Issue 62 - Autumn 2013
COMING EVENTS May Friday 3rd Brisbane Members Dinner Moda Restaurant Sunday 6th Hunters Hill Food & Wine Friday 17th Sydney Members Dinner Venue TBC
June Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd Manly Food and Wine Festival
Jul y Friday 19th New Release Tasting Firefly, Walsh Bay
Aug us t Friday 2nd Briar Ridge Dinner Rock Salt Newcastle
Se p tem be r Saturday 14th September Spring Indulgence Dinner Briar Grillade
nce again I welcome you to your 2013 Autumn Edition of “Off the Press”. As 2012 came to a close and 2013 got underway we experienced some of the hottest summer weather we’ve had in a very long time with January temperatures well into the 40’s. Not much rain early in the season, which many would have welcomed, but no nasty hail or severe and damaging storms to spoil things. As the months have unfolded the valley has gone from a panorama of thick, lush canopies, the extensive foliage protecting the delicate fruit, to slightly heat affected vines their wilting leaves hanging listless and golden over the ripening bunches. Crops are smaller this year, but quality is very high. Our team of experts has paid a lot of attention to their charges, with well managed irrigation and careful monitoring of the extensive growth of the canopies the fruit looks fantastic so far. Vintage started early this year with the Pinot Noir used in our Sparkling handpicked by the staff on January 13th. All hands were on deck in the wee small hours of a very warm Friday to ensure the fruit came off at just the right Baumé. I can’t wait to see the results. The reds all started coming off the first week in February so by the time you get this pack all will be well on its way to making some more wonderful Briar Wines for future enjoyment. All eyes are on the Dairy Hill parcels this year. With no 2012 Dairy Hill wines produced we are eager for what is looking to be an exceptional crop this time around. Our Vineyard Manager, Viticulturist and Winemaker have all been hard at it inspecting and managing these precious bunches so let’s hope all their efforts will be rewarded…and of course our palates! With our new Winemaker Scott Comyns ready with anticipation for his first official Briar Ridge Vintage, we are all looking forward to some exciting new styles and Scott’s own special stamp on the 2013 wines. Scott's enthusiasm and passion for the Briar Ridge Brand not only means introducing some great new wines and wine styles to the Briar Ridge stable but he is also working hard at revamping our image. Along with our new Marketing Manager Stuart they are almost there with a great new look and imagery for the Varietal Series. With exciting and popular new styles like Moscatto and "Off Dry"( or Sweet) Semillon in production these will launch the Briar Ridge Brand into the next era of wine lovers. The big news for the end of 2012 was the release of the “New” Trio labels. The Red, White and Rose have been a huge hit with our regular visitors and are now available on line. The fashionable new labels are certainly attracting plenty of attention with the wine itself proving very popular also. We have a full schedule planned for 2013 with events in Sydney, Brisbane and Newcastle and I hope we see more of you at one or another of these. The team will also be visiting the many Food & Wine shows around the area. The first was Sydney Cellar Door on 23rd February, Stuart & Haley attended this must do Sydney event with many members and friends popping in to say hi over the 2 days. As you will see in this pack we have re-released the 2012 Karl Stockhausen Signature Semillon. This exceptional wine from what was a difficult year is proof that even under the hardest conditions a great wine can be created from careful winemaking practices. Traditionally delicate the 2012 Stockhausen Semillon has all the trademark qualities of a classic Hunter Style; great as a fresh young wine but with potential for a superb mature style with some careful cellaring. As always I hope you enjoy this pack, a pleasant combination of styles well suited to the transition in seasons. Now it’s time to sit back with a glass of your favourite Briar Ridge Wine and read on… enjoy!
