Barossa Wine Show 2018 - an experience not to be forgotten

Last week the 42nd Barossa Wine Show was judged in the beautiful surrounds of the Peter Lehmann Wines Old Redemption Cellar. This is one of the great events on the Annual Wine Calendar, including the Awards Presentation Dinner, this year held at Lambert Estate Wines.

What made this year even more special, was that I was lucky enough, along with 5 other Associates to participate in 3 solid days of tasting and 4 memorable dinners. Even better, I was able to share the work and fun with some great new friends.

We tasted almost 400 wines blind over the 3 days and discovered some great new wines, and many old favourites that are still excelling on the Barossa stage. For us, we were as surprised as many when the winners were announced at the Presentation Dinner. Highlights? There were many, the 2015 Wigan Riesling picked up 4 trophies, including best wine of show, and 3 vintages of the same wine picked up the Wine of Providence Trophy, but there were many great wines across the 15, 16 and 17 vintages that will be enjoyed by many for years to come.

Results will be available online at Barossa.com over the coming days.

If you get a chance to be in the Barossa for next years event, please do not miss it. I will be there with bells on!

Cellar Door - Gourmet Weekend - our first month

Well, what a fabulous first month. We have seen a steady stream of locals, South Australians and interstate visitors over the first month. It has been wonderful to see both old friends and make new ones. 

Gourmet has proved a great event for the Barossa with good crowds at all the schedule events despite the sometimes questionable weather. Spring? Not quite, but we had enough sun for Dragan to take a few more wonderful shots of our new cellar door. He is a man of rare talent. If you are looking for some amazing photography to decorate your home, I can confidentially say he is the very best in the business. More of our shots will follow.

Hayes Family Wines Cellar Door - Our First Weekend

Our Cellar Door at 102 Mattiske Road opened Friday with our usual flair, following an absolutely wonderful pre-party Thursday night with all those involved in its construction. A great night had by all, followed by a steady flow of Barossan's, Adelaide locals and interstate visitors. The space was a great success with our new fire place offering great warmth despite the cool (some would say cold backdrop of a winter's day). With windchill, temperatures dropped below zero at 3pm Saturday, but all left happy, a few bottles in hand and some great stories.

James Halliday Wine Companion 2019 Edition

Hayes Family Wines is once again very excited to announce our recent success in the 2019 James Halliday Wine Companion. This year, we received consistent strong ratings across all the wines we submitted with 5 wines scoring 94 points or higher. We also received the prestigious five-star winery rating (which is defined as Outstanding winery regularly producing wines of exemplary quality and typicity').

The 2019 Edition of James Halliday’s definitive guide to Australian wine remains the must-have item for wine lovers. James Halliday is one of the world’s leading authorities on Australian wine; matching intelligent and honest reviews with unparalleled knowledge of, and passion for, the wine industry.

 

Hayes_Halliday_winelist1_50%.jpg

The ratings and tasting notes for select individual wines are listed below.

2016 Hayes Family Wines Reserve Shiraz - 96 points

Grown on a small section of vineyard at Ebenezer. It spent 20 months in a single French barrique. 300 bottles only. It not only has depth it has spread. We're looking at boysenberry and blackberry, plum and toast, with wood smoke and clove characters wafting through. It's both pretty and profound, but the way both tannin and flavour unfurl through the back half of the wine is the real cause for excitement.

Drink by: 2040 / Available now https://www.hayesfamilywines.com/wine/2016-reserve-shiraz

2016 Vineyard Series Ebenezer Barossa Valley Shiraz - 95 points

Single vineyard, 100% new French oak, 50 dozen. The oak is clear and obvious but the fruit is right up to the task. Smoked cedar wood and meaty spice notes ripple through pure, ripe plum, clove and blackberry. For all its richness it feels manicured and controlled. It exudes class.

Drink by: 2032 / Available now https://www.hayesfamilywines.com/wine/2016-vineyardseries-ebenezer-shiraz

2016 Vineyard Series Greenock Barossa Valley Shiraz - 94 points

Resiny vanilla characters open the batting but a sure-footed burst of purple berried flavour soon takes the strike. This is very young and needs time to settle but the underlying quality is certain. It's fresh, it's intense, it's perfumed and it's slipped with superfine tannin. There's no shortage of length either.

Drink by: 2034 / Available now https://www.hayesfamilywines.com/wine/2016-vineyardseries-greenock-shiraz

2017 Hayes Family Wines Estate GSM ‘field blend’ - 95 points

Old vine grenache, shiraz and mataro from Stone Well. All picked into a single bin; 300 bottles (only) were produced. It's a gorgeous mid-weight wine, svelte, ripe, flowing and fine, weight here, finesse there, length to seal the deal.

