Origin: Hunter Valley
Region: New South Wales
Style: Medium-bodied white wine made in stainless steel tanks
Chablis-esque. Lemon gold in the glass. Rich complexity immediately detected on the nose – aromas of lime juice, lemon pie, rock melon, toast and whiffs of reduction (gunpowder) that blow off quickly. A bloody brilliant old-school Aussie white. Rich with fruit, but super lean and unbelievably fresh for its age. This is why you need to age Vat 1: it can be so low-key, restrained, austere and even underwhelming in its youth, but after more than 10 years in a cellar it starts to open up, becoming more expressive and complex, and softening up – yet retaining its firm acidic backbone. An outstanding display.
One of the most successful family wineries, a humble operation for the first 110 years of its life that has grown out of all recognition over the past 40 years. Vat 1 Semillon is one of the most dominant wines in the Australian show system and Vat 47 Chardonnay is one of the pacesetters for this variety. Estate plantings include over 100ha in the Hunter Valley and 26ha in Heathcote. There are 11 blocks of vines older than 100 years in the Hunter Valley and the Tyrrell family owns seven of those blocks.