Tasting notes: Plantagenet Wines (WA)

Omrah Great Southern range

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Cellar door at Plantagenet Wines, WA

Cellar door at Plantagenet Wines, WA

Plantagenet Wines, WA
Plantagenet Wines, WA
Omrah Wines range of Plantagenet Wines, WA

 

The first winery established in the pristine southern tip Western Australia, Plantagenet produce internationally recognised wines and in April 2012, re-launched their Omrah Great Southern range of wines.

The SS Omrah brought passengers from England to Albany in the early 1900s and one of the early passengers paid homage to the ship by naming his propery Omrah. The grapes from the property were later purchased by Plantagenet who produced the first Omrah Chardonnay in 1989.

It was one of the first chardonnays in Australia to be made without oak, pioneering a style that became popular around the country. Today that unwooded chardonnay is still made but is now proudly wearing a stylish new label and made by an enthusiastic young team with a love for Great Southern.

Chardonnay is now joined by another three varieties:  

 

OMRAH GREAT SOUTHERN CHARDONNAY 2011

Tasting notes: a peachy nose, with a twist of lemon and just a hint of creamy yeastiness and minerality. A lovely rich smooth palate of mouth filling flavours with a crisp clean finish to bring the wine into focus. Exudes Chardonnay purity, with both fullness and finesse.

Vineyards: the Omrah Chardonnay is sourced mainly from their own vineyards of Rocky Horror, Crystal Brook and Rosetta with a dash from the Franklin and Pemberton regions to produce a predominant Great Southern unwooded Chardonnay.This is the future direction for the Omrah Chardonnay which is styled upon one of the originals in this style. The vineyards share similar viticultural practices and deep gravelly loam soils; with the vines vertically shoot positioned and irrigated for healthy vine growth.

Vintage comments:
a very dry spring affected early growth, a cold September caused staggered flowering, followed by some very warm December days and most unusually, many BBQ friendly-warm nights, particularly during the harvest months which brought ripening on quicker than expected and probably offset the issues of a late start to the season.

Rains in January and February increased vine disease and blood pressure along with indeed some chardonnay blocks also feeling the pressure. However they enjoyed beautiful sunny, dry ripening weather right throughout March which made all the difference between success and failure, ensuring in the end,  some high quality, fully ripened fruit with higher than average acidities and generous flavours was harvested.

Fruit was harvested over the first two weeks of March with sugar levels ranging between 22.7 and 23.4 brix and acid levels around 7.5g/L. Their own vineyards yielded a modest average of 5.5 tonne per hectare.

Winemaking: chardonnay processing is done cold for maximum retention of fruit flavours; the juice is quickly drained/pressed from the skins and pulp. A clean juice is racked off lees for fermentation and inoculated with a neutral strain of yeast that ferments efficiently to dryness at temperatures in the range of 12-15 °C in stainless steel.

Once fermented, the wine spent another ten months upon yeast lees with occasional stirring to provide extra palate texture and additional flinty lees derived flavours.The wine sees absolutely no oak and is bottled after cold/heat stabilization and filtration at the end of January 2011.

Alc/Vol: 13.5% 

RRP A$18.99 per bottle

 


OMRAH GREAT SOUTHERN SHIRAZ 2010

Tasting notes: plush blueberry and plum with a hint of the characteristically regional pepper and spice over laid with subtle oak characters which impart a sweet, vanilla chocolate note.The bouquet will evolve with time in the bottle providing further interest. A dense supple, harmonious palate with lovely plush tannins with bright juicy, cherry fruit flavours, finishing with hallmark lingering spicy flavours.

Vineyards: fruit for the 2010 Omrah Shiraz was sourced primarily from the Great Southern of the south western region of Western Australia. The Rocky Horror vineyard is the cornerstone, supplying over 60% of the blend for this particular wine.The vines grow on free draining ironstone gravel loam soils planted with a perfect northerly aspect and grown to exacting standards to optimise flavour and colour.

Vintage comments: a cold, wet spring delayed budburst, then shoot growth was slowed down considerably by continuing cool to mild weather all the way through into early summer which had them thinking another late vintage was on the cards.A prolonged flowering period was seen due to the cool weather with the consequence of some uneven ripening later on as well as a little bit of disease pressure.

However January and February temperatures were quite warm and combined with dry conditions meant that ripening was considerably hastened. Striving for restraint and subtlety, all shiraz was harvested at the end of March between 23.4 and 24.4 brix with acids around 6.5 g/L and bright sassy flavours. Yields were down this year to around 5 tonne per hectare.

Winemaking: the perfectly ripened fruit is simply crushed to closed fermenters, pumped over rather gently to avoid harsh tannins and fermented warm to please the yeast and aid extraction. Pressed gently after an average of 10 days on skins and racked a number of times, to not only clarify the wine but also aerate to accommodate the aging process.