Drink by: 2028 / Available now https://www.hayesfamilywines.com/wine/2017-barossa-valley-estate-gsm

2017 Winemaker's Selection Rose - 95 points

Old vine grenache, hand-picked, destemmed, open-fermented in a used French hogshead, 28 days on skins, matured for 3 months, 25 dozen made. Fragrant rose petal aromas, backed by spice, introduce a high quality rose. Bone dry, bright and fresh, with small red berry flavours and a lingering aftertaste. Impossible to find any chink in the armour of perfection.

Drink by: 2020 / Sold Out

2018 Available Now https://www.hayesfamilywines.com/wine/2018-rose

2016 Barossa Valley Shiraz - 92 points

Shiraz from the Ebenezer and Greenock districts. It spent 20 months in new and second use French oak. It's a thick, syrupy red with plum, blackberry and vanilla cream characters swooshing through the palate. This is the archetypal 'smooth red', the skin of oak as important as the body of fruit.

Drink by: 2028 / Available now https://www.hayesfamilywines.com/wine/2016-barossa-shiraz

2017 Winemaker's Selection Grenache - 92 points

From old vines in the northern Barossa, hand-picked and sorted, destemmed, fermented in a single 685l ceramic egg before spending 90 days on skins, matured for a further 6 months in the egg, 75 dozen made. Light, clear crimson-magenta; fresh and lively, with twin cords of juicy red fruits and savoury/earthy fine-grained tannins. I think it's at its best now or soonish, although its balance will keep it in good stead for some years yet.

Drink by: 2021 / Available now https://www.hayesfamilywines.com/wine/2017-winemakers-grenache

The Hayes Family Wines Cellar Door at 102 Mattiske Road Stone Well set to open the 10th August 2018

After a lot of hard work, the Hayes Family Wines Cellar Door at 102 Mattiske Road, Stone Well, SA, will open for visitors early August 2018. The conversion from an original iron storage shed to a cellar door has been dramatic but as we put the finishing touches to the development I can definitely say it has been worthwhile. I am sure all of the friends of Hayes Family Wines will love the space as much as we do. 

You can follow our progress here

Huon Hooke Reviews all the new Releases

Huon Hooke Logo.jpg

Huon Hooke is one of Australia's most respected independent wine writers. His website, huonhooke.com, is one of the key industry reference sites and plays a very influential role in the Australian wine trade. Huon recently reviewed all our new release wines including the 2016 Shiraz-based wines, and 2017 Grenache and Mataro-based wines. We were very excited with the results. All four of our Barossa Shiraz from the 2016 vintage are currently featuring in the top 12 of his top Barossa Shiraz from 2016. Although there are still many wines from this great vintage still to be tasted, it was a great result for a small winery like Hayes Family Wines. He also featured Hayes Family Wines in an article "Spectacular shiraz-a-thon" on the changing face of the industry, that article can be found here.

The detailed notes for all his reviews can be found on our wine pages but some highlights below

Our Current Release Shiraz

2016 Hayes Family Wines Shiraz (sold out)

95 Points - Deep, dense red/purple colour with a glass-staining saturation of colour. The bouquet mirrors this with tremendous chocolaty, concentrated richness. This is also evident in the mouth where it is very rich, powerful, mouth-filling and blackberry-ish. There is some star anise and liquorice, too. The wine has formidable richness. A sumptuous, bargain-priced shiraz. (1058 bottles) 30/3/2018 Drink 2018 to 2036

2016 Hayes Family Wines Vineyard Series Greenock Shiraz (last stocks are available here)

94 Points - Deep, dark, dense red/purple colour with a marked charred-oak bouquet, smoky, sooty and earthy qualities. The wine is deep and earthy, concentrated and fleshy with a bitter dark chocolate and coal-dusty earthiness, which is very typical of the district. The tannins are soft and the wine is fleshy and delicious in a savoury way. The oak is just a wee bit overcooked. (630 bottles) 30/3/2018 Drink 2018 to 2036

2016 Hayes Family Wines Vineyard Series Ebenezer Shiraz (sold out)

95 Points - Colossal colour: very saturated purple/red, with a concentrated plum juice aroma to match. The wine is very intense and concentrated, essency and mouth-filling, with tremendous power and density, at the same time impressively supple and smooth, fleshy and easy on the tongue. It borders on jammy but gets away with it. A lush, decadent style of shiraz. (620 bottles) 30/3/2018

