‘Terracotta’ Semillon

‘Terracotta’ refers to the red coloured basalt/clay soils that the fruit for this wine is grown on. The red soils of Pokolbin are renowned for producing high quality fruit through keeping yields low. The ‘Terracotta’ Semillon is released after a minimum of 5 years bottle maturation.

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2013

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 11.0%

Background: The ‘Terracotta’ wines get their name from the soils on which the fruit is grown. These red basalt/clay soils are renowned for their low fertility thus reducing the yield of the vine and increasing fruit concentration.

Fruit source: A small parcel of Semillon was harvested early from a high block on the Kindred’s ‘Lochleven’ vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation: The fruit was hand picked and fermented in stainless steel tanks.

Maturation: There was no oak maturation with bottling taking place in July 2013 under screwcap. This wine was cellar matured for 4 years prior to release in March 2017.

Winemaker’s comments: 2013 was a warm dry Hunter Valley vintage after the very wet 2012. Vines were very low yielding, but in return produced amazingly flavoured fruit.

Tasting note: The nose, while still quite primary and citrus like, has started to exhibit some light toastiness and complexity. There is a slight change in colour, but still has a pale straw hue. The palate is mineraly, tight and focused with citrus zest flavours.

Cellaring estimate: Medium—Long term. 10+ years

Suggested food match: All fresh and cooked seafood dishes.

2011

2011 Terracotta Semillon - FSRegion: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 11.0%

Background: The ‘Terracotta’ wines get their name from the soils on which the fruit is grown. These red basalt/clay soils are renowned for their low fertility thus reducing the yield of the vine and increasing fruit concentration.

Fruit source: A small parcel of Semillon was harvested early from a high block on the Howard’s ‘Somerset’ vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation: The fruit was hand picked and fermented in stainless steel tanks.

Maturation: There was no oak maturation with bottling taking place in July 2011 under screwcap. This wine was cellar matured for nearly 5 years prior to release in late 2015.

Winemaker’s comments: Despite a shakey start to the growing season in late 2010, 2011 blossomed into a very good vintage for both white and red varieties.

Tasting note: Still pale straw in colour with a lovely toasty nose. Lanolin aromas are also starting to develop over the top of citrus, giving it the hallmarks of a very good aged Semillon. There is generous flavour with a spine of balancing acidity.

Cellaring estimate: Medium—Long term. 10+ years

Suggested food match: All fresh and cooked seafood dishes

2010

2010-Terracotta-Semillon-tn[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 11.0%

Background:The ‘Terracotta’ wines get their name from the soils on which the fruit is grown. These red basalt/clay soils are renowned for their low fertility thus reducing the yield of the vine and increasing fruit concentration.

Fruit source:A small parcel of Semillon was harvested early from a high block on the Howard’s ‘Somerset’ vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation: The fruit was hand picked and fermented in stainless steel tanks.

Maturation: There was no oak maturation with bottling taking place in July 2010 under screwcap. This wine was cellar matured for years prior to release in early January 2015.

Winemaker’s comments: The 2010 Hunter Valley vintage conditions were very good for both white and red varieties alike. A dry and warm January enabled a perfect ripening period for Semillon with no pressure to harvest prematurely. The vintage rainfall did not start until late February allowing most fruit to be harvested disease free.

Tasting note:The colour is pale straw with green tinges. The metamorphosis into an aged Semillon has well and truly begun, with the nose, although not yet toasty, showing hints of lanolin and wax but still with a citrus core. There is plenty of flavour already with nicely balanced green apple acidity binding it altogether.

Cellaring estimate: Medium-Long term. 10+ years

Suggested food match: All fresh and cooked seafood dishes.

What the experts say:

“From the Howard family vineyard on Oakey Creek Road. Glistening gold, it has now confidently entered the second phase of its life, its bouquet fragrant, its palate with a wisp of honey joining the circus of citrus flavours. Keep this for as long as you like – or revel in it tonight.”

Rated : 95 Points

James Halliday – Wine Companion March 2015

“A gorgeous maturing Hunter Semillon, savoury and full of interest. The plump, succulent palate has a lingering finish. Ageing? Drink over four years.”

Score : 96 Points

Value Fantastic.

