- Tasting Notes & Technical Details
Vegetarian, Vegan, Certified Organic
Mount Horrocks Wines is owned by winemaker Stephanie Toole, who carefully crafts “essentially hand-made food wines” with an emphasis on structure as well as generous fruit flavours. Stephanie restricts production to no more than 2,500 cases each year in order to achieve her aims of quality and single-vineyard expression.
Stephanie purchased Mount Horrocks Wines in 1993, and in 2000 she purchased land to commence planting her own vineyards. The 'Cordon Cut' vineyard at Auburn close to the cellar door is planted only to Riesling; the 'Alexander' vineyard at Watervale for Shiraz; and the ‘Watervale’ vineyard for Riesling, SemiIIon, Nero d'Avola and Cabernet Sauvignon. All three estate-owned Clare Valley vineyards, totalling ten hectares, are now ‘A grade certified’ organic and biodynamic (ACO). As all fruit is hand-picked and gently handled, no finings have been found necessary, meaning that all wines are suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Having overseen the regeneration of the land, Stephanie believes this involves more than certification – it requires a different way of thinking. Classic, no-compromise winemaking combined with a fully integrated organic and biodynamic approach to growing and making, sets Mount Horrocks wines apart from the mainstream.
Each release from Stephanie seems to eclipse the quality standard set by the previous vintage. The 'Watervale' Riesling is a regional classic, the Semillon is barrel fermented and exquisite, while the 'Cordon Cut' Riesling ranks among Australia's best sweet wines. Stephanie's Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are ethereal, elegant expressions from Clare and get better every year. Stephanie decided to make a Nero d'Avola after falling for the variety on a trip to Sicily. Hand-picked at full ripeness, it is a wine that is bright and lively, with medium weight and bursting with muscular fruit.
The fruit comes from a single, unirrigated, hand-pruned vineyard in Watervale. The 2.2 hectare, low-yielding vineyard has a north-facing aspect and lies at 460 metres above sea level. The soils are a mixture of red loam over limestone. The Riesling vines were originally two wire trained (the majority of Clare Valley producers still use the traditional two wire training system). Stephanie, however, chose to change the training system so that the canopies are now trained upwards, with foliage wires and Vertical Shoot Positioning.
2022 yielded an exquisite expression of Watervale Riesling. After plentiful rains in the winter and a cool summer, grapes were hand harvested in pristine condition on the 12th March.
The grapes were hand picked in the cool of the morning, cool crushed and destemmed with only the free run juice used. The must was fermented by neutral yeasts in stainless steel tanks and fermented to dryness. No malolactic fermentation occurred to allow the pure expression of the variety and single vineyard site to shine through. The wine was bottled without fining.
Youthful lime green that will develop in time. Delicate spring florals and lime leaf. Crunchy green apple and crisp, vibrant and distinctive lemon-lime citrus flavours create a juicy and tangy mouthfeel. This wine is almost ethereally light and elegant; its minerality smooths along the palate to a long, pleasing close. Impressively delicious and worthy of at least a few years cellaring, if not more than a decade.