ISSUE 60 - AUTUMN 2012
Once again to your 2012 Autumn edition of “Off the Press”. As I sit down to write to you all I am just wondering, did anyone see it coming? I certainly didn’t see it pass by…………………… that’s Summer I mean!!! What a wet and cool few months we have had here in Mount View! For a few brief days the thermometer skipped past the 30 degree mark but that’s been about the extent of it. As mild a summer as it has been, I don’t recall having seen such exuberant and lush growth in the vineyards for quite some time. All around us the foliage has extended its reach far beyond the trellises with our vineyard manager Belinda trimming to maintain some order. Vintage is a little later this year than last, as we are accustom to a few more months of warmer weather to encourage Véraison. However, as we go to press harvest is well underway.
Thursday 8th – Brisbane Members Dinner Saturday 31st – Members Autumn Indulgence Dinner, Briar Grillade
April 6th-9th – Easter Weekend Sunday 22nd – Cellar Door Picnic Day
May 6th – Hunters Hill Food & Wine Festival 2010 “Big Bully” Release Thursday 17th – Sydney Members Dinner, Fix St James
June Saturday & Sunday 2nd & 3rd – Manly Food, Wine & Sustainability Festival
August Brisbane Members Dinner, Date & Venue TBC
September 15th – Spring Indulgence Dinner, Briar Grillade
November 23rd & 24th – Sydney Harbour Cruise
YOUR CHANCE TO WIN! Read "Off the Press" carefully to discover Ady's "catch" word. Call or email your answer to us and go into the draw to win 2 tickets to our SPRING Indulgence Dinner on 15th September 2012. Entries close 30th April 2012.
The beginning of Autumn heralds more stable conditions; times where we can spread a blanket on the grass under the gum trees and bask in the cooler afternoons with our favourite Briar Ridge wine. My favourite at the moment is the 2011 Hand Picked Chardonnay. With distinct aromas of tinned pears and delicate stone fruit flavours, it has a lovely fresh mouth feel. The presence of subtle French oak is enhanced by some great natural acid giving the wine some complexity and good length to the palate. I recommend you try yours now as this very easy to drink wine is just perfect for autumn. In your first Club Pack for 2012 we’ve put in a little surprise. With the Grillade kicking off another great year, and Chef Peter Edmunds making a name for himself with his culinary prowess, we have added to our stock list our very own Extra Virgin Olive Oil. As a staple for many of us now in the kitchen, there’s no end to what can be done with this delicious golden liquid. I hope you enjoy your special gift! Another great addition (or rather modification) to our list is the new look Muscat. In a larger 500ml decanter and pewter label, the look is fantastic; the taste (golden caramel and warm spice) is to die for. You’ll want one straight away! As always, in the Club Room we are excited to get back into the New Year and we’ve been hard at it. Katie & I have come up with some great specials to supplement your Autumn Tasting Pack and a diary full of events that we hope you will join us for. When you next visit us make sure you call ahead to book the Members’ Cellar for your Member Tasting. Ady, Charise & Katie are on deck and are keen to indulge you with their special charm. The Members’ Cellar has a great atmosphere and if you order a cheese platter from the Grillade, the experience is definitely enhanced. Please read all of our emails; we plan to be in touch more frequently in 2012 with great specials on offer, some additional functions planned and the usual run of outside events, we want to be sure you are kept up to date and more importantly get the opportunity to make the most of your membership benefits. Facebook and Twitter are updated regularly and the website contains a wealth of information to keep you abreast with what’s happening at Briar Ridge. Now it’s time to pour your favourite Briar Ridge wine, sit back, relax and enjoy the autumn edition of “Off the Press”. Cheers Deb
Debbie Sullivan Briar Ridge Vintage Club Co-ordinator
FROM THE CELLAR DOOR
onto the Dairy Hill Semillon – I recommend that you pull your bottle out of the pack straight away and get it chilled down to enjoy with some fresh seafood – one of the many perks of my job is getting to try the wines before we send them out to you and I can definitely recommend stocking up with a few bottles of the Dairy Hill Semillon for drinking now and in the future. The structure of this Semillon is perfect for “quaffing” now as well as lying down for the next 10 years. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am. One of the questions I get asked regularly at cellar door is "what does ‘Quaff’ mean?" I tend to use the word quite a lot (just ask any of the cellar door staff). It always surprises me that not everyone knows what it means well here goes for those of you that are still in the dark. The Oxford English Dictionary listing is: "Quaff: - Drink (something, especially an alcoholic drink) heartily." For those of you that know me, it’s obvious why I use the word a lot!
