By Chloe Earl, Senior Winemaker

At All Saints Estate, we have varieties made under the white label  Estate  range  and also under the Family Cellar premium label, which reflects the incredible quality of the single-vineyard blocks we have for each of the varieties. The three premium wines under the Family Cellar label are a Marsanne, a Shiraz and a Durif. These are the best wines we can make from our estate vineyards and make up the flagship range for the winery.

 

The fruit for the All Saints Estate Family Cellar Marsanne is from 60-year-old vines. Planted in 1959, these vines have stood the test of time; the fruit they grow has great varietal intensity and produces a spectacular wine. Once sugar and flavour ripe, the fruit is hand-picked and brought to the winery for fermentation and barrel maturation prior to bottling. The fruit is picked when it has lovely quince and pear notes but still good natural acidity. The fermentation is carried out in both tank and oak to add more complexity to the aroma and palate of the wine. Then the whole volume is matured for 18 months in French barriques and puncheons, 25% new, before blending and bottling. The current release is the 2017 All Saints Estate Family Cellar Marsanne, a complex wine with many layers and a lovely textural palate balanced with French oak on the finish.

  

The fruit for both All Saints Estate Family Cellar reds comes from what we call our front block, which sits between our elm tree entry drive and plane tree exit drive. These vines were planted in 1994 and now, at 25 years of age, they consistently produce the most intense varietal fruit we grow.

 

The vines have a perfect natural balance with the amount of fruit and berry size they produce. We get incredible depth of colour and intense fruit flavours for both varieties. We hand-pick 10% of the Shiraz and add this straight into the fermenter, so that we have a partial whole-bunch ferment. This adds an intense, sweet, berry aromatic and also a textural element on the palate from the stalks being included. After fermentation, the wine is run off to oak and matured for 24 months in French barriques and puncheons, 35% new, before blending and bottling. The current release, the 2015 All Saints Estate Family Cellar Shiraz, shows the intense varietal aromas and flavours of the block and has incredible tannin and length, so will age well for many years to come.

 

The Durif is worked harder during the fermentation stage to get full colour and tannin extraction from the skin and seeds before an extended soak prior to pressing to allow the tannins to integrate. The wine is pressed off using a 135-year-old basket press, which allows for a finer tannin structure. So, although still a big wine, it has a drinkability about it when young but incredible ageing potential. The wine is matured for 24 months in French barriques and puncheons, 35% new, before blending and bottling. The current release is the 2015 All Saints Estate Family Cellar Durif. It has the classic, black, inky colour and intense varietal notes on the aroma and palate and that distinctive Durif tannin on the finish.

 

As we are trying to show off the best we can produce with the Family Cellar range, in some years we may even decide that, although a wine might be very good, it just isn’t strong enough to be sold under this label. So you may find exclusive wine club and cellar door releases, or it could blend into the Estate wines. For your next special occasion, treat yourself. Splash out and have one of our Family Cellar wines and celebrate the occasion with family and friends.