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Just Desserts

By | Cellar Door, Dining, Tasting Notes, Wine | No Comments

An old favourite will make a long awaited return to the Glenguin Estate cellar door this weekend as we launch our 2017 ‘The Sticky’ Botrytised Semillon as part of our Spring Semillon Release weekend.

Highly sought-after in the Sydney and Melbourne restaurant scene, our previous vintage (2014) sold out at the cellar door back at Christmas so it has been a long wait to get this wine back in. But it was very much worth the wait.

Following a similar vein to the 2014, we’ve eased back on the residual sugar to make the wine much more cleansing than your standard dessert wine – indeed, pair it with something like a lemon sorbet and it will clean, not cloy, your palate.

In 2014 we added a touch of viognier to add complexity and lift the wine with a touch of apricot on the back of the palate. This year, we’ve changed things up a little – adding some barrel aged Marsanne (5%) to compliment the rich, citrus backbone from the semillon and slight spice from the botrytis. A lifted pineapple flavour is the result, working perfectly with the citrus and honeysuckle flavours and giving the wine a bit of a deeper complexity.

When looking to pair this wine with a dessert, we went through all the usual suspects – baked lemon cheesecake and even a simple cheese platter were the front-runners for a while, but in the end we couldn’t go past a rather decadent dish of honey-roasted pears with blue cheese and walnuts.

The sweet honey sauce works beautifully with the wine, flavours just complimenting each other and not one working to dominate. Add in the soft roasted pears, the rich creamy blue cheese and the crunch of the walnuts and you get simply the perfect dessert for the perfect wine. Sheer delight.

Enjoy.

Honey Roasted Pears with Blue Cheese and Walnuts

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe Buerre Bosc pear per person
  • Good knob of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup high quality honey
  • 1/4 cup high quality raw sugar
  •  1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup crubmled good quality blue cheese (we used a Saint Agur for a creamier note)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.

Slice pears in half, scoping out the seeds and core.

Add the melted butter into an oven pan, whisk in the honey and sugar. Place pears chopped side down into the honey mixture and bake until tender (roughly 30 minutes).

Lightly toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan, tossing occaisionally, for 4 – 5 mintes. Set aside to cool.

Remove the pears from the oven and gently flip them so that they are now sliced side up. Baste the pears with the honey sauce and place back in the oven for a further 10 minutes.

Once the pears are cooked remove from the oven, transfer to a plate then drizzle the honey sauce over the pears and the plate. Sprinkle the toasted walnuts and dot with blue cheese – the cheese will start to melt into the honey sauce.

Serve immediately.

Spring Semillon Release

By | Cellar Door, Tasting Notes, Wine | 2 Comments

Springtime is one of the most magical times in the vineyard. Vines are coming out of their winter dormancy, weather is beginning to heat up and the activity for the season ahead is starting to take shape. So there’s no better time to launch our new range of Semillon wines.

This weekend, September 9th and 10th, will see us eagerly launch our new wines – the 2017 Glenguin Vineyard Semillon, the 2013 Aged Release Glenguin Vineyard Semillon and the 2017 ‘The Sticky’ Botrytised Semillon. We’ve been previewing the 2017 and 2013 dry Semillons in the cellar door for the last few weeks with overwhelmingly positive feedback, and it’s a joy to be offering our new vintage dessert wine for sale for the first time since the 2014 vintage sold out just after last Christmas.

The 2017 Glenguin Vineyard Semillon is a superb young drinking semillon with great freshness and acidity, Tahitian lime flavours dominating the palate. Everything at this stage points to it being a very long-lived semillon, on par with some of our best from over the years. It pairs fantastically with any seafood, but particularly fresh scallops.

The 2013 Aged Release Glenguin Vineyard Semillon is starting to show hints of mature flavours of honey and toast, but still retains a core of lime zest and crisp acidity. James Halliday recently gave it 95 points with a drinking window till 2028! Semillon is often not experienced in its prime, so it’s a real joy to be able to offer this wine with some bottle aged characters starting to shine.