Hi to all of our members, Since our last newsletter we’ve been extremely busy here in the Hunter. The end of 2011 was busy at cellar door with everyone stocking up for the party season; it’s been really good to see so many of our members visiting us and great that you are booking in and using our members tasting lounge down in the cellar. Christmas and New Year now seem like a bit of a blur with 2012 well under way! The Twilight Harbour cruise in Sydney, our final member’s event for the year, proved to be an extremely fun couple of nights for us all – the extremes of weather we experienced all added to the fun! If you haven’t experienced the Sydney Harbour cruise I can highly recommend you pencil it in for this year. The release of most of our 2011 whites towards the end of last year have been very popular over the summer months and are all drinking exceptionally well - The 2011 Karl Stockhausen Semillon has been a favourite of mine over the summer, I’m trying hard to hang onto some in my new cellar so I can keep enjoying it in the years to come. We’ll see how that goes! With the release of the 2011 Single Vineyard Dairy Hill Semillon in this club pack I’m sure I can tuck the Karl Stockhausen away and move
Cheers, Ady Lind Cellar Door & Restaurant Manager
Cellar Door Picnic Day
Pack the picnic blanket, hamper, family & friends and head over to Briar Ridge Vineyard for a fun filled family day at the Cellar Door.
Relaxed Family Fun FREE ADMISSION • Jumping Castle
• Ice Cream
• Live Music & Entertainment
• Cakes & Treats
• Gourmet Sausage Sizzle
• Case Specials
• Cheese Platters
• Local Provedore Stalls
Briar Ridge Glasses available for $5 which includes a glass of wine and lucky door ticket. BRV wines available by the glass and bottle. No BYO alcohol.
Sunday 22nd April 11am - 4pm Briar Ridge Vineyard 593 Mount View Road Mount View Enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 02 4990 3670 www.briarridge.com.au
Dinner at The Grillade. The date is Saturday 31st March and we still have a few spots available, so call or email the club to secure your spot. The Cellar Door will be hosting another Family Picnic Day on the 22nd April, perfect time to spread out under the trees and enjoy everything Briar Ridge has to offer. Our Spring Indulgence Dinner will be on the 15th September this year; our competition (see front page) gives you a chance to win 2 complimentary tickets to the dinner. All you need to do is call or email and tell me what Ady’s (our Cellar Door managers) catch word is to go into the competition which we will draw at the end of April, giving you plenty of time to arrange accommodation. So make sure you read the Newsletter thoroughly. Our Big Bully campaign will begin again this year in May. Get ready for the call to order your supply of the 2010 Wrattonbully “Big Bully” Cabernet. We also have very limited stocks available of the 2009 which you will notice as a special offer for this Newsletter. For those of you in Manly, we will be back again for the Food, Wine & Sustainability Festival on the 2nd & 3rd June so don’t be strangers, come over and say hi! We have our Sydney dinner set for the 17th May at Fix St James again, and plan to return to Brisbane in August so 2012 is filling up fast. We will send out plenty of emails advising the details of all the events, so do check them regularly. Katie & I look forward to meeting up with as many of you as possible as the year unfolds. Cheers, Debbie
2011 was a very busy year for me with member Functions. I met some wonderful people and I don’t think anyone was disappointed with the venues we visited. This part of my job as Club Manager, sourcing great restaurants and matching amazing foods with our Briar Ridge Wines, is probably the toughest gig and I welcome any suggestions from members on where great restaurants can be found in the cities we visit. We saw last year out with our back to back Members’ Harbour Cruises in November. In total we welcomed 164 members and friends aboard for what turned out to be two very different evenings on Sydney Harbour. Our Friday evening Cruise was well watered, with regular downpours, but that didn’t dampen our spirits. The food, wine and our national treasure, Karl Stockhausen, made for a fantastic evening and everyone enjoyed themselves. Saturday turned out to be perfect weather wise and just as Friday, all on board had a ball. We are already taking bookings for this year’s Cruises, so there’s no need to wait until October. You are more than welcome to line up your list of guests and “pen” in the date. Again we will be holding 2 cruises on Friday 23rd & Saturday 24th November 2012. Call us here at Briar Ridge and our staff will happily make your reservation for you. At the end of February Ady, Steve & I attended the Sydney Cellar Door Event at Hyde Park. Some of our Sydney members managed to call in and sample the latest releases and catch up on all the news from Vintage. As harvest comes to an end we are preparing for our members Harvest
