** Please note: Tasting notes from 2011 vintage **
The 2011 vintage was challenging commencing with an extremely wet spring and summer that fortuitously rolled into a dry, sunny autumn. Most varieties ripened late, and all for this ‘field’ blend were hand-harvested in March, starting with Chardonnay, which was barrel fermented.
A savoury wine created by combining the natural and complementary attributes of the chosen varieties rather than applying winemaking magic to create complexity and structure. Pinot gris provides pear flavour and savouriness; riesling contributes acidity and minerality, chardonnay rounds the palate weight, and sauvignon blanc livens the palate. The splash of Aleatico heightens the aromatics and structure of this unique wine.
Opens with attractive notes of crisp pear and honeysuckle and evolves to a creamy full and textural palate, the legacy of regular battonage. Natural acidity and wisps of lime and sherbet provide both balance and refreshing zest to this beguiling style that unfolds more complexity in a generous glass. The cool season has resulted in a more mineral pinot grigio style compared with previous vintages.
‘If you’re adventurous and want to try anÂ innovative Australian white blend,
look out for FREEMAN Fortuna – richly textured, complex and perfumed.’
MAX ALLEN, WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN
Hilltops is in the southern region of New South Wales and sits atop a large granite rock. This big rock is 150km long and 50km wide and blocks the westward flow of the Murrumbidgee River from Australia€™s national capital, Canberra.
Over eons the rock has weathered to produce a layer of decomposed granite soil up to 15-metres deep. Dust storms from central Australia deposited red sand and clay onto this soil, especially on the leeward side of ridges. This event produced the distinctive red colour and clay layers in the soil.
The soils are deep and well drained, ideal for grapevines and the dominant winter rainfall usually ensures good soil moisture reserves for spring growth.
The rock is 500 to 600 metres above sea level and this ensures cool nights in summer and in autumn when the grapes are ripening.
A range of hills to the north protects the Hilltops region from northern sub-tropical summer storms resulting in cool, dry, sunny autumns.
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