The 2017 ‘The Sticky’ Botrytised Semillon has been made in a similar vein as the 2014 vintage that was in such high demand we sold out! We ease off on the residual sugar to develop a wine that doesn’t feel like a dessert in its own right, but is the perfect accompaniment to any number of desserts. We’re delighted to have the new vintage on tasting in the cellar door for the first time this weekend. Keep an eye on the blog for a perfect dessert to pair it with later this week.

All weekend, we will be offering our new Semillons at Wine Club Member’s prices. All wines will also be available to purchase online on Thursday September 14.

Join us in the cellar door this weekend for what will be the perfect welcome to spring!

Salmon for the ages

By | critics, Dining, Wine | No Comments

In the second of our lead-in posts for our Spring Semillon Release at the Glenguin Estate cellar door on September 9/10, we feature our 2013 Aged Release Semillon and pair it with one of my favourite salmon dishes – which I cook fairly regularly.

Aged Hunter Valley Semillon is one of the Australian wine industry’s treasures. Unique on the world landscape, I’d go so far as to say there’s nothing like it anywhere else. Zippy and vibrant as a youngster, citrus to the fore, developing honeyed notes as it ages; eventually becoming lush and buttery.

It’s also true that very few people get the opportunity to taste semillon as it ages as, with a few notable exceptions, a lot of Hunter Valley Semillon is released within 6-12 months of vinification. With that in mind, it is a real joy to be able to release a Semillon that’s just starting to show signs of development and complexity.

The 2018 edition of the Halliday Wine Companion rated our 2013 Aged Release Glenguin Vineyard Semillon at 95 points, drinking to 2028. High praise from, arguably, Australia’s foremost wine critic. Of the wine, James called it, ‘A vinous example of having one’s cake and eating it, because youthful and mature flavours live happily together.’

I couldn’t have put it better.

The colour is a deep golden yellow, and the palate gives you a hint of what’s to come with little touches of honey backed by lime zest and crisp acidity, but the aroma is where we start to see deeper honey notes shine. Its still quite young at four years on, and its acidity indicates a fine life ahead of it. But the real joy in this wine is those little hints and glimpses, shining a light on what’s to come.

So when finding a perfect dish to pair this with, I wanted something with a bit of a deeper flavour that worked with both the younger lime flavours, and the deeper honey. Seafood, generally, is an obvious choice with Semillon. Given that this wine is beginning to develop more complex flavours, I went for salmon – something a bit deeper, a bit more flavoursome.

This dish has a history – about a decade ago I went on a ‘team building’ day at a local cooking school with other managers where I worked at the time (very much my pre-Glenguin days). A variation of this dish was what we were tasked with cooking on the day. Over the years, I’ve adapted it somewhat and made it my own but this dish just simply works when paired with aged Semillon.

So I hope you enjoy, and cheers!

Phil.

Oven Roasted Salmon with a Garlic, Butter and Persian Feta crust.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • Olive oil
  • 2 x 180 gram Atlantic salmon fillets, skin on, deboned.
  •  50 grams of butter, softened
  • A generous dollop of Persian feta
  • Fresh dill leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method

  1. Preheat fan-forced oven to 170 degrees
  2. In a bowl, combine Persian feta, dill, garlic, butter to form a paste. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In an oven-proof dish, drizzle oil and place salmon skin-side down.
  4. Smear the paste over the top of the salmon.
  5. Place in the oven, bake for 20 minutes or until salmon is just cooked and slightly pink in the middle.
  6. Serve immediately on a warmed plate, with a side of hasselback potatoes and steamed asparagus and a glass of 2013 Aged Release Glenguin Vineyard Semillon.

