Region: Hunter Valley, New South Wales
Winemaker: Monarch Winemaking Service
Variety: Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon
RRP: $18 AU
Finally! A wine from my home state of New South Wales (with another coming up later this weekend baring any unforseen cork issues). I haven’t seen Gartelmann wines in retail stores, and so I assume that most sales are either via mail order, restaurants or via cellar door where I obtained mine in a trip to the Hunter Valley mid last year…
A little bit about the winery: The vineyard was established in 1970 and wines under the Gartelmann label were first produced in 1997 after Jan and Jorg Gartelmann purchased the property.
The running theme with the winery branding is that of the Australian magpie. The connection is explained on the back of the label; “We are lucky to have so many magpies. They eat the grubs and insects but not the grapes and Oh, what a beautiful song!”.
The cellar door experience was first rate. There was a roaring fire going which was welcome on a wet dreary day, and a friendly dog (whose name I can’t quite recall) was seemingly excited to see us. Even though it was towards the end of the day, Jan Gartelmann was extremely friendly and willing to take the time to help with suggestions for which wineries would be worth visiting the next day and advice on dining suggestions since I hadn’t quite planned ahead that aspect of our day. Excellent hospitality and the entire range of wines on offer.
Tasting Note: Slightly green-tinged, with a straw colour predominant. The wine showed a grassy, herbaceous character on the nose with a faint hint of gooseberry and tropical fruits. The palate primarily consisted of more grass and once again that tantalising hint of fruit trying to shine through. There was a touch of acid showing on the medium length finish.
Drinking Window: I am of no doubt about it, this should be drunk now, the sooner the better.
Score: I could have sworn that this was a totally different wine at the cellar door where I would have given it 88-90 points. I think that six months in the bottle may have hurt it, taking away some of the freshness, crispness and wonderful fruit flavours. 85 points with a value rating of Average bordering on Poor.
See “How to interpret my scores” for an explanation of how the above scores were reached.