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Chardonnay has a long history in the Hunter Valley but it’s only in the last 50 years that it’s been made as a single varietal wine with Murray Tyrrell’s Vat 47 first made in 1971. The De Beyers vineyard has some of the region’s oldest chardonnay vines dating back to 1972 with small batches made for the Colvin label by Tyrrell’s stellar winemaker, Andrew Spinaze.
Semillon serves as the white bookend to (black) shiraz grapes in the Hunter Valley – assuming a singular expression of the Bordeaux variety. Lean and linear, subtle and shy it emerges from its shell to shine its pure, laser-light after 5 or so years in the bottle. That’s not to say it’s not more than a joy to drink in its youth – it’s tight, refreshing (and low alcohol) making Semillon the very best luncheon white – especially with oysters and spicy dishes.
Semillon is the stalwart variety in the De Beyers vineyard with vines dating back to 1967. Again Drayton and Tyrrell’s have made the Colvin Semillons – both masters with the variety.
Shiraz is the hallmark grape of the Hunter Valley with the De Beyers Vineyard plantings dating back to 1967.
The style is unique more savoury than fruity, medium rather than full-bodied with an extraordinary ability to age in bottle. The best Hunter Shirazes have oak in background, supporting but not dominating the spicy red fruit flavours.
Sangiovese is the native grape of Tuscany and the backbone of the region’s ubiquitous Chianti. Sangiovese arrived on Australian shores in the early 1980’s when the Montrose winemaker, Carlo Corino planted cuttings he secreted from Italy at Mudgee. John Colvin loves Tuscan reds, and being somewhat of a maverick, thought he’d like to drink some Sangiovese from his own vineyard.
1999 was his first vintage and a more than credible wine that’s only recently ascended to vinous heaven. The 2000 vintage is still a graceful red – a fantastic testament to the prospects of Sangiovese on the De Beyers’ site. Settling a style for the Colvin Sangiovese is a work in progress with Trevor Drayton making the inaugural vintages and the team at Tyrrell’s now at the press. The 2017 vintage sees a fresh approach with drinkability its hallmark.