Semillon and seafood

By | Cellar Door, Dining, Vintage report, Wine | No Comments

As part of our lead-in to our 2017 Spring Semillon Release at the cellar door on September 9th and 10th, we’re profiling each of our new release wines, including what we think is the perfect meal to accompany it. First up this week – the 2017 Glenguin Vineyard Semillon, alongside Cellar Door Manager Phil’s favourite seafood dish of scallops, black pudding and a mint pea puree.

First to the wine.

The 2017 vintage will be remembered as one dominated by heat with half the days in January reaching 35+ degrees, half of those again hitting over 40. Our semillon was picked on February 7, a bit later than normal but with wonderful ripe fruit flavours and high natural acidity.

The wine was vinified in that classic Hunter fashion – immediately pressed off skins, cold settled then fermented to dryness in stainless steel. It sat on lees for four months with a gentle filtering prior to bottling and no malolactic fermentation. Minimal sulphur added.

Pale yellow-green colour, augmented by aromas of orange blossom, candied mandarin and a hint of lime zest. These being supplemented on the palate with crisp acidity and flavours of Tahitian lime, ripe grapefruit and a racy, almost chalky finish. Immediately approachable as a young wine, but let this sit for a few years and you’ll be rewarded handsomely. It’s classic Hunter Valley Semillon – our best to date? Quite possibly.

So it’s no surprise then that when trying to find the perfect dish to pair with it, Phil wasted little time in recommending seafood and one of his favourite dishes.

As Phil recalls: “I first had this dish in a nondescript restaurant back in Canberra, where I’m from. The restaurant was attached to one of the many social clubs around the town – not altogether inspiring, aside from the fact that the chef moved to Canberra thanks to a spouse who had been working in the UK for the Australian Government – the chef himself having trained in London and worked in some high-profile, Michelin starred restaurants.

The dish blew me away the very first time I tried it, so it was a quick decision to see how it paired with the acidity and citrus flavours of the 2017 Glenguin Vineyard Semillon. I wasn’t disappointed.”

Pan-fried Scallops, black pudding and mint pea puree.

Ingredients

  • 200gm fresh or frozen peas
  • about 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 100ml good quality fish or vegetable stock
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 6 hand-dived scallops (as fresh as you can get), cleaned and roe removed – 3 per person
  • 1 high quality black pudding or blood sausage (UK-style tends to work best), sliced into 6 slices – 3 per person
  • 100gm butter
  • dash of white wine (preferably Hunter Valley Semillon)
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

For the Pea Puree:

  • Heat small amount of oil in a non-stick pan
  • Add garlic and shallots, cook until translucent
  • Add peas, mint, white wine, stock and season well. Cook until the liquid has almost evaporated and peas are mushy when pressed down.
  • Transfer to blender, blend until a thick puree forms. If puree is too thick, add water or stock until desired consistency is formed and keep warm.

For the  scallops and black pudding:

  • Heat small amount of oil in a non-stick frying pan.
  • Add slices of black pudding and cook for a minute on each side or until each side is crisp, maintaining a slight gooey consistency in the middle. Set aside and keep warm.
  • Generously season the scallops with salt and pepper.
  • Place scallops in the same pan, placing them at the edge of the pan in a clockwise fashion, starting at 12 o’clock.
  • Cook the scallops for thirty seconds, until a brown crust has formed.
  • Flip the scallops over and add the butter to the pan.
  • Whilst the other side of the scallops are cooking, baste the scallops in the melted butter.
  • Cook other side for thirty seconds, then remove from the pan and keep warm.

To serve:

  • Place a large spoonful of pea puree on the centre of a small plate then with the back spoon, press down and work a thin circle of puree.
  • Arrange three slices black pudding in a small triangle around the centre of the puree.
  • Place one scallop on each of the black pudding slices.
  • Garnish with fresh pea shoots (optional).

The 2017 Glenguin Vineyard Semillon will be available from the Cellar Door from September 9th. Member’s pricing will available for all purchases on the first weekend via the cellar door (Sept 9/10). The wine will be available for purchase online from September 14 for $27.50/bottle.

