Glenlofty wines from Australia seeking for distributors worldwide
Glenlofty single-vineyard wines all express the soul of Victoria’s cool-climate Pyrenees foothills terroir, more often compared with France’s northern Rhone than with Australia’s warmer Barossa or Hunter Valleys. Only since 2013 has Glenlofty’s premium fruit, crafted with premium French oak, been bottled under its own label. So the Glenlofty brand is decidedly a dark horse, winning friends and gold medals right and left.
Sleeping Beauty awoke in 2013
Glenlofty’s vineyards have been carefully nurtured since 1995 in the cool-climate foothills of Victoria’s Pyrenees. Formerly blended into premium wines produced by Penfolds, Seppelts, Rosemount and Brown Bros, Glenlofty’s remarkable fruit has been bottled under its own Glenlofty Wines label only since 2013, with the difficult 2011 year being its first own vintage.
Early industry applause has been rapid – from industry peers in the Pyrenees and further afield, from the Barossa, McLaren Vale, Heathcote, Yarra Valley and the Hunter. Not because Glenlofty’s wines are similar to these well-known appellations - they’re clearly different. But because top Australian winemakers and vignerons know a super-premium cool-climate wine when it sings from their glass.
Victoria’s Pyrenees form a special appellation in the foothills of Australia’s great Dividing Range. An increasingly well-known cool-climate range of vineyards poised between the old gold-mining towns of Avoca and Elmhurst.
In 1836, European exploration started to map the advantages of the Pyrenees region of western Victoria, and viticulture was introduced soon after. By 1890, there were vineyards at Avoca, Landsborough, Moonambel and Amphitheatre but these were all wiped out by the looming phylloxera plague, and not replanted for half a century.
In 1963, planting recommenced with a joint venture between the Australian Nathan & Wyeth group and the French Remy Martin. With many years of premium wines, still and sparkling, to its credit, this venture has now matured into the well-known Blue Pyrenees. Many other well-known wineries have followed, including France’s Goelet family with Taltarni, the Jones family at Dalwhinnie, the Barrys at Mount Avoca, the Bazzanis at Warrenmang, the Robbs at Sally’s Paddock and the family Summerfield. Glenlofty was established in 1995 (moving from corporate to family ownership in 2010) and has been recently followed (next door to Glenlofty) at its Domaine Tournon by renowned Rhone market leader Maison M. Chapoutier.
Glenlofty’s inspiration is its own terroirs, offering a range of soils and microclimates which echo those of France’s northern Rhone. Glenlofty’s low-yielding 350 acres under vine are producing medium bodied wines, white and red, which combine richness with elegance. The winemaking team’s goals are to realise these potentials, but without slavishly mimicking a Hermitage, a Cote Rotie or a Cornas.
Certainly, Glenlofty wines are all different from those of Barossa, even from those of neighbouring Heathcote. Not surprisingly, you’ll find some family resemblances between Glenlofty and the best of the Pyrenees – Chapoutier, Blue Pyrenees, Taltarni, Mount Avoca, Summerfield, Dalwhinnie.
Current releases are all medal-winners:
Glenlofty Single-Vineyard Pyrenees 2011 Shiraz. RRP $24
Colour: deep ruby red. Nose: cedar, black fruits, toasty French oak. Palate: rich, ripe blackberries, liquorice, sweet French oak mid-palate, good length, fresh juicy fruit on finish. 14.6% ABV
Glenlofty Single-Vineyard Pyrenees 2011 Shiraz Viognier. RRP $24
Colour: bright ruby red. Nose: fragrant black pepper and black truffle aromatics. Palate: rich dark fruits, medium body, bright, peppery long-finishing minerality. 14.0% ABV
Glenlofty Single-Vineyard Pyrenees 2011 Nebbiolo. RRP $28
Colour: old-brick red with characteristic nebbiolo orange hues. Nose: flowers, red cherries and chocolate with toffee notes. Palate: succulent, medium body, savoury flavours and smooth tannins. 14.4% ABV.
Glenlofty Single-Vineyard Pyrenees 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon. RRP $24
Colour: deep ruby red. Nose: cassis, black olive, hints of fresh herbs. Palate: blackcurrant fruit, fine-grain tannins, a wine of structure and length. 13.8% ABV
Glenlofty Single-Vineyard Pyrenees 2012 Roussanne Marsanne. RRP $28
19% roussanne, 21% marsanne – the reverse of the usual balance, simply reflecting 2012 fruit qualities. Colour: straw yellow, slight hints of green. Nose: fresh pear and rich exotic spices. Palate: fresh pear, guava and honeysuckle, good structure, faint minerality. 14.0% ABV
Glenlofty Single-Vineyard Pyrenees 2012 Chardonnay. RRP $24
Colour: pale straw with slight hint of green. Nose: peach, melon, hints of toasty French oak and fresh brioche. Palate: soft peach fruit, complex with creamy mid-palate, clean finish. ABV 13.8%