Basking in a Golden Glow!

Friday, 3 May 2019

Basking in a golden glow at Oatley!

After our first ever international-standard Gold Medal last September in the SW regional competition, we got DOUBLE GOLD in the IEWA, the Independent English Wine Awards, a fairly new national competition judged in that old bastion of the wine trade, Bristol. We only entered two wines and they BOTH won gold. That’s really AWESOME!

The winning wines were our limited-edition Barrel Matured 2016, the same wine that took a gold in the regional competition, and our Elizabeth’s 2015, which is maturing really well. This wine is a blend of two thirds Madeleine Angevine, one third Kernling. It won Silver in the old UKVA competition in 2016 when it was newly-released and a bronze in the Decanter World Wine Awards 2017. But since then it has softened,  rounded and developed honey tones from the maturing Kernling.

IEWA Judges said of the Elizabeth’s, “Really good, harmonious balance of fruit and honeysuckle”. "Honeysuckle floral nose with touch of warm apple. Good acidity, nice mouth feel, nice finish - limes, citrus fruit with a touch of honey. Elegance and finesse”. "Nice blend, good balance”. "Soft nice balance”. "Good nose with a well balanced finish, good fruit tones. An elegant wine”.  "A lot ggoing on, well balanced. Would buy and sell this wine"

And of the Barrel Matured, "Peach blossom on the nose with vanilla, honey. Good balance and body on the palate”. "Mineral, peach nose, good mouth feel. Honeyed, with complexity nice acidity, and soft spice”. "Lovely peachy nose, with buttery coconut”. "Coconut! Gold”. "Oak adds element of interest and balance”. "Light, extremely well balanced, great mixture of fruit and coconut/oak. Good finish”

Alexander Taylor, IEWA founder, said, “What a result! The judges really went for these wines in a big way. Bravo!”

Both these wines are available in our online shop though you might need to hurry, especially for the Barrel Matured, only 290 bottles made.

Family news too: having gone from zero to three grandchildren in just over a year, regular trips to Copenhagen are keeping us on our toes with Liv, now 18 months old, toddling determinedly and with a keen interest in birds. Jane’s off there again for a quick visit next week.

Last weekend, Ned and Paula brought 3 month old twins Albert and Edith for their first Oatley visit. What a delight! They’re doing brilliantly, but, gosh, twin babies are a pretty full-on deal...

In this early season, what with the babes and Jane’s ladder debacle (see previous post), we are behind with the vineyard work. But the big 2018 vintage is now safely stacked - to the ceiling - in the insulated stone-walled stable and the pruning is a couple of days away from finished. Late, it should have been finished by budburst really so the topmost buds don’t get too ahead of the others, but not a lot of harm done. Helped by friends Jane, Jan and Sim, and bundle-carrying from Ned and Paula while the twins slept under the trees. Thanks guys, really helped us out, there!

The frosty dawns in mid-April knocked back, but thankfully didn’t devastate, the bottom Madeleine block. It is recovering better than we’d hoped, thanks partly to deliberately delayed spur-pruning in the lowest triangle. This kept the vital lowest buds dormant for longer. Partly also that the frost nipped the outer layers of a lot of the buds higher up the slope and turned them brown, but without penetrating to the centre, and they have since recovered and are now shooting normally, albeit a bit behind the unaffected buds higher up the slope. Catching up with that pruning in the bottom corner now that frost danger is nearly over (but fingers crossed for this weekend!).

So aside from rather uneven development, all is well, so far, with Vintage 2019.