Dairy Hill Semillon
Cheers Deb Debbie Sullivan – Briar Ridge Vintage Club Co-ordinator
OUT IN THE VINEYARD with Vineyard Manager Belinda Kelly
The Hunter Valley’s 2013 Vintage started earlier this year than expected; with the vines going through budburst up to two weeks late it was thought that vintage would begin after the Australia Day long weekend but once again Mother Nature stepped in and changed the plans with Vintage staring January 13th. The first grapes to be picked were the Pinot Noir. This will be used to make the Briar Ridge Sparkling Wine; and was selectively hand picked by our own staff members. The next grapes to be picked were Semillon, Chardonnay, Verdelho then the red varieties in February. We used a machine harvester at night so that we could pick when the temperature had dropped and the fruit had cooled after the heat of the day. This summer brought extremely hot and dry conditions with very little rain falling from October to January. Fortunately for Briar Ridge we had a plentiful supply of water with all the dams full from the previous year which meant we were able
Briar Ridge Shiraz
to keep the vines well watered through the irrigation system. Keeping the vines well watered and healthy really helped when Cessnock recorded the hottest day on record with the mercury reaching 45 degrees on January 18th. The vines handled the extreme heat relatively well with only slight sunburn damage to grapes. Late January brought a complete change to the weather conditions. We had just finished picking the bulk of the white varieties when Cyclone Oswald hit north Queensland and the rain tracked down the east coast where it dumped over 220mm of rain on the vineyard, fortunately there was no damage to the vines, though the vines took in the water which in turn slowed down the ripening of the reds. All is good now, with all fruit off the vine and in the winery. With Vintage now over, the vineyard team start preparing the vineyard for the 2014 Vintage, and a well earned rest. Cheers Belinda 2
Great New benefits coming your way!
It’s been a while coming but we are slowly making headway in putting together some partnership benefits for our many Members. Our new Sales and Marketing Manager, Stuart, has been working hard to negotiate some fabulous deals with some of the local area providers.
The Hunter is such a beautiful place to visit and there are so many wonderful facilities available to tourists, visitors and locals that we are proud to be able to extend some extra benefits to our members. In the lift out enclosed, is just the start for what we hope will be a continued resource to enhance your next visit. It’s great to be rewarded for loyalty and we see this as your reward for your continued patronage and loyalty to the Briar Ridge Vintage Club. So, take some time to review each offer so you can plan ahead for your next visit.
FROM THE CELLAR DOOR
MEMBERS FUNCTIONS & EVENTS
with Charise Foulstone
I hope everyone has had a great start to the year and you are all ready to enjoy some of our new release whites that are starting to emerge from the winery. It has been an unusual season with extreme weather conditions in the valley from blistering heat to torrential downpours; however at Cellar Door it is business as usual rain, hail or shine!
2012 was a big year for Briar Ridge Members. We saw some familiar faces coming through the Cellar Door and welcomed many new members. Capping off our events calendar for 2012 was our annual Harbour Cruise which was fantastic…with near perfect conditions our 90 guests were indulged with the usual fabulous food on the Commissioner II along with our beautiful Briar Ridge Wines. All aboard had a wonderful night!
We are currently tasting some new vintages of our old favourites on cellar door at the moment while eagerly awaiting the new varieties to come. Scott is creating some fantastic, new and exciting wines that he plans to introduce in the not too distant future .One of the new exciting additions is Moscato it will suit people that prefer a wine with a little more sweetness and a floral bouquet – perfect for an afternoon picnic with friends and that is just a sample of the exciting new things to come!
Our 2013 Calendar is filling up fast; kicking off this year with the Harvest Dinner and our inaugural “Members’ Blending”. 22 members participated in the blending exercise under the guidance of Winemakers Scott Comyns and Karl Stockhausen. Our first attempt at this, it was a great day with much discussion going on and plenty of excitement as we reached agreement on the final mix. That evening we held the harvest dinner at the Grillade; with Chef Peter Edmunds creating a fabulous 4 course menu to match back to our selection of new and old Briar Ridge Wines. Our multi talented Marketing Manager, Stuart Hamilton (also known as the Hunter Valley Piano Man) entertained us all and Scott kept everyone guessing with the option wine on the night.
We still have our old favourites on offer like The Old Vines Shiraz it is always a great drop and perfect to have on hand ready for the cooler nights to come. The new look Trio Range has been warmly received and is walking out the door, everyone loves the new look art series label and it really is an exciting change from our more traditional style. Cellar Door itself has also not been forgotten with a major revamp; a lick of paint and a major re-shuffle thanks to our new Sales and marketing Manager (and handy man) Stuart Hamilton. They say a change is as good as a holiday and we certainly have a fresh new feel on Cellar Door. The rains have come at just the right time to reinvigorate the garden and it is looking picture perfect.
I hope you can join us at one or another of the coming events; it’s always a great way to get up close to the Winemaker and get the inside information on Briar Ridge and our fabulous wines.
So why not take some time to come and visit us on Cellar Door we are always pleased to see our members and there are so many great reasons to visit.
Check out the Dates on the front page for what to look out for as the year unfolds.
