The Landmark Vintage Release takes their flagship Winemakers Selection cuvées in standout vintages and releases the wines with age from Tyrrell’s historic cellars. These are perfectly preserved wines with a distinctive sense of time and place from the masters of the Hunter Valley.
Vat 1 Semillon is an extremely refined wine style with strong regional character. The young wines show plenty of pure fresh lemon curd fruit characters and a clean steely, almost bracing acid backbone. Over time the wine becomes extremely complex, with a golden colour, honeyed, straw-like aromas and a soft, immensely complex and flavoursome palate. It is this capacity to develop so beautifully that has given Vat 1 an extraordinary reputation for cellaring.
Typically the fruit is derived from the mature Short Flat vineyard ranging from 90 to 50 year old vines and are dry-grown on primarily sandy alluvial loams. No supplementary irrigation is used. The fruit is hand-picked in late January and early February at relatively low sweetness levels making these wines some of the lowest alcohol wines produced in Australia. The juice is clarified before a relatively cool fermentation in stainless steel. Depending on vintage the wine receives between one and eight weeks yeast lees contact to increase overall complexity. The wine never sees new oak but is matured prior to bottling in stainless steel.
The bouquet reveals a superbly mellow middle-aged semillon with straw, hay and toasty aromas, the palate crisp and dry, savoury and intense with great length and perfect balance. At 11 years, it's still fresh and refined, a great example of semi-mature Hunter semillon.
99 points, The Real Review (October 2020)
Bright, light to medium yellow-green colour. The bouquet is strikingly youthful for its age, with little sign of toastiness, but wonderful fragrance which just subtly hints at lemon, herbs, nettles and beeswax as well as candlewax. It's amazingly fresh. In the mouth, it's extraordinarily full of fruit and rich flavour, the amplitude of it filling the entirety of the mouth, reaching up to the roof, and the flavour lingers for an astonishingly long time, with great enduring flavour and impeccable harmony. A great wine of phenomenal length and character.
99 points, The Real Review (December 2014)
Round and rich, yet remarkably focussed and minerally. It’s veering towards white peach along with squashy lemon and lime. The significant feature of this wine, however, is its ability to combine restraint with a multi-layered mouthfilling richness. The length and balance is impeccable with a very dry lemon rind and spice finish. You can drink this now with pleasure, although obviously the best is yet to come. I reckon it’s the best Vat 1 since the 2006, since the 1999, since the 1994. The pedigree on offer at this price point is almost laughable.
96 points, The Wine Front (October 2009)
Still pale quartz-green; an exceptionally youthful 5-year-old wine, even by the standards of semillon; cut grass, herb, lemongrass and a strong minerally thrust drive the long palate. The end-point of its development is anyone's guess.
96 points, Wine Companion (February 2014)
The pedigree here is unmistakable. This offers up pristine aged semillon characters of lemon, barley and some gentle lanolin; very fine aromas. This wine has been engineered to perform as an aged release from the outset. The palate has a smooth, supple and very gently creamy entry, with hints at honey flavor, before straightening out and drawing pithy lemon citrus flavor in a long, smooth and perfectly balanced line. From an outstanding vintage and a blend of grapes sourced from the Short Flat and De Beyer's vineyards with vines dating back to 1923.
97 points, JamesSuckling.com (February 2015)
The Hunter Valley is the most important quality wine-producing region in New South Wales, even though it represents only a fraction of the state’s production. Established in the early 1800s, the first vignerons recognised that the coastal fringe north of Sydney was too wet and humid for viable viticulture and thus took the decision to move into the hinterland. Although the region can be particularly hot, the cloud and rainfall patterns significantly modify the microclimate. The Hunter Valley is maritime influenced, with afternoon sea breezes funnelling up through the Hunter River and Goulburn River gap. Rainfall is very erratic and can arrive at the most inopportune time. Soils are generally rich volcanic and alluvial. The best vineyard sites are located within sight of the imposing Brokenback Range that is exposed to the cool sea breezes. Further inland, the maritime influence gives way to a greater degree of continentality. The Hunter Valley is best known for exceptional age-worthy Semillon and fresh savoury medium-bodied Shiraz, although Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay also perform well.