It's always exciting when Ravensworth main man Bryan Martin pops in to show us what he's been cooking up in Murrumbateman.
Today Bryan is launching five brand new releases, four of which were grown 100% on his home estate.
It's another piece of the puzzle falling into place for Bryan as he marches ever closer to having complete control of his wines from paddock to bottle.
The one outlier in this release is the brilliant Hilltops Nebbiolo which is one of the best value modern examples of Nebbiolo to be found anywhere in Aus.
The wines have all received rave reviews from The Wine Front's Mike Bennie over the last few days, words like "Scintillating" and "Ethereal" filling his detailed notes.
These are Bryan's limited production wines and, unsurprisingly given the flawless quality across the board, are in very high demand.
More on the releases
This is the first release of a Riesling grown 100% on Bryan's block. The fruit hung out in ceramic egg for 10 months on lees before bottling. It's a wicked expression of Canberra Riesling - taut and electric but with a fullness of flavour. The extended time on lees adding layers of detail that transcend the classic 'line and length' style of Reisling the region is known for. Extremely limited, only one 700l egg produced.
95 points - "Scintillating." - Mike Bennie
Bryan's Estate vineyard in Murrumbateman has Sangiovese vines on it that go back 20 years. He has been refining his approach to this wine for many years now and has seemed to find a more traditional method of production as the best course of action.
This is the first year that his home-grown fruit has gone into huge 2800L foudre for 22 months ageing. As Bryan explains, "A timeless method for this variety that allows it to progress slowly without gathering layers of oak."
Seven Months is one of Bryan Martin's favourite wines to make. The curious blend of Pinot Gris, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Sauvignon Blanc fermented on skins in ceramic egg for seven months (hence the name), with this extended skin contact adding all sorts of colour, texture and complexity.
This year's might be the best to date, a glorious mouthful of fruit that's slippery, grippy, textural and thought-provoking. Mike Bennie summed it up beautifully in his 94 point review pointing dubbing it, "Glorious wine this, right at the apex of Australian ‘orange wines’.Wonderful expression here."
After planting Cabernet Franc on his home vineyard over 10 years ago, this is only the second release of this funky and delicious little red. This is Cabernet Franc at its most fragrant and beguiling.
The addition of 25% (!) Sauvignon Blanc was made to further enhance freshness and ease up the sheer intensity of the fruit Bryan picked in 2017. It's an altogether fantastic expression of the two closely linked varieties.
Only the fourth ever release of the wine, this comes from the 2016 vintage in the Hilltops region, and it looks fantastic. Importantly, this is the first vintage Bryan has used his large-format Stockinger barrels for maturation, the bigger wood making a big difference in the final product. A sort of old-world meets new-world take on this iconic Italian variety.
It will be long-lived in the cellar and matches beautifully with a wide range of foods, but it's equally enjoyable to knock back now. If you're a Nebbiolo admirer then you'll love this, and if you're new to the variety then this is a quality place to start.
To learn more, check out our below video with the man himself at DDHQ!