The shiraz is racked to barrel after the malo lactic fermentation is complete. They used 25% new oak, an 80/20 split of French and American oak barrels, aged for 20 months before blending; egg fining, filtration and bottling; which took place March 2012.

Alc/Vol: 14%

RRP A$18.99 per bottle 

 

 OMRAH GREAT SOUTHERN SAUVIGNON BLANC 2011

'has a juicy roundness about it with those mineral and citrus flavours holding to the last slurp'  90/100 - Ray Jordan

Tasting notes: punchy citrus and gooseberry aromas with just a suggestion of rain washed stones. A supple yet lithe palate with a fine core of crunchy acidity running the length of the palate with loads of mouth watering, juicy fruit flavours. A very, savvy Sav! Enjoy now.


Vineyards: predominantly from Mount Barker vineyards - Rosetta and Hayview with 15% from International Hill vineyard in the Frankland region. All vineyards grow on similar gravel loam soils, are irrigated, spur pruned for lower yield, vertically grown and canopy managed to create dappled sunlight to filter through the verdant canopy for ideal flavour development.

Vintage comments: a very dry spring affected early growth, a cold September caused staggered flowering, followed by some very warm December days and most unusually, many BBQ friendly-warm nights, particularly during the harvest months which brought ripening on quicker than expected and probably offset the issues of a late start to the season.

Rains in January and February increased vine disease and blood pressure along with some uneven ripening. However we enjoyed beautiful sunny, dry ripening weather right throughout March which made all the difference between success and failure, ensuring in the end, we harvested some high quality, fully ripened fruit with higher than average acidities and generous flavours.

Harvest started very early with the low yielding Franklin vineyard harvested at 21.8 brix and 10.2 g/L acid on the 18th February, followed by the Rosetta and Hayview vineyards on the 6th and 8th March with respective sugar levels of 22.8 and 22.2 brix and acid levels around 7 g/L.Yields ranged from 2.5 to 7.5 tonne/hectare.

Winemaking: handling sauvignon blanc is the same as for all other aromatic white varieties – cold, quick, gentle, processing.The clean juice is racked off lees after 4 days settling and inoculated with a couple of different strains of yeast that cope with cool fermentation temperatures and enhance the sauvignon flavours.

A 20% portion of the wine is also barrel fermented in new American oak and left on lees for six weeks before blending back to the main batch to enhance mouth feel and complexity, but without sacrificing fruit integrity and intensity. To enhance the complexity of the wine, the wine spends further time on lees to provide a slate-like minerally character till they filter and bottle the wine early in September.

Alc/Vol: 13.4%

RRP A$18.99 per bottle

 

OMRAH GREAT SOUTHERN CABERNET MERLOT 2010

Tasting notes: plummy, mulberry, blackberry notes, a pinch of tarragon and thyme, along with a whisker of vanilla derived from its time in oak.The cooler growing conditions enhanced varietal definition. Generously proportioned with smooth, finely polished tannins, balanced acidity and lively flavours that are the hallmark of the variety.

Great balance; an easy drinking style with depth of flavour, made for immediate enjoyment but also offers some short term aging potential.

Vineyards: fruit for the 2010 Omrah Cabernet Merlot is not only principally from the Great Southern but is largely estate fruit with a dash from the Nield Vineyard of Blackwood Valley in the south west of Western Australia.A blend mainly from their four vineyards; grown on well drained gravel laterite soils with a VSP canopy and most importantly managed for maximum light exposure on the fruit which is so important for cabernet in minimising greenness and aiding in flavour and tannin ripeness.

Vintage comments: a cold, wet spring delayed budburst, then shoot growth was slowed down considerably by continuing cool to mild weather all the way through into early summer which had us thinking another late vintage was on the cards.We saw a prolonged flowering period due to the cool weather with the consequence of some uneven ripening later on as well as a little bit of disease pressure.

However January and February temperatures were quite warm and combined with dry conditions meant that ripening was considerably hastened. Harvest of the reds mostly occurred from the 28th March to the 10th April when flavours were at their apogee of ripeness, with sugars ranging between 23.0 and 24.5 brix and reasonable acids around 6.0g/L.

Winemaking: fruit is simply crushed, fermented warm, pressed gently after an average of 10 days on skins, racked a number of times before going into barrel after malo lactic fermentation was completed.

They used 25% new oak, an 80/20 split of French and American oak barrels, aged for 20 months before blending, filtration and bottling which took place March 2012.A blend of 58% Cabernet, 38% Merlot plus a dash of Cabernet Franc and Shiraz.

Alc/Vol: 13.6%

RRP A$18.99 per bottle

Regions

  • Great Southern (WA)
  • Mount Barker (WA)
  • South West WA (WA)

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July 11th, 2012
 
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