Drink 2018 to 2028

And a few of our Future Release Wines

2017 Hayes Family Wines Carol & Ivan's Pick Grenache Shiraz Mataro (to be released September 1)

93 Points - Deep purple/red colour with a shy, chocolaty aroma and subtle black cherry notes. The palate is rich and lush in sweet ripe fruit: medium to full-bodied and smoothly-textured, with abundant ripe tannins. A very smart wine indeed. It's lovely now and will age well for many years. 17/3/2018 Drink 2018 to 2032

2016 Hayes Family Wines Coonawarra Shiraz (to be released September 1)

92 Points - Deep, bright red/purple hue. Spicy and oak-tinged aromas predominate, the palate medium-bodied and lively, refreshing and crisp but not high in acid. Lovely freshness and brightness. Red fruits more than dark. Very good line. A fine wine. (920 bottles) 30/3/2018 Drink 2018 to 2030

2016 Hayes Family Wines Reserve Shiraz (to be released September 1)

96 Points - Deep, dense, concentrated red/purple colour with a slightly shy nose which hints at smoky char oak and black fruits.The palate is very fruit-sweet, almost luscious, almost as though there's residual sugar, a massive fruit-bomb, but it also has formidable tannin and structure to keep the balance. A massive, beamy style of shiraz, and very good in its way, if not my personal favourite. It is bordering on syrupy, but there's just enough tannin to keep it in check. A very impressive, spotlight-hogging style of wine. (300 bottles) 30/3/2018 Drink 2020 to 2038

 

The Firsts Frosts of Autumn, Time for the Vines to Rest and Shutdown

After another relatively lengthy season, today we saw the first of what I am sure will be many frosts of Autumn/Winter 2018, signalling to the vines that their job is done for another vintage. At this stage of the year, we love the frost, the cooler the better, to help the vines truly shut down and to naturally kill off some of the pests in our organic and biodynamic vineyards.  Last year we got as low as -8, this year, who knows.

We expect we will see the last of the leaves fall during the coming week. For some, that will signal the start to another season with pruning, but for us, we will hold out until July or perhaps August to ensure that the vines have extracted the last of the nutrients from the 2018 growing season. 

It is a beautiful time to be in the Barossa, the fires in the local homes, restaurants and gathering spots will be lit for another year. What a time for big reds and port. Lovely!

 

Vintage 2018 is drawing to a close

As the last few batches enter the winery (just a bit of Mataro to come this coming week) it would be fair to say 2018 has been a truly wonderful vintage, a little longer than what we would have expected during the heat of February, but with most of the wines now resting in barrel, and the first wines of the vintage, the 2018 Rose and 2018 Semillon to be bottled next week I am a very happy that it is coming to a close with what I am sure will be a great selection of wines to come over the next 2-3 years.

The highlights for me are tough to nominate, but the 2018 Rose and our numerous Grenache blocks look spectacular, as do some of the special parcels of very old blocks that have a special place for me, I am sure will repay our efforts for many years. The Coonawarra Cabernet really stood up this year and although new to the winery, already is a standout. I cannot wait to see them progress in barrel and into bottle over the next 2-3 years. When you are next in the Barossa please ask Andrew or I to show you a few of the barrels.

Alice was a great help over vintage, her note taking I am sure will help us all. 

Sunday Mid Vintage, a great time to be in the Barossa

For Barossa Growers, Vintage 2018 is drawing to an end, pretty much all of the shiraz and Grenache has been picked, and most if not all of the Mataro is still on the vine (we have the Ebenezer Grenache to pick tomorrow and the Mataro in a few weeks). Probably means there is about 1 month to go before the vines, and there growers, can take a long overdue rest. For the Winemakers it is a different story, with plenty of ferments underway and more to come.

At Hayes Family Wines, we have about 10 different ferments underway, with our first Shiraz and Grenache pressed and likely to go to barrel tomorrow. The others will follow over the coming week. It seems many weeks since we picked the first of our Semillon and the old vine Grenache for the rose, but those wines are ready for bottling and will be put down the line during April and will be released later this year. Both wines look excellent, with freshness and lighter alcohol, they will be a great hit over spring and summer.

Overall, the fruit looks excellent, with beautiful colour, perfume and structure. This is looking like a great vintage in the making albeit for a generally bolder style of red.

Tomorrow we are picking our very old Ebenezer bush vine Grenache. Great old vines that are and always have been dry grown. They produce the most wonderful fruit, but for a person 6 feet high, I really wish that they had learnt to grow a little taller in there youth some 100 years ago. The fruit I am sure will be worth it.

Vintage 2018 for reds is here, and all varieties have come together

This week has been a busy one in the Barossa. The week of the 12th of March will be remembered as the week when everything ripened and came in to the winery together. We have picked the Stone Well and Ebenezer Shiraz, and the Koonunga Shiraz and Grenache, with more to come this week. The fruit looks fantastic, aided by dry weather, cool nights and warm but not hot days for the later part of February and March.

