A breezy 2-hour drive from Sydney sits the Hunter Valley. Somewhat polarising among wine aficionados, the Hunter is home to some of the country’s most talked about wineries. And while a proportion of these wineries achieved notoriety following a string of poor vintages and large scale production, there’s simply no shying away from the fact that, around just about every bend, you’re sure to find some of NSW’s finest cellar doors.
Tower Estate is one, attaining lofty heights of success throughout the Australian wine industry. Consistently overachieving is nothing new for Tower who, of late, has had a lot to do with galvanizing the reputation of this grossly underrated region.
Established in 1999 and located in the heart of the Hunter’s Pokolbin, the Tower Estate property is so much more than a one-trick-pony – allowing visitors to not only taste their beautifully restrained selection of wines, but also dine and stay in absolute style. Sporting a standup philosophy that focuses on the production of classic wines that are true to their terroir, you’ll undoubtedly notice the care lavished upon each bottle and range.
Using profuse winemaking ability and ingenuity, the winemaking team at Tower continue to push the boundaries of what can be achieved in the wine industry. Producing a range to suit all tastes and preferences the following two bottles sit right in the sweet spot of affordability, approachability and quality … both well worth their reasonable price tags.
Punchy without being overbearing, this Semillon is reminiscent of those that made the region the first point of call for this style of wine. Bustling with crunchy green apple and pear aromas with a lemon-rind hit that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. Mouth-watering zest gives way to a lingering hint of lemon grass and blossom sweetness. A quality wine, full of class that, in my opinion, will benefit from some time in your cellar – like all hardy, well made Semillons.
Luminescent in the glass with a rich, purplish hue, Tower’s Shiraz is beautifully toasty on the nose with hints of forest floor and bitter black cherry. Lashings of roasted coffee bean, terracotta, supple tannins and solid fruit throughout create a wine of superb balance – delicate without being plump or too robust.
After 2 hours in a decanter … the wine changed markedly. Bitter cherry tones softened to produce a lithe, velvet glove Shiraz that is straight down the middle. The nose remains toasty, but the palate opened to coat the mouth. A fantastic change up – refreshing, seductive and an absolute pleasure from first sip to last.
The driving force behind my entry in to the wine industry, the Hunter Valley, is more than just a little bit special. A pivotal piece in Australia’s wine producing make-up, it would be imprudent to overlook the wines coming out of this friendly, crowd-pleasing region – especially those of Tower Estate.