Message from the Marketing Department
social media outlets, the installation and creation of our very own Briar Ridge Smart Phone App, that’s downloadable from our website and Facebook page log into www.briarridge.com.au or go to our Facebook page www.facebook.com/briarridgevineyard to the invigoration of our lovely Briar Grillade’ Café and the functions and weddings held onsite. We also are actively promoting more and more local Mount View and Hunter Valley accommodation outlets and lifestyle and leisure operators through our Member Benefits Scheme. This will be an ever growing benefit area for wine club member to entice you to visit us more, because we love it when you do!
From a marketing perspective, 2013 is going to be a full and exciting year of evolution, change and a flood of new and fresh ideas. With the fast and furious start of the 2013 vintage in early January, being Scott’s first official vintage as Chief Winemaker and myself coming on-board at Briar, I feel as though it’s a dawn of a new and exciting era for a great wine company. The thing I love most about a smallish size vineyard like Briar Ridge, is the impact that each member of the team imparts onto the business. Life is more hands on at Briar and the dedication of all staff members dramatically effects the successes going forward.
Make sure you come and visit us soon.
This year we are trying to capitalise on as many different marketing ventures as our budgets will allow. From numerous tradeshows around the country, magazine and online advertising and use of
Kind regards Stuart Hamilton Direct Sales & Marketing Manager
MEET THE STAFF Peter Edmunds... Chef at Briar Grillade Peter joined the Grillade in August 2011 and his innovative and inspiring menus have the Grillade fast becoming a much sort after destination for foodies. With no challenge too daunting, Peter has managed to keep his small kitchen up to pace whether it’s for the busy weekend trade, a stand up or sit down wedding or one of our Member Dinners. His food is fresh and the menu ever changing so it’s well worth the visit just to experience one of his culinary creations. Never one to sit still, Peter is a keen renovator, recently completing the 2nd home renovation in as many years.
Inside the Winery with Scott Comyns Well it has been a very busy start to the year. There was no time to reminisce about the Christmas and New Years break , as Vintage was upon us with our Briar Ridge Pinot Noir sparkling base marking the start of the picking in early January, almost two weeks ahead of schedule. The 2013 vintage could not have been much better to welcome me to my first for Briar Ridge. If anyone can remember at the Indulgence dinner in September last year, I said that “the 2013 vintage will be the best ever”, well I wasn’t too far from the truth! A great year for both whites and red. There was a little patch of unsettled weather thrown in just to make the winemakers a little nervous, however I am very excited with the quality that I have seen. In particular the hero varieties of the Hunter Valley, Semillon, Shiraz and Chardonnay are looking close to their best. Early March was our first members Blending exercise, its very interesting to see what wine our Members come up with when let loose with a few different varieties! It was a great morning, followed by a great evening,seeing many of you at our March Indulgence dinner. Cheers, Scott
Did You Know….?
3. What name is given to the indentation in the bottom of a bottle of wine?
Once again I test your wine and trivia knowledge with these interesting little facts so get your Google fingers working…answers on page 6.
4. The Trebbiano grape is also known as Ugni Blanc. It has the aroma of banana and is used for a wide variety of dry white wines including what distilled wines.
1. Which famous person made the comment: “In victory you deserve champagne, in defeat you need it!”
5. Wine contains various vitamins and minerals including vitamin B, potassium, calcium, sodium, iron, magnesium as well as boron which helps absorb calcium. Red wine also contains polyphenols which fight viruses. One such potent anti-oxidant is resveratrol, how many times MORE effective is resveratrol than vitamin C?
2. Known as “The Whistler Tree”, the oldest and most productive cork tree in Portugal produces the world’s finest quality cork every 9 years. How many bottles can be corked from its one ton harvest? 4
with Fig & Fennel Salad
6 whole quails 300g chicken breast, finely diced 300g chicken thigh, finely diced 150g pork back fat, diced 100mL muscat 500mL white wine 10 slices of prosciutto 1 small brown onion, diced 1 leek, diced 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic 1 tablespoon dried thyme
100g pistachios, roughly chopped 300mL double cream
Salad & Accompaniments 1 loaf of ciabatta sliced thickly 1 bulb of fennel finely sliced 1 bunch of water cress 3 fresh figs quartered 200g of tomato chutney or your favourite chutney or jelly Briar Cottage is only minutes from the heart of Pokolbin, and a few metres from our cellar door. Relax on the verandah with a glass of our award winning wines, or in the cooler months enjoy the open fire.
