We're pleased to share this release of not one, but two Hill Block wines – the 2018 HILL BLOCK SHIRAZ, and 2019 HILL BLOCK CHARDONNAY.
Lake's Folly has long-been regarded as one of Australia's iconic vineyard sites; the heavy clay soils at the top of 'The Hill' here, produce some of the most stylish individual parcels of fruit that we see come into the winery every year.
In 2007 Lake's Folly's owner, Peter Fogarty, acquired around 60 acres of land and vines directly 'next door'; the hill on the western side of the vineyard. This area at the top of the hill had a small planting of Shiraz vines that dated back to the 1960s and, since 2007, has provided us with some very special parcels of Shiraz – hence, 'Hill Block Shiraz' was born. We decided however, that we would only produce this as a stand-alone wine in truly outstanding years - and as luck would have it, we've just come through three consecutive years in 2017, 2018, and 2019, as all outstanding Hunter Valley vintages (a 'hat trick').
Also in 2007, we increased our Chardonnay plantings with new vines on the existing hill side of the original Lake's Folly site (where Max Lake had previously grown fruit tress in the '60s) and, in 2011, the first vintage of 'Hill Block Chardonnay' was made. In 2013, James Halliday, on review of our two '11 vintage Chardonnays, said the Lake's Folly (traditional) Chardonnay was "...Corton compared to the Montrachet of Hill Block..." *, which is not a bad comparison / compliment!
TASTING NOTES FOR THIS RELEASE FOLLOW:
2019 HILL BLOCK CHARDONNAY - 300 doz made - 96+ / 100
Colour is golden straw with a green hue. The nose displays stonefruits and melon, with yeasty undertones and a hint of 'struck match'. Palate is fresh and lively and, while having generous fruit weight, remains stylish and elegant with a great line and length of flavour. The supporting oak (all larger 500 litre puncheons ) is perfectly balanced. This is truly a great wine – style and class all the way, with layers of interest.
2018 HILL BLOCK SHIRAZ - 150 doz made - 97 / 100
Colour is vibrant crimson with purple hues. Nose is almost completely fruit-dominant with black cherry, blackberry and fresh raspberries. Hints of liquorice and dark chocolate – the two-thirds new French oak puncheons are barely even evident (just a hint of char) such is the power of the fruit. The palate is fruit-dominant with blackberry and raspberry flavours cascading over the palate. The wine has power, yet is refined and stylish with amazing length and persistence. This is an awesome wine, indeed!
Considering how quickly these wines sold out last year (astoundingly, within a matter of hours), we are only offering to our mailing list customers in the first instance, so please don't delay with your order if you'd like to add these great vintages to your cellar.
Please enjoy the fruits of our labour.
Rod Kempe - Winemaker
* James Halliday's Wine Companion Magazine - Feb/March 2013