The vines have come through the earlier heat stress of January and February, but to be frank, the shiraz is ready for a long rest of winter. Fortunately, we will have picked all our Shiraz and some of our Grenache this week as will most other wineries. 

Adelaide Cellar Door Fest 2018 - A Great Success

Vanessa and I spent the long weekend pouring our new releases for a large group of locals and a few interstaters at the Adelaide Convention Centre. It was a great event, lots of happy people tasting some wines from all over South Australia.

For us at Hayes Family Wines, it was our first local event, and we met some great people, shared a few drinks and enjoyed some wonderful food. I think a great success for all involved.

A nice break from vintage, but now for the reds, starting Monday.

And Now the Semillon is in the bin, and now in the Egg, Barrel and the Stainless

This morning, 1st of March, we picked our Maderia Clone Semillon from the Historic Schulz Property of the Northern Barossa. These Semillon vines have a great history of producing wine of extraordinary freshness, texture and flavour. This year, we are trialling 3 project wines from the patch, a ceramic egg, oaked and an unoaked wine. They will provide interesting drinking in 6 months time.

We picked 3.7 tonne, the destemmed berries going straight to the egg, sealed, and placed in a secure location for the next 3 months. The free run going to stainless, and the pressings going to two second use French oak barrels. 

I am wishing the Semillon all the best. And on to Shiraz, perhaps 2 weeks from now.

Vintage 2018 is with us, Our First Grapes, Our First Wine

At 7am on the 27th of February, we started picking our first grapes of the highly promising 2018 vintage, some fabulous old vine Grenache from Koonunga, in the very Northern Barossa. This patch is owned by one the great gentleman of the Barossa Valley, Ian Becker.

Three hours later, we had 2 small bins, or a little over 1 tonne of Grenache fruit destined for the 2018 Rose. Picked early at just 12.2 baume to retain all the freshness the grapes could muster. 

Off to the winery, grapes were crushed, a little over 3 hours later, into the press, and what beautiful colour. Settling overnight, and into barrel for fermentation this morning. And the juice? it looks absolutely beautiful, pristine fruit flavours, excellent natural acid. And thankyou my Becker, your fruit is superb.

And to tomorrow, the old vine Semillon from the Historic Ebenezer Property of Marcus Schulz

Vintage 2018 is upon us

After a cool and at times downright cold winter, a beautiful and wet spring and a dry and at times very hot summer, Vintage 2018 will soon be upon us. At this stage, we expect to pick our first grapes, the 2018 Semillon from Marcus' vineyard in Ebenezer on Monday or Tuesday next week.

At this stage the grapes look like they have come through the heat with flying colours, modest baume's and excellent flavour development. This year we will be harvesting from an additional four vineyards, a dry grown Grenache block in Ebenezer, Koonunga, Coonawarra and the Adelaide Hills. As usual just very small quantities but these select patches are sure to deliver very interesting grapes. An exciting vintage no doubt but a long way to go.

 

Wine Dinners Confirmed

To celebrate the release of the 2016 Shiraz based wines, we will be holding wine dinners in a number of locations across the country. If you enjoy Hayes Family Wines, would like to try the new releases and love great food I would encourage you to book online via the links below. 

Details for each dinner can be found via the link - 

 

Sydney Dinner - February 1 - LoLuk Bistro - 2/411 Bourke St, Surry Hills, NSW

https://www.hayesfamilywines.com/wine/sydney-wine-dinner-1-february-2018

 

Melbourne Dinner - February 5 - Noir - 175 Swan Street, Richmond, Victoria

https://www.hayesfamilywines.com/wine/melbourne-wine-dinner-5-february-2017

 

Brisbane Dinner - Date to be Confirmed - Post Vintage - Likely April

Register your interest by emailing brett@hayesfamilywines.com

Coonawarra is added to the portfolio

Much to Kylie's dismay, we have contracted a small patch of old vine Coonawarra Cabernet to form the basis of our Cabernet Shiraz blend, but also to provide a straight Coonawarra Cabernet in some years. It is a great block of old cabernet with a history of supporting some of the great wines of Coonawarra.

Stay tuned, first grapes will be processed in March or April of 2018.

Springtime in Stone Well

With Vintage 2018 fast approaching there is a lot of activity in the vineyard and the winery. The vineyard is full of growth with good recent rains, and the first signs of summer with some nice warm to hot days in the past week. In the winery, we have purchased another egg to keep 'Roger' company. They make a nice pair.