Ralph Kyte-Powell – Sydney Morning Herald – Good Food – 5th May 2015

From the Howard family vineyard on Oakey Creek Road. Glistening gold, it has now confidently entered the second phase of its life, its bouquet fragrant, its palate with a wisp of honey joining the circus of citrus flavours. Keep this for as long as you like – or revel in it tonight.

Rated 95. James Halliday – 2016 Australian Wine Companion

2009

2009-Terracotta-Semillon-FS[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 11.5%

Background: The ‘Terracotta’ wines get their name from the soils on which the fruit is grown. These red basalt/clay soils are renowned for their low fertility thus reducing the yield of the vine and increasing fruit concentration.

Fruit source: A small parcel of Semillon was harvested early from a high block on the Howard’s ‘Somerset’ vineyard in Pokolbin. Fermentation: The fruit was hand picked and fermented in stainless steel tanks.

Maturation: There was no oak maturation with bottling taking place in July 2009 under screwcap. This wine was cellar matured for 5 years prior to release in January 2014.

Winemaker’s comments: The 2009 Hunter Valley vintage was great for both white and red varieties alike. Dry, warm conditions enabled a perfect ripening period with no pressure to harvest prematurely. The trade off was miniscule yields.

Tasting note: Already a glowing green with gold tinges in colour, the transformation into this Semillon’s mature phase has begun. The nose, although not yet toasty, is showing a hint of lanolin and wax. There is plenty of flavour already with nicely balanced acidity binding it altogether.

Cellaring estimate: Medium—Long term. 10+ years

Suggested food match: All fresh and cooked seafood dishes.

What the experts say:

Intensely scented of lemongrass, fresh hay and kumquats with a hint of crushed stones, the 2009 Terracotta Semillon gives plenty of expressive, evolved Semillon flavors supported by crisp acid and finishing with very good persistence. Drink it now to 2022+.

Rated : 91+

Lisa Perrotti-Brown – The Wine Advocate #213 – Jun 2014

“Pale straw-green; the lemongrass, cut grass and mineral characters run through the long palate from start to finish, the first hint of honey starting to make its presence felt on the back-palate and finish. A distinguished semillon at the start of a meaningful life.”

Rated : 94 Points

James Halliday – 2015 Wine Companion

2007

TSEM-2007[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 11.0%

Background: The ‘Terracotta’ wines get their name from the soils on which the fruit is grown. These red basalt/clay soils are renowned for their low fertility thus reducing the yield of the vine and increasing fruit concentration.

Fruit source: A small portion of fruit was harvested early from a high block on the Howard’s ‘Somerset’ vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation: The fruit was hand picked and fermented in stainless steel tanks.

Maturation: There was no oak maturation with bottling taking place in July 2007 under screwcap. This wine was cellar matured for 6 years prior to release.

Winemaker’s comments: The 2007 Hunter Valley vintage was great for both white and red varieties alike. Dry, warm conditions enabled a perfect ripening period with no pressure to harvest prematurely. The trade off was miniscule yields.

Tasting note: The colour has only just started to give way to hints of straw and still looks very youthful. The nose has lightly buttered toast and lanolin nuances which overlay fresh citrus. The very long and precise palate has lime fruit and a steely acid finish.

Cellaring estimate: Long term.

Suggested food match: All fresh and cooked seafood dishes.

Gold Medals:

2007 Hunter Valley Wine Show—Class 27

2008 Royal Sydney Wine Show—Class 36

“The 2007 Terracotta Semillon has a nose of dried lemon peel, straw, dried herbs and preserved Mandarin peel with a whiff of lime cordial. Light-bodied, very dry and crisp, it is refreshing and shows great intensity through a long, lemongrass-laced finish. Drink it now to 2021+.”

92 / 100

The Wine Advocate #207 – Lisa Perotti-Brown

2006

TSEM-2006[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 11.0%

Background: The ‘Terracotta’ wines get their name from the soils on which the fruit is grown. These red basalt/clay soils are renowned for their low fertility thus reducing the yield of the vine and increasing fruit concentration.

Fruit source: A small portion of fruit was harvested early from a high block on the Howard’s ‘Somerset’ vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation: The fruit was hand picked and fermented in stainless steel tanks.