Remove the breasts from the quails and leave whole. Any other meat taken from the bone maybe diced and added to the breast, thigh and pork fat. Combine all the diced Chicken and pork with the Muscat and allow to marinate. Once marinated, mince together in a blender or mincer, transfer to large bowl and beat in the double cream.
WEEKEND BOOKINGS (Friday PM - Monday AM) $400 - 2 people $550 - 4 people $650 - 6 people
Fry the Onion and leek in butter until soft, allow to cool then add to mince along with roughly chopped pistachios.
Line a terrine mould with cling film and then with sliced prosciutto. (Leave ends of prosciutto over mould edge to fold over top when assembled). Layer half the mince into the bottom and press down firmly. Lay the quail breast long ways down the middle and add the remainder of the mince on top. Press down firmly & wrap with excess prosciutto. Cover with cling film.
(Mon PM - Fri AM) $150 per couple per night $75 per couple per night for additional guests
10% discount for all Vintage Club Members
Cook in a bain marie in the oven at 140ºC for 2½ hours or until the middle of the terrine reaches 74ºC. Leave to cool. Use a suitable weight to place on top of terrine and leave overnight.
To book phone 02 4990 3670 or email email@example.com
To serve slice with a very sharp knife, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper. Grill ciabatta and mix the watercress salad, plate as desired.
Mount View Rd, Mount View www.briarridge.com.au
SERVE with a glass of 2012 Hand Picked Chardonnay. 5
AUTUMN CLUB PACK WINES Answers: 1. Napoleon Bonaparte 2. 100,000 bottled from one ton of raw cork 3. The “punt” 4. Trebbiano is also used to make “Cognac” and Armagnac” 5. Resveratrol is 20-50 times more effective an anti-oxidant as vitamin C alone
2012 Hand Picked Chardonnay A luscious combination of stone fruit and delicate oak. With partial tank and barrel ferment on 2 year old French oak, the 2012 Hand Picked Chardonnay is a perfect partner to any Autumn fare. Featured with our Chef, Peter Edmunds’ Autumn recipe the peach and melon flavours are enhanced with the soft creamy oak finish. RRP $21
Members $18 Our Feature recipe, Quail Terrine brings out the delicate Oak characters while the fruit flavours are lifted with the fresh figs in the salad.
Something about Wine Written by Karl Stockhausen
2012 Karl Stockhausen Signature Semillon
Still showing some delicate citrus qualities, the 2012 Semillon epitomizes the classic Hunter varietal. Light, crisp with a hint of what’s to come. A perfect cellaring option.
I don’t intend to talk about myself but rather of wine, white and red. We all know that keeping wine (maturing, cellaring, storing, whatever you might call it) changes it. Whether that change ‘improves’ it is a matter entirely up to you. The changes are usually such things as colour, texture, not least of all flavour.
Let me ask you, when you buy wine do you ever ask whether it will keep? Many people do, although they probably drink the bought wine within a matter of days or weeks, which is not a long time for any changes to occur unless stored in unusual places, e.g. in direct sunlight. Before you decide whether it is worthwhile to age wine you should check your preferences by tasting a young one against an older one.
With some warm weather still about, try the 2012 Signature Stockhausen Semillon with some lightly pan fried snapper fillets, snow peas and asparagus, on a bed of fluffy potato mash.
I find that some young white wines are very enjoyable with freshness and fruit flavour as long as the acid is well balanced against the fruit. When it comes to more serious whites, e.g. Chardonnay, which more often has been aged in oak barrels for some time, a little extra time in bottle (maybe 2 or 3 years) make it a little deeper in colour and softer in texture (mouth feel) and more ‘complex’ in flavour. Other whites such as Riesling are enjoyable young, yet I can enjoy a good, four year old, one even more with a piece of Salmon.
2011 Old Vines Shiraz Typically one of our most popular reds. With hints of white pepper and spice, soft approachable tannins and of course those lovely stewed plum fruits, the flavour goes on. RRP $23
Red wines are a different matter because they contain tannin, either from the grapes (skin contact) or oak tannin from barrel maturation. Heavy reds with warm alcohol and firm texture are enjoyed and appreciated by many people. Some, like me, prefer a softer mouth feel, not too astringent. This can be achieved by ageing the wine for a few years. The bigger and firmer the wine is the longer this will take, in my opinion a Cabernet Sauvignon would usually take longer than, say a Shiraz.
Members $19.50 Nothing beats Steak and Shiraz, serve up your favourite eye fillet with rosemary chat potatoes, spinach puree and béarnaise sauce.Lovely!