Autumn Indulgence Dinner Autumn has arrived, Harvest is finished it’s time once again to Indulge our Members! Enjoy a selection of Canapes under the stars followed by a delicious 4 course dinner matched with our latest release premium wines. For your delight and indulgence you will be entertained by the dulcet tones of Stuart Hamilton as he performs throughout the evening. You will also receive your Autumn 2012 Signature Plate to add to your collection. 6pm Saturday 31st March 2012 Smart Casual Dress
$105pp RSVP: 10th March
Return transfers from your accommodation in the Pokolbin, Cessnock and Mt View area for $17 per person. Bookings Essential.
BRIAR GRILLADE NEWS If you haven’t been to Briar Ridge in the last couple of years then Briar Grillade is a definite reason to do so. Situated where the old Stockhausen tasting shed used to sit the Grillade is an alfresco dining experience overlooking our tranquil gardens. Our head chef Peter and his team have been cooking up a storm with regular seasonal menu changes and an emphasis on local produce. Peter has put together his "Pan Seared Barramundi Fillet" to match back with the 2011 Dairy Hill Semillon. Another perk of my job is getting to try all of Peter’s food - someone has to do it!! The refreshing acidity of this Semillon cuts through the richness of the butter sauce and aioli. Try this one next time friends are coming over – I’m sure they’ll be impressed. Briar Grillade is the perfect location for a family get together,
Pan Seared Barramundi Fillet
birthday party or even a wedding. Quite a few of our members
on a bed of Potato Gnocchi with tomato, basil & asparagus topped with prosciutto crisp and garlic aioli
have used the Grillade to celebrate a special occasion, and at the end of last year 2 of our members chose Briar Ridge and Briar Grillade to hold their wedding ceremony and reception. Heidi and Will are both from Newcastle and were looking for a relaxed
4 x 180g Barramundi fillets 2 x slices of prosciutto cut in half
garden setting to celebrate their union with family and friends. They had the perfect day here and are happy to share their photo’s with you all. Photos courtesy of Tim Coulson Photography.
Gnocchi 500g peeled Desiree potatoes 150g plain flour 1 egg yolk Pinch of salt
Congratulations Heidi & Will
Boil potato until soft, then mash and dry out in the oven for 3 minutes. Allow to cool then mix in egg yolk flour and salt and work into a dough. Roll dough into 2cm wide sausage and cut into 2cm lengths. Blanch in boiling water until the Gnocchi floats then refresh in ice cold water. Strain and allow to dry. Aioli 3 egg yolks 500ml vegetable oil 1 teaspoon crushed garlic 20ml lemon juice 20ml white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard Pinch salt Add all ingredients except oil to a blender and whizz for 2 mins until creamy, very slowly pour in oil until aioli is thick like mayonnaise. 4
Gnocchi Mix 1 bunch of basil leaves picked 1 spring onion finely sliced 1 bunch asparagus cut into 3cm lengths 1 punnet cherry tomatoes cut in half 2 teaspoons baby capers 2 tablespoons lemon juice 100g butter Briar Grillade extra virgin olive oil to finish Toss the gnocchi in a little Briar Grillade extra virgin olive oil and fry in a hot pan until golden brown, add asparagus and continue cooking until browned. Just before plating add all other ingredients until butter is melted. In a hot pan sear the Barramundi fillets skin side down until slightly brown, turn and then place pan in a 180°c oven for 5 mins. Place prosciutto in oven until crispy Arrange gnocchi mix on the plate then top with the Barramundi fillet. Top with a teaspoon of aioli and arrange prosciutto crisp on top, finally drizzle with a little of the Briar Grillade extra virgin olive oil.
