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: Harcourt Valley

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Harcourt Valley

www.harcourtvalley.com.au

3339 Calder Highway, Harcourt, 3453

Cellar Door: Daily (11-6 in daylight saving; 11-5 the rest)

Ph: (03) 5474 2223

stall
Harcourt Valley stall at Melbourne's Federation Square Regional Showcase

Harcourt Valley was established in 1975 by Ray & Barbara Broughton. Previously it was the site of an old apple orchard that was replaced by vines. The are a total of five acres dedicated to Shiraz, Cabernet, Riesling and Chardonnay on deep granitic soils.

After many years of hard labour, devotion and deprivation, the 'Broughtons' handed over to John & Barbara Livingstone in 1998. Since taking the reins the Livingstones planted a further 5 acres - the new plantings were mainly Shiraz.

The new plantings take advantage of gentle north-south slopes, reducing the effect of frosts in spring. Wine-maker John died in mid-2004, but Barbara has continued in her role as viticulturalist and promoter, the wine-making was being overseen by local vignerons but is now in the hands of their son, Quinn.

Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

Harcourt Valley Barbara's Shiraz 2014

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2026

(GXY) Tasting: April 2017, 30% whole bunch, vibrant black cherry and mulberry with a hint of sweet plumcake, there are also white pepper, herb and rose petal notes, long and medium bodied with fine grained tannin and fresh acidity (****)

Harcourt Valley Grenache Shiraz Malbec 2015

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: April 2017, unoaked blend, around 80% Grenache, floral and juicy redcurrant, red cherry and blackberry essence with white pepper and violet notes, enough savoury fruit tennin and acid to make the style work (***)

Harcourt Valley Riesling 2016

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: April 2017, floral and off-dry lime, passionfruit and red apple with brown spice notes, broad and rounded palate with firm orange peel acidity to balance the initial sweetness (***)

Harcourt Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: April 2015,  fairly subdued nose, ripe and glossy blackcurrant and blackberry with anise, eucalypt and olive notes, slaty medium-full bodied palate with some dustiness and fresh acidity  (***1/2)

Harcourt Valley Riesling 2014

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: April 2015,  verging on off-dry showing flavoursome lime,  passionfruit and orange pulp with pineapple and brown spice notes,  palate is a bit broad but does tighten to a drier, chalky finish (***)

Harcourt Valley Old Vine Shiraz 2012

Purchased: Not ($60)

Drink: 2024+

(GXY) Tasting: May 2014, powerful and slightly extracted core of black cherry and dark plums with savoury meat, violet and pepper notes, medium-full bodied palate has good line and length and is unerpinned with graphite minerality, plenty of toasty mocha/cinnamon oak and chewy tannins, built for the long haul (****1/2)

Harcourt Valley Riesling 2013

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: May 2014, off dry showing sweet lime, apple and passionfruit with some spice but not complex, has a good line, tangy orange pulp finish with fine chalky phenolics (***)

Harcourt Valley Chardonnay 2013

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: May 2014, broad and brightly flavoured melon and yellow peach with some almond notes, tighten up to a crisp, dry finish with fine phenolics (***)

Harcourt Old Vine Cabernet 2010

Purchased: Not ($60)

Drink:  2023+

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2013, only 30 cases made, medium bodied but richly flavoured blackcurrant and blueberry with violet and mint notes, good fruit depth and length with a spine of dusty tannins, charry clove/cedar oak,  good acidity and moderate alcohol levels will allow this last in the cellar for ages (****1/2)

Harcourt Valley Barbara’s Shiraz 2011

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2013, Gold Medal at Royal Melbourne Wine Show 2012, silky, fresh and fragrant redcurrant and dark plums with violet, mint and pepper notes, light-medium bodied reflecting the cold vintage with a tight line and some savoury/earthy complexity, very fine tannins with the oak pared back to reflect the lightness of the fruit,  the sort of Shiraz that would never win a gold medal in a South Australian wine show and for me lacked enough concentration and drive to be at the very top level (****)

Harcourt Valley Grenache Shiraz Malbec 2012

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2013, juicy and glossy redcurrant, blueberry and dark plums with savoury meat and herbal notes, medium bodied with warm toasty oak spices and sour cherry finish, slippery tannins (***1/2)

Harcourt Valley Riesling 2012

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2013, off-dry,  core of lime, green apple and passionfruit with tangy mandarin rind acidity and toasty brown spices, fairly good line and length (***1/2)

Harcourt Valley Riesling 2011

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2013 or 2020+ if you like it toasty

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2012, off-dry style with orange and lime blossom florals, apple and passionfruit, minerally and broad palate with a touch of spiciness, tangy mandarin rind acidity (***)

Harcourt Valley Malbec 2010

Purchased: Not ($27)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2012, plump and fleshy blueberry and plum with fruitcake notes, medium bodied with open knit powdery tannins, charry cedar/vanilla/cinnamon oak (***)

Harcourt Old Vine Shiraz 2010

Purchased: Not ($60)

Drink: 2020+

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2012, Gold Medal at Sydney Wine Show 2011, complex, powerful and tarry black cherry, mulberry and plum cake with savoury meat, spice and warm earth undertones, the good core of fruit wrestles with the fairly assertive charry coffee/chocolate/cedar oak, persistent firm, chewy tannins, needs time to fully integrate (****1/2)