Maturation: There was no oak maturation with bottling taking place in July 2006 under screwcap. This wine was cellar matured for 5 years prior to release.

Winemaker’s comments: The 2006 Hunter Valley vintage was another hot and dry one with extreme temperatures experienced during early January. Despite the heat, a wonderful Semillon vintage.

Tasting note: The colour is only just starting to give away its age and looks quite youthful in the glass. The nose has classic buttered toast aromas underpinned by fresh citrus. The very long palate has limey fruit and a clean acid finish. A very precise Semillon.

Cellaring estimate: Long term.

Suggested food match: All fresh and cooked seafood dishes.

What the experts say:

“Bright green-straw; a delicious wine, with hints of toast and spice on the bouquet, the powerful yet fine palate with lemon citrus wrapped around its core of acidity, a long future ahead.”
Rating 95.

James Halliday – 2012 Wine Companion

The 2006 “Terracotta” Semillon reveals maturing notes of toasted almonds, straw and lemongrass with hints of preserved kumquat and grapefruit essence. Very crisp in the dry, light-bodied mouth, it has excellent vibrancy of citrus flavors and a long finish. Drinking nicely now, it should keep to 2018+.

92 Points

Lisa Perotti – Brown – The Wine Advocate #200

2005

TSEM-2005[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 11.0%

Background: The ‘Terracotta’ wines get their name from the soils on which the fruit is grown. These red basalt/clay soils are renowned for their low fertility thus reducing the yield of the vine and increasing fruit concentration.

Fruit source: A small portion of fruit was harvested early from a high block on the Howard’s ‘Somerset’ vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation: The fruit was hand picked and fermented in stainless steel tanks.

Maturation: There was no oak maturation with bottling taking place in July 2005 under screwcap. This wine was cellar matured for 5 years prior to release.

Winemaker’s comments: 2005 was a Hunter drought vintage and produced great wines both red and white. As a rule, the Semillons are all very well balanced and proportioned wines with flavour and character in spades.

Tasting note: As usual, slightly more advanced and complex than the ‘Alexander Munro’ Semillon at the same stage, on both the nose and palate. The nose exhibiting lanolin, toast and bees wax aromas, with underlying lemon and lime. The palate has an array of citrus flavours with gentle balanced acidity.

Cellaring estimate: Long term.

Suggested food match: All seafood dishes.

What the experts say:

“Glowing green-gold; generous lemon and lemon tart flavours are braced by typical acidity. The vines are grown on red basalt/clay soils that limit the yield, and provide the seamless texture and structure – a seriously good wine, still in second gear.”

Rated : 96 Points

James Halliday – 2015 Wine Companion

“Glowing green-gold; richer and fuller than Alexander Munro, with generous lemon and lemon tart flavours braced by typical acidity; any time over the next five years. Screwcap.”

Rating 96

James Halliday – 2011 Australian Wine Companion

2004

TSEM-2004[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 10.5%

Seal: Screwcap

Background: The ‘Terracotta’ wines  get their name from the soils on which the fruit is grown. These red  basalt/clay soils are renowned for their low fertility thus reducing the yield of the vine and increasing fruit concentration.

Fruit Source: A small portion of fruit was harvested early from a high block on the Howard’s ‘Somerset’ vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation & Maturation: The fruit was hand picked and fermented in stainless steel tanks. Bottling took place in July 2004 under screwcap.

Winemaker’s Comments: 2004 was a cooler than average Hunter vintage that produced great Semillon fruit throughout the Valley. The fantastic natural acidity is the key to these wines which has allowed them to age slowly whilst still developing the lovely bottle age characters Semillon is renowned for.

Tasting Note: Slightly more advanced than the ‘Alexander Munro’ Semillon, on both the nose and palate. The nose showing lanolin and bees wax underpinned by  intense lemon and lime. The palate has an array of flavours with great line and length.

Cellaring Estimate: Long term.

