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: Amietta Vineyard

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Amietta Vineyard

www.amietta.com.au

30 Steddy Rd, Lethbridge, 3332

Cellar Door: By appointment

Ph: (03) 5281 7407

Amietta Vineyard & Winery is located on the slopes of the Moorabool Valley near Bannockburn. It is a micro-boutique winery dedicated to producing premium wine from estate grown fruit including some rather rare varieties .

Amietta was established in 1995 by archaeologists Nicholas Clark and Janet Cockbill. Janet did a vintage in Provence, France at Michel Chapoutier's biodynamic Domaine de Beates. She describes her 2001 vintage in France as the pivotal point in her winemaking life. "In Australia you learn the food-science approach to winemaking - control, control, control. In France I saw the non-interventionist approach could produce great results, though it could also produce less favourable results. I think you need to have a repertoire of approaches and to be flexible."

Amietta Vineyard
Nicholas Clark at the Geelong Toast of the Coast Wine Show at Deakin University Waterfront campus. (photo genxywines)

Nicholas was also inspired by the biodynamic techniques he saw while working at Michel Chapoutier and studied viticulture at Charles Sturt University. The vineyard's underlying soil is ancient marine limestone that is topped with a layer of rich dark clay formed from volcanic basalt lava. Despite the fact that they supplement their own grapes with grapes from other local growers the overall production is very small scale as they are unwilling to release wines not up to their high standards. Both have a hand in the wine-making.

The classy portfolio includes Shiraz, an oaked Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and some red blends. Alternative variety fans will be interested in trying the Shiraz-Lagrein blend, the Malbec-derived Rose and the Cabernet with the angel's share topped up with the now very rare Carmenere variety.

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)

Amietta Riesling 2008

Purchased: Not ($27)

Drink: 2010 or 2014 if you like it toasty

(GXY) Tasting: June 2009, another zesty offering with a small botrytis input bringing jasmine and lavender inputs to the lemon/lime Riesling, only 11.3% alcohol, the slaty mineral base unpinning brings structure, just needs bit more lively acid to live up to the Germanic aspirations (****)

Amietta Angelís Share Cabernet Carmenere 2007

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: June 2009, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc with the Ďangelís share (evaporation from the barrel that is topped up) with the now very rare Bordeaux variety, Carmenere, quite leafy with mulberry, ripe blackberry, violet and mint notes, medium-bodied palate with a touch of leather, fine savoury tannins with subtle cedar and cigar box notes from the French oak (****)

Amietta Angelís Shiraz Lagrein 2007

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: June 2009, Amietta were perhaps the first in the world to come up this blend, plenty of blackberry, black cherry and dark plum, particularly in the mid-palate, has an earthy/mushroom savouriness underlying those dark fruit flavours, cedar-chocolate notes on the finish but the fruit does most of the talking, the main issue is Lagreinís lack of genuine length along with the rather shy back end of the Shiraz which makes the finish a little hollow (***1/2)

Amietta Shiraz 2007

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: June 2009, from volcanic soils beside the Moorabool River, fairly restrained blackcurrant, mulberry, pepper and violet notes, medium-full bodied, glycerol smooth palate is underpinned with earthy minerality, lingering chalky tannins, coffee-cedar oak, an elegant rather than sledgehammer Shiraz but as with the previous vintage it lacks the brightness and depth of the excellent 2005 vintage (***1/2)

Amietta Angel’s Share Cabernet Carmenere 2006

Purchased: Not ($27)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: June 2008, the ‘angel’s share (evaporation from the barrel that is topped up) with the now very rare variety, Carmenere, ripe mulberry and blackberry with violet and mint notes, medium-full bodied palate with a touch of leather and attractive briary, fine savory tannins with subtle cigar box notes from the French oak (****)

Amietta Shiraz Lagrein 2006

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: June 2008, about 35% of the rare Northern Italian variety, Lagrein in this unique blend with Shiraz, ripe blackcurrant and dark plum with tobacco, mint and musk notes, medium-full bodied, earthy and minerally, the Lagrein brings briary complexity to the mid-palate and a firmer tannic structure to the finish, 14 months in French oak (****)

Amietta Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($40)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: June 2008, spicy plum, blackcurrant, mulberry and violet notes, medium-full bodied, glycerol smooth palate with cool climate pepper and cinnamon and some forest floor, chalky tannins, coffee-cedar oak (****)

Amietta Shiraz 2006

Purchased: Not ($40)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: June 2008, blackcurrant, mulberry and violet notes, medium-full bodied, glycerol smooth palate with pepper and cinnamon and earthy minerality, chalky tannins, coffee-cedar oak, lacking the depth of the 2005 (***1/2)

Amietta Sauvignon Blanc 2006

Purchased: Not ($16)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2007, more common style in France, two months on oak with a splash of Chardonnay added, quince, grapefruit and nectarine with cut grass aromas, palate is a bit forward but has good length with cedary vanilla barrel ferment features (****)

Amietta Shiraz Lagrein 2005

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2007, spicy plum and cherry with clove, tobacco and spice notes, earthy and musky medium bodied palate, the Lagrein adds tannic weight (***1/2)

Amietta White Limestone Chardonnay 2005

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2006, minerally Burgundy style, restrained melon and peach, toasty vanilla oak, dry minerally finish, good balance (****)

Amietta Riesling 2006

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2006, lemon, lime and honeysuckle, sweet, juicy palate with spice notes, minerally backbone, citric finish (***1/2)

Amietta Shiraz Lagrein 2003

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2006, nose seemed a bit closed still, soft plum and cherry with clove and spice notes, earthy medium bodied palate, the Lagrein adds tannic weight, will improve with time to open up (***1/2)

Amietta Riesling 2005

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2006, intense aromas of lemon and lime (showing the cool fermentation techniques used), slightly sweeter style with 5% Botrytis which makes it slightly forward on the palate, some spice notes although a bit muted while the wine is so young, mouth-filling, firm mineral backbone, persistent natural acid finish, should develop nicely, surprising quality for an area not known for quality Riesling (****)

Amietta Rose 2005

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2006, derived from Shiraz and a rare parcel of Mt. Duneed Malbec, slightly off-dry but refreshing, nose of berries and rose from the Shiraz juice, the Malbec adds spice and dried herb notes which create a more interesting wine, don't drink it this summer, cellar it for a year to bring out the spiciness (***1/2)

Amietta Angel's Share 2004

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2006, blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, spicy nose with blackcurrant and red berries, nose shows cinnamon and liquorice notes, unfortunate hints of leather, soft tannins, mainly French oak, apart from the leather it is a pretty pleasing blend that should develop over the next six or seven years (***)

Amietta Shiraz 2004

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2006, typical cool climate spicy, peppery nose, dark plum and red berry, as with the Angel Share blend there is a touch of unfortunate Hunter Valley-style leather, palate shows bright and juicy fruit, fine tannins, mainly French oak (***)