare Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest viticultural area. Located inland from Newcastle in New South Wales, bordering Mudgee to the west, the region was built not on gold but coal in the late 18th century; the Hunter Valley Vineyard Association (HVVA) was founded in 1847. Depression followed until the red wine boom of the 1960s and 1970s, even if it was Murray Tyrrell’s Chardonnay wines that proved the most successful.

The region’s loamy vineyards are located at between 100 and 240 metres above sea level. The warm to hot sub-humid climate makes rot an issue. Sémillon (often at circa 11 percent ABV) and Shiraz are favoured. The finest Sémillon should have an almost limey, hay-like purity.

Recommended producers: Brokenwood, Tyrrell’s and Molly Morgan

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