A few of you have asked about the Stone Well vineyard. the picture below covers most of the 15 acres, in the top left just above the poplars is the old Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro, bottom left Mataro, and middle next to the cellar door more old shiraz. Most of the old sections were planted around 1950. 

Hayes Family 42.JPG

Vintage 2018 has begun in the vineyard

After a cold and moderately wet winter, vintage 2018 has begun with the first shoots appearing across all varietaries in the vineyard. The vines enjoyed a nice rest after the late finish to the 2017 vintage, with temperatures dropping as low as -8C in July. Most of the old vines seem to have made it safely through, although a few lost a limb (due to the dreaded Eutypa - see below) and one or two have not made it through to start the new vintage. But renewal has begun with a neighbour vine lending a cane to begin the cycle again. 

 The old Shiraz at the home block in stone well with the first signs of budbirst

The old Shiraz at the home block in stone well with the first signs of budbirst

 Soldier down, after 70 odd vintages, 2017 was this one's last

Soldier down, after 70 odd vintages, 2017 was this one's last

 and the process of renewal begins

and the process of renewal begins

Pruning Done for Another Year...Bring on Spring

Winter is such a beautiful time to be in the Barossa, cool days and even cooler nights. The perfect time for the vines to close down and rest with their job done for another year. In vintage 2017 our vines produced wonderful grapes that I am confident will produce wonderful fragrant wines in the years to come. They deserve a break. But it is only a short break, our last grapes were picked on May 16, the first signs of growth for a new year expected in the Shiraz in early Spring.

For the vineyard workers, it is a busy time as all the vines need a substantial haircut, removing the old canes and laying new canes, to give them a fresh start in September. For us, it is cold and wet but a beautiful time to be in the vineyard. And the nights around the wood fire with a port in hand just wonderful.

Hayes Family Wines awarded Halliday 5 Star Winery rating

Hayes Family Wines is thrilled to announce our recent success in the 2018 James Halliday Wine Companion. This year, Hayes Family Wines achieved an exceptional result with all 3 of the wines we entered scoring 94 points or higher. We also received the prestigious five star winery rating, an amazing accomplishment given this was the first time we submitted our wines for the Companion.

The 2018 Edition of James Halliday’s definitive guide to Australian wine is a must-have item for winelovers. James Halliday is one of the world’s leading authorities on Australian wine; matching intelligent and honest reviews with unparalleled knowledge of, and passion for, the wine industry. Here is what James had to say about our winery…

Hayes Family Wines…brings together the Hayes, Seppelt and Schulz families, each bringing a contribution to the partnership. Andrew Seppelt has 20+ years of winemaking in the Barossa, Marcus Schulz has more than 50 years of grape growing in the northern Barossa, and Brett Hayes and family have 25+ years of agriculture and business experience. In late 2016 the business was expanded by the purchase of a 5ha old vineyard in the Stone Well district on the western ridge of the Barossa Valley. The business is off to a flying start with its '15 vintage wines.

James awarded Hayes Family Wines a 5 star Winery rating, which is defined as ‘Outstanding winery capable of producing wines of very high quality, and did so this year. Also will usually have at least two wines rated at 95 points or above.'  Only 204 Australian Wineries were designated 5 stars, or less than 8% of wineries.

The ratings and tasting notes for the individual wines are listed below.  We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers for your continued support of small, family wine producers.  Your loyalty helps us continue making the quality wines that we all love to drink. 

2015 Hayes Family Wines Barossa Valley Shiraz
95 points
A deceptive medium-bodied shiraz that reveals more about itself each time it is retasted, in particular the intense juicy black fruits that are wrapped within folds of new French oak and supple tannins. Ostentatious? No. Classy? Yes

Drink by: 2030 / Available now www.hayesfamilywines.com/wine/2015-ebenezer-shiraz

2015 Hayes Family Wines Barossa Valley Mataro Shiraz
95 points
An 80/20% blend from the Ebenezer district. The colour is bright but light; a beautifully made wine that has the quality of fruit by picking at exactly the right time, and then keeping the oak where it should be. The flavours are of purple (plum) and blue fruits, the tannins fine and perfectly weighted. If owners look like their dogs, this looks like its elegant labels (front and back).

Drink by: 2024 / Available now www.hayesfamilywines.com/wine/2015-mataro-shiraz

2015 Hayes Family Wines Barossa Valley Mataro
94 points
Bottle no. 18 of 300. There's a laudable approach with all the Hayes Family wines of picking while there's fruit freshness and adequate acidity. This fragrant mataro has delicious red fruits and superfine tannins.

Drink by: 2023 / Available now www.hayesfamilywines.com/wine/2015-mataro