Autumn – Winter Newsletter 2024

PRISTINE VINEYARDS – even better fruit quality!

Mount Horrocks’ owner and winemaker Stephanie Toole continues to be delighted at how wonderful
her vineyards are looking. It goes beyond fruit quality. More than green healthy vineyards, it’s an
environment in balance; in harmony with nature.


‘Sometimes a visit to the vineyards is the only way people can appreciate the difference – photos are the
next best thing!’ Stephanie is of course referring to the change since becoming a certified biodynamic
producer, part of her ongoing commitment to ensuring the Mount Horrocks Vineyard environment, is
pristine and chemical free.


‘It shows in the wine’ says Stephanie, ‘and while it’s such a great feeling to visit and work in that vineyard
environment, wine quality is the ultimate aim here’.


The wines reflect these thoughts.
‘It’s a beautiful line-up of wines. The Alexander Vineyard Shiraz is typically vibrant with distinct red
fruits and that trademark finesse and elegance.


My latest Semillon is such a good drink. With its generous and satisfying palate, it shows what can be
done with a variety which has such a long-standing reputation yet is rarely grown in this region.
The cabernet is, well it’s just a beautiful wine with that classic cassis palate.’


These releases are very drinkable as well as age worthy. Biodynamic and organic (they are ACO –
Australian Certified Organic) Stephanie’s deft winemaking approach (fining agents are unnecessary)
means that they are also vegan and vegetarian friendly.

2023 MOUNT HORROCKS CLARE VALLEY SEMILLON

385 cases produced

The Mount Horrocks Semillon Vineyard is on distinctly weaker, rocky soil which, in the case of this variety, according to Stephanie, is essential to achieve depth of flavour. This release is an exceptional example achieved by rigorous vineyard management. Hand-picked at perfect ripeness, it is fermented in French oak barriques (40% new),
lees stirred for three months. A total of eight months on yeast lees adds palate weight and texture.


Bright light gold with green edges. Lemon, grass and stone fruit characters abound, underpinned by lovely creamy barrel ferment notes and gentle spiced oak nuances. It’s refined, with bright acidity and crunch, wonderful length of palate and lingering finish. With subtle yeast lees-derived texture, it’s both delicious now and age-worthy.

2022 MOUNT HORROCKS ‘ALEXANDER VINEYARD’ SHIRAZ

450 cases produced

A ‘European’ winemaking approach, with one quarter of the hand-picked fruit being
whole-bunch foot crushed, gives more perfume, while the remainder is crushed, destemmed and fermented for more palate weight. Both components then spend 18 months in French oak barriques.
Stephanie’s aim has always been to produce a wine that’s fresher, balanced and drinkable on release. The Alexander Vineyard produces full flavoured grapes from vines that are healthy and balanced but relatively low yielding. This results in optimal flavour at moderate alcohol levels.

Vibrant red-purple. Inviting fragrant red and black fruits, cherry, plum and cocoa envelope the nose. Sweet spice and leafy tobacco add complexity to the generous fruit, supple, elegantly structured, beautifully oaked, and with gentle, rounded tannins. The delicious flavours linger. A bright modern Australian shiraz to enjoy immediately or over the next ten to twelve years.

2022 MOUNT HORROCKS CABERNET SAUVIGNON

350 cases produced

Stephanie hand-picks her cabernet (and all her other grapes) to ensure the fruit’s pristine condition on arrival at the winery. After cold soaking, the ferment is gently plunged 3-4 times a day. The wine then spends 18 months in French barriques, 35% of which are new.
While this may seem a straightforward approach to making cabernet of exceptional quality (as is the aim here) it is not common. Hand-working and harvesting cabernet vineyards, as Stephanie does (see pics above), is becoming rare. Here, the benefits are clear. The result is a more modern, fresh, elegantly structured and poised wine that
will age beautifully.


Great depth of colour. Inviting fragrant red and black fruits with Cabernet’s distinctive blackcurrant and briar notes on both nose and palate. Modern, fresh and finely structured, with beautiful oak integration and supple tannins. Elegant and poised, a gorgeous wine crying out for a fillet of beef now or after a decade or more in the cellar.