This year we are delighted to add the iconic wines of Petaluma to our portfolio. Though situated in the heartland of the New World in Adelaide Hills, Petaluma is built on the same solid philosophy as the best of the Old World: plant the right varieties in the right vineyard in the right region. Their vineyards are scattered through the Hills and feature the cool-climate loving Riesling right through to the sun-loving Shiraz. Petaluma has unlocked the great potential of Riesling from the Hanlin Hill Vineyard in Clare, pioneered the Piccadilly Valley and Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills and cemented the pedigree of the Evans Vineyard in Coonawarra, South Australia.
Established in 1976 by Brian Croser, today it is Andrew Hardy who rules the cellar. As a junior winemaker, he cut his teeth and learnt a fair few lessons in France before bringing a meticulous, quality driven perspective to the estate. His team possess over 30 years experience and an impressive grasp of the peculiarities that make up the terrain of each individual vineyard. This knowledge translates into the careful application of viticultural practices: high density planting, hand pruning and vertical canopy management are employed to temper vigour and disease while concentrating pure fruit flavours.
In 2014 Petaluma relocated their cellar to a new winery in Adelaide Hill’s Woodside. The facilities are state of the art and give the winemaking team the tools necessary to craft premium wines with the gentleness needed to really let terroir sing. The 2016 vintage will be a vintage to remember: the culmination of cutting edge viticultural practice, a new cellar and an outstanding long, dry growing season. With such delicious wines now and a bumper vintage to come, we are very pleased – and a little bit smug – to be Petaluma’s exclusive distributor.
The Hanlin Hill Riesling is a single vineyard expression of the noblest white grape. Nestled in the Clare Valley on predominantly slate hills, this delicate wine brings the soil’s minerality to the fore. Lemon and lime mingle on the palate with white flowers and tangerine fruit.
Winding down the road south to the Piccaddilly Valley, Chardonnay is grown over 7 vineyards with varied soils: here free draining aerobic red soils and there Cambrian shales. Green harvest keeps yields down to just 5-7 tonnes/hectare, resulting in a concentrated wine filled to the brim with white peach, nectarine and apple. The Aussies are no strangers to oak but here the barrel fermentation ensures a seamless integration of sweet spice and ripe fruit.
The Tiers Chardonnay is arguably the stand out wine of the collection. Handpicked from a single vineyard, only free run juice undergoes fermentation in 60% new oak. 9 months in barrel with lees stirring and malolactic fermentation add complexity to this richly textured Chardonnay replete with notes of peach, nectarine, almond, cinnamon, cream and gunpowder flint.
Famed for its terra rossa soils and Bordeaux-like Mediterranean climate, Coonawarra is home to two vineyards (Evans and Sharefarners) where Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot thrive. Here, hand pruned vines have an average age of 30 bask in the sunlight. They produce a perfumed, fragrant wine with black fruits, cedary oak, plum and liquorice.
If Coonawarra is similar to Bordeaux then the B&V Vineyard Shiraz grown on the escarpment of Mount Baker can be compared to Côte-Rotie. Low-cropping Shiraz vines dig their roots deep into schist in search of water. Aromas of cinnamon and spice give way to underlying peppery black fruit, plums, cherries and blackberries.