FUNCTIONS AT BRIAR GRILLADE Looking for a venue for a birthday party, engagement or wedding? Briar Grillade is the ideal venue for your next function, with its private garden alfresco setting. We can cater for private parties, corporate dinners, product launches, weddings and more... Sit down lunches and dinners for 50 people or cocktail style for up to 100 people. As Vintage Club Members you will also receive all your member benefits on wine purchases. We can tailor a menu to suit your budget and needs. For further enquires please contact Adrienne Lind on 02 4990 3670 or email@example.com
Did You Know….? Test out your Wine knowledge on these snippets of information. In each subsequent Newsletter I will present you with a little more trivia, I hope you enjoy the challenge. 1. Sherry has been in production since 1100 BC. Where does Sherry take its name from? 2. What percentage of the more than 400 species of oak worldwide is suitable for high grade wine barrels? 3. What does the term “Chaptalisation” refer to in winemaking? 4. The pressure in a bottle of champagne is between….-….lbs per sq inch? Hint (Its is 2-3 times the pressure of a car tyre.) 5. Roughly how many bunches of grapes are required to make one bottle of high quality table wine? Answers next page.
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. WEEKEND BOOKINGS (Fri PM - Mon AM) $400 - 2 people $550 - 4 people $650 - 6 people MIDWEEK BOOKINGS (Mon PM - Fri AM) $150 per couple per night $75 per couple per night for additional guests
10% discount for all Vintage Club Members To book phone 02 4990 3670 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Mount View Rd, Mount View www.briarridge.com.au
Meet our Briar Staff Each issue I plan to introduce you to at least one member of the staff here at Briar Ridge. We are a small, close knit team and each one of us plays an integral part in providing you, our members, with the best possible product, service and information; all of which we hope enhances your experiences here and at home while you indulge your senses with our superb Briar Ridge Wines. This issue I would like to introduce you to two extremely valuable staff members. Firstly the lovely Charise who is responsible for signing many of you up to be in our Vintage Club. Charise has been working in the Cellar Door at Briar Ridge now for 3 ½ years and has the most exuberant personality, she is an absolute delight to work with. Charise combines looking after her growing family of 3 and husband Ian (a School Principal) with a passionate approach to the wine industry that we all love. Secondly, we have Nigel Brown. Nigel is our Logistics Manager, and any of you who are familiar with the field will understand how valuable Nigel is to all of us here. With the constant coming and going of stock, Nigel is responsible for the movement of tens of thousands of cases of wine each year. An essential part of his role is ensuring that Club Packs are ready (we currently have 2000 Members to look after) for dispatch and the wines required for our Member Events, offsite events and general distribution arrive to their destination on time. No easy task! A devoted husband and father, Nigel brings his own special charm to Briar Ridge, especially as he rarely loses his cool with such a demanding role. If you do manage to visit us, please take the time to say hello.