High Praise from Halliday

By | Cellar Door, critics, Wine | No Comments

The release of the 2018 Halliday Wine Companion has seen Glenguin Estate retain our 5 Red Star rating, recognising our track record of quality and consistently high scores, with three wines receiving 95 points in the new edition.

Particularly pleasing for us was the result of our semillons, acknowledging the strength of the Glenguin Vineyard block, especially as the wines age. With the  2017 edition of the book firmly focused on our shirazes (in particular the 2014 Stonybroke [95 points], 2014 Schoolhouse Block [97 points] and 2007 Aristea [95 points]), recognition for the consistency of our semillon over several years is just reward for the love and passion that goes into making our Glenguin Vineyard Semillon every vintage.

Both the 2003 Classic Aged Release and the 2013 Aged Release Glenguin Vineyard Semillon received 95 points (the 2013 also receiving a ‘Special Value’ star). James was particularly enamoured with the 2013 calling it, ‘A vinous example of having one’s cake and eating it, because youthful and mature flavours live happily together.’ Adding to this, the 2015 Glenguin Vineyard Semillon received 89 points with James quipping that ‘the way the ’13 and ’03 vintages have developed makes me wonder whether I have done this an injustice, if so, it will have its day in the sun.’

The strength of our Aristea shiraz has long been known and the 2009 Aged Release Aristea Shiraz continues that tradition, receiving 95 points in the current edition. Every vintage of Aristea going back to 2005 has now received 95 points or higher in the Wine Companion. The 2009 Aristea Shiraz has received high praise from a number of wine writers recently, including Regan Drew (9/10), QWine (94 points), and Nick Stock (94 points).

Both the 2013 Aged Release Glenguin Vineyard Semillon and 2009 Aged Release Aristea Shiraz is currently on tasting in our cellar door, so we look forward to welcoming you to what we think you’ll find is the most unique cellar door in the Hunter Valley.

Retaining our 5 Red Star rating places Glenguin Estate in the top 5% of wineries in the country. Within the Broke Fordwich sub-region of the Hunter Valley, we are the only producer to have achieved this in the 2018 Wine Companion. But with budburst only a handful of weeks away, we know that the work doesn’t stop here, and we’re looking forward to the 2018 vintage to continue our long tradition of consistently outstanding shiraz and semillon.

We have put together two special 6-packs to celebrate our success in the Halliday Wine Companion. The 2018 Halliday Trio ($325 per 6-pack) is the only way to obtain all three wines rated at 95 points in the 2018 Wine Companion. There are only 10 packs available and are on a first-in basis. The Halliday Best of the Best 6-pack ($325) celebrates our success over the last two editions and is the only way to get all three 95+ point shirazes from the 2014 vintage, including the unreleased 2014 Aristea Shiraz. All packs are available for a limited time, or until sold out via our online cellar door.

Our highly rated wines in the 2018 Wine Companion.

Our highly rated wines in the 2018 Wine Companion.

A Unique Cellar Door

By | Cellar Door, Vineyard, Wine | 2 Comments
When it comes to cellar door experiences, there’s a particular mould that most cellar doors in Australia try to emulate – the bar, the polished concrete floor, designer mood lighting and more wines than you can poke a decanter at. At Glenguin, we’ve deliberately tried to shift the cellar door experience away from a quasi-retail space and into something far more personal and intimate. Read More

A Special Release

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Every now and then, you get to enjoy a wine that is striking – it just makes you immediately sit up and take notice, makes the hairs stand on end, and you savour every last drop. It’s as pure a definition of joy as you’re likely to find.

For us here at Glenguin, being able to release our Cellar Aged 2007 Aristea Shiraz for wine enthusiasts to enjoy gives us that same feeling.

