Brokenwood (Hunter Valley)
❁ Brokenwood (Hunter Valley) www.brokenwood.com.au
Brokenwood Wines McDonalds Road, Pokolbin, NSW 2320
Tel: 02 4998 7559 Fax: 02 4998 7893
A benchmark Lower Hunter winery, Brokenwood was established in 1970 by a number of partners including former lawyer and wine writer James Halliday. Production has grown to a not inconsiderable 100,000 cases a year, partly owing to the introduction of wines from relatively new vineyards in Beechworth (Indigo) and Orange (Forest Edge) and, in line with the “make great wine and have fun motto,” there is no end of experiment with new varieties, single vineyard parcels, clones even. However, across the board quality remains uniformly high. Winemaker Iain Riggs is responsible for the direction of the widely sourced Brokenwood wines, PJ Charteris his right hand man. The Shiraz has deservedly earned the greatest renown. The Graveyard (Hunter) wines are immensely rich and impressive. Though it retains the Hunter’s medium bodied profile, it has remarkable depth, intensity and length, becoming very complex with the 7 or 8 years’ age it needs to show at its best. It is among Australia’s elite in stunning years like 2003 and 2006. HBA is an impressively deep fruited, super-structured best barrel blend of both vineyards, but wants for a bit of soul in comparison. Less is more. Another Hunter example, the Mistress Block aged in American oak, is more forward in style but has real panache. The Sémillon whites are classic expressions of the grape: low in alcohol, slow to develop,becoming immensely honeyed and very intense as they peak with 8–10 years. The “basic” Sémillon represents terrific value for money (especially if you have the patience to give it five years in bottle), while single vineyard wines (Oakey Creek, Belford, Brycefield and Maxwell) warrant a visit to the cellar door. Flagship ILR Sémillon, with classic length, depth and structure, is only released after 5 years’ ageing. Premium Chardonnays are now sourced from the Indigo vineyard in Beechworth and Sauvignon Blanc Forest Edge Vineyard in Orange, the former, supple, muscular even, the latter flinty, with savoury, leesy complexity and bright acidity. The Indigo vineyard is also the source of Pinot Noir, Viognier, Roussanne, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and a Pinot Gris, all work in progress. Relatively inexpensive Cricket Pitch reds and whites are crafted to be immediately appealing and drinkable. In the Cricket Pitch red, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are the major varieties. Cricket Pitch white is a grassy, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon blend with a hint of barrel-fermentation. The range is completed by two sweeties under the Umpire’s Vineyard label and a fortified non-vintage wine, but you’ll have to go to the cellar door to get them.
To find out more about Brokenwood and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Regional Guide here..
Or indeed you can check out the Main Guide that is 2250 pages, reviews over 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines here …