by Karl Stockhausen
Have you ever wondered why some of our wine labels show terms such as “Hand-Picked” or “Cold-Soaked”? You may even have thought that these terms are used as a marketing tool, giving the wine some shroud of mystery. Not quite so! These terms are there to let you know what we have done with the grapes to give the best result in the quality of the wine. Obviously, people have been in the vineyard taking off bunches of fruit to make a handpicked Chardonnay. But why would we do that if a motorised machine, called a mechanical harvester, could do the job faster and cheaper? There are several reasons for doing so. At the time of harvest the grapes should be sound and ripe to give the best flavour and texture to the wine that will be made from them. Unfortunately that is not always the case; for example grapes can be damaged by birds, hail or disease and when machine harvested, all bunches get placed in the bin for delivery to the winery. Grape pickers on the other hand can see any damage or the odd unripe bunch and leave them behind; resulting in a higher quality wine. There are also good reasons for soaking grapes, particularly red ones. By soaking skins, pulp and seeds, colour as well as flavours and tannins are extracted to give stable colour, complexity and texture. The traditional soaking of grapes is carried out after the addition of yeast culture to the crushed fruit. The reason for soaking at a low temperature is mainly to avoid a spontaneous wild yeast fermentation to commence but also it seems to be a more gentle way to extract desirables, possibly because of aqueous contact rather than alcoholic. The resulting wine is considered to be more fruit driven which certainly is an appealing characteristic to most of us; but you be the judge when you taste the Cold-Soaked Cabernet Sauvignon.
INSIDE THE WINERY with Winemaker Luke Watson
A large drop of rainwater rolls down my face and onto the keyboard, my office smells like wet boots. Sample bottles, thermometers and hydrometers litter the bench top. Vintage 2012 is off and running. It only seems like yesterday I was lazing on the beach in sunny Sawtell, doing my part to keep the prawning and brewery industries afloat. Today on the other hand was a 6am start, driving to the winery in the teeming rain to the prospect of trying to process our first batch of Verdelho. The skies cleared just long eenough for picking to be completed with the Verdelho then crushed and safely into tank, but yours truly is saturated to the bone feeling a little worse for wear. The joys of making wine in the Hunter Valley are many, the hardships faced in the vineyard and winery that we have during these periods of tumultuous weather make those great wines produced all the greater. This growing season has been one of the coolest on record with the mercury exceeding 30 degrees on a handful of times; the fruit we have seen so far is quite atypical for the region almost cool climate like. The acid levels are very high and the fruit flavour structure is very delicate, the wines which we produce should be in
OUT IN THE VINEYARD with Belinda Kelly
the medium bodied mould and should cellar particularly well. I have quite high hopes for Shiraz this year and it also should be in the classic Hunter style of old. I will have plenty more to report to you next newsletter with hopefully glowing reports on all our 2012 vintage wines, and also some information on upcoming releases of our sublime 2011 Hunter reds. Cheers, Luke
The 2012 Hunter Valley Vintage is well underway after having started 2 weeks later than in 2011, mainly due to the wet and milder growing season. We have seen above average rainfall with below average temperatures throughout spring and summer, causing the grapes to take longer to ripen. What had started out as a challenging growing season for the vineyard team, due to the wet weather, almost turned out disastrous in November when Mount View was hit by a hail storm. The storm caused a large amount of damage to the vines, but luckily grape vines are very resilient and with some extra care they have recovered well. The first varieties to come off the vines in late January were the Pinot Noir & Chardonnay. The fruit was handpicked and is used as the base for our Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay, one of Briar Ridge’s most popular wines. Early February saw the Verdelho, Chardonnay & Semillon being picked followed by the red varieties later in the month. As you enjoy your latest selection of Briar Ridge Wines the winery team would have received all of this season fruit and is busy making our 2012 Vintage wines.
Answers: 1. JEREZ in South West Spain where it originated from. 2. 5%. 3. The addition of sugar (usually beet sugar) to crushed grapes to increase alcohol content by 1-2% 4. 70-90lbs 5. 8
ABOUT THIS WINE
AUTUMN CLUB PACK WINES
AUTUMN SPECIALS SUMMER TIME WHITES – six pack $99 – Save $27
2011 Hand Picked Chardonnay
3 X 2011 Early Harvest Semillon 3 X 2011 Homestead Verdelho
Aromas of tinned pears dominate the nose. Fresh stone fruit flavours combine with subtle French Oak to give complexity and length to the palate.