Awards:

Gold Medal—Class 68—Sydney Wine Show 2007
Gold Medal—Class 16—Hunter Valley Wine Show 2007
Gold Medal—Class  28—Hunter Valley Wine Show 2008
Gold Medal—Class 15—Hunter Valley Wine Show 2009
Silver Medal—Class 20—Hunter Valley Wine Show 2006
Silver Medal—Class 8—Winewise Small Vigneron Awards 2009

What the experts say:

“Bright straw-green; strikingly similar aromas to the Alexander Munro, the palate less intense but better balanced, perhaps. A pair of striking wines.”
Rating 93.

James Halliday – 2010 Australian Wine Companion

“This is super smart and already quite complex: chilli pod and flint, some cream too. There’s also a sea breeziness. Has a tightness on the tongue, along with juicy creaminess, with buttered rye toast and nuttiness. Excellent fruit depth here: this is fabulous.
96 (97)/100.

Tim White – Australian Financial Review – 14th August 2009

“With rising characters of lanolin, lemon butter and roast nuts, this wine is beginning to edge into the mature phase of life. It maintains an impeccable balance of lemon and lime on its long, zesty finish, with great contrast of flesh and fine acid-the best of both worlds.”

94 Points.

Tyson Stelzer – Wine 100 – November 2009

“The 2004 Meerea Park Terracotta Semillon has a wonderfully aromatic citrus fruit nose with notes of grapefruit, yuzu zest, kumquat, white pepper, nuts and coriander seed. Crisp, clean, light body, intense. Long and minerally in the finish. Only 60 cases made. Drink now to 2020. “
92 Points.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW – The Wine Advocate #188 – April 2010

2003

TSEM-2003[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Alcohol: 11.0%

Seal: Screwcap

Background:
The ‘Terracotta’ wines  get their name from the soils on which the fruit is grown. These red  basalt/clay soils are renowned for their low fertility thus reducing the yield of the vine and increasing fruit concentration.

Fruit Source:
A small portion of fruit was harvested early from a high block on the Howard’s ‘Somerset’ vineyard.

Fermentation & Maturation:
The fruit was hand picked and fermented in stainless steel tanks. Bottling took place in July 2003 under screwcap.

Winemakers Comments:
2003 was a warm drought vintage that produced ripe and flavoursome Semillon fruit.  Harvesting at the correct time was crucial so the fruit did not become over-ripe and as much natural acidity as possible was retained.

The nose is already toasty with a hint of lanolin. The palate is full and flavoursome with a line of acidy holding it in balance. A wine that can be enjoyed now.

Cellaring: Short to medium term.

What the experts say:

“Has less depth than Alexander Munro, but more drive and intensity to the more focused lemon and mineral flavours, and pronounced citrussy acidity. To 2013.”
Rating 94.

James Halliday – 2009 Wine Companion

“This deliciously mature Hunter semillon is named after the terracotta coloured clay soil of the region. It reinforces Meerea Park as one of the best modern producers of this classic wine type. Lime-lemon sherbert and honeyed aromas have an earthy component, and the sustained flavour has freshness and a lingering savoury finish. ”

Ralph Kyte-Powell – The Age Epicure – 28th April 2009

1999

TSEM-1999[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Background: Terracotta gets its name from the soils on which the fruit is grown. These red clay soils are renowned for their low fertility thus reducing the yield of the vine and increasing fruit concentration.

Fruit Source: This wine is made from a single vineyard on Palmers Lane in Pokolbin where the part of the vineyard used is on this red clay soil type.

Fermentation & Maturation: The fruit was fermented in stainless steel and the wine bottled in June 1999. Released November 2003.

Winemakers Comments: The cool conditions of 1999 allowed the fruit to ripen satisfactorily and avoid any sun damage which contributed greatly to the high quality of this wine. We released the 1999 ‘Terracotta’ in November 2003 after four and a half years of cellar maturation. The first hints of the classic burnt toast aromas are beginning to emerge in a wine that is starting to drink well.

Cellaring: Medium – Long term. 10 years plus.

What the experts say:

“This is a classic Hunter Semillon. The nose has intense citrus aromas while the palate is crowned with fine, long and clean flavours that have a toast – edge richness and great concentration. A fabulous wine that will live for years.

Jeff Collerson – Daily Telegraph – 3rd March 2004

“Tight, fine and long; lemon herbs and spices; destined to be a classic.”
Rating 93 James Halliday – Australian Wine Companion 2005
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