If I have got you interested, you might like to know how to store wine. You can read anywhere that it is ideal to have a cellar (under house) or the like where the temperature is cool and fairly constant. I store a few wines in a room, specially built in the house with no window, no exterior wall facing sunlight and all walls sufficiently insulated. It does for my requirement. If you want to do better, use an air-conditioner to keep the temperature even more stable.
2011 Cellar Reserve Orange Cabernet Sauvignon From our Orange Vineyard, the fruit is ripe with flavours of cassis, tannins are firm and the palate has great length. A wine to be savored and cellared.
It should also be understood that a number of factors affect how a wine will stand the test of time. Vintage conditions are important. Some vintages may produce insipid, thin wines which mature and fade quickly. Others are rich and flavoursome and demand maturation before they will give satisfaction and pleasure to drink.
Members $26 Cabernets suit some strong flavours so the Grillade’s Tea Smoked Duck with Cauliflower puree, roasted beets and warm caramelize orange sauce is a good match.
AUTUMN CLUB SPECIALS Old and Cold Special
Birthday Series Signature 6 Pack
Our favourite and most popular Reds, the Old Vines Shiraz and Cold Soaked Cabernet are essentials for any cellar. Always at the top of the tasting list these 2 Briar standards will not disappoint.
His popularity never fades so to celebrate another Birthday with Karl Stockhausen we have uncovered some carefully cellared wines and put together this excellent 6 pack. Typifying Karl's inimitable style and finess as a winemaker we have for you the three “Classic” Hunter varietal… Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz all under the Signature label.
3 x 2010 Old Vines Shiraz 3 x 2010 Cold Soaked Cabernet
2 x 2010 Karl Stockhausen Semillon 2 x 2011 Karl Stockhausen Chardonnay 2 x 2009 Karl Stockhausen Shiraz
Members Special $105 Save $33
Members Special $99 Save $75
Red, White & Rosé… our chic new Trio’s Our new look Trios are proving not just good to look at but great tasting and great value with this extra special discount to members. The 2011 Red Trio is a blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Shiraz so has something to offer all red lovers. A lovely soft, fruity and spicy style it’s a must have as an everyday red.
Cellar Reserve Reds
The 2012 White Trio brings together the popular Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Chardonnay; light, fruity and crisp it’s the perfect afternoon “settler”.
Great for the autumn weather we have the ideal mix of reds with the soft cherry of the Merlot, pepper and spice of the Shiraz, and rich black currents in the Cabernet. With a little age now these wines have softened nicely yet still maintain some wonderfully rich fruit characters.
The new 2012 Rosé is already a top seller. A dry style with some delicious raspberry and apple aromas and flavours, the palate is light and fresh. Fabulous for anything.
2 x 2010 Cellar Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2 x 2010 Cellar Reserve Orange Shiraz 2 x 2010 Cellar Reserve Hunter Valley Merlot
Members Special $80
Members Special $115
VINEYARD & VARIETY
Birthday Series Signature 6 Pack
New Trio Range 6 Pack
Early Harvest Semillon
Hand Picked Chardonnay (CLUB PACK)
Old Vines Shiraz (CLUB PACK)
Cold Soaked Cabernet Sauvignon
Cellar Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Signature Karl Stockhausen Semillon (CLUB PACK)
Signature Karl Stockhausen Chardonnay
Signature Karl Stockhausen Shiraz
Cellar Reserve Hunter Valley Merlot
Old and Cold Special Great Value Cellar Reserve Reds 6 Pack SPARKLING Pinot Chardonnay TRIO RANGE
SIGNATURE & RESERVE RANGE
Cellar Reserve Hunter Valley Merlot
Cellar Reserve Orange Cabernet Sauvignon (CLUB PACK)
Cellar Reserve Orange Cabernet Sauvignon
Cellar Reserve Shiraz
SINGLE VINEYARD RANGE Single Vineyard Dairy Hill Semillon
Briar Hill Chardonnay (CLUB PACK)
Single Vineyard Dairy Hill Shiraz
Grillade Extra Virgin Olive Oil
DESSERT & FORTIFIED WINES
FREE FREIGHT FOR ORDERS OVER $300 All other freight $12 per case
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Card Holder/s Name: Card Holder/s Signature: 593 Mount View Road, Mount View NSW 2325
P 02 4990 3670
F 02 4990 7802
Liquor Act 1982 - It is an offence to sell or to supply to obtain liquor on behalf of a person under the age of 18 years. ABN: 64003339213 LIQ LIC: W800702011