Summer isn’t quite over yet, but while autumn approaches why not top up your cellar with 2 of our most popular whites. Fresh, fruity and versatile the Semillon and Verdelho make up a perfect combo for those lazy Sunday afternoons ahead.
A delightfully fresh Chardonnay perfect with the Grillade’s “twice cooked pork belly with green pea puree, apple celeriac slaw & Marsala jus." RRP $21
REPLENISH YOUR REDS – six pack $140 – Save $34 2 X 2009 Currawong Cabernet 2 X 2009 Cellar Reserve HV Merlot 2 X 2009 Cellar Reserve Zinfandel
2011 Dairy Hill Single Vineyard Semillon With crisp citrus flavours and fresh acidity, there is a tang and vibrancy to this Semillon. While young the wine displays the pure Semillon aromas of lemon blossom and lime, the palate is intense yet elegant with great length.
The rich heady black currant characters of the Currawong Cabernet, the soft, silky and sweet fruits of the Hunter Merlot; and the spiced fruits of the Zinfandel combine to offer the best in variety and taste. An ideal mix to replenish your red wine cache!
Matched with the Grillade’s feature recipe “Pan seared barramundi fillet on a bed of Potato Gnocchi with tomato, basil & asparagus topped with prosciutto crisp and garlic aioli.” RRP $29
2009 Big Bully Run Out – six pack
$140 – Save $70 6 X 2009 Wrattonbully “Big Bully” Cabernet Sauvignon
2010 Cold Soaked Cabernet Sauvignon
Take advantage of this special offer. The last of the 2009 Vintage “Big Bully” limited stock available.
Intensity of colour and flavour; with loads of black currants and dark fruits dominate the palate. The soft tannins are enhanced with subtle oak. Full bodied and a great match for the “char grilled eye fillet of beef on Gorgonzola gnocchi, seasonal vegetables and red wine jus” from Briar Grillade.
NEW RELEASES NV Liqueur Muscat (500ml)
In our new rectangular shaped decanter and stylish pewter label the look is new and the taste is to die for. Dark and rich, the sweet smell of Christmas pudding is only enhanced by the rich caramel and warm spice flavours.
2010 Cellar Reserve Shiraz
$32 members Briar Grillade Extra Virgin Olive Oil (375 ml)
Rich in spiced plum fruits, the nose hints of black pepper and mixed spice. The tannins are firm with well balanced oak, giving the wine good length and weight to the palate.
A medium bodied oil, pleasantly fragrant and alive with fresh fruit flavours! Ideal for dipping, drizzling & dressings.
Perfect accompaniment to the Grillade’s “pan seared Duck breast on rhubarb risotto, wilted spinach & aged balsamic.”
Members $23 7
VINEYARD & VARIETY
HARVEST SPECIALS 2009 Big Bully Run Out - Six Pack
Summer Time Whites - Refresher Six Pack
Replenish your Reds â€“ Six Pack
White Trio - Available April 2012
SPARKLING Pinot Chardonnay TRIO RANGE
VARIETAL RANGE Early Harvest Semillon
Hand Picked Chardonnay (CLUB PACK)
Old Vines Shiraz
Cold Soaked Cabernet Sauvignon (CLUB PACK)
SIGNATURE & RESERVE RANGE Cellar Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Signature Karl Stockhausen Semillon
Signature Karl Stockhausen Chardonnay
Signature Karl Stockhausen Shiraz
Cellar Reserve Shiraz (CLUB PACK)
Cellar Reserve Hunter Valley Merlot
Cellar Reserve Zinfandel
Cellar Reserve Wrattonbully Merlot
SINGLE VINEYARD RANGE Single Vineyard Dairy Hill Semillon (CLUB PACK)
Single Vineyard Currawong Cabernet
Single Vineyard Dairy Hill Shiraz
Liqueur Muscat (NEW RELEASE)
Grillade Extra Virgin Olive Oil (CLUB PACK)
DESSERT & FORTIFIED WINES Botrytis Semillon
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