Harcourt Valley Old Vine Shiraz 2009

Purchased: Not ($60)

Drink: 2020+

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, intense blackberry and fruitcake with bay leaf and white pepper notes, deep set core of earthy fruit with savoury meat nuances, slightly tarry in places with lots of charry coffee/chocolate/cedar oak, the persistent, chewy and grainy tannins bring textural interest (****1/2)

Harcourt Valley Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Purchased: Not ($60)

Drink: 2019

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, a good core of well defined, varietal fruit showing cassis, plum and redcurrant with violet and menthol notes, firm and lingering chassis of fine grained tannins with lots of chocolate/clove/cedar oak that rather dominates the back palate at the moment (****)

Harcourt Valley Riesling 2010

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink:

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, perfumed, off-dry style showing orange and lime blossom and florals, minerally and light palate with a touch of brown spice, chalky mandarin acidity, fractionally forward (***1/2)

Harcourt Valley Chardonnay 2008

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, the cool vintage has helped to bring some additional elegance and structure, tangy nectarine, melon and peach with savoury lees notes, toasty cashew-vanilla oak with bright and persistent chalky lemon acidity and some phenolic texture (***1/2)

Harcourt Valley Limited Release Bendigo Malbec 2009

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2010, juicy and flavoursome plum and blueberry with fruitcake and toasted spices, medium bodied with a streak of minerality and spicy cedar-vanilla oak, open knit powdery tannins, the limitations are with the variety as a stand alone rather than the wine-making (***)

Harcourt Valley Chardonnay 2009

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2010, broad, flavoursome and ripe melon and yellow peach with some orange blossom notes, buttery palate with lightly charred oak bringing spice and caramel, bright lemony acids with a touch of pink grapefruit (***)

Harcourt Valley Cabernet Franc 2008

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2008, lighter bodied and silky showing pristine raspberry and blackcurrant with violet and mint notes, earthy and medium bodied with persistent dusty tannins, focussed line and good length, the restrained oak is a real plus when the fruit is this good, a pleasant surprise (****)

Harcourt Valley Barbara’s Reserve Shiraz 2007

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2009, built around a core of tautly structured blackberry and ripe plum with lifted cinnamon, fruitcake and black pepper notes, textured and medium-full bodied, lingering finish shows some regional eucalpyt notes, vibrant acidity, creamy cedar oak brings some vanilla and caramel aspects to the finish (****)

Harcourt Valley Riesling 2009

Purchased: Not ($16)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2009, tasted shortly after bottling, sweet Spatlese style with the ferment stopped early to keep some residual sugar, green apple and ripe apricot with some bracing lemon rind acidity, chalky finish (***1/2)

Harcourt Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2009, quite savoury and earthy showing blackcurrant and roasted meat with light mint and white pepper notes, not very deep but is quite dry, textured and linear, smoky cedar oak with fresh acids and fine dusty tannins (***1/2)

Harcourt Valley Barbara’s Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2008, ripe and flavoursome cassis, dark plum and red cherry with leather and white pepper notes, savoury and medium-full boded palate, rather oaky with cedar and dark chocolate infused through the palate, lingering mint finish (***1/2)

Harcourt Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2008, medium bodied blackberry with the regional minerality and eucalypt, some vegetal rhubarb aspects have developed, richly oaked with mocha chocolate and cedar features, dusty tannins (***)

Harcourt Valley Reserve Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: July 2007, fairly intense core of blackcurrant and plum, savoury medium-full bodied palate with pepper and dried herb notes, lots of sweet oak, dusty tannins (****)

Harcourt Valley Chardonnay 2006

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: July 2007, grapefruit, melon and nectarine although fairly gentle, buttery plate with a fresh citric acid finish, light toasty French oak (***1/2)

Harcourt Valley Barbara's Shiraz 2004

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: July 2007, ripe cassis and plum underpinned with sweet coconut-cedary oak, savoury medium bodied palate, dusty tannins, lighter bodied than usual (***1/2)

Harcourt Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: July 2007, vibrant cassis, red cherry and plum with eucalypt notes, medium bodied with underlying herbaceousness, earthy with an elegant texture with dried herb complexity, dusty tannins (***1/2)

Harcourt Valley Riesling 2006

Purchased: Not ($16)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: July 2007, sweet spatlese style, green apple and lemon rind with bracing acid, some mandarin features on the finish (***1/2)

Harcourt Valley Barbara's Shiraz 2003

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: June 2006, deep and concentrated plum and cassis, full bodied palate abounds with pepper and spice, well integrated oak and smooth tannins (****)

Harcourt Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: June 2006, sweet red cherry and blackcurrant palate is complemented with mint and vanilla features, quite concentrated but jammy with firm tannins (***1/2)

Harcourt Valley Chardonnay 2005

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: June 2006, big, ripe nose showing fig and melon features, buttery palate with some steely notes, unfocussed but quite rich fruit driven style (***1/2)

Harcourt Valley Riesling 2005

Purchased: Not ($16)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: June 2006, sweet Mosel Spatlese-style, sweet citrus fruit up front but rounded out by ripe apple on the mid-palate and some mineral notes on the finish (***)