McWilliam’s is welcoming a Chardonnay and Shiraz to its iconic Flagship Range, which showcase the best of the Hilltops and Tumbarumba regions.
The 2014 “1877” Hilltops Shiraz is a welcome addition to the traditional shiraz cabernet blend, and the 2013 “842” Tumbarumba Chardonnay is the first table white wine in the range.
The Flagship Range joins the Appellations Series as part of McWilliam’s philosophy to champion NSW’s emerging cool-climate wine regions for their unique and expressive attributes.
McWilliam’s Winemaker Manager Bryan Currie said the Flagship wines represented the heritage of McWilliam’s NSW history and the pinnacle of the winery’s craft.
“New South Wales runs through McWilliam’s blood – it’s where it all began for us and we believe in the quality fruit that each region produces,” Currie said.
“These wines wear their region on their sleeve. They are distinct and powerful and we do very little to manipulate their hallmark features. First and foremost, we want the Flagship and Appellation wines to represent the region they come from as strongly as possible and we’re extremely proud of these releases.”
The 1877 Shiraz comes from the cool-climate Hilltops region, located between Young, Boorowa, and Harden NSW. The bulk of the vineyards are concentrated at an altitude of around 450 metres and the continental climate provides a perfect environment for producing premium wines, in particular shiraz and cabernet varieties.
The first-release 1877 Hilltops Shiraz comes from the excellent 2014 vintage which had warm days and cool nights, making for one of the truly great vintages of the region. Spring frosts wiped out blocks on the lower sites, but for the remaining regional crush the quality was extremely high due to it only being from the most suitable sites.
The wine is a vibrant mix of red and purple with bright aromas of dark cherry and cherry coupled with lifted florals and fresh toasty oak. The medium-bodied palate is bright with acidity and fine slatey tannins. This wine drinks well on release, but will reward the drinker with medium to long-term cellaring.
The 842 Chardonnay is sourced from the relatively new and seriously cool wine region of Tumbarumba. The first sites in this region, located south of Batlow, NSW, were established in 1982, and since that time, have grown to a massive 300 hectares of planted vines. Currie notes this region is one of the best in Australia for premium chardonnay, as well as sparkling wines and pinot noir.
The 842 Tumbarumba Chardonnay (which gets its name from the peak altitude of 842 metres of the region) comes from the 2013 vintage, which resulted in fruit with intense fruit flavours and high natural acidity typical of the region.
The wine is straw yellow in colour with an intense and complex aroma of golden peach, ripe fig and honeydew melon, complemented by toasty cashew nut and biscuit notes. The palate is powerful with great fruit intensity and balanced creamy texture. Ripe melon and stone fruit flavours merge with a pure line of grapefruit acidity that drives the wine to fantastic depth and length for a vibrant finish.