100% Verdelho, from a Single Vineyard in Margaret River, Australia. Low intervention
HISTORY: Ashbrook Estate are a family owned and operated winery established by the Devitt family in 1975. They are one of the oldest wineries in the region, being planted around the same time as much bigger and more recognized estates such as Vasse Felix and Leeuwin Estate. At heart, they are a family focused on growing high quality grapes and turning their estate fruit into outstanding wines expressive of site.
Ashbrook Estate’s philosophy is to use minimal intervention in the manufacture of their wines (“keep it simple!”). They are one of a select few Margaret River wineries to use only grapes grown on a single Estate where the wine is also made, bottled and packaged. It is a beautiful winding driveway into their Wilyabrup property in north-west Margaret River – watch out for kangaroos though.
ABOUT: Catherine Edwards (nee Devitt) is the winemaker, Kingsley Edwards (her husband) is viticulturalist and vineyard manager is Richard, her brother. No outside contractors are used. Catherine was born on the first day of Ashbrook’s 1981 vintage, the night after Jancis Robinson shared dinner at their home. She has a history working in cell biology and holds degrees in science (biochemistry) as well as wine technology and viticulture. She’s completed nine vintages at Ashbrook Estate and has been senior winemaker since 2014. She and Kingsley live on the estate with their two young children.
Verdelho is mostly known as one of the main grapes of Madeira. It makes sense that it would thrive in Australia as Verdelho is one of the few white wine grapes that thrives in warm climates. From the average 40-year-old vines, this wine is fresh and vibrant, but will evolve significantly over the next 5 years.
VINIFICATION: All grape picking and vine pruning is carried out by hand. The vineyard comprises seventeen hectares on highly weathered, ancient, well-drained red-brown loamy gravel. Vines are planted just off the contour to protect slopes from erosion. All vineyard blocks have grassed waterways to enable the water from heavy downpours of rain to leave the vineyard without causing damage. The vineyard is not cultivated in order to protect soil structure. Instead, it is organically mulched to provide nutrients to the vines, increase soil humus and to moderate soil temperature. Guinea fowl roam the vineyard to reduce insect pressure, and a Lyre Trellis allows good light penetration and aeration to reduce disease pressure. Every process, whether viticultural or in the winery, is overseen by a family member.
TASTING NOTES: A vibrant, unwooded style of Verdelho with lashings of Stone Fruit aromas on the nose marrying with Tropical Fruit flavors and hints of Spice on the palate. The wine is focused, and finishes crisp and dry, with Flinty mineral tones, & with a powerful and refreshing length that makes this wine the perfect accompaniment to spicy, full flavored dishes. Famous for its natural acidity, this variety ages beautifully. Cellaring for more than five years rewards with complex spice and honeysuckle and developing nutty and toasty characters.
FOOD PAIRING: Rich, full flavored dishes; Spicy Korean, Thai, or Indian Curries; Spicy South American Cuisine; Shellfish, Seafood, Fish; Cheese.