Sensational quality wine from the Orange, NSW wine growing region.
2016 Schubert (12 bottle case)
2016 Schubert (12 bottle case)
Bright green-gold in colour with a generous bouquet of stone fruit flowers and gentle oak-infused citrus, this wine’s complex and mealy texture is supported through quiet fermentation and maturation in fine quality 100% new French oak. Once again the balanced, satisfying mouth feel remains an essential element of the delicate power so typical of this style. Medium term cellaring will allow this wine to fully reveal itself. 13.5% al/Vol
Mr Halliday’s Review of 2015
Creamily reticent, with calm, soothing aromatics lilting toward white peach, topped with the curd of vanillin oak, sitting ever so subtly atop the package. This will be resolved in time, because nothing here is obtuse. The fruit is just ripe enough, the acidity linear and juicy, while the lees work handily imbuing a mealy core of mineral punch and nougat. The wine finishes with a whiplash of nectarine acidity.
95 points to 2028
The Bloodwood Schubert vineyard is to the east of the cellar door on a gentle undulating north-east slope of volcanoclastic loams interspersed with mass flow rounded cobbles of crystalline andesitic lava scattered through a quite a friable red clay base. The vines are of the FVI10V5 clone, planted in rows running north/south and trellised to a Scott-Henry trellis system opened to the protected west. The vines are mostly spur pruned to around 60,000 buds per hectare and with each vine occupying 4.5 square meters of the vineyard, yields are moderate to low in most years.
I’m writing this on the 9th March 2016 and we’ve just hand-picked the last of this year’s fruit from the lower Shiraz vineyard. Unlike most vineyards in Australia, our Shiraz is always later to mature than our Cabernet Sauvignon. It usually ripens four or five days after the Cabernet vineyard and traditionally it has been gathered around the end of the first week in April. Now, every wine maker understands that vintage dates jump around a little according to the season, however, until this year, the earliest we have ever completed harvest was 20th March. That record was set in last year’s vintage. The 20th March is an important date in the viticultural scheme of things for Bloodwood. For the first couple of decades it was generally around the date we commenced harvest. Rhonda always seemed to be unimpressed that her birthday celebrations were regularly subsumed under a sticky morass of Chardonnay must and hard physical work. Recently, this seems no longer to be the case. There’s still plenty of work to do in the winery putting the vintage to bed. However, the madness of vintage for an outfit which still persists with hand picking and slow wine making can be eased through a shared bottle of Bloodwood Schubert. So what does this year’s wine look like at this juncture? In short, it looks pretty good. The concern with this very warm and dry early vintage was that the fruit would respire its essence and blow out in alcohol levels before we could get round to hand harvesting it. Luckily, with the aid of the excellent Team Bloodwood, (and a few additional picking bins used as open fermenters when the pressure was really on), we seemed to manage well enough through the totally dry conditions of February and March. For the first time at Bloodwood we had to give the winery heat exchanger a real workout to help cool warm ferment temperatures and this has helped mightily in retaining the freshness natural acid balance of our fruit. Traditionally, the issue here has been warming ferments to completion as autumnal temperatures plummet, but not this year. Time will tell, but early indications suggest that 2016 will do no harm to the reputation of Bloodwood wines with the Schubert, Riesling, Pinot and Shiraz performing very well.
The hand-picked fruit was cooled overnight before whole-bunch pressing in our air-bag press to 1.1 atmospheres with the low phenolic juice transferred to an insulated tank for overnight settling and subsequent racking. Some fine settlings were allowed to pass into the racking tank where, under gentle warmth, the juice commenced its fermentation. After a Brix or so was converted by natural yeasts, the freshly moving juice was transferred to 100% new Saury French oak hogsheads and held in a warming room throughout primary fermentation. This is critical at Bloodwood as the autumn nights can be quite chilly, and a stuck barrel ferment is something we do our best to avoid. Usually, ferment is conducted around 17 C to dryness over 35 days or so. Immediately all activity ceases, the wine is sulfured, lees-stirred and relocated to our cool (13C) maturation cellar for extended aging. The fine lees are kept in contact with the wine through regular topping and stirring, and after up to eighteen months, the wine is bench trialled, cold stability tested, protein checked and sterile filtered into bottle.
Acidity 6.3 g/l