Vintage Report 2018, by Andrew Milbourne
1 May 2019
It is not quite over yet, but 2019 has been a real roller coaster of a vintage with freak weather events, lower than expected crops and plagues of animals.
Winter rains over the Great Southern were steady and provided the vines with good soil moisture which allowed the vine to power on into a dry and mild spring. Frost hit some low lying vineyards in the Frankland River wine growing area hard destroying crops and reducing yields.
The weather during the grape ripening into early vintage was more mild than average, with notably colder nights. In conjunction with a dry January and February, this led to prolonged accumulation of sugar. With the onset of sporadic rain events in March, the risk of fungal diseases grew alarmingly Close attention in the vineyards were needed to keep the vines happy.
The first grapes harvested were Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for sparkling wine. What a cracker of a year for sparkling it will be! With the cooler ripening allowing great flavours to develop in conjunction with fabulous acid. This also goes double for the Denmark Chardonnay selected for our first of four picks for the Il Liris Chardonnay that was whole bunch pressed lovingly straight into waiting fine French oak barrels. The Il Liris is made up of four separate picks of Denmark Chardonnay. The first pick has fine juicy acidity and lemon curd. The next two picks are still zingy, but with stone fruits such as nectarine. The last pick is slightly riper and verges on peach characters. All batches are whole bunch pressed to oak where they ferment and live until the end of the year when they are selected and blended into the final delicious wine.
The grapes to be picked next were Riesling, the empress of grape varieties. Here the better vineyards delivered piercingly pure fruit and mouth-watering acidity. Unfortunately, the lesser vineyards were put under stress by the rain and some batches required to be picked before they were fully ripe to avoid being lost altogether. Frankland River Riesling fared better with more plush fruit characters in the mid-palate. Some judicious blending will provide the Sum Riesling with a balanced and enjoyable drinking experience.
Ray Jordan’s Wine Guide 2019
29 November 2018
Ray Jordan has been writing about wine for more than 30 years, and is Western Australia’s leading wine writer, popular for his annual West Australian Wine Guide (published each year, since 2002). While contributing to other publications, Ray writes two weekly columns in The West Australian and the West Weekend Magazine.
The 2019 Wine guide is now available and we are very happy with the reviews!
Castelli Pinot Noir 2016 | 96 Points | Best of the West
This is a most impressive pinot noir. It’s light-bodied but wow it really packs plenty into its tight but firmish frame. Five clones have been used to bring a distinct complexity on the nose and palate. Fragrant and enticingly perfumed with strawberry and sour cherry notes. Into the palate the firm thread of tannins play their pivotal role, while the lingering acidity is defining. Super wine.
Castelli Shiraz Malbec 2016 | 92 Points |Best Cellaring wines up to $25
I have been a fan of this wine previously and this stacks up well, although it shows slightly more peppery characters than previously. Might seem an unlikely pairing, but by gee it works well. Aromas show a leafy floral character while slightly deep dark fruits provide a captivating stylishness on the palate.
Castelli Estate Chardonnay 2017 | 95 Points
Lots of Winemaking in this excellent Chardonnay. All barrel fermented with full solids to gather texture and rich complexity on the palate. It’s Creamy and rich with a lavish, layered palate that is held with a tight core of fruit and oak and extended with crisp minerally acidity. Shows the virtues of Pemberton for chardonnay.
Castelli Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 | 95 points
This is sourced from Frankland River. Captures all the generous supple characters with the essential core of firm tannin and fine-grained oak. Varietal blackcurrant with chocolate and plummy graphite nuances. Makes an assertive statement, allowing it to extend to a very long finish. Impressive stately cabernet here.
Castelli Estate Il Liris 2015 |96 Points
This is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and malbec. It is such a precisely balanced red wine with plush velvety smooth fruit supported with fine powdery tannins and silky fine oak. Lots of dark-fruit characters on the palate with a deep concentration and power. A very good vintage has been expertly captured here.
Perth’s New Urban Cellar Door Experience
6 June 2018
Wine lovers wanting to sample the Great Southern cellar door experience will no longer need to travel outside of Perth. Castelli Estate is set to open an urban cellar door in their stylish new premises in Myaree.
Castelli Estate has a proud history of making award-winning wines since they first fulfilled a long-held family dream in 2004 – purchasing 120 acres of idyllic wine producing country on Mount Shadforth in Denmark, WA. A capacity of 500 tonnes and the industry’s most advanced winemaking equipment help make Castelli Estate a world-class, state-of-the-art facility and their numerous awards and accolades are testament to their absolute commitment to the winemaking process.
The Castelli range of wines has had unparalleled success for a relatively new brand. Their entire range, from their entry-level bottlings through to their premium wines, have taken out countless awards, medals and trophies, and have received critical acclaim from Australia’s top wine journalists – including Ray Jordan’s ‘Most Promising Producer’ and the coveted James Halliday ratings; ‘✭✭✭✭✭ 5 Red Star Winery’ & ‘Best by Region’ awards.
The new Castelli Estate cellar door opens its doors officially on Thursday the 7th of June at 6.00pm, at 58 McCoy Street, Myaree.
Going forward, the new cellar door will provide facilities for corporate bookings, personalised wine experiences, and will be open by appointment Mon-Friday, and to the general public each Saturday between 11am-5pm.