There is something about Aristea. Whether it’s the wonderful nose of smoky, rich, deep and dark fruits; the palate of blood plum and dark cherry that’s got just a hint of earthy truffle; or the fact that looking at this wine and you cannot think that it’s possible to be a 10 year old shiraz, there’s something truly mesmerising and intoxicating.

Probably most striking to me is the fact that, no matter how you look at it, you can’t help but think this wine has a long life ahead of itself. And whilst amazing to drink now, the notion of savouring it in another 10, 20 or even 30 years cannot help but be implanted on your consciousness. The freshness of the fruit that would otherwise make you think it’s only a youngster; the nose with just the subtlest hint of earthiness; the faint touches of those classic aged Hunter characters – touches of leather, hints of cedar – that gives you something to grasp onto, saying this is what it’s going to be like with more time.

Patience is a virtue, but one that will reward. If you’ve got the patience, grab half a dozen and watch them come to life over the next couple of decades – if you can wait further, do it.

You won’t be disappointed.

The Cellar Aged 2007 Aristea Shiraz is available in strictly limited numbers and can be purchased online or at our Broke Fordwich cellar door.

2017 Vintage wrap up

By | Vintage report, Wine | No Comments

The last of the fruit is now safely tucked away in the winery and 2017 promises to be a very good year for Glenguin(on par with 2006/7 and 2014) with two new wines and the potential return of an old favourite.

A demanding season with high heat and very little in the way of rain, 2017 did test our dam levels but the vines survived the heat and have produced some exceptional fruit. Our semillon was harvested on February 7, which is a little later than normal, and has developed some very interesting textures and flavours which will make the 2017 Glenguin Vineyard Semillon an interesting wine indeed. The important thing is that the wine is in balance and early signs are that the finished wine could be in the mould of 2006, combining ripe citrus characters with decade plus longevity.

We have also been lucky to obtain semillon from the acclaimed Casuarina vineyard in Pokolbin. Casuarina was planted in 1968 and forms a chain of exceptional semillon vineyards from Tyrrell’s HVD vineyard, first planted in 1908, through to the highly rated Braemore and Casuarina. This fruit will become a new wine for Glenguin in 2017 – the Casuarina Semillon which will be launched later in the year. We’re excited to have the opportunity to make wine from one of the best semillon vineyards in Pokolbin to sit alongside our Glenguin Vineyard Semillon, itself a distinguished site.

Continuing this theme, vintage 2017 will also see us make a shiraz from fruit sourced from another well renowned vineyard in Pokolbin – Black Cluster. Originally part of the Hermitage Estate plantings, Black Cluster then became part of Wyndham Estate’s Hunter Valley plantings until the block’s sale in 2013. Over the years, shiraz made from this block has been seen as some of the best in the Hunter Valley. It’s going to be interesting to see how the wine we’re making from this block develops during the winemaking process through to maturation over the next year or so, and it will be great to have a shiraz from Pokolbin as part of the Glenguin offering once more.

Shiraz from the Schoolhouse Block at Glenguin Estate was harvested on February 17. A season of very low disease pressure has seen the vines produce some amazing fruit, the quality of which we have not seen since the much revered 2014 vintage. Indeed, the season shares a number of similarities with 2014 with very low rainfall, although the high temperatures experienced throughout January and February were somewhat unique. As in 2014, the aim this year is to make 3 shiraz wines – Stonybroke, Schoolhouse Block as well as our flagship Aristea.

So with harvest now over and the winemaking running its course, we look forward to the rest of 2017. June will see our new release wines coming out including our 2017 semillons and sticky as well as the release of our 2016 Stonybroke Shiraz. Our cellar door is an amazing place to experience our wines so if you haven’t visited us in a while then 2017 is definitely the year to pay us a visit.

Cheers!

In search of perfection

By | Wine | 2 Comments

One thing that unites winemakers the world over is a common drive to create the perfect wine. In truth, it’s a search that can never really be completed – the perfect wine cannot exist, such is the subjective nature of wine.

But that doesn’t stop us trying and every now and then, we get close. Read More