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Sunday 24 March 2024

Take a wine trip back in time

If you are a wine lover who likes to occasionally take the vinous road less travelled then Master of Wine Peter Scudamore-Smith has something to tickle your interest.
Scudamore-Smith has released two aged wines under the Terroirs of the Granite Belt label - a pair of small-batch releases from the Settlers Rise vineyard that show how Queensland wines can develop. 

So meet the 2010 Aged Chardonnay and the 2008 Aged Shiraz - a pair of wines that might be confronting for wine drinkers used to bright and fruity current releases. 

"It has been said that ‘great wine needs time’ and we would agree," says Scudamore-Smith.

"Many age worthy wines are released too young and well before they have reached optimum maturity. Our approach at Settlers Rise is to give our wines the time they need to age in the bottle before release.

"For this reason, the current release of the ‘Terroirs of the Granite Belt’ by Settlers Rise includes a 2010 Aged Chardonnay and a 2008 Aged Shiraz. Both wines have been deliberately aged and cellared since their production, in order to release them at the start of their optimum drinking window."

The chardonnay was sourced from 20-year-old high-altitude vines at Cottonvale and Ballandean and was whole-bunch pressed, wild yeast fermented in 40% new French oak and aged in bottle at 15 degrees Centigrade. 

This is spicy and earthy with secondary characters in command. Certainly not a wine for everyone, but fascinating. 

The 2008 Aged Shiraz is heading into porty, raisiny territory and is one for those who like their reds in this zone. 

It is 100% shiraz from 40-year-old dry-grown vines on granite soils at Ballandean. It spent 18 months in 100% new French oak. Intense and assertive with preserved fruit and dark cherry elements on the palate. 

A fascinating exercise that will doubtless meet with mixed reactions. Both wines retail for $59 and will certainly find a spot on restaurant wine lists. Both wines are, thankfully, bottled under screw caps. 

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