December 08, 2012

November newsletter 2012


Wow!! Have we been excited to put this mailing list out, or what?   Ready?  

First and foremost, our phone can finally stop ringing, with the long awaited release of the 2007 Cremant!   Holly has already drunk most of it so there is a very limited quantity of it to sell – BE QUICK!!         

Also, we are releasing the full range of 2011 reds!!   One of the greatest Hunter vintages in history, these wines are looking simply superb.   To prove my point, for the first time in five years, we have made the infamous Sinclair Shiraz.   Please trust me, if you are an avid Marsh Estate fan, don’t miss this opportunity of grabbing some of the Sinclair.   As one very prominent winemaker stated after showing him the Sinclair two days after bottling…..“Marshy, this is not only the best 2011 red I’ve seen….it’s one of the best red wines I’ve ever seen….you must have oompa loompas in the winery helping you…’s incredible!”

What else?   Oh yeah!   The 2012 Jacques’ Path.   Many of you experienced the glorious 2011 Jacques’ Path and this little fizzer steps up and will blow your mind.   Enjoy!

Right,  Holly’s happy now as I have followed her strict instructions to introduce the wines first and then waffle on.   I kind of like waffling.   I become centred and lucidly sentimental.   Talking of sentimental, the 2013 vintage, which will begin in a matter of weeks, marks my 20th year as chief winemaker at Marsh Estate.   Prior to that, I worked alongside Dad, stints overseas, as well as years of University.   I remember as a little kid, kicking around the winery, dreaming of one day running the show.   Our area was very small in those days, even though the Hunter Valley was Australia’s oldest and most famous wine region.   People with names such as Tyrrell, Tulloch, McGuigan and McWilliam would drop in.   Max Lake from Lake’s Folly would call by and pat me on the head as he strode past to see my father.   Len Evans would often call in and leave much later than anticipated due to an unforeseeable thirst.   The wine industry was for the purest, yet it was starting to gather some serious momentum.   A momentum which would ultimately quadruple the industry in little more than a decade.

When I was studying wine at University, the true nature and true regionality of the medium to top end wines was still vibrantly evident.   Advances in viticulture and winemaking products and technology, where exciting breakthroughs were the talk of the land, were numerous. Australian wine and Australian winemakers were gaining world-class recognition and record wine sales were vindicating these achievements.   New wine “regions” began popping up all along the Eastern seaboard, as well as in the West.   There was encouraging growth and banks were lending money to anyone investing in wine production.   The glory days were here……..but they were short lived.

Today, there are too many wine producers.   What does that mean?   From a range of answers, the glaringly obvious is…..oversupply.   Sadly, in conjunction with this, the softly regulated industry in Australia means that integrity throughout each region has been all but jeopardised.   True terroir, the essence of what wine is all about, is a term so loosely thrown around nowadays that producers are even deluding themselves.   The word “Estate” seems to appear everywhere, yet I do not know of one other producer in Australia that grows everything on site without the use of artificial watering systems (non-irrigated), makes every wine from each segregated singe vineyard block of grapes in their own on-site winery and bottles them on premise.   That is the true meaning of a wine “Estate”.   Strike me down for being old fashioned but surely….surely….there needs to be some revision of the wine industry’s code of practice to protect and assure the consumer of authenticity. Again, I will pose the question….Why would you venture to the beautiful Hunter Valley , to walk into a cellar door of a “boutique” establishment, and taste and buy wine which is not even grown in the Hunter Valley?  Or for that matter, buy a Hunter Semillon in a McLaren Vale winery?
It would be financially vindictive for us to behave in this fashion yet I grew up in a different time, where wine was to reflect the vineyard, the vintage, the variety- the true terroir.   I do not wish to mar your wine experience by behaving in any other fashion.   When you come to see us, you are in our home.   A home dedicated to wine-Hunter Valley wine.   That is what we do.   It’s who we are.  I point blank refuse to shake the foundations of people who love wine and desire the authenticity they so deserve.   My family built an amazing Estate to share the wonders and magic of this beautiful part of the world and we will cut no corners in providing you with that experience.

OK, Holly is ushering me down from my soap box and encouraging me to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and an awesome New Year.   We hope you have fun.  Drink lots!


Julie Hammond said:

I dont believe a word he says about you Holly and one day we are going to turn up with a real soapbox for Marshy.

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